Iron in the tank and anemic again after back surgery

on 2/23/16 11:14 pm

Hi all!  I am a 'veteran' wls patient from 2010 and recently had some pretty extensive back surgery that was even more complicated than my orthopedic surgeon had initially thought.  I'm about 8 weeks postop, and feeling so tired and run down, that I suspected my iron levels had dropped (this happened to me before after surgery).  

I went to my pcp earlier this week and confirmed that yes, I am again, anemic.  My pcp has ordered me to take my iron supplement 3x a day and get re-checked in 6 weeks.  

According to my pcp, with any surgery that involves bone at all, there is always a lot of blood loss.  That's why the anemia happened again to me.  During my last recovery from major surgery (from a very bad car accident) my iron got so low that I required 2 blood transfusions urgh!  I'm not there yet, but let's hope that my mega-doses of iron work. She also told me to take my iron with orange juice, or a vitamin C tablet.


White Dove
on 2/24/16 1:04 am

You are getting good advice and good care.  Mega doses of iron work for me.  I would not drink orange juice but the vitamin C tablet helps absorption.

Real life begins where your comfort zone ends

on 2/24/16 4:58 am
RNY on 08/21/12

Good luck. Skip yhe orange juice. There isn't nearly enough vitamin C in it to help. You need 200mg of vitamin C for every 30 mg of elemental iron.

6'3" tall, male. Maintaining a loss of 280 pounds.

Highest weight was 475. Consult weight 04/12 was 411. RNY on 08/21/12 at 359 lbs. Current weight 195.

M1 -24; M2 -21; M3 -19; M4 -21; M5 -13; M6 -21; M7 -10; M8 -16; M9 -10; M10 -8; M11 -6; M12 -5.

on 2/24/16 6:04 am - MA
RNY on 07/20/15

Sorry that's happening to you... Low iron is a serious problem for me, too. I've tripled my intake and still find myself low. It results in being tired (no, exhausted), pale, and dizzy. If it's not significantly better at the next lab visit I'll have to start getting infusions :(

  • 4'11"
  • High Weight before LapBand: 200 (2008)
  • High Weight before RNY: 160 (2015)
  • Lowest post-op weight: 110 (2016)
  • Maintenance Weight: 120 (2017-2019)
  • CW: 130 and dropping... thank you Keto! (2020)

on 2/24/16 8:05 am

First thing I thought was iron + C.  Good that she said that. I would do the iron from a tablet and a C tablet in the morning. Are you taking iron carbonyl or ferrous sulfate. I read somewhere that after RNY carbonayl iron is absorbs better. Carbonyl iron is an organic salt. Ferrous sulfate is an inorganic salt.

Then, I would also make a green lemonade or smoothie for sometime during the day. Make it with spinach, apples, and lots of lemon. The lemon cuts the "green taste" taste and adds more C to help the iron absorb.


I struggle with anemia too but my problem is...I like to donate blood! 


Skinny scientist.



RNY Surgery: 12/31/2013; 

Current weight (2/27/2015) 139lbs, ~14% body fat

Three pounds below Goal!!! Yay !  

on 2/25/16 9:54 am - Sunny Southern, CA

Ask about infusions if you are told you need them. 2 treatments (2-30 minute bags, a week apart, no biggie) and my iron & ferritin levels have been excellent for well over a year again... double edged sword of malabsorptive procedure... despite faithfully taking oral iron. 

Hope the back surgery is a success and after you get your labs back in the black you will be dancing ;)



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