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ZIG

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  • "ZIG" started this thread

Posts: 346

Reg: Oct 4th 2005

Location: Cumbria

Children: Isabella Mae (ICSI No.3) and Ruby Olivia (natural)

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1

Monday, July 9th 2007, 7:18pm

Low Iron Levels - Any Advice?

Hi
Just got a call today from m/w to say that the bloods she took last week showed that I had a very low iron level of 10.something and that at this stage of my pg it should be over 12. I asked what it indicated or was is dangerous and she was a bit woolly. I have to start on iron tablets, decrease my tea/coffee intake to aid absorption (I only drink maybe 1 decaf tea, 1 decaf coffee per day), up my vit C intake and also eat more iron. I can't understand it as we have such a good diet anyway with lots of meat, fruit and veg. Apparently the iron tablets can make you nauseous (sp?), squitty or constipated (take your pick!). I'm already constipated and have piles to die for (I literally do not fear giving birth as my piles have prepared me for ANY pain). I took them after my c-section with Bella and didn't really react so I'm praying it'll be the case this time.
Anyone know anything about low iron levels during pg or have experienced it? Have any of you medical types out there got any suggestions or advice? Is it dangerous? Can it be a symptom of anything else? HELP!!!!!!!

Zig x
Me 38, DH 44. 2002-2004 2x ICSI's, 1x egg donation. Changed clinics for own eggs ICSI/tx no.4 - BFP 27/4/05! Mummy to Isabella after early c-section 15/12/05, due to LLP. Baby No.2 (huge 'natural' surprise!) Ruby Olivia arrived 29/09/07 via emergency c-section.

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Monday, July 9th 2007, 7:33pm

Hi Zig,
At 10.something it's not too low. At my last blood test with the IVF clinic mine was 10.4, the clinic told me it was just outside the normal range (11.something)and told me to tell my midwife. I told one midwife and my obstertrician and neither seemed bothered at all. At my last appointment I saw a different midwife and raised it again and she actually bothered writting it in my notes and gave me tablets. Growing babies take up a lot of iron, it's perfectly normal to need supplementing, and isn't dangerous. In my mums day they put everyone on iron tablets without taking bloods. With reduced iron, your bloods ability to carry oxygen around the body is decreased a bit which may cause you to feel tired or weak, but if your not symptomatic its certainly not doing you or bubs any harm.
I was worried about being constipated on the tablets but I'm fine as long as I have my big daily bowl of branflakes. They do turn your poo black though! (nice!). take it with vit C to help absorption, I always take mine at night as I have dairy in the morning (with the branflakes) and that can stop absorption.

hope that's put your mind at ease a little

xx
Me 35, DH 31 [zx075]
Bilateral hydrosalpinges discovered May 06
Bilateral salpingectomy June 06
1st IVF August 06 BFN
2nd IVF January 07 BFP Twins!!



Rene

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Monday, July 9th 2007, 7:45pm

Hi, Zig
10 point something is not terribly low but is a bit lower than we would like to see. As Suzy said, your oxygen carrying capacity is reduced and that may lead to tiredness and even dizziness after even mild exercise. At this level no harm will come to your baby, but it would be safest to take the iron supplements to prevent it from dropping lower.
And, to reassure you, it is quite common for pregnant women to experience a drop in iron level...


PCOS, hypothyroid - on thyroxine, aspirin and Met
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At 3 and a half C finally gave up the boob!

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Monday, July 9th 2007, 8:43pm

Zig- an apparant "drop" in your blood iron levels(heamaglobin)is normal and expected in pregnancy. As yuor blood volume increases, the normal volume of heam effectively gets "diluted"and it appears that you have a lower than normal iron level, however this is often just a normal phsyiological effect of pg and doesn;t need treating as long you are not symptomatic.
However, iron deficiency aneamia is different, and is a drop in the actual %of iron stores in your blood and does need treating with iron tabs.
If you continue through pg with iron defiecy aneamis then it can cause dizzy spells, nasuea and general weakness, and can make you more prone to bleeding heavily aftre birth, so is well worth treating.

The only way we can tell whethre you have iron defeicy aneamia or just normal phsyiological diluted iron, is by an extra tesy result which checks the avergae amount of iron in your blood, giiving a more accurate indicator.

However most gp's and some mw's will prescribe iron regardlesss of the type of aneamis you have.

edited to say- iron tabs can cause constipation, so increased fliud intke and lots of fresh fruit will help, and will also help absorbtion. reducing tea is important as tea contains an ingredient called tannin, which reduces absorption rates.




