Anaemia: Happy New Year to you all! I'm... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Darsmum100 profile image

Happy New Year to you all!

I'm wondering if anybody out there takes an iron supplement for iron deficiency anaemia? I have cirrhosis and have been diagnosed with anaemia. My GP has just prescribed 2 x 250 mg daily. At what level does iron become toxic for the liver? I'd be grateful to hear from anyone with experience of anaemia/iron supplements.

Many thanks, and stay well lovely people.

12 Replies

My hubby was prescribed ferous sulphate for some time by liver transplant doctor when he was anaemic though they also sent him for a colonoscopy to check for possible bleeds or reason for him being anaemic. They need to repeat blood tests to check that your levels so you can stop the supplements as soon as your iron level has normalised.


Darsmum100 profile image
Darsmum100 in reply to AyrshireK

Thanks for that Katie. I'm going to have a blood test next week and won't take any iron until I've had the results. I hate even having to take pain relief because of the potential harm it can do to my liver. So, caution always!

There is a need for caution here. without me wishing to sound alarmist.

It really does depend upon the state of the persons liver. For some people, there can be more iron in a damaged liver than in a healthy one, and in others too little iron can be dangerous too. Is this your GP who is advising this or are you being advised by a Herpetologist? Either way your doctor should be referring you to a Herpetologist, or Gastroenteritis for further tests.

Darsmum100 profile image
Darsmum100 in reply to

Hi Richard - thank you for your prompt reply. My GP (new, unknown to me until the other day) prescribed the iron. To say I have little confidence in most of the GPs I see these days is an understatement. I don't have much more confidence in my gastroenterologist (WHEN I can get hold of him). I'm having a blood test next week (presumably the surgery will give me a copy on request?) and will take it from there. However, the fact remains that I still have untreated anaemia!

I was diagnosed with anaemia in march last year and was prescribed iron sulphide which I took up until I had to have a colonoscopy and had to stop taking them a week prior to the procedure and never took them again as like you I was worried that it would be harmful to my liver. However I took advice and resumed taking them 2 weeks ago and although they upset my stomach I feel much better. If you're not sure speak to a pharmacist or your gp. Are you under an hepatologist?

That's encouraging, Gran. Good to know the iron supplement has improved your health. As I said to Richard above, I'm going to have a blood test before I start on the iron. Many thanks Gran.

Unless you know that your GP is fully in the loop re. your cirrhosis diagnosis I would double check with your consultant first. Perhaps call their secretary and ask if it's OK. They should pass your question on to your specialist.


Darsmum100 profile image
Darsmum100 in reply to Garyvh

Thanks Garyvh. I will try and get my gastro man's advice, but blood and stone come to mind where he's concerned! Otherwise I'll be guided by the results of my blood test (there goes another armful!)

Sadly It's becoming increasing hard to get the right answers these days. It's therefore little wonder that more and more people are turning to Dr Google, which can be so dangerous and rather frightening. Better access to treatment and better information should be the order of the day (this is my own opinion).

Luv2liv profile image
Luv2liv in reply to

I completely agree and thank you for the insight. I’m guilty of turning to Dr Google even at 3 -4 am in between bathroom trips. It’s caused my anxiety to grow to the extent that I’m dictating to my Doctors what treatments to provide for me and that I’m facing doom’s day... and don’t grow bankrupt from buying all the herbs you read about. I’ve spent $1,000 for herbal remedies still unopened because they’ve confused me more. The only one I now trust from what everyone including my psych and hepatologist say are MILK Thistel with Dandelion root. Meantime, I realize a rocky road journey that will take somewhere someday. Good luck and prayers to all. let’s hang in here. Luv2liv

in reply to Luv2liv

Defiantly no to herbal remedies, including milk thistle as there is no medical evidence to support any medical benefits. You liver is there to detox the blood, it's quite capable of doing it's job. The liver doesn't need detoxing as it's doing it's job. By adding more chemicals to the mix in the way of herbal toxins can end up doing more harm than good. I have previously post a comment on this subject before and this has been well, debated in the past:

Please also have a read of the British Liver Trust's standing on this subject:

I too had a gastro guy who basically explained nothing and did noting.I spoke to my GP and he too thought why are my liver tests all ok but I ad been told I had severe fibrosis. Long term use of Methotrexate for severe psoriasis. Before contacting my GP I did do a Google search, but not to get any information, but to find a specialised liver centre in the North West. I saw Royal Liverpool had a dedicated Liver Centre and know under chose and book we can tell our GP which hospital we wished to go to. I wanted an opinion from a liver specialist, I had previously had 2 fibroscans so knew a second opinion would clarify things. I had no clue fibrosis was serious, until I tried to get holiday insurance! From my Gp writing it took just 7 weeks. Before I saw the consultant I had weight,height etc done. Next I had a fibroscan, all in the same place on the day. Then I saw the consultant. I have no idea what my GP wrote but I saw the head honcho, A Professor. What a difference - I got the fibroscan results first. Not great, I now have cirrhosis. however I felt for the first time I was seeing someone who would inform me and support me. I had been told to lose some weight, I ad but over 2 years 2 stone. This man explained that even though I ave cirrhosis I can still help my liver. He actually specified I needed to follow a low carb diet. He explained that as well as losing weight this way of eating actually burns fat from the liver as well. I spent a week preparing to start this diet, removing everything that had carbs in! There is a lot of Drs on the internet who explain this way of eating, animal fats real butter etc are not the enemy! Carbs are. In just 3 weeks I lost 14lb. I wont get weighed again until my appt on 23/1. He told me that if I can do this he would expect to still see me around in 20 years time! I have virtually every green vegetable in my freezer, Lots of fish,meats, seafood ,eggs and cheese too. I have not felt hungry and my addiction to sweet stuff has gone!. Having the right consultant makes a massive difference. I now feel well informed and also able to help my body. Members on here seem to be from all over the UK, so if you mention where you live,Im sure someone will recc. a good place . i'm allergic to iron, I can't take any meds containing iron, I discovered this when I was pregnant. The multivitamins given to all mums to be then had iron in. ! My first baby and I was convinced I was in premature labour! Companies make billions from the sick. Pushing herbs,vitamins and potions. Save your money, Only take what your liver specialist approves. of course you will get advise pertinent to your own liver problems, but it has made a massive difference to me, having a consultant who is is well informed and has shared it with me. Hazelx

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