Author Topic: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet  (Read 58678 times)

Offline StephTallent

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Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« on: March 19, 2006, 03:46:20 PM »
A lady e-mailed me recently and had this question/concern so I am posting this for her.  Any insight would be appreciated!  :)

" I  have low iron and my Dr. is very concerned and wants me to take iron tab i have in the past of course and suffer constipation do you recommend spirulina or the multivitamin spirulina in my instance and do you think it will really help my iron ?? and what about
constipation?"

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Offline newsong

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2006, 08:32:16 AM »
The reason iron supplements tend to be so constipating is because they are synthetic. In other words, not from a natural food source. I was extremely anemic during my last pregnancy,even though I was taking an iron supplement already, and was told my iron count was so low I should have had a blood transfusion. They told me to take 70 mg of iron every day! I immediately went to the local natural health store and asked about the best blood builders they had. There are various herbs that help with this. He recommended a "Whole food" iron supplement. The brand I have used is called Megafoods brand Blood Buider. The salesman (who is a nutritionist and I believe owner of this store), told me to take only 27mg per day, because it is whole food, much more easily assimilated. So I did this for the last 6 weeks of the pregnancy. The most amazing thing is that the constipation I sometimes had previously was actually reversed, and my Iron count shot up. In just 6 weeks or so, I was out of the danger zone, and the midwives never mentioned the problem again!

I have not taken any spirulina supplements yet, but will soon be starting the supermom tabs. However, Since it is a whole food, I can't imagine it was cause constipation. Stay away from all synthetic vitamins and minerals. They are not well assimilated compared to the natural forms, as I've learned by experience. And to close, I must end with something my husband wants me to tell people..."I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on tv"! Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2006, 08:37:32 AM by newsong »

Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2006, 12:03:44 PM »
Thanks for the great answer, Newsong!

I'd also like to add my 2 cents... Constipation isn't just an aribitrary symptom. In my opinion, it is a red flag that something inside of you is not working properly and needs to be restarted/cleansed/healed, etc.

The Master Cleanse (that I just finished  yesterday!) is supposed to do wonders for constipation, by completely cleaning you out - especially your liver and gallbladder - and by restarting your system.

After 10 days of the Master Cleanse/Lemonade Diet, I did the Liver Flush, which resulted in total clean -out of my liver. I lost over 1 1/2 cups of stones from my liver and gallbladder!!! I feel like I lost an organ, I have so much extra room in my abdomen! I also lost 10 pounds.

I highly recommend trying the Master Cleanse if you have regular problems with any or the following:

Indigestion
Constipation
Abdomen Pains
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Chronic Gas
Blood Sugar Lows or Highs
Headaches

There is a Master Cleanse thread on this forum with some links to the routine. I'll write more about my personal experience there.


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Offline GraceFaith76

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2007, 02:24:13 PM »
I have heard and used liquid Chlorophyll (from alfalfa) for a blood builder, but I have just heard of Chlorella (green algae-which is high in chlorophyll).  Does anyone know if they are both effective for anemia or if one is better then the other? ???  And then there is Spirulina...do they all do the trick?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2007, 06:12:42 PM by gracefaith76 »

Offline GraceFaith76

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2007, 06:08:15 PM »
bump...

Offline StephTallent

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2007, 07:11:42 PM »
I have heard great things for all of them in their ability to rebuild blood supply and to help with Anemia. 

Personally for Anemia specifically I have used Spirulina with great success and spoken with many others who have as well. 

Hopefully someone else will post who knows more about what the exact differences between them are in how they work. :)
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Offline BJ_BOBBI_JO

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2007, 07:18:33 PM »
I have been using liquid Chlorophyll for anemia and it has worked for me.

 Also my eyes look less yellow when the anemia starts going away and they look brighter when I take liquid Chlorophyll.

