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If they do not find a specific cause then i would more than likely think it could be due to your diet as a vegetarian. Also being a female and having monthly cycles wouldn't help either, especially if your cycles are on the heavier side.

Certain fruits and vegetables do have iron, but not as sufficient an amount as meat and particularly red meat. When combining the vegetables with the meat and then either eating fruit high in vitamin C or drinking juice the iron is more readily absorbed. Someone i work with is mostly a vegetarian and so is her mother and one of her sisters and they are looking at a lifetime on iron supplements. I don't know whether this is due to the type of vegetarian diet they have or not. Some countries where it is cultural to be vegetarian seem to survive quite well with no ill health, but then their vegetarian diet is full of legumes and other things which the western world doesnt eat much of or any of so maybe that is the answer and you will have to look into vegetarian forms of food which would have enough iron and protein in it. Having said that, i work with an Indian guy who said that he and his son get iron injections approx every 5yrs and his wife and daughter are constantly on iron supplements.

Are you also aware that combining certain foods and beverages can hinder the iron absorbtion? If you have eaten a meal high in iron the worst thing you could do is have a drink containing caffeine with your meal or straight after. Even drinking a glass of milk can kill off up to 60% of the iron you have just consumed in your meal. You can look this up on the net and it will give you lists of foods not to include during your main meals and lists of foods which are good to combine together for maximum iron absorbtion.

A number of people on this board have done well with an iron supplement plus adding meat to their diet, while other people who already eat meat and take a supplement cant seem to get their levels up, so it goes both ways.

Lysine is another good supplement to take as it helps transport iron throughout the body and it also increases the blood levels of ferretin.





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