This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "Rose" (Jul 9th 2007, 8:48pm)


ZIG

Ace

  • "ZIG" started this thread

Posts: 346

Reg: Oct 4th 2005

Location: Cumbria

Children: Isabella Mae (ICSI No.3) and Ruby Olivia (natural)

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5

Monday, July 9th 2007, 9:31pm

Many, many thanks for that girls, much appreciated.
I did a little research on t'internet and have stopped worrying as much. Like you said, it is fairly common and with tablets and an increase in iron/vit c intake I should be back to normal. I asked when they would re-test and the m/w said at 34 weeks, so I'm crossing fingers that it should be back up by then. I can't drink orange juice (migraines) or do the branflakes (wheat/gluten intolerance), but I've stocked up on spinach, dried apricots and even more fruit. I know I'm going to have to force more water down too.
It's funny, I've been breathless and exhausted, but put that down to being pregnant and having a demanding 18 month old with a sleep problem!
Thanks again
Zig x
Me 38, DH 44. 2002-2004 2x ICSI's, 1x egg donation. Changed clinics for own eggs ICSI/tx no.4 - BFP 27/4/05! Mummy to Isabella after early c-section 15/12/05, due to LLP. Baby No.2 (huge 'natural' surprise!) Ruby Olivia arrived 29/09/07 via emergency c-section.

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Monday, July 9th 2007, 9:33pm

Iron rich foods include leafy veg, esp spinach, cabbage, and red meat, drink fresh orange with your meal to aid absorption. Guiness is good too apparently but wouldn''t reccomend that 8o xxx
Mum of 3 year old twins.
Had ICSI worked first time


Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get!!



kski

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Monday, July 9th 2007, 11:08pm

floradix


liquid iron - mrs k is hypo thyroid and had a similar thing - someone recommended floradix and it has pepped her up


k
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Tuesday, July 10th 2007, 5:49am

zigs - my level was/is around 8.0 which I suspect might have had some contribution to my premature labour, but we cant be sure. This was too low, but the iron tablets I got made me vomit within 30 minutes of taking them - unfortunately they are the only ones the local pharmacy had.

So I eat as much red meat & green veg as I could.

Like you I was always tired & exhausted, but also put that down to working full time, and having a young child.

When I was released from hospital, they gave me iron tablets that are combined with folic acid and these seem to do the trick. However, I do get constipation. The trick to keeping things regular is to drink lots of fruit juice - preferably orange juice as that has a lot of fibre, but you said you cant drink that, and I also find that too much gives me headaches. Although buying fresh oranges and squeezing them rather than buying the packet stuff makes a huge difference - ie I dont get headaches - so I think it might be an allergy to some of the preservatives they add to keep cartons "fresh"?

I normally have cornflakes & milk for breakfast (again like you, I cant eat wheat) or sometimes oat-based cereals. For lunch, it's a salad with cheese & cooked chicken. For supper, normally rice, meat & vegetables, followed by a yoghurt. I take the iron tablet about an hour and half after lunch because milk based products inhibit iron absorbtion. I also drink around 2 litres of fruit juice (fresh orange or packeted cranberry juice) every day.

Guiness is an excellent source of iron - my mum used to drink half pints of iron&milk (50/50) twice a day throughout her pregnancies - although again that is NOT something I will be doing!

Hope this helps?

ZIG

Ace

  • "ZIG" started this thread

Posts: 346

Reg: Oct 4th 2005

Location: Cumbria

Children: Isabella Mae (ICSI No.3) and Ruby Olivia (natural)

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9

Tuesday, July 10th 2007, 10:49am

Cheers m'dears.
Wow Sun, your levels WERE low!!! Hope everything has settled down now and that you are back on track for a nice NORMAL pregnancy and birth! Sending lots of hugs.
Diddle - I quite fancy a pint of Guinness, but not sure if I should! Lol!
Interesting that you say Floradix, K. This was mentioned, along with Spatone, as possible alternatives to over-the-counter tablets if they made me feel kak. I'm off down into town to the Health Food shop to get some today.
Like I said, I have such a good diet that I'm gobsmacked this has come up. We are obsessively organic and get meat and fruit/veg boxes delivered weekly. Obviously babba is just nicking it all before I can get to it!
I knew I had tempted fate when I wished the 2nd trimester girls "as uneventful a 2nd trimester as I had". Serves me right for being so smug.
I was also measured by the m/w last week - the first time ever - as I suspected I was big for date. She agreed and plotted me on the chart as measuring 30-32 weeks instead of 28. I'm not that bothered about this as the charts are a bit iffy, and if I have a big baby or it comes slightly early than first thought, then so be it.

