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Thread: Anemic / Anemia

  1. #1

    Default Anemic / Anemia

    i have a friend, she is in her 40s, who is anemic. not sure of the severity. as far as i know, anemia has to do with iron. does anyone have any good sites or thoughts on this? or any good suppliment or food ideas? any help would be very much appreciated. thanks

  2. #2

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    which kind of anemia does she have?

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    Iron supplements will usually do it. Leafy vegetables are rich in iron ... so dark salads, spinach, etc is good too.

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    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    i used to slightly anaemic, being veggie for years and not really liking green vegetables. it came up in a blood test and my doctor suggested i take an iron supplement. i take 15mg iron a day and B12, because B12 deficiency can also cause anaemia, and now my iron levels are fine.

    it's possible to get plenty of iron from a vegan diet, and i do try to get a fair amount from food, but as i don't like enough of the good foods much i take a supplement just to make sure.

    check out the Vegan Society's info on iron: www.vegansociety.com/html/food/nutrition/iron.php

    (sorry the link thingy never works on this machine. just copy and paste the address)

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    What should I do if my doctor tells me to eat meat because I have iron deficiency anemia?

    Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the U.S. Symptoms include pale skin, brittle fingernails, fatigue, weakness, difficulty breathing upon exertion, inadequate temperature regulation, loss of appetite, and apathy. These symptoms are similar to other diseases, making it very difficult to self-diagnose anemia; it should be measured by a doctor.

    What many people don t know is that vegans tend to have as high or higher iron intakes than non-vegetarians, as iron is found in a wide variety of plant foods, especially beans and grains.

    This was probably mentioned before, but worth repeating. Check out this Jack Norris link for the full article.

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    gertvegan's Avatar
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    Doh!

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    I was very anemic following the birth of my twins in April and I resolved it by taking an iron supplement plus eating loads of kale which is high in iron and beans. Any high-iron food like kale should be eaten with something containing vitamin c to increase the iron absorption so kale/tomato sauce is a great combination.

  8. #8
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    iron =
    tofu
    beans & pulses
    spinach
    cabbage
    wholegrains
    wheatgerm
    parsley
    prunes & dates
    dried apricots
    pumpkin seeds
    millet
    blackstrap molasses

  9. #9
    SarahLynne
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    Default Iron Deficiency Anemia - Not Vegan Yet

    I'm hoping for some advice. I haven't converted to veganism just yet. I think I'm chicken because of my iron deficiency anemia. Since August 10, I've been on Depo-Provera (hormone shot) to hopefully control blood loss. Here's the thing though - I've developed anemia.

    I'm on 100 mg. of elemental iron daily. I don't crave red meat though. What I crave is raisins, figs, prunes and such. Supposedly, plant sources of iron are not all that great. I hear that people suffering anemia need heme sources of iron (animal) versus nonheme (plants). Is that true? Anyone have any resources I could refer to?
    Last edited by Korn; Feb 22nd, 2007 at 02:31 PM. Reason: This was the first post in a similar thread

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    Default Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia-Not Vegan Yet

    http://www.vegansociety.com/html/foo...ition/iron.php
    has a few ideas.
    Also Peter Cox "Encyclopedia of Vegan Living" has a lot of good info on iron.
    There are many good sources of vegan iron but you have to have a source of vitamin C with it and avoid tea and coffee as it inhibits absorbtion, as long as you don't have the caffiene near when you eat it should be ok.
    Goodle Iron sources,there is loads on the net. You can compare plant and animal iron sources for nutritional value.
    If you have a medical problem causing iron deficiency anaemia you may need to keep taking the iron supplements, but so would you if you were not vegan.
    A few people here have similar problems to you, so we know it is possible to live with iron deficiency anaemia and be vegan.
    Last edited by flutterby; Nov 15th, 2006 at 04:45 PM. Reason: more info
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    SarahLynne
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    Default Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia - Not Vegan Yet

    Thank you, herbwormwood for the link and information.

    I do take Vitamin C (either a C tablet or broccoli or fruit) with my supplement.

    I haven't cut out the caffeine. I will do that. I have started to drink a bit more caffeine-free herb teas.

    I just read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and come to find out that the rural Chinese have very adequate levels of iron from corn and whole wheat (except for the areas where they have parasite problems). That gave me some hope.

    Once my iron level is back up, I'll stop being such a worry wart.

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    Default Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia - Not Vegan Yet

    Also if you have bleeding problems you may need to check your vitamin K intake. Vitamin K regulates blood clotting and hence it is important in cases where people have any bleeding issues.
    Some people with bleeding problems have found great benefit from significantly increasing their vitamin K intake.
    Good sources are Kale, brussel sprouts, seaweed, pak choi and parsley.
    Google vitamin K for more.
    Also you maybe don't need to cut out tea and coffee entirely, just don't have it with meals.
    Last edited by herbwormwood; Nov 17th, 2006 at 12:47 PM. Reason: more info
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
    SarahLynne
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    Default Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia - Not Vegan Yet

    Well, the blood issue is from fibroids. I hate being on Depo-Provera but it's a way of avoiding surgery.

