Why am I continually anaemic/borderline anaemic?

I eat meat, wholegrains and green leafy veg, I cook in an iron pan and I don't have heavy periods. What could be wrong? (I'm not skinny, so some of it must be getting through. :-) )

I thought I'd have to take nutritional supplements temporarily to boost levels of various nutrients, but when I stop everything drops like a stone.

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  • What kind of iron do you take and at what dosage? Do you know for certain that your iron gets up to a really healthy level before cutting down on your iron supplement? Or do you cut down when you start to feel better, but don't actually get tested?

  • I was on two sachets of Spatone for a couple of years and if I'm honest I don't know if I was tested when I was well so not sure how the actual levels fluctuated. I will go back and look at test results.

    I only stopped supplementing because gp agreed to test me for b12, d, ferritin and folate and I didn't want false high readings. But I took that to mean my levels fell off a cliff as soon as I stopped supplementing.

    Based on how I felt, after I started taking a little t3 a year ago, I was so well that I thought everything (folate, ferritin, b12, d) must all be in order. I started running again and my strength and stamina improved to where I would say I was at 90% of where I was six years ago just before Hashi's dx.

    Now I feel as bad if not worse than when I was dx.

  • The actual elemental iron content of Spatone is 5mg per sachet.

    When I got iron supplements prescribed by my GP I was prescribed ferrous fumarate 210mg, three times per day. The elemental iron content of a single pill of that type is 69mg of iron. Multiply that by 3 to get the 210mg figure (approximately) of elemental iron per day. So it really puts the Spatone into the shade.

    I'm not necessarily suggesting that you take ferrous fumarate, although you can buy them in boxes of 84 (enough for three a day for 28 days) from some pharmacists for less than a fiver. (I buy them from Lloyds).

    But there are several different ways of taking supplemental iron that you could try. Perhaps you have just never taken enough to fully replace your levels? For more advice about the kinds of supplement that the NHS supply, if you are in the UK you can read this page :

    evidence.nhs.uk/formulary/b...

    One I've read about but never tried is Proferrin - very expensive and must be imported from the US. But apparently it works very, very quickly indeed, unlike most forms of iron supplement.

    Whatever form of supplement you try, you should take with plenty of vitamin C - it apparently helps with absorption of the iron. I take 1g (1000mg) of vitamin C with each iron pill.

  • Because I'm within range (19) I doubt very much if they'd do anything for me. I bought Solgar Gentle Iron yesterday and am taking two a day. I find iron supplements really hard on my stomach so I'm going to see how I find these (so far so good). Like you I'm taking 1000mg vit c with each iron cap.

    I guess my concern is why this keeps happening. I should be taking enough iron already but why the constant supplementing?

  • I had to beg to get a couple of months worth of iron pills on prescription. When I discovered I could buy prescription-strength iron pills quite cheaply I stopped begging and bought my own. I didn't consider a ferritin level of 22 to be enough, no matter what my doctor said. I've got absolutely fed up of begging to be helped and I treat everything I possibly can by myself now. I only have one life to live - and I'm not waiting for my doctor's permission to live it any more.

  • I would try to avoid wheat or gluten. In my opinion it affects absorption of Iron. I was always anaemic until I was diagnosed wheat intolerant. Then I became hypo several years later and am now on gluten free to reduce the TPO antibodies which were diagnosed 4 months ago after I had been very unwell.

  • Yes, fair enough. I was gf for a year, then I didn't feel any better so when we went away on a long camping holiday (it was going to be hard for me to maintain gf diet) I stopped. I did feel v well when I then went on t3, but perhaps that was the residual clean gut/good absorption from the year of being gf.

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