Offline GraceFaith76

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2007, 02:45:42 AM »
Thank you for you replies.  I have always had problems with anemia then with the birth of my first child I lost a lost of blood, but did not know of anything natural at the time and never saw a doctor about it.  I was so weak for a month that I had to hold onto walls to walk.  I had a miscarrage early this year and fainted 4 or 5 times during it until I sent my husband to the store for some liquid Chlorophyll - I drank the whole bottle and was fine within a half an hour.  Now it is getting to be time for #3 to be born (April) and I am just looking into what is best thing to be taking (plus my midwife said that I am anemic already).

I love this website! 

Offline GraceFaith76

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2007, 04:49:28 PM »
Just an update.  I have been doing some web searching and found a good website on Chlorella and Spirulina - ChlorellaFactor.com - they have a free 39 page book going over the two superfoods.  In the material that I have read so far both Chlorella and Spirulina are great for anemia.  And as far as I understand the Chlorophyll from alfalfa is great also, but you get more chlorophyll from green algae (Chlorella) per gram.

So I plan on using my Chlorophyll (from alfalfa) when I need fast relieve (from being dizzy and weak) and sticking to using a mixture of Chlorella and Spirulina on just a normal basis.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 03:39:11 PM by GraceFaith76 »

Offline joeswife

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2007, 06:25:04 PM »
I took liquid chlorophyll the last month of my most recent pregnancy (per my midwifes instructions). It it the ticket for me. I can tell a big difference. I have also heard of people taking alfalfa tablets.

my two cents.

Offline Helen

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2007, 07:27:46 AM »
Hi Ladies
I was wondering if anybody else on here has a chronic problem with anemia? I am starting to wonder if my miscarriages are being caused by this. I have always been anemic, even while pregnant with my son, I was given perscription iron, which I hated because of all the bad side affects, I am taking chlorypill  from natures sunshine right now, about mid day my voice starts to sound reedy and tired, and my eyes always look tired, I get tons of sleep but still just going up a short flight of stairs leaves me completly breathless, around evening I am completly fagged out, and never get to watch a movie with hubby because I just instantly fall asleep, and its not like I am so busy and wore out either, i only have one son , no stress, basically a very happy relaxed exsistence.....       

Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2007, 08:53:05 AM »
I've been anemic my whole life.  I don't eat red meat.  I drink whole milk and take an iron supplement (Supermom).  I also put spinach on EVERYTHING!  I think that when I drink whole milk/yoghurt the fat helps me absorb more minerals.  The spirulina in the Supermom helps, too, I think, and other trace minerals that I get from the kelp I take from BulkHerbStore.

I think that the soil today has been depleted of lots of minerals we need and our fruits/veggies aren't as nutrient dense as they could be, so supplementing minerals seems to help.  Of course there's nothing scientific here, I'm just basing it on the dark black circles under my eyes being less severe and having more energy. 
« Last Edit: June 10, 2007, 02:28:36 PM by ShabbyChic »
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Offline cjanderin

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2007, 09:42:24 AM »
I was prescribed a really strong iron supplement when I was pregnant with #1 but the side-effects put me off so I took another more natural supplement instead.  It didn't work - my iron stores were so low that I really needed a huge boost to get them up.  I'm now on pregnancy #4 and it's taken this long PLUS having the supplement for six months after #3 was born to get my iron levels up to just above acceptable!  I'm going to stay taking the supplement for another few months and then hopefully I can start again with other ways to keep my iron high instead of trying to start on the backfoot.
Make sure you always have your iron supplement with vitamin C as well because it helps it absorb and without any calcium because that hinders absorbtion.  I've noticed a big difference in how my iron levels have risen since I stopped taking my iron tablet at breakfast (when I have milk) and when I make sure I have a Vit C. tablet or a drink of orange juice etc AT THE SAME TIME instead of just assuming that my Vit.C levels are adequate therefore it should all balance out.
The constipation side-effects are horrible but you just have to work out what extra fibre your body needs to deal with it.  For me, if I ate a couple of prunes and a kiwifruit drink EVERY time I took the iron tablet then things would be ok.  If I forgot then I really regretted it!
If things are really bad then take the iron every second day.

