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 Post subject: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:30 pm 
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The new vegan badge? Who has the lowest iron!...

Seriously though, I just got a bad blood test and I'm looking for someone who let their iron go lower than mine so that I don't feel so stupid. Admittedly I feel fine, but I'm sure I'll notice a difference when I get the iron back up... Blurg.

My ferritin levels are <5 according to my last blood test, while my doctor figures levels between 15 and 180 are normal... ;_;

What was your lowest iron level? What did you do to get it back up?

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:09 pm 
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My ferritin came back at the lower end of normal, so my doctor wrote me a prescription for 100mg iron. Erythrocytes etc. were normal. I'm almost certain it's due to heavy menstrual bleeding, which probably needs to be controlled better. I re-familiarized myself with iron-rich foods, which seemed to be things I eat anyway and I've always been careful to avoid foods that inhibit iron absorption. Basically, I blame my uterus, not my diet.


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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:39 pm 
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I think mine was 4 or 7 at it's worst, but I eat better and take iron supplements now, so it's probably way better than it was. So don't feel bad!

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:58 pm 
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Iron is for losers!!!!

;)

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:03 pm 
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I've never had an iron issue myself. Do you eat lots of greens? Cook in cast iron? take any supplements?

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:25 pm 
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At the lowest when tested, my ferritin was a 4. Pretty. Damn. Low. To be fair though, it was at the end of my training for a half marathon. I started taking an iron supplement and have felt a lot better! Oh and I also stopped running so damn much.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:54 pm 
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Miss_Mitch wrote:
At the lowest when tested, my ferritin was a 4. Pretty. Damn. Low. To be fair though, it was at the end of my training for a half marathon. I started taking an iron supplement and have felt a lot better! Oh and I also stopped running so damn much.

:)

Oh, I should also add that my lowest level was a couple of weeks after doing a half-marathon too.

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:57 pm 
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I don't really take a supplement, don't eat as many greens as I should (that'll change though come next paycheck) OR cook in cast iron... I've kind of been doing everything bad for my iron...

Strange though, I really don't feel like I have low energy, I don't have tons, but I don't really have a hard time getting up and going at all...

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:17 am 
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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:41 am 
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Chocolate at mealtimes is probably a bad idea since it contains oxalates and polyphenols that inhibit iron absorption.


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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:14 pm 
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My iron STILL sucks. After fining out it was a 5 in August, I started taking 50mg a day. Then in November it was still 5, so I've been taking 150mg/day. Just had my blood taken yesterday and my ferritin is STILL 5!!! My hemoglobin and all other blood components are perfectly normal and healthy. What gives ferritin???? Has this happened to anyone else? My doctor says the reason I am feeling fine is because my hemoglobin is normal.

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:38 pm 
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Heh, my iron was at it's lowest (4.87 is the level I remember) when I was 15...before even going vegetarian. Since then, at it's lowest it was 14 something when I was on dialysis.

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:01 pm 
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Not that this is anything to be proud of, but mine's been as low as 2.

I've taken an iron supplement (my ND says iron citrate is easier to absorb than iron chelate), but I didn't really see any difference in how I felt. She thinks my iron should be up around 100 at the very least, but I'm doubtful it'll ever get there.

The weird thing is that I heal fast, and, up until last year, I don't get sick too often, even with such a low level. I do have some fatigue, but I suspect that's due as much to a potential hypothyroid issue as it is to anemia.

I've always been anemic, even before I was vegan, so I'm pretty sure it's not anything to do with being vegan as far as I know.

The problem for me is that if I eat leafy greens like kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, or collards, I get iron. But then there's compounds in the plants that can affect how much iodine my thryroid absorbs from my food. So I'm kinda screwed no matter what I do.

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:14 am 
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So now I'm taking 300mg a day (150 in the morning, 150 at night), with juice. Crossing my fingers my number goes up even a little in the next few months!!

