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Long Wait for Surgery, plus Anemia Long Wait for Surgery, plus Anemia

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Unread 08-12-2001, 11:08 AM
Long Wait for Surgery, plus Anemia

Hello to Sisters, new at posting here..just found out my doctor's out of town the first 3 weeks in Sep so it looks like I'll have a long wait for my TAH. 6 more weeks of severe anemia (5.9) and the gastrointestinal joy of taking 10x the RDA of iron daily...Been doing the iron for a couple weeks but still feel lousy, tired dizzy and stupid (guess those red blood cells aren't getting enough oxygen to the brain!). Does it take a long time for the iron to take effect??

p.s. glad I found this website, lots of great info.
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Unread 08-12-2001, 02:59 PM
Long Wait for Surgery, plus Anemia

Here's a thread on anemia. It may help offer you some help for the time being. You may want to try taking iron with orange juice as vitamin C helps absorb iron. Remember the iron may cause constipation to.

Unread 08-12-2001, 10:44 PM
Long Wait for Surgery, plus Anemia

Hi! Just wanted to chime in here, 'cause I'm anemic too and was taking the iron pills, with all the resulting sides effects as to stomach problems and constipation. I had to stop; now I'm just on an "iron-rich" diet and taking a good multivitamin, plus extra Vitamin C and a B-50 complex.

If you do decide to take the iron with orange juice (CM3 is right about Vitamin C helping with absorption) do NOT use orange juice that is calcium fortified. Calcium hinders the absorption of iron. I don't know to what extent calcium hinders the iron absorption, but this is one thing that my doctor made sure I understood before I started taking the pills.
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Unread 08-12-2001, 11:46 PM
Long Wait for Surgery, plus Anemia

To help with constipation or even prevent it, you can take a stool softener. You can buy them over the counter. The last time I was anemic, my doc ordered it right along with other meds to get me stopped, etc.

I wish you the best. 5.9 is low, isn't it? Take care, keep eating VERY DARK GREEN veggies, etc., etc. Rest as much as you can. The exhaustion from being anemic is sometimes mind-numbing to me.

Does anyone know if eggs do anything good for anemia? The last time I was anemic, I just craved eggs. I've been craving eggs again and just finished taking meds to get me stopped from my latest period from heck. Just wondering about the eggs. Might be a coincidence. I do know that I'm very, very tired again, and my stamina isn't good.
Unread 08-13-2001, 06:31 AM
Long Wait for Surgery, plus Anemia

Hi db! I still have lots of information saved from all my research before surgery. One was the list of "Top Ten Iron Rich Foods" and another a list of high-iron foods for blood donors.

Eggs aren't in the top ten, however they are on the other list, with a iron value of 0.7mg per each egg.

Top Ten List: 3 oz. cooked clams, 23.8mg; 1/2 cup firm tofu, 13.2mg; 3/4 cup ready-to-eat raisin bran cereal, 4.5mg; 3 oz. cooked sirloin steak, 2.9mg; 1/2 cup boiled black beans, 1.8mg; 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, 1.6mg; 3 oz. turkey breast, 0.9mg; 1 slice whole wheat bread, 0.9mg; 1/2 skinless chicken breast, 0.9mg.

Hope this helps!
Unread 08-13-2001, 04:14 PM
Long Wait for Surgery, plus Anemia

I too suffered from anemia and was prescribed nu-iron. You take it at night and it is very absorbing. It took about 3 months of taking it for my blood to get back to normal. I was very pleased that it wasnt constipating. Im not sure what you are taking but you may ask your dr. about nu-iron. I was happy with the results and it didnt make me feel yucky!
Unread 08-13-2001, 05:09 PM
Long Wait for Surgery, plus Anemia

When I was pregnant with my first child, I learned something that I thought was just grand:

Not only are prunes and prune juice great for constipation, they also help your system absorb iron. Since I've always a tendency toward being constipated and I needed extra iron during my pregnancies, those were wonderful news. And I'm one of those people who REALLY like prunes and prune juice.

BTW, I was anemic right after my surgery and I was on iron pills for 1 month. By then, my hemoglobin level was back to normal. Of course, it helped that I was no longer bleeding all the time.
Unread 08-13-2001, 06:14 PM
Long Wait for Surgery, plus Anemia

I too am anemic and scheduled for surgery Aug 27. I am currently taking Slow Fe a couple of times a day. I find it has less GI side effects than other products I have tiredl I also take a stool softener with each dose of the iron. The stool softener helps.

You must feel awful. Your count is so low. I think the lowest mine was around 7 and then I could not walk up a small hill without getting out of breath. Now it is around 10 taking the iron.

I also hear that spinach and beets are high in iron content. They were not on the "Top ten" list above. How about liver too?

I think it might have taken a month or so to get my hemoglobin from 7 to 9 or 10. Felt a lot better, when I did.
Unread 08-13-2001, 08:16 PM
Long Wait for Surgery, plus Anemia

OK! Back to my list of iron-rich foods, the one for blood donors:

Liver, 3 oz. fried, 5.3mg (don't know why it's not in the Top Ten!)
Spinach, 1/2 cup frozen, 1.5mg (=1 cup fresh)

I didn't have any information about beets.

I REALLY wish I could cut and paste and do all those "magical" things that computers can do, but I can't. I got my "Top Ten" list of iron-rich foods from this web site, found while doing research before my surgery: www.breastflap.com/iron_foods.htm

Before my surgery my count was around 9.6; the morning I left the hospital they did another blood count and I was told by my GYN that it was down to 6.7. According to her, though, I'm "tolerating it so well" because I'm obviously used to it. Since I'm not planning on having any more periods (YIPPEE!), am taking a multivitamin with iron, eating better (I'm eating breakfast for the first time in about 20 years, instead of my usual morning cup of tea), etc., anyway once I'm healed and my blood counts are more normal I've been told that I will feel like a totally new woman.

And Dany - thanks for the info about prunes and prune juice. I'm one of those people who really likes prunes, too, though I'm not sure about the juice. I didn't realize that prunes help iron absorption, though I did know they help with the constipation. I'll have to go shopping tomorrow, though in my house I might have to hide them. My 15 year old daughter loves them too, but she'll eat them by the dozens if I'm not watching her. Oh-oh!! LOL!

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