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Who wants to raise their hemoglobin/improve their diet with me?

post #1 of 182
Thread Starter 

Anyone else have low hemoglobin?

 

At my midwife appointment today my hemoglobin was 108 (I think that would be 10.8 in American terms?). Too low. I actually started taking Floradix in the regular dose about 5 weeks ago and it's still this low. Part of the problem, really, is that I'm just not getting much iron in my diet. I haven't wanted meat through this whole pregnancy, I haven't wanted beans until recently, and I've been craving and guzzling milk and cheese - not helpful for iron absorption!

 

The midwife wasn't too concerned, since at this stage (28+4) it's normal for the hemoglobin to drop as the blood volume rises, but she did suggest I take two doses of Floradix per day and vit C at the same time. I think that sounds like a good start, but I really need to focus on adding iron-containing foods to my diet. I also don't think I'm getting enough folate, which is also important for making hemoglobin. So I thought maybe a "what did you eat today" sort of thread might be helpful. Also for avoiding junk food, which I've been eating way too much of this whole time. Anyone want to join?

 

So today is not off to a great start, but that's ok.

 

Breakfast: Three weetabix, raw milk

 

Lunch: Liver with sage, salt, pepper, lemon and sauteed onions, french bread and butter, a small tomato. (I have been planning on starting to eat liver once a week for quite a while now and I think this is the time. I know it's controversial but I feel that one slice of liver per week is safe.) Oh my, it was incredibly good. Which must mean I really need it because normally I find it repulsive.

 

Dinner: Going to be a tofu stir-fry with coconut oil, asparagus, carrots, bok choy, dried seaweed. With jasmine rice.

 

Snacks: Apple, two small tomatoes, french bread with butter and gouda cheese, a couple teaspoons of blackstrap molasses

 

 

   


Edited by ursusarctos - 5/13/11 at 12:24pm
post #2 of 182

Me me!!  I don't have low hemoglobin, but I have low platelets.  So I'm taking Yellow Dock (tincture)  3 X a day in juice or iced tea, also trying to take in some liquid chlorophyll when I can, and trying to eat more greens.  I completely cut out carbonated drinks which was a doozy for me!!  Still can't believe I've done it.

 

And I need a food accountability thread!  I eat way too many oreos.  I'll update later with my food! 

post #3 of 182
I think I need to raise my Hemoglobin. Mine was something like 14.8 at my initial draw and now it's down to 12!!! That is the lowest it's ever been - I'm always in the 14's. I know for a fact that my ferritin is very low, probably horrible right now since last time I had it checked it was at 14 which is a point or two away from below range (range is huge too, something like 200/300 for high). For a vegetarian I thought I ate a pretty good diet with foods moderately high in iron, but now I'm not so sure.

What did I eat today? Er, coffee. smile.gif It's only 7:30. Unless you count the whoa is me, almost midnight, I'm in pain and starving, my daughter is out of control, individual bag of doritos. Wonder what the iron is in that? redface.gif

I'll try to do better today!
post #4 of 182
Oh, also...I have a question. I've always wondered why it is assumed that low Hemoglobin = iron deficiency? It could be b-12 (which I bet I'm low in again) or a variety of things. I don't understand why doctors say "Oh! Your hemoglobin is low! You need iron!". The only way to tell if you need iron is to actually CHECK your iron and ferritin levels. It just confuses me since it seems dangerous to just assume it's low iron when another serious cause could be the case. We could be supplementing iron when in fact we need massive b12....
post #5 of 182
Thread Starter 

Yaay I'm glad to have diet partners! Not glad you're having blood issues of course, but you know smile.gif

 

Carrie, congrats on giving up the fizzy drinks. I've had to give up sugar a couple times and it was always really hard at first! And now I notice it creeping back in.

 

Veggiemom, that is a good point about the iron vs. b vitamins. Why DO they always assume it's iron? In my case I am almost positive that, while it's partially the iron, it's also folate. Oddly enough, Floradix has b-12 and several other b vitamins but not folic acid.

 

I notice you're both vegetarians... I hope I don't gross anyone out with my meaty menus redface.gif I was actually raised veggie and know it's a perfectly healthy way to eat, it just doesn't work for me. I do my best to get ethical and clean meat (though that's sort of gone down the tubes until now... finally my food aversions are gone though so I really don't have an excuse to neglect my diet anymore).

