Iron and anemia
Friday, March 12, 2010
I am anemic. I probably have been for some time, but my old doctor never diagnosed it. I went to a new doctor in January when I had bronchitis. I had some other symptoms, one of which I was getting extremely dizzy upon standing. I have had terrible fatigue for a long time, and it had been getting worse. She took blood for a series of tests and found out not only was I anemic, but also dehydrated, and I have some other things going on as well.
A few weeks ago I was put on 325mg of iron three times a day. I was told by the nurse I could get it over the counter, which I did. But the dosage was 65mg. So I called the office to find out if I should take a bunch of these 65mg tablets to equal 325mg. The gal in the office said yes, I should because that was the correct dosage. So I did. A couple of days later I was sick, I thought if I even LOOKED at an iron pill let alone take one I'd throw up! I skipped the next day's pills. I was in a store comparing prices of iron supplements when I noticed something on one of the bottles that about knocked me over...325mg of iron is the equivalent of 65mg of ferrous sulphate. Ferrous sulphate is a type of iron! I was ODing on iron! I couldn't believe the over sight of the doctor's office not to tell me that, and also my good fortune of finding that information! I tried to verify it on the internet but the recommendations for iron dosages is hard to pinpoint. I spoke to my Dr. about it and she prescribed me an iron supplement with something in it to help digestion. It is pricey, but it is not tearing my stomach up like the OTC stuff was on the correct dosage. I wish I had the RX from the beginning, but I at least learned some things...
1. NEVER take your doctor's advice for grated, if something seems amiss then check into it. It may keep you from getting sick (or worse!).
2. Iron supplements ARE NOT all the same. There are different types of iron, and the dosages vary. ONLY take an iron supplement under the advisement of your doctor, because over-dosing on iron CAN BE FATAL.
3. Tofu and lima beans actually have more iron than beef! (Who knew?) Clams and seaweed have some of the highest iron counts in food.
4. Take your iron (either supplements or iron rich foods) with a food high in vitamin C. It helps the body absorb it.
5. Too much fiber can inhibit your ability to absorb iron. So will caffeine, and the tannin in tea, and some medications.
I have been on iron for a couple of weeks now and I already feel so much better! The dizziness is gone, and the fatigue has lessened. I will have to take them for many months, and the way my menstrual cycle is I may have to take some amount of iron until my periods stop. But I am glad that my condition was diagnosed and I am being treated. Again, please do not take iron unless you are told to by your doctor. I hope this info is useful to you, thanks for reading!