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Offline hodgy

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2007, 09:43:13 AM »
I have found the only thing that helps me is a prenatal vitamin with 28 mg of iron daily.  I too try to eat iron rich food, have taken herbal remedies specifically for low iron etc.  But I don't know if my body just doesn't absorb or assimilate the nutrients correctly when it has to do the work.  Therefore I stick with the prenatal vitamin, and can tell the difference in only a couple of days if I miss.

Offline kentuckymommy

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2007, 11:14:38 AM »
With my third baby my midwife prescribed Floradux....spelling? It is readily available and was awesome for my hemoglobin count. It helped my sister-in-law as well. It is an awsome liquid iron supplement. I also really like Shonda Parker's formula, Tri-Iron. I take that through my entire pregnancy and add the Floradu the last few weeks . Neither of these seperate nor combined have caused me to get constipated. Also, my midwife had me take these with OJ to help in assimilation. Hope that helps!
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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2007, 11:42:28 AM »
With my third baby my midwife prescribed Floradux....spelling? It is readily available and was awesome for my hemoglobin count. It helped my sister-in-law as well. It is an awsome liquid iron supplement.
I think the stuff you're referring to is Floradix?  If so (big amber bottle of liquid), our midwife recommends it, too, and says it's what the Mennonite women and women in Canada use for iron supplementation.  It's at our local health food store.

I'm sure you know that anemia can be a symptom of other things...are you exploring that?

Offline hodgy

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2007, 12:27:47 PM »
I'm sure you know that anemia can be a symptom of other things...are you exploring that?
[/quote]

I was just wondering if you could maybe elaborate a little on this.  I hemorrhaged 7 yrs ago with birth of dd and seems as though now my liver will not store iron anymore.  I don't know all the inner workings here, but that is just the way it feels.  No matter what I eat or supplement, I have to be very consistant or the levels drop quickly---like 2 or 3 days.  Thanks

Offline floydian

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2007, 02:10:23 PM »
Many on here have suggested dandelion.  Also cooking with a cast iron skillet.
I got mine up this last pregnancy by taking chlorophyll, but you said you are already using that.  I was also taking supermoms.

I tried a liquid iron that is supposed to be great for anemia.  It was expensive.  It didn't work for me, but the guy in the health food store said his wife swore by it.

I think different things work for different individuals.  Where the liquid iron might not work for me, it might for you.

B12 is also supposed to helpful in fighting anemia. 
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Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2007, 02:36:39 PM »
Oh yeah... duh... ::)  How could I forget blackstrap molasses?! 

My MIL prescribed this for my nephew to relieve the black circles under his eyes and fatigue that the doctor said was caused by anemia.  The iron supplement was too harsh for his little belly (he got severly backed up).  And he complained about the taste, but it helped a lot.

Good one.
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Offline kentuckymommy

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2007, 02:41:02 PM »
Floradix is what I was recommending! Botched the spelling!!!  :P

The molasses and cream 'drink' sounds SO good! I wll definently give that a shot!
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Offline kentuckymommy

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2007, 02:47:09 PM »
I mentioned OJ in an earlier post...the Vitamin C really makes a difference as someoned else also mentioned...I just wanted to drive that home!
Ashley, sweetheart to Jesse and mamabear to five little babes...Emily Grace (10), Jeremiah David (8.5), Joshua Caleb (6), Bethany Joy (3.5), and Jonathan Paul (14 months)!

Dear hubby scared Miah when we was 18 months and Miah told Daddy," You carin' me dad, you care!" Very cute!

Offline Chickory Chick

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2007, 02:50:56 PM »
My iron is usually low when I am pregnant.  My midwife recommended "Slow-Fe" iron supplement (not sure if you have tried this or not).  It is more gentle than other iron supplements and I havent noticed any side effects (I was concerned about constipation, but that doesnt seem to be a problem if I am eating lots of salads etc).  Just thought I would mention it as an option.
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YoopreMama

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2007, 04:19:51 PM »
I think someone asked about what anemia could be a symptom of...