 

Going to update my meals now...

post #6 of 182

I'm in too. I've had low hemoglobin for years, and its always lower in pregnancy. My initial draw this time was 10.2, which I was impressed with as I've seen it lower. Normal is between 12 & 15.

 

Last time I was able to get it up to almost 12, so that's my goal this time.

 

I take Floradix most days, and I take it in fruit juice as that makes it taste nicer AND makes it easier to absorb because of the Vit C in the juice. Floradix contains multiple supplements, not just Iron. According to the supplements facts info it has:

Thiamin - 2.25mg = 150% rda

Riboflavin - 3.6mg = 212% rda

Vitamin B6 - 1.8mg = 90% rda

Vitamin B12 - 6.75mcg = 113% rda

Iron - 10mg = 56% rda

This is for a single 10ml dose which is supposed to be taken twice a day.

 

Its only 8:30am here so I'll update my food later. So far for breakfast I've had whole wheat toast with butter & jam, and will have a couple of eggs in a bit, but DS just woke up so I need to go and see to him.

post #7 of 182

I need to be here. I am anemic this time around. I am currently popping quite a few supplements:

 

Morning:
Prenatal x2

Dropper of Liquid D-3 (I am also Vit. D deficient. Hooray!)

 

After Lunch:
Omega 3 x2

 

Between Lunch & Dinner (I am a dairy-aholic and this is the only time of day where I have not recently chomped on a chunk of cheese)

Iron Citrate x2

Folic Acid x2

Vitamin C

 

I am feeling better on this regimen, but I need to work on my diet. For breakfast, I had two left over pieces of pizza. innocent.gif (According to Dominos.com, that was 16% of the iron I need for the day. lol)

post #8 of 182
Mine was on the border so I bought half a bison. (High in heme...) The last time my midwife checked, she laughed and said the bison was working well! yay! I bough half a bison because buying it per pound at the grocer was about 8 dollars a pound. Buying an entire half made the price go down to about 2.15 a pound...maybe less if you compare it to hamburger, which is mostly fat....I can cook up a bison burger and see NO fat or shrinkage, so I know I'm getting mostly lean meat by weight which is probably cutting off about a dollar from the end result...at 1.15 a pound. I buy meat for my dog for 99 cents a pound...(chicken, turkey, and parts of other critters with bones in tact) I keep an eye out for sales for him. I've been pretty lucky, because feeding my 90 lb Old english sheepie raw food is less expensive than cheap dog food, and it staves away gas! YAY!

But...back to the heme issue....we also eat loooots of beets. Just planted some in my garden as well! Love em baked...souped...whatever...they are yummy.
post #9 of 182

This thread is perfect timing for me.  I have severe issues with anemia that only get worse during pregnancy.  I just got checked on Wednesday, and sure enough I am dangerously low again.  I have been really bad about remembering to take the big bottle of floradix that I have in my fridge.  So I just ordered another bottle (smaller one this time) and the floradix pills for times when I don't want to down the liquid yucky.  I have the iron prescription from the doctor, but those pills always make me sick and they never raise my iron anyways.  So I am holding off on them at the moment.

 

My diet is mostly controlled by a serious lack of money right now, so there isn't a lot I can do there.  I have a prescription for Ensure drinks and get most of my nutrition from those anyways.  But I want to stay active in this thread and use it as a way to help keep me accountable to taking all of my iron supplements, everyday.  I am just on so many vitamins and meds right now that it all gets overwhelming sometimes, and I tend to slip on the optional things.  So I will be checking in here to report my progress on taking my daily iron supplements if that's ok?  Sorry I can't be more of a diet partner right now.

post #10 of 182

My iron was low at my blood draw @ 12ish weeks.  I'm afraid of what it's going to be when I have it done again here in the next few weeks.  Sigh.

 

I've been trying to prepare foods as much as possible in my cast iron pans.  I normally just use them for cooking meat, or if I need to make a roux, but lately I've been cooking eeeeeverything in them in the hope that it might help.  And taking plenty of Floradix.  And eating plenty of blackstrap and citrus cookies orngbiggrin.gif

 

Yesterday I skipped breakfast (major toddler meltdown morning).  Lunch I had an egg sandwich (an egg banh mi, to be precise), so probably two eggs on that.  Dinner was carne asada tacos with beans and rice and guac.  And shortly thereafter I had a grilled cheese sandwich with tomatoes for a snack.  Yesterday wasn't the greatest day in the diet department...

