My ferritin level has been low - I had a CBC that lead my Dr. to check Ferritin which was >3. Tested about a month later, by a different lab, it was 9. In the interim I'd been eating red meat (which I normally do infrequently) and trying to find a form of iron I can tolerate without nausea - to no avail. I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy that showed no bleeding. Had another Ferritin level done following that, by the same lab that had found 9, and it was up to 11. I had discovered I can take Ferrous Gluconate, 1, at night. It's not much, but it's something. My periods are getting further apart, and they haven't gotten heavier overall, maybe for one of the days, but not dramatically. I've been given mixed messages about how concerned I should be about this level. My questions: do you think I should see a hematologist? Is a very gradual increase in the Ferritin level going to be sufficient? I am eating as many iron-rich foods as I can, with vitamin C. The Ferrous gluconate = about 25 mg of iron. Any suggestions? Thanks so much for your help.
Iron will slowly increase normally even if you only took supplements due to mechanisms in our body. You are doing all the right things to increase your iron. Women have a higher demand for iron then men due to monthly menstrual flow. There are 2 types of iron in our food sources, Heme iron and Non-Heme iron. Heme iron is from animal sources and Non-Heme is plant sources. Non-Heme iron has more iron then Heme iron , however, it does not absorbed well into our bodies so it is important to eat foods with Vitamin C and Heme iron foods to enhance absorption. For example, chicken with beans and a fresh orange; drink orange juice with the iron supplement; or have mashed potatoes with meat at a meal. High Iron food sources are all meats, fish, dark green vegetables, beans, enriched rice (cooked), enriched pastas (cooked), and whole wheat breads. Keep up the good work.
I had the same problem with both kinds of prescription iron supplements. I started using chelated iron from the health store and when my iron levels were where the doctor said they should be I used a Gentle Iron and Easy Iron, as these are the RDA of 25 mg, rather than the 50 mg that the chelated iron comes in. These are the only ones that don't make me nauseous.
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