I mentioned it b/c both Crohn's Disease and Celiac Disease have anemia as a symptom (malabsorption in the digestive tract).  A few friends w/ anemia and low energy after babies were told by doctors that they were tired b/c "they had several small children under the age of 5".  :o ::) They ended up being gluten-intolerant. 

I think there are other conditions that have anemia as a symptom...if I find some, I'll holler!   ;)

Could the breathlessness and fatigue be resulting from something else???

Offline Livelovely

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2007, 04:57:48 PM »
Dandelion.  It normalizes your blood.  You can add the leaves to a tossed salad, make fritters out of the yellow flowers, or just add it to your tea.  It's great!  Also, Cream of wheat and lentils have an outstanding amount of iron in them.  Prior to my knowledge of herbs I used cream of wheat to get my blood count up after losing two units and my doc was shocked at how fast I did it with cream of wheat.
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Offline lavendergirl

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2007, 02:39:18 PM »

emily,
 would heavy whipping cream( organic) work the same? I feel my iron is pretty low right now and that sounds great ;D

              Becky

Offline Pink Lady

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2007, 03:59:05 PM »
I addressed the problem causing it and had a hysterectomy. Seriously, by then I was so far behind the eight ball that I could have drunk a bottle of Floradix a day and it would not have put a dent in the problem because I was bleeding so profusely (eighty-five days straight until the day of the operation :o).

I did a lot of research that year and a half I was anemic, though. Your body absorbs only ten to twenty-five percent max of the iron you ingest, so don't think that high amounts equal high absorption. Also, while vitamin C helps with the absorption rate, it also counters the tendency to constipation, since large doses of it can cause diarrhea. I likened it to the mushroom in Alice In Wonderland; you have to experiment to find the right ratio for you to keep you happily balanced in the middle.
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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2007, 12:55:44 PM »
Does anyone have the recipe for the molasses and cream drink?  I'm interested.

Thanks,

SD

Offline prairiechild

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2007, 04:56:43 PM »
I was anemic while pregnant which is fairly common. I took ferrous gluconate as that is a form of iron that doesn't cause constipation and other GI problems. I knew about it as i worked for a dr who recommended it if his patients had problems with the regular iron. It is over the counter. It worked very well for me. Taking iron with oj helps you absorb more iron.

Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2007, 05:04:47 PM »
Ferrous sulfate made me very constipated, and I hated it.  A good multi-vitamin and multi-mineral has been the key for me.  Taking Supermom has been a real blessing. 

My energy is higher (thanks also to the spirulina).  With my first baby I took prescription prenatal vitamins, was very anemic, and had to have a blood transfusion with that delivery.  With my second baby I took Shaklee Vitalea + Iron (sold as one pill) and my iron was perfect.  No transfusion. 

So my experience has been that taking the iron supplement that is formulated with other vitamins and minerals helped me to absorb the iron in a way that I could, um, have happier trips to the potty...  ;) :D
« Last Edit: July 04, 2007, 05:06:29 PM by ShabbyChic »
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Offline BJ_BOBBI_JO

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Re: Anemia [Iron Deficiency]: Supplements & Diet
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2007, 06:30:54 PM »
I was anemic for a long time also. I was always tuckered out. They told me mine was most likely caused by exsessive period bleeding. After I got a hysterectomy( anemia is NOT the main reason why I needed the surgery) the anemia started going away. They said that was because I was no longer bleeding half to death with every period. Or at least it sure seemed like I was bleeding half to death.

I later on  started chlorypill pills and liquid from natures sunshine  and started eating more dandelion leaves mixed in with salads because they are said to be high in iron. My blood test say I no longer have anemia.

Dandelion has lots of uses. It just seems to be an over all great plant.

Natures Sunshine sells dandelion pills.