 

And then before bed I had my myriad of supplements.  I feel like I take so many that it's practically a before bed snack!

post #11 of 182
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemistryClass View Post

Between Lunch & Dinner (I am a dairy-aholic and this is the only time of day where I have not recently chomped on a chunk of cheese)

Iron Citrate x2

Folic Acid x2

Vitamin C

 


 I am dairy-holic too right now and that is part of the problem! At least I know I'm getting plenty of bone-building in but yeah, when to take the iron then?? Also, is there a reason you specifically take iron citrate? The iron in Floradix is ferrous gluconate - I think it's supposed to be well absorbed compared to the regular iron (sulfate?) but don't know about it in comparison to citrate.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post
 So I will be checking in here to report my progress on taking my daily iron supplements if that's ok?  Sorry I can't be more of a diet partner right now.


Of course! I hope it helps and I'm sorry your diet has to be so limited!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Italiamom View Post
And eating plenty of blackstrap and citrus cookies orngbiggrin.gif

 


Thank you, you just reminded me that I have a jar of blackstrap in the back of the fridge, and I was looking for "something more" after dinner but couldn't figure out what...

 

post #12 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post

This thread is perfect timing for me.  I have severe issues with anemia that only get worse during pregnancy.  I just got checked on Wednesday, and sure enough I am dangerously low again.  I have been really bad about remembering to take the big bottle of floradix that I have in my fridge.  So I just ordered another bottle (smaller one this time) and the floradix pills for times when I don't want to down the liquid yucky.  I have the iron prescription from the doctor, but those pills always make me sick and they never raise my iron anyways.  So I am holding off on them at the moment.

 

My diet is mostly controlled by a serious lack of money right now, so there isn't a lot I can do there.  I have a prescription for Ensure drinks and get most of my nutrition from those anyways.  But I want to stay active in this thread and use it as a way to help keep me accountable to taking all of my iron supplements, everyday.  I am just on so many vitamins and meds right now that it all gets overwhelming sometimes, and I tend to slip on the optional things.  So I will be checking in here to report my progress on taking my daily iron supplements if that's ok?  Sorry I can't be more of a diet partner right now.


Hey sweetie...it's none of my business of course, but as the wife of a social worker, I just wanted to make sure you were on WIC and food stamps....They can be so helpful in making sure you get enough nutrition for your baby-love. (HUG) We are lucky in our city because the WIC program also allows for fresh fruit, veggies, whole grains and organic milk in addition to the other standard wic fare like eggs, cheese, cereal and juice. ALSO...we have a neat thing here that is basically like crop sharing...you can either buy and very inexpensive share of a farm's produce and get a huge box of veggies each week during the summer, OR, you can volunteer to do some light work or stand attending or whatever to get a weekly share. Just an idea...but I wanted to put it out there as I hate the idea of you getting all your nutrition from Essure. The food bank is also a good resource here...and volunteering there (with kiddos) can make getting a share of that easier and less humiliating as well. I know we're lucky here, because our food bank gets active donations from our health food stores and all the local bakeries....So, I just wanted to put it out there that their might be additional resources if food is in shortage for you. No one should have to go without healthy food. NOONE! hug2.gif
post #13 of 182

Thanks.  I don't qualify for food stamps because I receive SSI (which is a joke because SSI certainly doesn't leave enough left over for much food, but that is another topic!)  And WIC just isn't worth it here for me.  Three hour wait times for an appointment where they nit pick my eating habits, make me feel like crap (and I am a nutritionist too), and hand me coupons that I can't really use anyways.  Being severely lactose intolerant and allergic to peanuts doesn't leave much for me with WIC.  When I lived in WA, WIC offered organic dairy and farmers market coupons and stuff like that.  It was awesome.  In my old town there were free dinners at the local churches every night, so that was always a nice back up plan.  But where I live now, I am kind of limited to skid row...which just isn't worth it for me.   

 

When the baby comes or my six year old comes back, they both qualify for food stamps and WIC.  So that will be nice for them.  Plus I will be able to work again once I am done being pregnant which will help a lot financially.  In the meantime I am doing ok.  Like I said, I mostly drink the ensures anyways.  Which thankfully my Medicare pays for completely.  Between my health and finances, I would be screwed with out them.

 

Thanks again for the concern.  Sorry to everyone else for the thread going off topic.  redface.gif


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerging butterfly View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post

This thread is perfect timing for me.  I have severe issues with anemia that only get worse during pregnancy.  I just got checked on Wednesday, and sure enough I am dangerously low again.  I have been really bad about remembering to take the big bottle of floradix that I have in my fridge.  So I just ordered another bottle (smaller one this time) and the floradix pills for times when I don't want to down the liquid yucky.  I have the iron prescription from the doctor, but those pills always make me sick and they never raise my iron anyways.  So I am holding off on them at the moment.