My mum's round today to lend a hand and allow me to have an afternoon kip - aaahhh bliss!
Zig x
Me 38, DH 44. 2002-2004 2x ICSI's, 1x egg donation. Changed clinics for own eggs ICSI/tx no.4 - BFP 27/4/05! Mummy to Isabella after early c-section 15/12/05, due to LLP. Baby No.2 (huge 'natural' surprise!) Ruby Olivia arrived 29/09/07 via emergency c-section.

JENSQUI

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Tuesday, July 10th 2007, 11:24am

Hi Zig - noticed you'd got the info on Spatone already! was going to tell you about it as I've been taking it since my m/c as a bit anaemic after it. i've found this to be excellent - hope it works for you too.
comes in sachets of liquid - i pour this into my morning OJ. only has a faint taste and apaprently the vitamin c helps it to be absorbed (or something a lot more technical than that).


me 38, DP 44, ttc since 2005
BFP May 07 - HB seen @ 8 wks but CRL only 7 weeks, m/c @ 9 wks
BFP Jan 08 -m/c @ 11 wks (D&C)
BFP Jun 08 - early loss
BFP Dec 08 - HB & CRL ok @ 8 wks, but sac too small, m/c @ 9 wks
BFP Apr 09 - Martha born 9th Jan 2010
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Tuesday, July 10th 2007, 12:46pm

zigs - yup levels were really low, but had not really recovered from #1, and I've always had a tendency to be low.... heavy periods.... endometriosis anyone? *sigh* :rolleyes:

hahahaha! you're going to be passing a watermelon lady! brings a whole new meaning to "open wide........."

lmao

ZIG

Ace

  • "ZIG" started this thread

Posts: 346

Reg: Oct 4th 2005

Location: Cumbria

Children: Isabella Mae (ICSI No.3) and Ruby Olivia (natural)

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12

Tuesday, July 10th 2007, 5:24pm

I know Sun - one of the farmer in our village has offered dh some baling twine (string to tie up hay bales) as he said in his fabulous Cumbrian accent "tha's got a big'un in there lass and tha'll need a bit of 'elp to lop it oot!" Dh goes and helps this farmer at lambing and calving time (and he watched my c-section with great gusto) so he now feels he has the same qualifications as any obs/gynae doctor.
He has already packed his shoe horn in his hospital bag and has promised not to tell any watermelon jokes during labour. Last night he also tried to make a joke out of my anaemia but I burst into tears and it suddenly wasn't funny anymore. Poor lad. He's going to be surrounded by hormonal women. No wonder he plays golf.
Zig x
Me 38, DH 44. 2002-2004 2x ICSI's, 1x egg donation. Changed clinics for own eggs ICSI/tx no.4 - BFP 27/4/05! Mummy to Isabella after early c-section 15/12/05, due to LLP. Baby No.2 (huge 'natural' surprise!) Ruby Olivia arrived 29/09/07 via emergency c-section.

ZIG

Ace

  • "ZIG" started this thread

Posts: 346

Reg: Oct 4th 2005

Location: Cumbria

Children: Isabella Mae (ICSI No.3) and Ruby Olivia (natural)

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13

Tuesday, July 10th 2007, 5:31pm

P.S. Oh thanks Jensqui - I had my first sachet this lunchtime, so I'm praying it'll do the trick. I put it in my apple juice and didn't even taste it. Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better.
I have just read that antacids can affect iron absorption, and as I'm glugging Gaviscon and milk (dairy is another iron inhibitor) every night thanks to rotten heartburn, that won't be helping matters. So it's a toss up between anaemia or indigestion....
Zig x
Me 38, DH 44. 2002-2004 2x ICSI's, 1x egg donation. Changed clinics for own eggs ICSI/tx no.4 - BFP 27/4/05! Mummy to Isabella after early c-section 15/12/05, due to LLP. Baby No.2 (huge 'natural' surprise!) Ruby Olivia arrived 29/09/07 via emergency c-section.

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Reg: Oct 7th 2005

Location: x

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14

Wednesday, July 11th 2007, 3:05am

Zigs - it's the calcium in the dairy (& antacids) that inhibits iron absorbtion. But the effect is only for two hours - so make sure you dont take any calcium about an hour before and for two hours after taking an iron tablet and you'll be fine.

The indigestion is because the baby is squishing your tummy. By around 32-34 weeks the baby will stop moving up and drop back down again, and your indigestion will ease considerably.




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