Patient discussion about iron

!!! The questions and answers on this page are written by patients and are not reviewed by health professionals.

Q. Why do I need an iron supplement?

I am a 22 year old woman and my doctor told me that I need an iron supplement. Why?
A1Here is a movie about iron deficiency:
http://www.5min.com/Video/Vitamins-and-Minerals-Iron-29162162
A2A lot of women are anemic (meaning they are lacking iron) and need to take iron supplements, this is due to the fact that women menstruate and therefore loose blood every month which means they loose iron.

Q. What is the recommended intake for iron?

I had a blood test recently which detected I have iron deficiency. I wanted to know what is the recommended intake for iron and which foods are rich with iron?
A1Adult males need to consume about 8 mg of iron per day and females (not pregnant) need to consume about 18 mg of iron per day. There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells. Heme iron is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin, such as red meats, fish, and poultry. Iron in plant foods such as lentils and beans is arranged in a chemical structure called nonheme.
A2men needs 8 mg a day and women needs 18 mg a day.

here is a link with the iron rich foods, look at "Appendix B-3. Food Sources of Iron":
http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/html/AppendixB.htm#appB3

Q. Why do pregnant women need more iron?

During my pregnancy my Doctor keeps on telling me I need to take an iron supplement. I eat healthy and eat meat, isn't that enough?
A1How much iron you need during pregnancy depends a lot on how much you already have stored in your bone marrow, as well as how much you get daily in your diet. If you are a meat eater, you will need less iron than a non meat eater however you will still need an iron supplement since during pregnancy you need to consume a great amount of iron that is impossible to consume from food alone. Consult with your Doctor and tell him to run you a blood test. If he sees you have enough iron he might not recommend an iron supplement and will be satisfied with only a Prenatal vitamin, which also contains iron but less.
A2Iron requirements of pregnant women are approximately double that of non-pregnant women because of increased blood volume during pregnancy, increased needs of the fetus, and blood losses that occur during delivery. If not enough iron is consumed, iron deficiency anemia can occur. Iron deficiency anemia of pregnancy is responsible for significant morbidity, such as premature deliveries and giving birth to infants with low birth weight. The CDC recommends routine low-dose iron supplementation (30 mg/day) for all pregnant women, beginning at the first prenatal visit. This is a large amount which is hard to consume from food only and therefore its advised to take a supplement.

Q. I need to take an iron supplement. Is there any difference in effectiveness; liquid vs.pills? Any suggestions?

AThere is not much difference between oral pills or liguid. Both are efficient if taken properly and both have side effects that are considered disturbing such as constipation, bad taste and nausea.

Q. Why is my anemia not responding to iron supplementation?

I have had anemia for a long time, and my docs have always just told me to take iron supplements. However, there has never been a significant increase in my hemaglobin/hematocrit levels; there have been slight increases, but nothing that is permanent. Additionally, my RBCs are slightly microcytic.
A1When anemia that is thought to result from iron deficiency doesn't respond to iron supplementation, another option is also giving iron by infusion, especially if you have ongoing losses. It's prescribed, of course, by your doctor.

A2Microcytic anemia is usually due to iron deficiency.
if you're Hb does not respond your doc should send you for further investigations to look for a non-obvious source of bleeding. Marked anemia can cause secondary cardiac chest pain but if this is the case you definitely need further investigation and treatment.

Q. Well I’m a vegetarian and I might get anemia. How do I get Iron and protein without meat?

My mom my take giant vitamin pills and eat nasty protein bars. It's not as bad killing animals though... Is their any way I can stay healthy? Also being a vegetarian has made me extremely under weight and I am probably going to get anemia if i don't get all my vitamins. HELP!
A1Any news Diana on this? I hope it has worked out for you.
A2sorry about the spelling trying to cradel the baby as well
A3hi diana
well love when my 17 year lod was pregnant she needed iron infusons so to help her we got a good juicer and put spinnage beatroot weategrass and get her to drink it we also did fruit and veg all of which did the trick she is now a happy mum with her little girl drak chocolet is good for iron but we were told to stop her drinking milk with her meals as this vaps your iron out more and coke dos the same drink fresh orange

Q. My Iron/TIBC tests normal, Ferritin,Serum = 22. Range 22-322. What is the problem?

Iron Bind. Cap. ug/dL 324 range 250 - 450 UIBC ug/dL 206 range 150 - 375 Iron, Serum ug/dL 118 range 40 - 155 Iron Saturation % 36 range 15 - 55 Biopsy = Prostate Cancer....PCA high = 10.2 PSA now 8.3 PSA Ultra W/Serial Monitor ...Ultrasenitive = 8.26
AWhat makes you think something is not normal? Ferritin values may be low in some people, and iron deficiency is usually defined as ferritin 15. Do you have anemia? Currently, it doesn't seem you have any problem with the iron levels.

Take care,
This content is provided by iMedix and is subject to iMedix Terms. The Questions and Answers are not endorsed or recommended and are made available by patients, not doctors.