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Anemia/low RBC

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I just got my early pregnancy bloodwork results and they show a low RBC. The # was 3.62 and it appears that normal range is 3.77-5.28.


I haven't discussed results with my midwife yet but I surmise this likely means I have anemia. If so I am sure she will have suggestions about how to treat this, but I'd love to hear your thoughts. I eat barely any meat other than fish, because I was vegetarian for years and I just don't like meat.


What are some holistic/natural ways to treat anemia?

post #2 of 9

B12, B6 supplementation. Preferably sublingual b12. - could also do a B vitamin complex, but if you are taking a multi, some of them would already be included in large enough amounts. They tend to be low in B12. You'll have to look into it.


Then for Iron, I like ferrocel iron (most absorbable), but no idea if it is vegetarian? The other one I've heard fond things about and have tried for a little while is Floradix. That one is vegetarian I believe. 


You can eat iron rich veggies like spinach or drink them in smoothies, but you'll likely still need to supplement because iron is more bio-available in meat.

post #3 of 9

I've done floridix (liquid formula not the iron tabs) before and it brought my iron and energy levels back pretty quickly which surprised me, I thought it was going to take forever as my levels were so low. It is a vegetarian formula and has B vitamins. It is not medicinally based, its a fruit, veggie, herbal base and is highly adsorbable, no constipation side effects. I would drink my floridix and eat some fruit or bell peppers for vitamin C to further help with iron absorption.

post #4 of 9

Sorghum molasses is apparently also high in iron. Not sure if it would be high enough to help, but it definitely can't hurt to add that in too (maybe in smoothies or on/with oatmeal?).

post #5 of 9

what was your hemglobin? your hematocrit? anything else low, or just that one value? 

post #6 of 9

I am by no means a health professional at all, but my midwives seemed to be most interested in my hemoglobin to determine my iron levels. I'm looking at my lab report right now and it looks like the RBC values you're looking at are an actual numeric count, as opposed to a percentage or grams/dL or something, so to me it doesn't sound like 3.62 is a LOT lower than 3.77, especially if the hemoglobin and hematocrit are normal. But again, I am not a professional!


If indeed you are somewhat anemic, I would try eating dried fruits and nuts for snacks, especially pumpkin seeds! It's also super helpful to cook in cast iron pans, especially acidic stuff like spaghetti sauce, because that's an instant iron boost without the iron-y flavor. Blackstrap molasses mixed with hot water makes a pretty tasty, iron-rich drink. Leafy greens are also great; spinach is not my favorite because of high oxalic acid, but all of them have iron.


I've been vegetarian for 15 years and vegan for almost 10 and my hemoglobin was 13.6. I've done all of the above only sporadically (other than cooking with cast iron, I do that every day), so it's good to know that I have options that seem to work that I can pay a lot closer attention to if I need to. I really like to avoid supplements if possible, and iron supplements are notoriously rough.

post #7 of 9
I have recently started taking an iron supplement that is vegetarian and food based. I think it is made from beets and oranges and it has no stomach side effects. I found it to be helpful almost immediately. I have also used liquid chlorophyll and powdered greens to bring my iron up in pregnancy.

As an aside...Isn't iron stored in the liver? I always get confused about why blood levels matter when it is stored in the liver (unless there are anemia symptoms, then it matters obviously) can any med mamas shed some light on that?
post #8 of 9
I'm always anemic. I've tried quite a few supplements but they're all super hard on my stomach except floradix. But that one doesn't seem to make my levels go up quite as effectively as others. I eat lots of leafy greens and pumpkin seeds and any other non-meat iron rich foods I can keep down. The I just hope for the best! I've always managed to squeak by with the minimum levels required for home birth.

Seriously though, I wouldn't worry about it until you've spoken to your midwife. It could be nothing! Blood test results are hard to make sense of.
post #9 of 9

I take dessicated liver capsules to keep my iron and B vitamin levels up. I find they work much better than synthetic supplements for me. No constipation problems and it really helps my energy level. There's also no taste issues. I get them from the Radiant Life Company website because their liver is tested to be chemical free and comes from healthy grassfed beef. I take 3 caps per day.

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