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Is it normal to feel horribly weak and exhausted after exercise with anaemia? Last test I had my ferritin was 6 and haemoglobin was 11.5 (not that low) back in Feb. I've been taking supplements sporadically but not that much because I kept reading how bad they were but my doctor told me last week that I had to be on them because my levels were low. But sometimes I just feel terrible and I'm wondering if it's normal to feel terrible with anaemia or should I be getting a heart check up or something? I'm really scared (and cross with myself for not taking the supplements...) I've just had my periods (sorry for TMI) and it was a very heavy one, so I guess that wouldn't have helped. Any advice/support would be appreciated.
She hasn't said but my GP said it should be over 50. I don't know how long that will take. I take ferrograd f which has equivalent to 25 mg ferrous sulphate. All I know at the moment is that I can't walk up hills and up stairs (actually I never have been able to very easily, even in my 20s) so it makes me think my ferritin's been low for ages because I never had a blood test until my first pregnancy (at 24) and I don't know if the pregnancy bloods include a ferritin test or just haemoglobin but I know I was anaemic during my second pregnancy and was on supplements then. I was a very prem baby (32 weeks) and my mother said she had to give me iron as a baby.
Trixibel - Noticed you take Ferro-Grad F, is that the one that doesn't contain vitamin C? as i've now got the Ferro-Grad C and it has 500mg vitamin C and 325 mg dried ferrous sulphate and is much more than the 25mg in the one you are taking. When levels are low people often find they need a higher dosage as too low a dosage often doesn't do enough. Vitamin C is also necessary to help absorb the iron.

Did your sister actually say her husband's ferretin was 770? or was she referring to something else to do with iron? It also depends on lab ranges. Maybe the lab which processed his tests uses a different range. Ferretin can get up to 125 without causing dramas and that is my doctors goal for me. I think when it gets somewhat over 125 that they begin to worry, not sure how much over.

Apparently people of Celtic origin are predisposed to having higher ferretin levels naturally and it is genetic. They should not be taking iron supplements without having their levels tested first or they will get iron overload.

I'm in Australia too and yes meat can be very expensive. Sausages, unless you buy the expensive ones which contain real meat are fine, but 'snags' are basically rubbish and contain no real nutritional value at all. I would only buy them to have once in a blue moon, not as something to be included as a regular meal. Mince is ok, but depending where you go they use old/expired meat, dip it in a preservative which makes it look fresh and red again and then mince it. What i find is the best thing to do is check out meat prices at various places. I never buy my meat at Coles or Woolworths these days as their prices are so inflated, although Woolworths seem to have their specials on a monday evening so maybe you could stock up then. Not sure which day/night Coles have their specials on. I have found a couple of butcher's shops who do certain quality cuts of meat much cheaper than the big super markets. If you have red meat roughly 3 nights per week and then have white meats and fish the rest of the nights you should be fine.

It's not just the iron you are getting from meat, it's a host of other vitamins and minerals. If you can't afford meat or choose to go semi vegetarian you need to include nuts and pulses in your diet. My naturopath told me that eating almonds, brazil nuts and cashews together equates to the same protein level as in a meat dish. You can buy a spread containing these nuts to put on sandwiches. You can find this in the healthfood section of any Coles or Woolworths supermarkets.

The protein you get in meat is also important as protein is needed for your hair, skin and nails, for your thyroid function and for your liver, for your metabolic rate, pretty much for everything. I'd be getting my protein and cutting out something else unecessary in my life as your health is the most important thing.

You will likely find you wont be able to do much exercise till your ferretin gets much higher as you don't have sufficient iron stores and therefore not enough oxygen in your blood and this is why you tire so easily. I'd leave out the exercise until your levels get a bit higher and reserve the energy for other things.
Hi, :)

[QUOTE]The protein you get in meat is also important as protein is needed for your hair, skin and nails, for your thyroid function and for your liver, for your metabolic rate, pretty much for everything. I'd be getting my protein and cutting out something else unecessary in my life as your health is the most important thing.[/QUOTE]

I wonder what people with kidney disorders who are limiting their protein intake (from any source) are supposed to do when their iron levels become severely depleted?

I have been limiting my protein intake but still eat chicken, fish, seafood, dairy products and cheese. I have stopped eating nuts due to their high protein and caloric content. For people with cholesterol issues and on cholesterol medication, eating red and fatty meats is simply [U]no[/U]t a good idea. I feel completely lost when it comes to my diet. Fruits and veggies contain a lot of potassium - they are a major component of almost ANY healthy diet, but not so good for the diseased kidneys.
I now wonder if I might have somehow caused my low iron levels by eliminating red meats? :confused:

flowergirl
flowergirl - i'm not familiar with kidney disorders so i can't really comment on what you can/can't do. My comments were geared towards those who can consume meat and other protein dishes. The more i research into low iron and my thyroid issues the more i'm coming across so many things which appear to be essential yet our bodies are having problems absorbing.