    That's good about the tea and coffee. I have upped my intake of Green Tea recently

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    Default Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia - Not Vegan Yet

    You can also google "menorrhagia diet" for some self help tips. Fibroids are very common, and there is a theory that diet can play a part in managing them.
    Increasing your intake of vitamin K will still help you and it certainly would not do anyone harm.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

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    SarahLynne
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    Default Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia - Not Vegan Yet

    Thank you,again

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    Default I'm anemic :(

    Hello, friends...

    I was just diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia, (which is due mostly in part to a heavy menstrual cycle and not diet). Anyway, I've been a vegetarian for a while and am trying hard to become vegan (I'm almost there). My question is...any suggestions for healthy, iron-rich vegan foods to eat? Also, is iron glycinate okay to take in supplement form instead of ferrous sulfate? (The menstrual cycle part is being treated, so that shouldn't be a concern any longer). Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
    Last edited by Korn; Feb 22nd, 2007 at 02:29 PM. Reason: This was the first post in a similar thread

  17. #17
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm anemic :(

    Hello - I'm sometimes a bit anaemic as well, but again it isn't to do with being veg*n - I was before.

    There are a couple of lists of iron rich foods here:
    http://www.vegansociety.com/html/foo...ition/iron.php
    http://www.vegsoc.org/info/iron.html

    Not sure about the different supplements - I only ever take "chelated" iron, the kind that is meant to be better for the digestive system, which you can buy in a vegan-friendly version in health food shops here.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: I'm anemic :(

    Dried fruits, whole grains (including wholemeal bread), nuts, green leafy vegetables, seeds and pulses (chickpeas, baked beans, lentils etc) are rich sources of iron. These foods can provide a good proportion of daily iron requirements. Also of relevance are parsley, watercress, edible seaweeds and black molasses. Its absorption is improved by the presence of Vitamin C, malic acid and citric acid. Good Vitamin C sources are green leafy vegetables (including cauliflower), citrus fruits, mangoes, tomatoes and potatoes. Citrus fruit is also a source of citric acid, while malic acid is found in apples, plums and pumpkins (amongst other foods). Phytates (such as in nuts, grains and seeds) can reduce iron absorption, as can tannins (from tea).
    The good man is the friend of all living things. -- Mohandas Gandhi

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    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Namaste Ginger's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm anemic :(

    Floravital. It's a liquid iron supplement. Tastes like s**t but does the trick.

  21. #21

    Default Anemic Iron Deficient Please help!

    Hopefully I am getting to the bottom of whats causing this serious fatigue, my doctor said I was slightly anemic. He told me to take 325mg of ferrous gluconate. What confuses me is the box I got at the local drugstore says 325mg (5 grains) but the amount per serving says 36 mg. The guy at the pharmacy said something about how it was 325mg but blah blah blah and I didn't understand him.

    I really need a high dose iron supplement to correct the anemia so I hope this is not 36mg and it is the right amount. Has anyone had iron deficiency and could enlighten me? Thanks to god for this forum.

    Love,
    Eric

  22. #22

    Default Re: Anemic Iron Deficient Please help!

    Also if anyone has gone through this how long should it take to start feeling relief from the fatigue and dizziness associated with a slight anemic condition?

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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    Here in the UK if one has iron deficiency anaemia and it is fairly mild, the doctor will normally want to do a few investigations to see what is causing the anemia, usually a physical examination, blood tests and some questions about possible causes for example excess bleeding.
    They may give a course of iron supplements, here it is 200 mg ferrous sulphate, either 1, 2 or 3 times daily depending on the severity of the anaeimia.
    Note this is a lot more than the recommended daily amount.
    If you take the tablets with some orange juice it helps them be absorbed. You can start to feel better within a few days if you take the right dose and you are not losing any more blood.
    However you should continue to see the doctor if you continue to feel unwell, because there are a number of causes of anaemia and if you don't have straightforward iron deficiency the symptoms will probably come back.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

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    [LMNOP] ellaminnowpea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    Could anemia explain shaking and weakness in arms and legs?

    And cramps in my back below my ribs? The pains are dull constant pains.

    I'm feeling very ill, pains everywhere, and general weakness. I'm worried that I may vomit, though I've got nothing in my stomach.
    I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Alcott

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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    Nothing in your stomach? How's that? Have you seen a medic lately?
    Eve

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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    I didnt eat anything that day because of nerves for my final exams. I dont think I passed out and got shaky because of this, though. I just felt vv weak and had pain... seemed unrelated to food.

