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  #21  
Old 01.10.2012, 11:39
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Re: Iron transfusion

Thanks for the suggestion, it's what I'm going to do. I stopped eating red meat as my son is always saying "why do we have to kill cow to eat them, would you like it if we were killing you to eat you" but .... I'm going to think twice about it as ... I need iron!
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  #22  
Old 01.10.2012, 11:53
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Re: Iron transfusion

Iron is in a lot of food, not only meat, so you still can have a good meal without having to eat too much meat. (even if I agree meat is full of Iron)

I'm doing a search about Iron in food, my problem being the opposite of yours, I've got too much iron... and need bleedings or a very very expensive drug...

If you're interested, I'll post later what I found about food and Iron
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  #23  
Old 01.10.2012, 13:07
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Re: Iron transfusion

Some other good sources of iron are quinoa, cinnamon, parsley and lentils.
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  #24  
Old 01.10.2012, 14:03
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Re: Iron transfusion

And always associate iron to vitamin C, they get absorbed better when taken together.

And be careful with tea, as it has the opposite effect and prevents good iron absorption.
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  #25  
Old 01.10.2012, 14:25
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Re: Iron transfusion

On the subject of iron, our 6yo son suffers from low iron and he does get red meat, quinoa and lentils quite regularly, any other tips to help his level improve? The vit C was a good one but he eats loads of tomatoes anyway.
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  #26  
Old 01.10.2012, 14:32
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Re: Iron transfusion

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I don't like needles. Stick with the Irish prescription instead.

Sadly just an urban myth. You would need about 40 pints to get your RDA.
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  #27  
Old 01.10.2012, 14:42
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Re: Iron transfusion

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On the subject of iron, our 6yo son suffers from low iron and he does get red meat, quinoa and lentils quite regularly, any other tips to help his level improve? The vit C was a good one but he eats loads of tomatoes anyway.
Both my kids suffered from low iron levels, and our pediatrician prescribed a course of Maltofer drops for 3 months. The number of drops depends on the child's weight, and its best taken with some orange juice or other vitamin C-rich food/drink.
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  #28  
Old 01.10.2012, 17:12
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Re: Iron transfusion

Someone I know also suffers from iron-deficiency, so we tried to get to the root of things.

I´d much appreciate if someone could confirm/refute the following findings:

We concluded that the biggest problem is not the amount of iron taken in, but the amount of iron the body absorbs.

The ideal level of iron* in the blood recommended in Switzerland is between 20/30 and 200 µg/litre of blood (depending on who you trust).

The recommended values vary largely by country!

Let´s say 100 µg/litre is OK, and you have 5 litres of blood. That would be an overall of 500 µg in the blood.

µ = micro = 0.000001

500 µg = 0,0005 g (is all the iron you need in the blood!)

Now the lady I know was prescribed with "gyno-Tardyferon". 1 pill contains 80mg of iron.

m = milli = 0.001

80 mg = 0.08g (is the amount of iron in 1 single pill)

If all the zeros are correct (?), this means that one(!) single pill has ~160 times the amount of iron that a healthy body needs in total.

If you take this amount on a daily basis, but the value in the blood remains low, it must mean that most of the iron isn´t taken up by the body but just passed through the digestive tract.

Googling "iron inhibitors" yields enough material to fill a day or two of reading.

So our current approach is: Keeping the iron intake at a constant level (one pill in the morning after getting up), but stopping to eat any kind of "iron inhibitors" for a few hours before/after taking the pill, plus taking the pill with Vitamine C (orange juice), a prominent iron-uptake accelerator.

Most prominent inhibitors include: All dairy products + caffeine and tea. There are many more, google this yourself!

We started this approach a week ago, so can´t comment on effectiveness yet.

About infusions:

Infusions bypass the digestive system, and thus force the iron into the bloodstream. While this might temporarily releave symptoms, this does not solve the underlying problem - the "normal" uptake through the digestive system is defective in one way or another. As such I wonder what the infusions are supposed to accomplish? In the best case scenario I would assume that everyone can "test" whether symptoms associated with iron deficiency are really due to iron deficiency, or have another root cause.
  1. If infusions make you feel better, iron deficiency most probably IS the cause of your symptoms.
  2. If infusions leave you indifferent, iron deficiency is most probably NOT the cause of your symptoms.


