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Thread: Test results...hemoglobin/iron levels

  1. #1
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    Default Test results...hemoglobin/iron levels

    When I was in the hospital in May I didn't take my iron supplement (floradix liquid) and my numbers went from:

    5/13 (day I was admitted)
    Hemoglobin (11.8-16.0) 13.6
    Hematocrit (35-48%) 38.2%
    RBC (3.7-5.3) 4.21

    5/14
    Hemoglobin 12.7
    Hematocrit 35.4%
    RBC 3.94

    5/15
    Hemoglobin 11.2
    Hematocrit 31.5%
    RBC 3.43

    5/16 (discharged)
    No test results...not sure why


    When I got home I started the Floradix iron again, but I ran out and started taking my PNV (30mg iron) and a children's vitamin (18mg iron) every day. I do tend to get mildly anemic during pg when taking Nexium (can decrease the body's ability to absorb non-heme iron through diet and supps). Anyway, I got my CBC done Monday (different lab so the range is different) and my levels were:

    6/23
    Hemoglobin (12.0-16.0) 12.1
    Hematocrit (36.0-48.0%) 35.5
    RBC (3.90-5.00) 3.81

    Oh...ha, and I have my numbers from my first OB appt also when I was 10wks pg (same lab as above so same ranges):

    4/21
    Hemoglobin 13.5
    Hematocrit 37.8
    RBC 4.18


    So my hemoglobin is on the low end of normal and my hematocrit and RBC are low despite taking 48mg/d of iron via supps. According to MFP I only averaged 54% of RDA for iron through diet last week (which is about 9.5mg...it doesn't calculate for pg...I'm only getting about 35% of RDA of iron for pg) so I'll add in more naturally high-iron foods also. I don't eat gluten or processed food on a regular basis so my grains aren't "iron fortified"...not sure how that's any different than taking a supplement anyway. This info was sent to my pulmonologist and not my OB so I'm wondering if I should give my OB a call to see if this is fine or if I should take a different supplement (maybe go back to the floradix...it's just so expensive, lol, and isn't all the great in the flavor dept either ).

    Anyone else on the lowish end for hemoglobin/hematocrit/RBC? What supplements do you take? Do you feel like you get a lot of dietary iron...what high iron foods do you eat?
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






  2. #2

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    I knew nexium is an issue with iron. I saw that one time when my dh had to take some to help cure gastritis. My mom battles with iron issues. She is on a liquid supplement but has found that cooking with cast iron regularly like every day or every other day helps too. Let me ask what she else takes. Its typically bad on her period. She will have low readings and shortness of breath.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Brenda! That was one of the reasons my pulmonologist ran the CBC, because anemia can cause shortness of breath/worsen asthma symptoms so that's interesting about your mom (eesh, my heart sure goes out to her !!)

    Oh, haha and the lab tech ended up doing a beta that was in the system from forever ago...obviously it was totally unneeded, but my hcg is 51,015, so it's safe to say I'm definitely pg .
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






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    So I decided to go ahead and have breakfast cereal (we have toasted rice which has 50% RDA of iron/serving) w/ plain nonfat greek yogurt and strawberries for a mid-morning snack. Then I had 20oz of gatorade about an hour later (still focusing on hydrating)...oh my word, carb overload I think ! My heart is pounding so hard my chest hurts, my ears are ringing, and I'm getting a headache, blah! The cereal does have "BHT added to packaging" and I intentionally avoid that so maybe it's the chemicals too?

    I'm definitely not having anymore gatorade and I think I'll just try to get more iron via meat, dried fruit, and green leafy veggies instead of the fortified cereals. I feel so lazy, lol, hate having to put more thought into what I eat...wish I could just consume the same things every day with very little variation, but that's probably not the healthiest option .
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






  5. #5
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    I have no clue about iron levels. Just want to offer hugs. For hydrating regular water should be fine. Or mineral water without bubbles. Also, adding a bit more salt to your food (but not too much) will help your body to keep water longer and hydrate you better. Fortified cereals are actually a pile of nonsense. Iron rich food (spinach, amaranth, and others) and go easy on dairy as in some cases it acts as an absorbent of iron in the body.
    Miss T (10.17.2008) Miss A(06.30.2012) Flipper #3 due 06.2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyowens View Post
    hate having to put more thought into what I eat...wish I could just consume the same things every day with very little variation, but that's probably not the healthiest option .
    You and me BOTH!!

    Dr. Roizen, you may recall he partnered with Dr. Oz on several books (and appeared with him on Oprah in his early days of discovery), actually is a supporter of automating what you eat.
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeksy View Post
    I have no clue about iron levels. Just want to offer hugs. For hydrating regular water should be fine. Or mineral water without bubbles. Also, adding a bit more salt to your food (but not too much) will help your body to keep water longer and hydrate you better. Fortified cereals are actually a pile of nonsense. Iron rich food (spinach, amaranth, and others) and go easy on dairy as in some cases it acts as an absorbent of iron in the body.
    Oh I whole-heartedly agree, plain water is definitely best! I rarely add sports drink powders or anything to it...only when I know I've fallen off the hydration wagon since my potassium levels tend to bottom out (they're always low...no idea why ). I usually do one 20oz/d for 3d in addition to my 80oz of plain water/d, that usually makes a big difference for me and I'm able to go back to just my 60-80oz of plain water again .

