Anemia? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas,

I had my glucose tolerance test last week and got the results today. Good news, I passed the test - bad news, my bloodwork showed that I'm anemic. My OB recommended an iron supplement but I've taken them in the past and they really upset my stomach.

Has anyone ever dealt with anemia without taking a supplement? Are there any foods I should focus on eating? I already eat a lot of spinach. Is there anything else? Herbs maybe?

Thanks so much for any advice!

Working mama to a wonderful baby girl. Married to a really sweet guy. Just trying to do my best.
     
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#2 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 01:31 AM
 
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I am taking Floradix with no bad side effects...
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#3 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 01:49 AM
 
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Blackstrap molasses is an excellent source of iron. I've used it to treat my anemia in the past. I would just pour a spoonful and swallow it straight.

Here's a quote from the World's Healthiest Foods website:

"Blackstrap molasses is a very good source of iron. Particularly for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, boosting iron stores with blackstrap molasses is a good idea--especially because, in comparison to red meat, a well known source of iron, blackstrap molasses provides more iron for less calories and is totally fat-free."

Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?d...name=foodspice
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#4 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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I second the Floridax and I'll add that broccoli is really good for you too... as well as nutritional yeast (I like mine on home made popcorn!)

A long time ago I was a vegetarian for over 5 years and had fantastic iron levels. I attribute it to my broccoli consumption!

You could head over to the nutritional eating forum here on MDC and gets lots of other ideas I'm sure!

Good luck!

Opinionated Mama to dd 2/23/03, ds 3/20/05 hbac, dd 1/23/08 2hbac, and baby #4 due in June 2010!
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#5 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 01:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicolleLynne View Post
Hi Mamas,

I had my glucose tolerance test last week and got the results today. Good news, I passed the test - bad news, my bloodwork showed that I'm anemic. My OB recommended an iron supplement but I've taken them in the past and they really upset my stomach.

Has anyone ever dealt with anemia without taking a supplement? Are there any foods I should focus on eating? I already eat a lot of spinach. Is there anything else? Herbs maybe?

Thanks so much for any advice!
YES. I have dealt with this. Before I got pregnant, my iron levels were literally at 7. They're supposed to be closer to 35, so it was pretty severe. I was put on the supplement but i had explosive diarrhea everytime I took them so I had to stop. They put me on an IV drip of iron once a week for 6 weeks and I improved drastically with absolutely no side effects. Because the iron goes directly into the bloodstream, its absorbed better. I'm not sure how it works with pregnancy, so it could not even be a possibility for you. Check with your HCP.

Depending on how anemic you are, you might not be able to fix this with food or herbs. Are you a vegetarian? If so, that could be a contributer.

Me + DH + Daniel (7/5/10)
Testing early and often since February 2014.
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#6 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SeattleRain View Post
Depending on how anemic you are, you might not be able to fix this with food or herbs. Are you a vegetarian? If so, that could be a contributer.
I'm not sure if my anemia is diet related or not. I was vegan before becoming pregnant (I've since added eggs, dairy and wild caught salmon to my diet) but at the beginning of my pregnancy my OB tested my blood and I wasn't anemic. In fact, my iron levels were good. Could it be that the baby is taking all the iron for herself? If so, she's welcome to it but I have been feeling pretty rundown lately and would love to get a little of my energy back, especially with the third trimester looming right around the corner. I'm going to try broccoli and blackstrap molasses and ask my OB about intravenous iron and Floradix.

Thanks so much for all the good suggestions mamas!!!

Working mama to a wonderful baby girl. Married to a really sweet guy. Just trying to do my best.
     
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#7 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 04:12 AM
 
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nettle tea is supposed to be a source of iron

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#8 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 09:21 AM
 
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Cook in cast iron pans..

I am borderline anemic all the time.. I am sure it gets worse in pregnancy, but I haven't seen my numbers on it for a while.
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#9 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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I think if you combine certain foods you pick up more iron. Like if you eat tomatos with your spinach you will absorb more iron. Also doesn't tofu have iron or am I having a fuzzy day?

www.vegfamily.com/health/boost-iron-intake.htm
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#10 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cloe View Post
I think if you combine certain foods you pick up more iron. Like if you eat tomatos with your spinach you will absorb more iron. Also doesn't tofu have iron or am I having a fuzzy day?

www.vegfamily.com/health/boost-iron-intake.htm
No you're right, vitamin C helps to aid the absorbtion of iron.

OP, your baby IS taking some of the iron since you need more blood for pregnancy. That means you need much more iron in your diet to keep up. If you're not eating meat, you may not be getting enough iron in your diet without specifically trying to eat foods to help iron intake like broccoli. Keep in mind, you have to eat a nice amount of these foods in order to see a benefit.

Me + DH + Daniel (7/5/10)
Testing early and often since February 2014.
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#11 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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I have major issues with iron as most types will leave me doubled over. I can tolerate Floradix just fine with no side effects. I can also tolerate the chelated type that is in Solaray Baby-Me-Now and Quest Prenatals, ferrous fumarate, HVP* chelate. You will likely notice a big change in your energy levels once you bring your iron up a bit!

Cindy, loving wife of 15 years
homeschooling mama to 4 wonderful girls, and 1 boy!  praying for #6, sch, due 4/14/2013!

 

 

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#12 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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My midwife told me that calcium interferes with iron absorption, so I try to keep my calcium and iron intake separate as much as possible.
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#13 of 14 Old 02-28-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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Do your best to follow all these awesome recommendations, but also keep in mind that some people just have low levels of iron. During my first pregnancy my midwife really focused on my low iron levels. I took Floradix, prenatals, cooked in cast iron, dark greens, nettles etc. Everything we could think of. Ironically when we tested again my levels weren't any higher!

When I was pregnant the second time I told my new midwife about my situation and she wasn't really concerned. She said that some ppl just always have low iron and they deal just fine. I went on to find out I was told I was anemic when I was a toddler and my mom used to try and feed me liver and other things as a result. For me, my iron levels are just low. They've never affected or interfered with growing strong healthy babies and having fantastic birth experiences.

Do what feels intuitive to you, and know that your body is taking care of itself.
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#14 of 14 Old 02-28-2010, 11:40 PM
 
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I am SO very anemic during pregnancy that even my attempts to really focus on iron rich foods has not benefited me enough without a supplement. (Even a supplement is not enough, I have to eat iron rich foods and take a supplement.)

I take an iron supplement from Whole Foods which is very gentle, can be taken with or without food, and does not cause constipation.

I also drink green smoothies, which is where I get a good bit of my iron rich food. I treat myself to yogurt covered raisins- raisins are a source of iron as well.

I have passed out before because my iron levels were so low (about a dozen times with my last pregnancy, I really had a difficult time keeping the levels up without a supplement), so I have learned to just "suck it up" and take the supplement to be safe.

Some people will have low iron and not feel any effects- but sometimes you can see a woman is anemic because she darkening around the eyes (looks tired!) and is a bit pale/green or grayish.

If you are having moments where your vision fades or blacks out, or you feel like you are going to faint (I especially felt this when throwing up!) then you need to make sure you do more to up your iron levels.

Christian Texan Mama to Merika (5/2005), Nolyn (1/2007), Keagan (UC baby 9/2007), Four miscarried lovelies, and sweet Evangeline Rose who arrived 9/7/2010 (home/water birth).  Expecting our fifth blessing March 2012! Viva la Vegan Pregnancy, my friends! 
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