I´d be happy to hear if the calculations above are correct, and/or if there´s a logic twist in the conclusions!

* Sorry - and good that I posted. Only realising now (learning from a later post) that I totally messed up iron/ferritin, so I guess the numbers in this post are totally useless!

Rgds, Christian

Last edited by ChrisNeedsToKnow; 01.10.2012 at 18:40. Reason: corrected spelling mistakes
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  #29  
Old 01.10.2012, 18:03
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Re: Iron transfusion

I don't know about the numbers you mention, but I know for sure that there are different kinds of iron, and they are not all absorbed the same.

The iron found in vegetables is not well absorbed at all by the body. You need a tremendous amount of it to barely cover your daily needs, which explains why vegans may suffer from iron deficiency.

The iron from red meat is the most easily absorbed.

Many other foods can hinder iron absorption. Tea for instance tends to block iron absorption.

In my case, I don't stock iron well, even if I eat an iron-rich diet. This is who I need regular drips.
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  #30  
Old 01.10.2012, 18:26
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Re: Iron transfusion

We have approximately 3 g of iron in total in the body, 2 g in the blood and 1 g in the liver and spleen. Part of the iron is bound to a protein called ferritin, that is what is measured to know whether or not someone has iron deficiency (by the time your hemoglobin levels drop, your iron levels are catastrophically low). The norm I learned in class is 30-300 microg/l, symptoms of iron deficiency can actually start to appear below 50 microg/l. When iron supplementation is required, you have to build up your stock of iron, probably a good bit of the gram in your liver and spleen.
Iron absorption depends on the amount of iron already in the body, ie the more iron you have, the less you absorb.
Iron is absorbed only at the very beginning of the digestive tract, 25-30% of the iron from meat and other animal products gets through the intestinal cell whereas only about 1-7% of the iron from vegetables gets taken up.
10-30% of women suffer from iron deficiencies before menopause, due to regular bleeding and thus a high turnover of red blood cells.
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  #31  
Old 01.10.2012, 18:53
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Re: Iron transfusion

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Someone I know also suffers from iron-deficiency, so we tried to get to the root of things.

I´d much appreciate if someone could confirm/refute the following findings:

We concluded that the biggest problem is not the amount of iron taken in, but the amount of iron the body absorbs.

The ideal level of iron in the blood recommended in Switzerland is between 20/30 and 200 µg/litre of blood (depending on who you trust).

The recommended values vary largely by country!

Let´s say 100 µg/litre is OK, and you have 5 litres of blood. That would be an overall of 500 µg in the blood.

µ = micro = 0.000001

500 µg = 0,0005 g (is all the iron you need in the blood!)
...
Chris, I think those numbers are for just one source of iron in the blood (transferrin, perhaps?) As Kally said, the total amount of iron in the body is on the order of grams, so your number is a few orders of magnitude low. Transferrin moves iron around but it doesn't actually store much of the body's iron at any one time; most of it is in ferritin, hemoglobin, etc.

IIRC, the body loses approx. 1-2 mg of iron a day, normally, and most people would need to eat food containing on the order of 10 mg of iron to make that up. (Most of the iron in the food doesn't actually get absorbed.) So an 80 mg pill is more than you'd normally take in, and probably not healthy if you don't need it, but it's not an absurdly high amount.

(Disclaimer: I'm not a medical professional at all; I've just read on this subject due to hereditary hemochromatosis (iron overload disease) running in the family.)
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  #32  
Old 01.10.2012, 19:02
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Re: Iron transfusion

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...the total amount of iron in the body is on the order of grams...
Hi Mattasmack,

I found the problem in my thinking - I just "conveniently" made iron and ferritin into the same thing, which obviously doesn´t work.

So my numbers are totally useless!

Hoping that, in spite of idiotic numbers, the non-inhibition general idea is correct, and that it´s worth a try.

