Low Iron anaemia

I’ve taken on the one month trial for MFP so I can track my iron levels. I had wrongly assumed that I was eating enough iron daily but Now I see that I don’t actually eat enough. What do people do to increase their iron intake? I can’t eat oysters every day.

Replies

  • ElizabethKalmbach
    ElizabethKalmbach Posts: 1,416 Member
    I've been throwing myself a virtual party since yesterday, because I just got back labs confirming that I pulled my ferritin numbers out of the toilet by taking an iron supplement every other day, with 1000mg of vitamin C, on an empty stomach, per doctor's instructions. Ferrous sulfate (325 mg) is rough on my stomach, especially on an empty stomach, but I can handle taking it every other day if it stops the intense muscle cramping, weakness, and persistent headaches of iron deficiency. I'd rather have an upset stomach for 4 hours than a headache for 4 days.
  • ceiswyn
    ceiswyn Posts: 2,241 Member
    I’ve taken on the one month trial for MFP so I can track my iron levels. I had wrongly assumed that I was eating enough iron daily but Now I see that I don’t actually eat enough. What do people do to increase their iron intake? I can’t eat oysters every day.

    You know that most foods in the database don't have iron values entered for them, right?

    The DB is user-sourced, and users can only enter what's on the nutritional information. Your average spaghetti bolognese ready meal, say, doesn't say how much iron is in it, so the MFP entry will have an empty iron value. That doesn't mean it doesn't contain iron.

    Unless all you're eating is whole foods whose information comes from the USDA database, the iron total MFP gives you is probably a massive underestimate.
  • blackkitty73
    blackkitty73 Posts: 29 Member
    Thanks for feedback on the foods in database. Currently I take two iron tablets in the evening since I was at the iron infusion low level stage. It’s been a chronic problem for me. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan and don’t have any digestive issues other than I have an autoimmune disease Hashimotos Thyroiditis. I will cut back to one tablet once my iron store levels build up.

    I was hoping I could avoid using the tablets through improved nutrition but perhaps it may be something I will be taking for life regardless of what I eat.
  • ElizabethKalmbach
    ElizabethKalmbach Posts: 1,416 Member
    @blackkitty73

    Did your doctor of pharmacist give you recommendations about absorption interactions between the iron and other things you're taking, and the best way to take iron? It's tricky, so if you haven't talked to either a doctor or pharmacist about *how, when, and with what* to take the iron especially versus any other supplements or medications you may be taking, I highly recommend it.



  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
    @blackkitty73

    Did your doctor of pharmacist give you recommendations about absorption interactions between the iron and other things you're taking, and the best way to take iron? It's tricky, so if you haven't talked to either a doctor or pharmacist about *how, when, and with what* to take the iron especially versus any other supplements or medications you may be taking, I highly recommend it.

    This! Vitamin C helps absorption, calcium can hinder. It's tough.

    Look into cooking in a cast iron skillet or using a "lucky iron fish."
  • ElizabethKalmbach
    ElizabethKalmbach Posts: 1,416 Member
    In particular, I worry for you because you're hypothyroid like me. I was NOT told to avoid taking my levothyroxine with my iron. I researched that on my own looking up interactions to avoid with all my meds, and when I checked back with them about it, they were mortified. Iron can block your thyroid supplement if you're on one. Definitely go over everything you take with your pharmacist or doctor. Even TUMS and other OTC's can make the whole exercise pointless.
  • cobalt108
    cobalt108 Posts: 58 Member
    I have low iron/anemia issues as well and the pill supplements were hard on my digestion. My doc recommended Floradix, it’s a liquid iron supplement and it’s been AMAZING!
    Doesn’t taste bad either.

    Also, I’m not into this myself, but if you want to really up your iron intake from food then many people start eating organ meats regularly like chicken livers etc. Little bit gross for me but just wanted to put it out there for you to decide.
  • sfinsc
    sfinsc Posts: 169 Member
    I’ve taken on the one month trial for MFP so I can track my iron levels. I had wrongly assumed that I was eating enough iron daily but Now I see that I don’t actually eat enough. What do people do to increase their iron intake? I can’t eat oysters every day.

    I have iron-deficient anemia as well. I eat a lot of dark green leafy veggies (like kale and spinach) every day. I also take an iron supplement.
  • ceiswyn
    ceiswyn Posts: 2,241 Member
    sfinsc wrote: »
    I’ve taken on the one month trial for MFP so I can track my iron levels. I had wrongly assumed that I was eating enough iron daily but Now I see that I don’t actually eat enough. What do people do to increase their iron intake? I can’t eat oysters every day.

    I have iron-deficient anemia as well. I eat a lot of dark green leafy veggies (like kale and spinach) every day. I also take an iron supplement.

    From my reading, the iron in dark green leafy vegetables may not be absorbed well by the body due to interactions with other chemicals present in the veg (primarily oxalic acid). I've seen arguments on both sides, though, and I'm not knowledgeable enough in the area to evaluate them. But still, it might be worth double-checking whether that spinach is as helpful as you think.
  • sfinsc
    sfinsc Posts: 169 Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    sfinsc wrote: »
    I’ve taken on the one month trial for MFP so I can track my iron levels. I had wrongly assumed that I was eating enough iron daily but Now I see that I don’t actually eat enough. What do people do to increase their iron intake? I can’t eat oysters every day.

    I have iron-deficient anemia as well. I eat a lot of dark green leafy veggies (like kale and spinach) every day. I also take an iron supplement.

    From my reading, the iron in dark green leafy vegetables may not be absorbed well by the body due to interactions with other chemicals present in the veg (primarily oxalic acid). I've seen arguments on both sides, though, and I'm not knowledgeable enough in the area to evaluate them. But still, it might be worth double-checking whether that spinach is as helpful as you think.

    Thanks for that feedback! I don't rely just on my leafy greens for iron. I get 100% of my iron from my supplements. The leafy greens are for the other nutritional benefits and whatever iron I may be able to absorb.