Actually with protein, there is a whey protein on the market which comes from plants and not from animals. I wonder if that one is ok for you to take if can't handle the one from animals.

You mentioned taking cholesterol medication.... i can't recall where i read it, but it was in the last couple of days and it was regarding people balancing their essential fatty acids eg: Omega 3's and 6's via fish oils and general diet. There was more to it, but i can't recall the rest. If i find it i will post it for you as it was a very interesting read.

If you have anemia, cholesterol and kidney problems do you also have a thyroid problem? I believe kidney disease is also an autoimmune disease as are thyroid problems. It's not uncommon for people who have thyroid issues to have elevated cholesterol and blood pressure among other issues.
Audrey, :)

[QUOTE]If you have anemia, cholesterol and kidney problems do you also have a thyroid problem? I believe kidney disease is also an autoimmune disease as are thyroid problems. It's not uncommon for people who have thyroid issues to have elevated cholesterol and blood pressure among other issues.[/QUOTE]

thank you for your informative post. My TSH is within normal limits. I know that this alone is not an indicator of a good thyroid function and other tests, such as a freeT3, are needed. I assume the thyroid function is OK since my neck looks normal. I am not sure what the symptoms of a dysfunction are, but attribute my constant arm and hand tingling on both sides to possibly a deficiency in some mineral or vitamin, or an excess of the same. But really, to be honest, I don't know why I have it. I've had it for some time now (months). Can low iron cause the tingling and numbness? You mentioned Omega3s and fish oil. I take fish oil supplements daily. They are essential to our health and easier to consume than frequent servings of fish :)

flowergirl
flowergirl--Whenever you are DX'd with anemia or low iron/ferritin you should always be tested for B-12 and Folate too. It is also quite common to have both deficiencies at the same time. I however also have some numbness and tingling but they haven't found a cause yet. My B-12 is in the 800's and has never been low. Usually B-12 is 400 and under when it presents with neuro symptoms. FLFLOWERGIRL:)
flowergirl--I know that they say it is normal:(, but that is ~very low normal~ to me. This is just my opinion as a patient. They say it is low when it is 200 or less. Your number might very well be causing your tingling symptoms. There was someone else here that was ill at 400 with many symptoms. The good thing about this, is that you can raise it on your own, and it is not dangerous in any way. You cannot get too much. It does have to be sublingual, you probably already know this stuff. FLFLOWERGIRL:)
flowergirl--Sorry:o!

It takes years to deplete B-12 stores, 2-5 I believe, this is from memory;). You are on the low end of normal and definitely will benefit from replacement therapy. Doctors usually give IM injections if you are under 200. This is not your case so you can do the exact same thing through sublingual liquid or tabs (under the tongue) form of B-12 that you get from the vitamin store or a supermarket. It needs to be in the form of [B]Methyl[/B]cobalamin, which is the best form of absorption. The common form of B-12 is [B]Cyano[/B]cobalamin, this is NOT the one to get. You take this under the tongue once a day, I take a B-12 complex and my B-12 is 800ish, you cannot get too much B-12 it is completely safe.

I'm glad that you have a good doctor now to help you. FLFLOWERGIRL:)
Great information, Flflowergirl.

Thank you very much. I wrote down the name - Methylcobalamin - and will pick some up on my next day off. Just to be sure, I'll check with my pharmacist. She has been great in helping me with my meds and many related issues, making suggestions along the way, questioning a couple of the scripts. I like it when a pharmacist catches a doctor's mistake!

I will ask about any possible supplement/drug/supplement interactions, and whether my calcium supplements might affect the absorption of this vitamin. I wonder how come my B12 level is low - I've been taking a daily vitamin with minerals and there should have been ENOUGH of the B12 in it. I guess there wasn't!

There's an excellent database my pharmacist uses. This supplement database encompasses the results of all available supplement (mineral & vitamin) studies to date. There's a summary and analysis of the results of all studies ever done relating to a specific mineral or a vitamin. In other words, the most up-to- date information available. Oh, what I'd give to gain an access to this site. I've hinted....and hinted....I am not giving up just yet. However, I am quite certain it is for pharmacists only. :(

flowergirl
Unfortunately with your low ferritin levels any strenous exercise will leave you feeling tired and may even deplete your stores further. Try upping your vitamin C as it will increase the amount of iron you absorb. I would take a break from exercising for a month or two while trying to increase your levels. Having low ferritin levels can make you feel really ill- mine was 8 last month so I know how it can feel. I have posted on how I raised mine if you want any ideas.

Hope you feel better soon! :D





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