 

My diet is mostly controlled by a serious lack of money right now, so there isn't a lot I can do there.  I have a prescription for Ensure drinks and get most of my nutrition from those anyways.  But I want to stay active in this thread and use it as a way to help keep me accountable to taking all of my iron supplements, everyday.  I am just on so many vitamins and meds right now that it all gets overwhelming sometimes, and I tend to slip on the optional things.  So I will be checking in here to report my progress on taking my daily iron supplements if that's ok?  Sorry I can't be more of a diet partner right now.




Hey sweetie...it's none of my business of course, but as the wife of a social worker, I just wanted to make sure you were on WIC and food stamps....They can be so helpful in making sure you get enough nutrition for your baby-love. (HUG) We are lucky in our city because the WIC program also allows for fresh fruit, veggies, whole grains and organic milk in addition to the other standard wic fare like eggs, cheese, cereal and juice. ALSO...we have a neat thing here that is basically like crop sharing...you can either buy and very inexpensive share of a farm's produce and get a huge box of veggies each week during the summer, OR, you can volunteer to do some light work or stand attending or whatever to get a weekly share. Just an idea...but I wanted to put it out there as I hate the idea of you getting all your nutrition from Essure. The food bank is also a good resource here...and volunteering there (with kiddos) can make getting a share of that easier and less humiliating as well. I know we're lucky here, because our food bank gets active donations from our health food stores and all the local bakeries....So, I just wanted to put it out there that their might be additional resources if food is in shortage for you. No one should have to go without healthy food. NOONE! hug2.gif


 

 

post #14 of 182

So far today:

 

1st Breakfast: 2 slices whole wheat toast with butter & blackberry jam. Mug of decaf coffee (I know there's no actual protein in this one.)

about an hour later: small glass of grape juice with 1 doze of Floradix

2nd Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs in a flour tortilla and more decaf coffee

Snack: 2 peanut butter cups (peanut butter does count as protein whistling.gif) and a large glass of water

Lunch: 1 tortilla quesadilla with turkey pastrami, grated cheese and chopped onion (yum) and large glass of 1/2 apple juice/ 1/2 water and 1 prenatal, 1 DHA & 1 Vit C supplements.

Planned for later:

Snack: Strawberries & whipped cream( with maybe a snickerdoodle too) with a glass of milk

Dinner: grilled fish (whatever DH brings home from the fish market!) with fresh mixed salad and 2nd doze of Floradix in grape juice.

Snack: Homemade yogurt with raw honey & homemade granola/muesli

 

I have 2 breakfasts because I simply can't eat it all at once so I have it in two sittings. I find that as the day goes on I can eat increasing portion sizes, and usually need a snack right before bed, otherwise DH is going to find himself awake about an hour after we've gone to bed with me telling him how hungry I am, and him having to get back up to find me something to eat.

post #15 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by ursusarctos View Post




 I am dairy-holic too right now and that is part of the problem! At least I know I'm getting plenty of bone-building in but yeah, when to take the iron then?? Also, is there a reason you specifically take iron citrate? The iron in Floradix is ferrous gluconate - I think it's supposed to be well absorbed compared to the regular iron (sulfate?) but don't know about it in comparison to citrate.
 

 



My MW recommended the citrate because it is supposed to be gentler on the stomach than the sulfate. I took sulfate the first month when I did not know, and it was definitely rougher on my stomacht! She also recommends Floradix. I do think Floradix is known as one of the easiest forms to absorb. If my levels are still low at my next draw, I am going to probably start taking Floradix as well.

Seriously, I don't mind taking the iron at all, but it is truly difficult for me to go four hours without eating dairy!

post #16 of 182

I'd like to jump on the bandwagon.  Hemoglobin is 10.3 and Hemocrit 29.1.  Not so great!  I was told to take Floradix twice a day.  It's so hard to avoid dairy.  I love dairy.  That's what I am working on right at the moment.  My diet is good, but not for iron.  :(

post #17 of 182

You guys's numbers piqued my interest so I pulled up my #s from my blood work.  My hemoglobin was 13.7 and my hemocrit was 39.9!  Wow.  Ok, so yeah, only my platelets were low at 138.  I just wanted to make sure I was right and wasn't also dealing with low iron too, lol.