    I'm not a fan of breakfast cereals so it definitely won't break my heart to not eat them ! I need to look up spinach recipes...I have put it in my smoothies in the past, but heard it should be cooked to reap the full benefits. I don't love cooked spinach, but I can choke just about anything down if it's good for me . Oh hey, I just realized I have a jar of "Dr. Schulze's Superfood" green drink in my pantry...it has 11% RDA of iron/serving. I stopped taking it when I had m/s and forgot all about it, going to start taking it again, woot !

    I don't consume a lot of dairy (lactose intolerant)...just my 3ish servings/d in the form of plain greek yogurt, lact-aid, and occasionally string cheese. I love dairy, lol, it just doesn't love me .

    I also get a considerable amount of dietary vitC which I know is supposed to help with iron absorption.

    Quote Originally Posted by khadijavye View Post
    You and me BOTH!!

    Dr. Roizen, you may recall he partnered with Dr. Oz on several books (and appeared with him on Oprah in his early days of discovery), actually is a supporter of automating what you eat.
    Really?!? I'm going to have to look into his perspective on it...I am such a creature of habit and really really like eating basically the same things every day, for the most part, I do (the only thing I changed about my mid-morning snack was the cereal...usually I add plain oats). Even with MFP I input my food the day before and then tweak it the day of if I vary...I like knowing what to expect and being able to plan for it (it's easier on the budget too) .
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






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    I'm waiting for the OB nurse to call me back . The receptionist sent a note back for me asking the nurse to please review my CBC results the pulmonologist had done and let me know about my Hg/hematocrit/RBC levels. I also asked about beef liver...if it's safe for pg. I've heard it should be avoided because it's too high in vit A and I've heard that it's safe in moderate amounts...just want a clear answer since it's also really high in iron. I wonder also if the vit A concern is just for the 1st tri since all features and organs are completely formed by the 2nd tri so I'm not sure what "birth defects" it could cause after that point .

    I was reading that clams are high in heme iron and safe during pg...did not know that and I do like clams so, yaay ! Tofu is also high in iron (as well as protein and calcium) I guess, since it's essentially tasteless and safe during pg I'm going to add that to my diet once or twice per week. And I forgot all about molasses...I love molasses (lol, especially molasses cookies ...going to have to have dd make me some GF ones this weekend) .

    Anyway, I'm making a grocery list and just thinking out loud .
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






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    What about chicken liver instead?

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    Varya, I think it's any kind of liver that is high in Vit A, but I'm really not sure . I only asked about beef liver because I can't stand the thought of eating chicken liver, lol, I have pulled too many chicken/turkey gibblets/liver that come in the little bags inside store bought poultry that it turns my stomach now...just something about pulling it out of the butt of the bird I can't handle . It has ruined me for life !
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






  11. #11
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    Lol that's how I feel about liver and kidneys!!!

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    Hey kelly! My kids most likely have iron resistant anemia, so without constant work and iron rich diets they get quite anemic quite fast, a few things we eat and drink a lot of, black strap molasses cookies, stinging nettle tea or even iced tea (very high in iron ) although im unsure of safety in use during pregnancy... as well as nettle soup and today i bought nettle garlic goats cheese! Dried fruit nut mixes, We make this chicken liver in mushroom sauce on english muffins, creamed spinach with a couple eggs wisked in as a side dish, stragetelli soup, liverwurst or brainschweiger on bread, spinach in our strawberry smoothies, tofu honey pineapple strawberry with a dash of vanilla smoothies and Also im making sure when we eat our protien there is always something rich in vit c paired to help absorbtion.


    Ali (28) dh (28)love since 2006 8 angels who left us too soon

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    Wow, Ali, thank you!! Those are fantastic suggestions !
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






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    The nurse just called back and said yes, I can eat all the beef liver I want and she definitely recommends dietary measures to get my hemoglobin and hematocrit up because it is lower than they'd like to see it at this point (there's a natural dip in the 3rd tri for most women so if it's low now it will be much lower then if I don't change anything).

    I had grass fed, organic, lean ground beef with quinoa and baby carrots in beef broth last night and I'm eating tofu "meat"balls with pasta sauce and spaghetti squash for dinner tonight. Clam chowder, lentil stew, and grass fed organic top sirloin strip steak are on my dinner menu for this week also . I need to locate a good source of beef liver...Kroger had chicken liver but it wasn't organic and that's just my personal preference, especially with organ meats (haha and I already shared my poultry liver aversion )...going to try Meijer today .

    I'm going to incorporate more high-iron snack foods too so I'm getting a slow and steady intake throughout my day.

    I hesitate to add green leafy veggies more than once or twice per week because of their vitK content. I'm on LD aspirin specifically to reduce clotting/thin blood so I feel like vitK would be counterproductive. Any thoughts on that? I eat a lot of other veggies (3-4+ serv/d) so I don't feel it's really necessary, especially since I can get my iron from other sources.
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






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    Yaaay, my tofu "meat"balls turned out spectacularly !! LOL, I am not a cook, at all, so I'm pretty excited when things turn out...even several of my kids came into the kitchen asking: "Wow, why are you cooking?" . I really didn't expect them to taste all that great, but they are very very good !
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






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