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Hello, Shannon, and welcome!

I have struggled with anemia and low ferritin in particular the last few years, but only recently have I found a doctor who is taking it seriously (ha, probably b/c I've gotten hooked on small doses of prescription narcotics for ANY energy).

My doctor put me on 325mg of ferrous sulfate 3x/day and sent me to a GI doctor to rule out internal bleeding, especially since I have a family history of colon polyps and have had an ulcer. The tests came back negative, as did the tests for celiac or other things that could cause malabsorption.

Then it was off to the hematologist, who was obviously not concerned with a ferritin level of 13, which is the highest it's been in years. Her advice was to continue with the FS 3x/day for a MINIMUM of three months, though my internist says I will probably be on it indefinitely.

You do not mention how old you are and/or if you'd like to have more children (and therefore might object to birth control pills to control bleeding). My internist put me on a pill that enables me to have only four periods a year; I'm 48 and the LAST thing I expect to have are more kids, lol.

Like you, I had fairly heavy periods for years, especially after my sons were born 19 and 16 years ago. When you couple that with the fact that I wasn't on iron supplements all those years and don't eat much meat (no red meat at all), it all worked against me to put me where I am now.

Building the iron stores in the bone marrow (which is what your ferritin level indicates) is a slow process, as others have mentioned. Make sure you take some Vitamin C with your iron to help with absorption; I take 500mg with each dose of iron. I also started taking a product called "Ferrasorb", which contains two forms of B12, folate, and a bit of iron. I only started on that this weekend, so only time will tell.

If you're looking for a suggestion, I would encourage you to add the Vit. C if you aren't already taking it, adhere STRICTLY to your iron regimen, and get your doctor to check your levels again in 4 - 6 weeks. If your levels have improved (even slightly), then hopefully you are on the right track. If not, I would talk to your doctor about the GI tests (colonoscopy, upper endoscopy) to rule out a GI bleed. Hang in there!!

Cheers,
Nancy
Hi Ladies
thank you so much for all your replies , they are very informative reassuring and helpful, Gemini123, I live in flintshire(only about 11 miles from you.. what a small world eh! ) Its interesting that you have had the sore dry eyes too as I didnt really know this could be a symptom of the low iron , mine were awful! Also interesting to read that maybe my period could be considered heavy even if they are only heavy for about 3 days. Flowergirl thanks for all your info too. Nancy. im 36 and I had my children in 2001 and 2003 and i know they check to see if your anaemic when your pregnant, but i never needed iron then so i assume it was ok,or do they only check your red blood count? not sure , i dont really understand how you can be very low in ferritin but the RBC still be ok , i have phoned the doctors to ask for a print out of all the blood test results , just out of interest to see what my other levels were. i have to say though the receptionist was a bit snotty and said she would ask the doctor if i was ok to have a copy(i have to phone back tomorrow) does anyone know if they are in their right to refuse me a copy if they say no? I dont intend having anymore children but when i have tried being on the contraceptive pill in the past i have not had any success.. i used to get sharp pains in my chest so wouldnt use them.
Do you think that if i do have a blood test in a month and it is showing a slight improvement .. the chances are that it is probably just lack of iron in diet or heavy periods. I dont think I should have been so silly really to not keep taking the iron 3 years ago as when i stopped it hadnt particularly gone up by alot . I also read somewhere that a low fat diet can make you low in iron .. does anyone know if this is true ? As slimming world is a low fat diet, you are allowed meat but it has to be lean and any other fats such as butter etc has to be counted, so i have very small amounts of butter or mayonnaisse etc. and I know i probably havent eaten large amounts of meat for 18 months . I was conscious of my iron and tried to eat lentils etc, but i also read that high iron vegetable(non meat) type foods are absorbed as easily as meat iron
so i am hoping that it will improve with the tablets
thank you so much again
Kerry





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