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Re: Low Hb
Aug 25, 2008
[QUOTE=NE5109;3702519]Hi, I went to donate blood the other day for the second time and my Hb was too low (10.1), so they sent off a sample to check the ferritin level which was also low (3.5). Iím a female in my 20ís who is vegetarian and an athlete, and I canít actually remember eating anything remotely high in iron since I donated blood the first timeÖ so Iím pretty sure thatís what the problem is and there is no other underlying cause (my Hb was 13.7 before my 1st donation). My question is do I actually need to go and see my GP for advice like the blood donation people suggested or is just making sure I improve my diet going to be good enough?[/QUOTE]

Since you have a pretty good idea of what caused it (diet plus donation--and being an athlete to some extent) you can probably work on this yourself.

With a vegetarian diet, you are at a disadvantage for the iron. Non-heme iron is not easily absorbed so you are getting very little through your diet. There are probably ways to increase iron with a vegetarian diet, but I think it is always a struggle.

The blood donation takes a LOT from women. You definitely need to curtail that for a long while and, if you cannot successful keep yourself full of iron through diet, blood donation may just be out of the picture for you.

Exercise: exercise destroys red blood cells. High intensity/long duration exercise destroys much more. This was one of the risk factors for my friend who had iron deficiency--she walked/ran 5-7 miles 5 times a week. When she backed off that, plus took supplements her iron improved quickly.

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