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Hello all,

I had my annual company physical a few weeks ago. My bloodwork (drawn on 8/14) came back showing that my HGB level had dropped from 11.5 in August 2008 to 9.7 in August 2009. (I have always been borderline anemic, and have not been treated before as my HGB had not dropped much below 11.5). Our company doctor told me to follow up with my personal physician. I faxed her over a copy of the bloodwork and she called and told me to come in and see her so she could do some more bloodwork and a physical exam. I went in and saw her last tuesday, Sept. 1st. My physical exam was fine, but my bloodwork came back that I was iron deficient anemic. My iron was 26, and she said it should be at minimum 35. My HBG was 9.8, so it had not dropped much more. She told me to start taking ferrous sulfate 325 mg once a day, and after a week increase it to twice a day. Also, last year I found out that I have a Grade 1 internal hemorrhoid which still bleeds occassionally if I do not have enough fiber, so she told me to to start taking fiber pills or tablets (the pharmacist recommended that I take the Benefiber chewables) and so as not to aggravate the hemorrhoid, she also wanted me to take a stool softener. I tried Dulcolax (docusate sodium) and Surfak (docusate calcium) but had a mild allergic reaction to both. The pharmacist said apparently I am sensitive to the docusate. (I do have allergy problems to most things in the air, and some antibiotics; however, due to the fact that I take Xanax XR for a chemical imbalance panic disorder and Toprol XL for benign PVC's, I cannot take any antihistamines to help with the sinus congestion or migraines). I have been taking the iron every day with lunch, as I remember from when I was pregnant with my 2nd child (19 years ago) that I got really nauseated with the iron pills. I take the Benefiber in the morning and evening (2-3 chewable tablets each time). The problem I am having is that about an hour or two after taking the iron, I feel quite queasy and slightly nauseous, and very bloated. It lasts for a couple of hours, and then subsides somewhat, then by dinnertime I don't feel sick anymore. Is this normal until the body gets used to the increased iron? I have not taken any kind of vitamin supplements since I was pregnant. My diet has not been terrible, but I know I have not been getting the correct amount of fiber and iron in my diet. I did pretty good right after finding out what was causing the slight rectal bleeding (internal hemorrhoid) and it got quite a bit better, but the last few months I have been under alot of stress and fell back on my old eating habits of alot of sweets (mainly Twizzlers), fast food, or skipping lunch altogether and then having a large meal. The last few days, I have started eating apples and plums again, and I have increased my water (although that is all I drink each day; no caffeine in my diet at all due to the PVC's) and added more juice. The pharmacist suggested that since I was having problems with the stool softener, that I try to add more natural fiber via prune juice, plums, peaches, pear juice, raisins, etc. I already eat a fiber cereal, which I just started back on the last few days. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for the nausea with the iron pills. I'm concerned it will get worse when I am supposed to increase to two a day later this week. Also, is the bloated and full feeling part of the iron intake, or the fiber? Does it just take your system awhile to get used to these things? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I don't go back to see her for 3 months. I am supposed to go see my gyno soon, as my primary physician feels the cause of my iron defiency is the heavier periods I have been having the past year and a half (I just turned 41).

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