Is it safe to eat iron rich foods whilst being iron deficient due to venesections for PV?

My PV is controlled only by venesections. I am now suffering fatigue because the venesections have now got the hematocrit down to below .45 but I have become iron deficient. I know I can't take iron tablets as this would send my red cell count up again but wondered if it was safe to increase the natural iron in my diet.

7 Replies

  • Hi Aime, I had this conversation with my haematologist. I too only have venesections at the moment and he advised that I was purposely being made iron deficient. I asked about iron rich foods and he said I should not eat iron rich meats as in liver, black pudding etc. but iron rich vegetables like spinach is ok as the body processes these differently. Hope this helps. I have booked my train for London in November hope to see you there.


  • This was the same advice as I got from my Haematologist.

    What I was also told is that some people tolerate Iron Deficiency better than others.

    My Ferritin is about 3-5 generally but this is now not slowing the red cell production as it used to.

    The other thing is it is not the red cell count, but the number of healthy red cells vs. number of immature/abnormal cells.

  • Hi Judy, yes will definitely be there in November, looking forward to it.

  • hi aime, I sympathise with you but I have eliminated all sources of iron, plusvitamin c which aids the uptakeof iron. thiswas deliberate, and I am chronically iron deficient, ferritin of 7 and subject to fatigue which I manage. I don't wasn't to start meds- cant take hydroxso this is acompromise for me cheers jo-ann

  • I had PV controlled by venesection only for years and was never told to avoid red meat etc.As well as iron meat is a rich source of protein and generally the more protein you eat the healthier you are all other things being equal. Its not just about iron.

  • Hi Aime, I asked Prof Harrison for some advice, this is what she said: Generally our advice is to eat a healthy balanced diet trying not to eat an excess of iron rich foods. If there are major problems with iron deficiency then treatments other than venesection should be offered. I hope this helps, Maz.

  • Thank you Mazcd, good to get some reassurance. Regards Aime

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