    I havent seen a doctor for a couple years, I hate going to the doctor. Medic, as in ER? I havent been to one in a few months. And that was for something unrelated.
    I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Alcott

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    purrr..! DoveInGreyClothing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    Low blood sugar from not having eaten for a while can make you nauseous.
    It is a monstrous thing to do, to slay a unicorn...you have slain something pure and defenceless and you will have but a half life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches your lips.

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    [LMNOP] ellaminnowpea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    Thanks, sorry for posting, I shouldnt have. It did sound like it was about food, but to me, it seemed like a different kind of blacking out than from sugar/ lack of food. But I'm okay now.
    I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Alcott

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    [LMNOP] ellaminnowpea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    I've started taking a multivitamin but I'm still bruising vv easily. Is it okay to take iron tablets in addition?
    I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Alcott

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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    Quote ellaminnowpea View Post
    I've started taking a multivitamin but I'm still bruising vv easily. Is it okay to take iron tablets in addition?
    Sounds like a visit to the doctor would be a good idea. The internet and forums aren't a substitute for doctor visits.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

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    [LMNOP] ellaminnowpea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    Thanks herbwormwood. I dont have a doctor up here at school, though.
    I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Alcott

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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    I would think there would be an on-campus health centre where you could see a doctor.
    Check out the Toronto Vegetarian Podcast at veg.ca/tvp !

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    [LMNOP] ellaminnowpea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    I'm going to try liquid vitamins for now.
    Is it possible that low iron can make someone pass out?
    I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Alcott

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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    PLEASE GO AND SEE A DOCTOR LMNOP! If you're passing out you shouldn't be wasting time looking for advice on the Internet.

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    [LMNOP] ellaminnowpea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    ok sorry, I will make it to the doctor as soon as I can. I just wanted to check if it could be anemia rather than something else more serious.
    I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Alcott

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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    Anemia is serious. Without enough red blood cells your organs can be damaged.
    Long term untreated anaemia can be fatal...such as a person can die from it.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  37. #37

    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    ffNOdis,dft NO My message went away after I spent so long tw.efhjks4r v typing it!!! I was in the hospital where I'm slightly anemic because of stomach bleeding. I'm about to break my computer for losing my freaking whole post.<˘˘˘˘≥≤≤ Blueberries. @!> Hopefully not pneumothorax but just asthma or something!! MRI tomorrow please? OUCH! (lots of pain now)

  38. #38
    Honky
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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    I just recently found out I'm anemic after being ill for the past couple of months. The doctor said my iron count should be somewhere between 22 and 300, and mine was 4!!!! I do alot of sport and I'd noticed I was losing power and feeling weak - then it got worse and I started feeling really cold, light headed and tired.

    I've been vegan for around 7 years, and I was SO sure I was getting enough iron, nutrition is always something I've been 'clued up' on! I eat cereals high in iron and green veg every day, as well as raisins and prunes etc - so naturally, I was worried and confused. I'm not losing blood so the doctor said he's willing to bet it's diet related. My vitamin levels were fine though, so quite strange!

    Because my iron was so low, I was prescribe ferrous sulphate tablets- only to realise they contain gelatine. I got the prescription swapped for a syrup called Ferrous fumurate. The doctor said it'd take 3 months to get back to normal and that I wouldn't feel better straight away. I've actually felt worse in some cases, definately not any better anyway. It's been 2 weeks since I've been taking the iron but I expected to feel even a tiny bit better - like someone else on here mentioned, you start wondering what else might be wrong with you.

    I've read some contradictions regarding diet! I've heard that:
    Wholegrains are very good for your heart and your energy levels
    Wholegrains inhibit iron absorption

    Plant based proteins are easier to digest than animal proteins
    BUT iron from animal source is easier to digest than plant source (heme and non heme iron)

    Too much Soya protein can inhibit iron absoroption!

    I eat alot of soya and wholegrains, so now I'm wondering if I've eaten to much to the point where it's effected my bodies ability to absorb iron?

    The only other thing I can think of is that my gran was celiac (not able to digest wheat or gluten) and that can stop the body absorbing nutrients and cause anemia. I'm waiting on the results of a test as it can run in families, but I was tested for this about 4 year ago and it was negative. The doctor wants to check just to be on the safe side as it can develop at any time. Really hope it's not that as I read that recovery time if it was anemia because of disease is 6-12 months!!!

    Anyone had any experience with anything like this, and how did everyone get on with their treatments? I see some of these posts are a few years old.

  39. #39

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    Default Re: Anemic / Anemia

    Get a cast iron skillet!!

    http://veganhealth.org/articles/iron

    "Cast iron skillets also add iron to our food, which many Americans lack in their diets today. Doctors often recommend cast iron skillets for patients who are anemic or borderline anemic (low iron levels in the blood)."
    http://www.frugalfun.com/castiron.html

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