Iron deficiency πŸ˜”

I've had a bad few weeks of not eating great because I have been so tired and turns out I have an iron deficiency! im a little confused now though on what to eat doctor has prescribed me with iron tablets for 4 months but said to try getting more red meat and greens in my diet. Isn't too much red meat bad for you though? 😳 I'm really struggling to work out what I should eat and think about it so much I just end up getting frustrated and eat bad stuff. Anybody else suffering from iron deficiency or know anything about it that can point me in the right direction?

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20 Replies

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  • Hi hdarcy

    I have the same problem almost every couple of months. As a one off meal you can eat liver & onions (if you can stomach it) or eat lots of dark green veg everyday eg broccoli. Meat, eggs etc are the more absorbable forms of iron but if you eat enough dark green veg you can still get those levels up. My GP also explained that it would really help to absorb the iron if I either take the iron rich foods along with vitamin c foods eg fruit or took a vit c tablet along with my broccoli in my dinner either way you need vit c to absorb iron and to avoid tea and coffee for at least an hour.

    Hope that helps- there's loads of info on NHS and other sites about iron tooπŸ˜ƒ

  • Thanks your reply really helps ☺️ I had no idea about vitamin C. I'll also check out the NHS site thank you so much 😊

  • You're very welcome- if you can ,do try and avoid the iron tablets they have rather unpleasant blocking capabilities (if you know what I mean?!)πŸ˜ƒ

  • I'll certainly keep that in mind I would rather build my iron up in a natural way then relying on medication too ☺️

  • At the risk of getting technical, there are two kinds of iron, haem iron and non-haem iron. Haem iron comes from meat and offal, non-haem iron comes from vegetables. Haem iron is more easily absorbed which is why you need to take vitamin C when you eat iron-rich vegetables.

    Red meat should be fine as long as you go for lean cuts. Liver is good if you like it. Another option that used to be recommended for pregnant women and vegetarians is Guinness. I'm not sure how much you need to drink to get your RDA, though.

    I assume that your doctor is investigating why your iron levels are so low.

  • Thank you so much for your reply. My iron levels are just being monitored he said when women get to late 20's it just happens. I don't mind liver so think I'll try making this one of my regular meals each week thanks ☺️

  • Hi I was on the verge of anemia once and got very tired and shaky. I don't eat meat but the doctor did advise eating a lot more greens. Lots of food has iron in it so concentrate on eating more of it.

  • Hi. I too suffer with low iron. Iron tablets can be really harsh so make sure you have lots of water and fibre to keep things moving! Now my levels are up I take a weekly ferrous sulphate and try and go for iron rich foods. You can try lean red meat - steak mince is good and ostrich steaks are amazingly lean (and cheap). Eggs, green veg, some cereal, etc are good and yes, make sure you increase your vitamin C as well otherwise the iron won't absorb. You will probably find now you know what it is you will be more aware of the symptoms so hopefully it won't get so low again. Try the NHS website for ideas of food to eat and Patrick Holford's book - Optimum Nutrition Bible has a good section on it. Good luck and hope you feel better soon. You will be amazed what a difference it makes when your levels come up.

  • Hello thank you so much for your help I will certainly look at the book you have mentioned thanks 😊

  • If you take your iron tablets with orange juice rather than water this will aid the absorption and help to lessen the constipation that can happen. It takes a few months to bring your iron levels back up so taking the tablets will give you a 'boost' as food sources can be a slower process, but good for long term. You can also buy a liquid supplement which works really well called Floradix, which is kinder to your system. There is another liquid one in sachet form but the name escapes me - perhaps someone else can remember? The advice to eat red meat and dark green leafy vegetables is the best strategy for long term, so, liver and onions and steak and kidney with lots of curly kale and broccoli and Marmite and Bovril drinks will help. HTH best wishes EJ

  • Thank you so much for you reply this was very helpful 😊

  • You are very welcome. I remembered that the other supplement I forgot the name of was Spa Tone. Both available from chemists. Used to recommend these to pregnant mums whose iron levels were low. Also to those following delivery who have had a large blood loss. However, the iron tablets taken with orange juice should be fine if funds are low. Presumably your GP is checking that you don't have pernicious anaemia as this will require injections and not tablets. EJ

  • Yeah I've had some blood tests done and been given some tablets called ferrous fumarate for 4 months. Just had my 2nd lot of blood tests done Friday so fingers crossed my iron levels have gone up 🀞🏻Thanks for your help 😊

  • Fingers and toes crossed -:) EJ

  • Just in case you experience this - though iron tablets are famous for slowing things up in the bowel department, they can occasionally have the opposite effect! This caught me by surprise ! Depending how low your count is you may need to take the medication to bring it up into the correct range, but after that hopefully you can keep it there with what you eat. You are going to feel so much better when your levels start to come up πŸ˜€

  • Thankfully I've not had any of these symptoms yet I'm hoping it stays that way! I'm going to try bringing my levels up through my diet also so I can come off the tablets asap.

  • I suffer on and off with low iron too. i get mine up and maintain with spatone. its a gentle iron water (boot s and holland and baretts sell it) its iron content is very low, but i have not took an iron tablet for 5 years and i always get it up this way and so do a couple of my friends. Apparently iron from iron tablets aren't absorbed very well, while this is. i don't eat much red meat, but take liver with lemon juice every couple of weeks and a spinach, orange and ginger smoothie everyday. it doesn't make you constipated, feel sick or stomach hurt, but some people i have told about it don't like the iron taste!

  • Thank you so much I have not heard of this but will look into it. I've had a much more positive week eating spinach with every meal and plenty of veg and vitamin c to absorb the iron and I even lost 1pound 😊 small victory but I'm happy with that thanks everyone for the encouragement 😘

  • Hi hdarcy, well done on the pound. That's a victory for sure. I just finishing my second week. Had a bad hunger day yesterday. Wanted pizza but I got through with brown rice and chickenπŸ˜€! Lol not the same but I though! I think I having too little calories at 1400 because I never sit down and feel very very hungry and the weight is coming off ! It's all a learning curve and tweaks!

    I find spatone works for me. I buy it on either 3 for 2 at boots or Holland and Barrett's buy one get one half price. I think most green veg contains some iron. Veg iron isn't absorbed as well as meat iron, but if your on it everyday then little by little to builds up!

  • Yeah I've read vitamin c helps the body absorb the iron from veg so it's just trying to get my food combinations right without having to eat loads of meat. Just ordered some spatone the reviews are amazing on it thanks for recommending πŸ‘πŸ» Well done on resisting pizza that's my fave food so I know how hard it is to avoid.

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