Low Iron???

on 12/22/09 11:37 pm - Oxford, GA
Mertty Christmas all!!!

What do you all do to increase your iron levels? I was taking otc iron pills, then bariatric iron pill, and now rx iron pills. But my iron levels are still critically low.

What do you all take/eat to make sure your iron levels arent low?

Patience is Trusting God's Timimg!

on 12/22/09 11:40 pm - OH
How much are you taking?  How low is your iron?  Are you taking it with vitamin C?

I take 50 mg carbonyl iron, over the counter.  I'm not clear if there is a difference between otc and bariatric and prescription iron.  I have the idea that iron is iron, but I could be wrong.

on 12/22/09 11:44 pm - Oxford, GA
I take Proferrin es 12mg tabs twice a day.
I dont take it with my vitamin c

Patience is Trusting God's Timimg!

Pam T.
on 12/23/09 12:04 am - Saginaw, MI
My understanding is that proferrin only works on ferritin levels, not the general iron levels.
What is your doctor recommending for dosing?

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on 12/23/09 1:54 am - OH
I don't really know much about Proferrin.  I do know that vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron.  What kind of iron is in Proferrin, do you know?  It may be that some types of iron are absorbed better than others.

Andrea U.
on 12/23/09 10:27 pm, edited 12/23/09 10:28 pm - Wilson, NC
Proferrin is heme iron -- non-chemical iron so it's nothing like anything else on the market.

It's the closest thing to eating red meat that you can get in a pill.

ETA: Linkage

Iron Post:

I discuss my current experiment with the heme iron, Proferrin, here.  Information about it from the Iron Disorders Institute:

About Proferrin(tm):  Performance studies indicate that iron absorption rates are between 15% and 20% withoute erythropoietin (EPO) therapy and as high as 30% with EPO therapy even in patients with high serum ferritin values (>600 ng/ml).  In one study, the change in serum iron from Proferrin(tm) was nearly 23 times greater than from an identical dose of ferrous fumarate.  Also, study participants were able to tolerate up to 60 mgs per dose on an empty stomach with fewer gastrointestinal side effects; a common complaint from patients taking traditional oral iron preparations.  An additional benefit of heme iron supplementation is that patients can take it with their meals, unlike ionic iron preparations, which must be taken on an empty stomach between meals.

Andrea U.
on 12/23/09 10:31 pm - Wilson, NC
That's the beauty of proferrin -- you don't have to take it with C.

What levels are low?  Serum iron?  transferrin?  Sat levels? 

Diff irons help different things.

on 12/23/09 12:40 am

I get iron infusions as necessary -- last infusion was a few months ago:  Dextran.  And, it worked!  I am no longer anemic.

My iron STORES, ferritin are still low --- but this is an improvement.  

eight-Loss Surgery Brings Risk of Iron Deficiency - ABC News

Nothing new here, just a very straight-forward article:

Weight-Loss Surgery Brings Risk of Iron Deficiency - ABC News Anemic-blood-cells 

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Weight loss surgery can help you lose weight, but it's also likely to leave you unable to absorb iron, a new study suggests: Iron deficiency is a common problem after stomach bypass surgery to treat severe obesity -- and standard iron supplements may not be enough to prevent it in some patients.

Researchers found that among 67 Chilean women who had undergone the most common form of weight-loss surgery, 39 percent developed low blood counts, also known as anemia, within 18 months of surgery. That anemia was most often due to a deficiency in iron, which the body needs to produce healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen.

In contrast, less than two percent of the women had been anemic before surgery, the researchers report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

It's well known that nutritional deficiencies are a risk after the type of surgery examined in the trial, known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the most common and most effective form of weight- loss surgery for severe obesity.

The procedure involves stapling off the upper portion of the stomach to create a small pouch that restricts the amount of food a person can eat at one time. The surgeon also makes a bypass from the pouch that skirts around the rest of the stomach and a portion of the small intestine, limiting the body's absorption of nutrients.

The new findings suggest that impaired iron absorption, rather than reduced iron intake, is the major cause of long-term deficiency after gastric bypass, according to the researchers.

Tests done six months after surgery showed that, on average, women were absorbing just one-third of the iron from food that they had before surgery.

What's more, their absorption of iron from supplements showed nearly as great a decline. And many women became deficient in iron despite taking supplements after surgery, according to the researchers, led by Manuel Ruz of the University of Chile in Santiago.

All of the women in the study were put on vitamin and mineral supplements after surgery, though not all took iron pills. Those who did were prescribed 18 milligrams per day -- the standard recommended iron intake for women younger than 50.

That amount, Ruz and his colleagues write, appears "largely insufficient to prevent iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia."

The researchers say that some patients may need to take newer, more readily absorbed iron formulations, or receive infusions of the mineral rather than pills, to prevent a deficiency.

According to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, about 220,000 Americans had some form of weight-loss surgery in 2008, with gastric bypass accounting for the majority.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2009. 

on 12/23/09 1:02 am - AR
My surgeon's 2 favorite irons to prescribe are Repliva and Tandem because of their lack of side effects. 

He gave me samples of both and let me pick which one I liked better after trying each of the samples for a few weeks each.  I decided on Tandem.

It worked very well to increase my iron levels.

I was able to stop taking it after a few months when my iron levels came back up and stayed up.  I don't take any extra iron now and my levels stay fine. 

Good luck!

on 12/23/09 1:16 am - AR
I forgot to add about what you could eat (since you asked what you could EAT to help iron levels).

This is just a basic run-down.  You can google iron rich foods for more complete, better lists I'm sure. 

Best Heme Iron (kind found in red meats & animal products) Rich Foods:
Beef, Chicken or Pork Livers

Best Non-Heme Iron (kind found in breads, grains, vegetables, eggs, nuts, etc) Rich Foods:
Enriched Breakfast Cereal
Pumpkin Seeds
Cooked beans/lentils

Iron Absorption Enhancers/Helpers:
Fruits: orange, orange juice, cantaloup, strawberries, grapefruit, etc
Vegetables: broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomato, tomato juice, potato, green & red peppers
White Wine
Vitamin C

Iron Absorption Inhibitors/Hinderers:
Whole Grains & Bran
Vegetables: spinach, chard, beet greens, rhubarb & sweet potato
Red Wine
Coffee & Tea