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Highly Anemic Lock Rss

I was informed by my doctor that I am highly anemic and need to have more iron or I could have serious blood lose during my planned c-section (Which happened in my last pregnancy). I do not eat any form of red meat as it makes me violently ill even if its cooked till its charred or processed like mince. I am not a very big fan of most foods especially fish, tofu and most vegetables.
I had a lap-band inserted a few years ago and although it has no fluid in it at the moment because of being pregnant I still cannot eat very much, sometimes to the point where I almost pass out. My boss is getting angry at me for being so tired at work that I have to go home but I'm not allowed to officially finish work until Christmas unless they fire me.
I don't want to take tablets because I would have to take a very high dose, but it seems at the moment like my only option. I was hoping someone out there could help me, it would be much appreciated.
Hi...

My understanding is that being anaemic doesn't make you more likely to haemorrhage but that if you do lose a lot of blood then its a much bigger problem as you're not starting with enough.

If I were you I'd be taking the tablets. Iron is naturally in your diet so its not like taking a medication. It's just topping up what you're not getting through food. If you find the tablets upset your stomach a bit you can get a liquid version which is much more gentle. If you can't manage the tablets you might end up needing an iron injection.

Your bub could be born with anaemia too if you don't raise your iron levels.

I was a bit anaemic in pregnancy and had a massive haemorrhage at birth.
I ended up losing almost half my blood volume and needed multiple blood transfusions. I don't know how anaemic you are but after my son was born my Hb dropped to 52 and I kept passing out (even just sitting up) and was so short of breath. I couldn't manage at work like that, that's for sure!

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.



Hi, I also have a tendency to have low iron levels in pregnancy (although not as serious as yours) I started getting short of breath and was constantly exhausted. I did increase my red meat intake but since that isn't an option for you then you could try some other foods. I have been putting baby spinach in my salads instead of lettuce and adding mixed beans to my salads as well (kidney beans, chick peas, etc) I also have a recipe for potato and spinach soup which I am happy to give you if you want it; it is high in iron and very tasty, also easy to digest if you can't eat much. If you like orange juice you should also start drinking it with meals as the vitamin C helps iron bond to red blood cells. I hope you can get your levels back up there and have an uneventful birth. There are lots of foods other than red meat that you can eat that will increase your iron levels, I founds soups the easiest to eat when I was sick with morning sickness. My last pregnancy I couldn't stomach meat except for grilled or steamed salmon (with spinach). Good luck with everything. X
I think currently you should be taking tablets no matter you like it or not. Once you reach to substantial levels, you can always choose to maintain those levels with sufficient backup of iron rich diet. Just to make a note here is that iron is lost in cooking some foods. To retain iron, cook foods in a minimal amount of water and for the shortest possible time. Also, cooking in cast iron pots can add up to 80 percent more iron to foods. Not sure about hemorrhage, but severe anaemia may put you and your baby at risk of premature delivery and low birth weight. If you dislike meat and/or veggies, even dried apricots, figs can boost the iron levels. Always pair it vitamin C rich foods to help absorption. But definitely, at this point follow your doctor’s advice and start the supplements.
I would definitely take the supplements. I had very low iron during pregnancy and had to take ferrograd c. It has 325mg iron per tablet. To put it in perspective, a serving of red meat contains around 5-6 mg. Even taking the supplement it took a few months for my levels to become acceptable. So you're not going to be able to fix it with diet at this point. The baby is taking more iron than you can provide, no matter what you eat. The baby needs the iron for his own stores after birth and for his brain development. And you need it too of course smile

May I ask why you don't want to take the supplement? If you're worried about constipation you just have to keep on top of it each day with kiwifruit, prunes and pear juice etc.

Hope things improve for you soon!



It's been more than a week and I honestly feel worse than before. I have on OB appointment tomorrow so i'm going to see if there is anything else more drastic that can be done. I was talking to my pharmacist and he said I may need to have an injection to boost my base levels of iron or have a stay in hospital to be monitored regularly since it is dangerously low. I can barely stay out of bed for more than a couple of hours anymore without getting exhausted. I have really tried to boost my iron level's both naturally and with taking the supplement but it isn't working.
You poor thing! A family friend had something similar happen to her and she needed injections. She didn't realize she was anemic but felt so ill that one day she went to the doctors and told them she thought she was dying! That's how bad she felt sad

The supplements do take time to make a difference even though they are high doses. I hope you can get the injections and start feeling a bit better soon!



I saw my doctor again today and she wants me to wait another 3 weeks and if I still don't feel better then I will be going to hospital to be put on a drip. She used the words 'utterly atrocious' when she was describing the blood results and was quite angry at my GP for not doing something sooner. She also mentioned that being so low, an iron based diet like mine would make almost no difference. Oh well, I just have to hang in there a few more weeks.
Yeah, you could eat steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner at this stage and it wouldn't be anywhere near enough.

I'm surprised the doctor is making you wait another 3 weeks even but oh well she's the expert so maybe she has faith that the supplements will start to make a difference soon. Either way, within the next month you should be improving one way or another - either with the pills or on the drip.

All the best, let us know how you get on smile



Hang in there, you pretty lady!!! Everybody absorbs iron differently, so you will most likely have a different success rate to other people. As per the standards, anaemia usually goes away within eight weeks of supplementation, but you may need to keep taking the supplements for six months or more so that your body can rebuild its reserves of iron to prevent you from having another bout of anaemia.
Did you doctor advice you to drink orange juice along with iron pills? I heard it helps in better iron absorption. You really have to take supplements religiously. N yeah, constipation is truly a problem, most of the times OB prescribes stool softener; alternatively you can also drink prune juice to cope up with this problem.
Yeah i'm taking them with orange juice. Doc also has me on a bunch of other vitamins, Iron, D, Folate and a small amount of calcium to help with my fatigue. Including my previous medications I am now taking 13 tablets a day plus 3 units of insulin for gestational diabetes. Sometimes I think being pregnant is more trouble than it is worth but then my little one kicks and I know it will all be worth it in the end. Saw another doctor today who also put me on Clonazepam for the seizure I had Monday. Its never ending... Hurry up 22nd January.
It's normal to have mild anaemia when you are pregnant. But you may have more severe anaemia from low iron or vitamin levels or from other reasons. Anaemia can leave you feeling tired and weak. If it is severe but goes untreated, it can increase your risk of serious complications like preterm delivery. This is why the amount of iron you need shoots up during pregnancy from 18 to 27 milligrams (mg) per day. Because it's hard to get enough iron through diet alone, taking a prenatal vitamin that contains iron can help prevent and treat anemia during pregnancy. To enhance the absorption of iron from plant sources and supplements, pair them with a food or drink high in vitamin C — such as orange juice, tomato juice or strawberries.
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