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:26 am 
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went i was pregnant, my iron went down to 5, but that was because i was taking my prenatal with a hunking glass of calcium and adding 'cream sauces' to my greens to try to get my protein up. lesson learned, keep you calcium and iron separate and my iron is fine.


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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:29 am 
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another 5 here! Several times, even when I was a meateater. My body just doesn't absorb iron.

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:08 am 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
another 5 here! Several times, even when I was a meateater. My body just doesn't absorb iron.


Can I ask if you were able to increase it or not? I'm in the same boat and was as a meat eater as well.

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:19 am 
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mel b wrote:
So now I'm taking 300mg a day (150 in the morning, 150 at night), with juice. Crossing my fingers my number goes up even a little in the next few months!!


Mine shot up when I did the 300 mg. I assume this was the major factor in improvement. I also made an effort to eat more greens, used cat iron pans, stop drinking so much tea etc. I didn't think I was weak or tired when it was low but I felt MUCH more energetic when it went back up.


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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:44 am 
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Mine was an 18 last year and I'm due for another round of blood tests right now. I doubt it will be any higher, as I tried some supplements and they all made me so constipated I decided it wasn't worth it. What supplements are you guys having success with? Constipation issues?


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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:36 am 
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mel b wrote:
paprikapapaya wrote:
another 5 here! Several times, even when I was a meateater. My body just doesn't absorb iron.


Can I ask if you were able to increase it or not? I'm in the same boat and was as a meat eater as well.


Mel - I read on your blog that you drink a lot of tea? Mind me asking whether you drink any black or green tea? This could be affecting your iron absorbtion, if you do.

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:08 pm 
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Epicurvegan wrote:
The problem for me is that if I eat leafy greens like kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, or collards, I get iron. But then there's compounds in the plants that can affect how much iodine my thryroid absorbs from my food. So I'm kinda screwed no matter what I do.


I would like to know more about this. I've never heard that these inhibit thyroid levels. I eat a TON of broccoli and Kale. And Spinach.
I know iron can effect the absorption of synthroid meds...is it something to do with that?

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:46 pm 
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Epicurvegan wrote:
mel b wrote:
paprikapapaya wrote:
another 5 here! Several times, even when I was a meateater. My body just doesn't absorb iron.


Can I ask if you were able to increase it or not? I'm in the same boat and was as a meat eater as well.


Mel - I read on your blog that you drink a lot of tea? Mind me asking whether you drink any black or green tea? This could be affecting your iron absorbtion, if you do.


I've been really careful not to have any caffeine within 2-3 hours of taking my iron for the past 5 months so I'm thinking this isn't an issue. I only ever have one cup of coffee or caffeinated tea in a day, mostly herbal.

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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:03 am 
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I'm on duodenal release ferrous glycine sulphate. The side effects do go away after a while and there are different iron salts you can try.

Many herbal teas also affect iron absorption, so I tend to avoid and stick to drinking water and sticking some fruit in the blender in the evening. The caffeine itself isn't the issue anyhow. It's the tannins and phenols and other fun substances.

A lot of brassicas (as well as soy beans, spinach, peanuts, etc.) contain goitrogens that can affect thyroid function, but it doesn't seem to be an issue in people who get enough iodine (not with soy isoflavones anyway).


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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:07 am 
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mel b wrote:
Epicurvegan wrote:
Mel - I read on your blog that you drink a lot of tea? Mind me asking whether you drink any black or green tea? This could be affecting your iron absorbtion, if you do.


I've been really careful not to have any caffeine within 2-3 hours of taking my iron for the past 5 months so I'm thinking this isn't an issue. I only ever have one cup of coffee or caffeinated tea in a day, mostly herbal.

Does drinking tea before iron have much of an effect? Should you avoid tea for 2 hours or half an hour or something before eating iron-rich food?


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 Post subject: Re: What was your lowest iron level?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:16 am 
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Yeah, caffeine inhibits iron absorption, but I had no idea herbal teas could do the same thing!

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