In any case, I guess not drinking milk, tea and coffee + not eating any dairy products before noon, and taking the pill around 8 with orange juice won´t do harm.

Regards,
Christian
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  #33  
Old 02.10.2012, 22:46
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Re: Iron transfusion

I also had low iron level and was recommended to have the transfusion. My sister-in-law who is a doctor discouraged me from doing it. She recommended to take your iron pills with juices in the morning as Vitamin C helps improve the absorption rate. True enough, my iron level shot up after few months.

But be careful - if you are also taking magnesium, make sure there is 3-hour lapse between the pills. Otherwise, the effect of iron will be counteracted by magnesium.
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  #34  
Old 02.10.2012, 22:56
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Re: Iron transfusion

That's a good point -- that iron requires Vitamin C for absorption. In hindsight, now, I find it strange that they didn't also give me Vitamin C in the hospital when they gave me the iron transfusion. But for that matter, they also forgot to give me a stool softener (which I was later told I should have been given).

I guess this is one more reason I will never 100% fully trust doctors and try to self-diagnose as much as possible -- in the sense that, if I feel something is wrong with me, I look online to see what it might be. Then I go to my doctor and make suggestions -- instead of letting them play a long, drawn-out guessing game.
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  #35  
Old 02.10.2012, 23:07
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Re: Iron transfusion

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In hindsight, now, I find it strange that they didn't also give me Vitamin C in the hospital when they gave me the iron transfusion.
From what I gather that's not strange: Vitamin C is good for the absorption of iron from the stomach into the bloodstream.

Infusions go directly into the bloodstream, hence no absorption needed.

This bypass is the whole point of infusions.

someone please correct me if I'm wrong!

rgds, Christian
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  #36  
Old 02.10.2012, 23:10
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Re: Iron transfusion

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From what I gather that's not strange: Vitamin C is good for the absorption of iron from the stomach into the bloodstream.

Infusions go directly into the bloodstream, hence no absorption needed.

This bypass is the whole point of infusions.

someone please correct me if I'm wrong!

rgds, Christian
Smarty pants.
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  #37  
Old 02.10.2012, 23:11
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Re: Iron transfusion

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What about having a really good piece of red meat? Like bison (very high in Iron) with some fresh tomatoes (for the vitamin C). Iron needs vitamin C to be absorbed.

Our doctor suggested this and within two days the iron levels were up.

Also, a piece of red meat once a week will keep your iron levels up.
Floradix is a liquid supplement herbal preparation, which is widely available here im health shops. Coop in the Bahnhof in Luzern stocks it at the best price we have found. We were recommended it in the UK by an independent midwife, and it made a noticeable difference to the iron levels, which were tested every couple of weeks.
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  #38  
Old 02.10.2012, 23:28
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Re: Iron transfusion

I once had my haemoglobin drop to 6 gm/dL, which is less than half of what it should be normally and therefore dangerous. The only way to fix it was to either have a blood transfusion or take iron drips - there wasn't time to wait for iron tablets to be absorbed into the blood stream via the stomach because the stomach can only absorb a very small amount of iron on an every day basis. Some people can be allergic to liquid iron but if you are not, as I was not, it can be very good. I had to take one every alternate day for 3 weeks to bring up my iron levels back to normal and I had no side effects from the procedure.
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  #39  
Old 03.10.2012, 00:45
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Re: Iron transfusion

I am not a doctor and this is only my point of view but before getting any iron transfusion I would investigate which is the reason why your body doesn't absorb the iron any more.

I am been diagnosed I from a very low iron level (I never had this problem before) last month so my doctor prescribed me iron drops for 2 months then I have to run the lab test again.
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  #40  
Old 03.10.2012, 08:08
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Re: Iron transfusion

I don't know if somebody already posted it, but a very good source of iron is black pudding (20-22 mg/100g) and liver (poultry and lamb 10-15 mg/100g)

(found it on a report written by a doctor on french website about haemochromatosis, which is the opposite of your problem.)


This is very annoying as I love black pudding..

As mentioned before, the absorption can be facilitated or reduced by what you eat at the same time (food or drink) and medications.
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