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blackomen--A good rule of thumb is; one should *never*, ~ESPECIALLY A MALE~, begin iron supplements without the DX of low iron/anemia/ferritin by a doctor. What you are doing could be dangerous, I'm sure if you have read around that you too have read this information. What you have read as far as an amount, doesn't make sense to me because the need for replacement is not a universal measurement, although, I'm sure that you did indeed read that. It is based on how anemic and/or low ferritin you may be, or how well you absorb because there may be a greater demand. If you search the net you can read just about anything, but what is accurate information? I also don't think that you wouldn't react that quickly to iron in your system, perhaps this is possible. I can remember a time that I would take a multivitamin and I always seemed to have much more energy those day, it's hard to say how each person as an individual responds. It does take a while for iron to get into the system and working. Many diseases also share symptoms, so without a blood test who knows what you are dealing with, you really don't.

This is just an example of what I am trying to say. I never knew before that men should NOT take iron even in a multivitamin. Now, I am going way back LOL, to the information that I had in my 20's. My husband has always been a health nut when it comes to eating the right foods, very well balanced. So, every morning as part of his routine he drank OJ (which increases iron absorption a lot), and took a multivitamin and YES, with iron added. This is since he was 26 yrs. old. I just thought he was perfect:)! Fast forward 27 yrs later, (2 yrs ago) he went in for a complete physical, blood work revealed high liver enzymes. Subsequently, he was DX'ed with Hep-C. Sent to a GI specialist to evaluate. The first thing the GI doc said is that this doesn't mean that you have Hep-C infact, it's probably not, we were in disbelief. The GI doc ran further tests and discovered what he already knew, which was Hereditary Hemochromatosis, an iron overloading disease. This untreated can lead to many terrible things, but is *usually* easily treated for most individuals. Needless to say that he was misdiagnosed by the GP. His ferritin was just under 3,000 when found on labs. Through blood letting for 2 yrs, his ferritin is now 27. I know that's a crazy story, that would never happen to you. I can tell you first hand that I never thought I would have a problem with anemia and lowered ferritin either, it would never happen to me, but it did. Some symptoms are very much a like for iron overload and anemia as well i.e., being tired, cold and anemic. So, please be very careful in what you do, it can and does make a big difference for some people. If you absolutely cannot have blood labs done, then I would settle for a multivitamin WITHOUT iron and call it a day! Sometimes if you explain to the doc that you no longer have insurance, they may help you. At the minimum you can have just a Hgb and Hct done to see if you are anemic. They can pull those out of the CBC without doing the whole entire panel. You might want to make it a priority to try to get full labs done. If something is going on it's easier to treat in the early stages verses waiting. If my husband had waited he may need a liver transplant, but no he only needed phlebotomy weekly for over a year. Keep us posted.

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