 

Today:

 

Juice with yellow dock

 

Bfast - Optimum Slim cereal with soymilk, coffee with creamer

Snack - everything bagel with vegetable cream cheese, cup of fruit salad

Lunch - 2 slices of cheese pizza, carrot/cranberry juice

Snack - apple, banana

Dinner - 2 silces of vegan pizza (I know, I'm a hypocrite and a pizza fiend).  Huge glass of ice water.

 

Iced tea with yellow dock and benefiber.  Prenatal and dulcolax.

post #18 of 182
For those of you with Hemoglobin actually below the low normal, do they draw your iron/ferritin to confirm iron deficiency anemia?

And my diet has been horrid today. Dance recitals, pizza, not gooood!
post #19 of 182
Thread Starter 

Veggiemom, at least they have not tested my iron levels, just hemoglobin. (My baseline hemoglobin was 12.5 at 13ish weeks, 12 at 22 weeks, and plummeted to 10.8 at 28 weeks. The fall is partially physiological due to increased blood volume, but I need to get it back up now.) While it's true that it may not be iron deficiency, I think in my case it makes a lot of sense when I look at my diet because I've really barely been eating iron at all. I think at least here they assume it's iron if you are not vegan because then it's unlikely that it's b-12, and at least here folate deficiency is not that widespread (people eat a lot more whole grains for example). I would think that if you had persistent anemia they would then test your actual iron levels to figure out what's going on.

 

Carrie, I've actually heard of yellow dock being good for anemia too - have you heard anything about that? Has it been helping your platelets?

 

Today started out badly again... I notice the emotional sugar eating is taking over. Must stop buying crap so that I don't have it around.

 

Breakfast: Nutella knock-off (even unhealthier than nutella...) and french bread shy.gif, two fried eggs and more french bread, gouda cheese, a cup of nettle+RRL infusion, a small tomato. Now the evil french bread is gone, and I'm not buying more!

 

Lunch: Garlicky 100% lamb sausage, wilted spinach and radish greens, fresh radishes, Floradix 20 ml

 

Dinner: (planned) creamy butternut squash-brown rice soup in chicken broth with blue cheese on top, homemade 100% barley bread and butter

 

Snacks: Left over tofu stir fry, milk, banana, barley bread and butter


Edited by ursusarctos - 5/14/11 at 9:31am
post #20 of 182

I know I'm not iron deficient. My anemia is due to my body just not making enough red blood cells, as my blood counts always look like I've just had some major bleeding. I was under the care of a Hematologist when I lived in the UK, but haven't been seeing anyone since I moved to the States nearly 3 years ago. Even the Hematologist was puzzled as to why my body works the way it does, but along with low blood pressure he finally came to the conclusion that I just don't manufacture enough blood. I'm not deficient in any of the normal factors, but I do feel a bit more energetic when I take Floradix, and the way I see it is that it can't do any harm to put some extra nutrients in there.

 

I have a reasonably healthy diet, and make most things from scratch (I loooove to cook & bake) with unprocessed ingredients, so I know it is not because I have a bad diet. I've been this way for over ten years (that we know of, may have been lifelong) and I can live with it normally. Being pregnant just taxes my body a bit more so I'm extra careful about diet and supplements when pregnant (this is my 3rd pregnancy in less than 20 months.)

 

I do think making myself accountable, even just to an online forum, is helpful as it motivates me to not slack off.

 

Yesterday we swapped dinner for tonight's planned meal so I had Thai Mango Chicken with white rice (it came from the local take out place, so no brown rice which is what we normally eat.) Apart from that everything else was as planned.

 

Today:

1st Breakfast: 2 small slices of whole wheat toast with peanut butter (yeah! protein!) and cup of black coffee

about an hour later: 1st doze Floradix in apple juice.

Planned :

2nd Breakfast: 2 eggs (probably scrambled) & some RRL Tea (I'll drink a whole pot of tea at a time when I make it, about 2 large mugs)

Snack: some dates, raisins & cashews & glass of milk

Lunch: some leftover steak with a mixed salad and a glass of 1/2 apple juice & 1/2 water. (will try to take my supplements here)

Snack: Rivita cracker & cream cheese and glass of water

Dinner: Baked Flounder with lemon butter sauce, roasted veg couscous made with homemade chicken stock and sauteed collard greens with onion. 2nd doze of Floradix in apple juice.

Snack: I'm thinking it might be grilled cheese tonight.

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