How do i get my iron levels up!!!

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CureUCtogether
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 9/25/2011 3:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys!! First i would like to say i am in remission from doing fecal transplant!! Never been in remission since being diagnosed 2 and a half years ago! So i suggest everyone atleast tries it!!
 
BUT my iron is really low from bleeding before i did the procedure. At the moment its at 5.9 and i cant tolerate iron suppliments and i once had an iron infusion in the hospital but i reacted really bad (swollen legs, fainting, vomiting)
 
They say there is another type of iron infusion but im scared after last time and now im in remission i dont want anything to change that!!
 
I have been trying to eat foods high in iron but its hard and takes ages!
 
any ideas?? anyone else had the same problem? Thanks guys!!

cupcakespinkgal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 720
   Posted 9/25/2011 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I just got out of the hospital from my Hemo being 4.3 so Iron is my big focus right now. I also can't tolerate Iron pills I hate them. Besides the stomach upset and slowing things down I think they have made more than one flare worse in the past and caused a flare but my doctor says that was coincidence. But I disagree.

Anyways I have been working on my iron mostly through diet and a liquid iron supplement. Health food stores carry liquid supplements that are non-constipating and are supposed to have fewer side effects than pills. There are some that get really good reviews from folks that say they have no problems with the liquid when they couldn't tolerate any pills.

I mostly have been eating iron in whatever I can and taking vitamin C. Vitamin C helps absorb iron especially from plant sources so I have been taking a extended release Vitamin C in the AM and afternoon to help absorb the iron I eat all day. Besides the obvious red meat, spinach, ect. I found some foods that have a surprising amount and even though they are non meat sources with the vitamin C I think they are helping. My hemo is staying above 10 even with having some bleeding and I haven't been supplementing even with the liquid for almost 3 weeks, just eating!

Cream of Wheat - 45% of RDI
Grape Nuts - 90% Make sure to drink the leftover milk, I read a lot of vitamins leach into the milk.
Total Cereal - 100%
Archway Mollases cookies - 8% (hey if I am going to have a treat, have one with a little iron)
Eggs - not much but I have read still a good source to get a little
Spinach and Sunbutter smoothies - Spinach blends really easy so you don't even taste it. I take milk, a banana, 1/2 cup boiled spinach, 2 TB Sunbutter, and ice
Pasta - most as 10% RDI
Lentils - I make lentil soup with pasta

Here is a website with some foods I didn't know about and a meal plan. It is how I found out about Cream of wheat and molasses cookies!

Good luck, you must feel exhausted. I think I got used to being so anemic, but once my levels got back up I couldn't believe how great I felt and how crummy I had been feeling!
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 1998, father has UC we were both diagnosed at 20 yrs old. Diagnosis changed to UC Sept 2011

Meds ~ Cortifoam, 40 mg Prednisone, restarted Humira
Supps ~ Psylium seed, iron, folic acid, magnesium, D3, K2, Calcium/Boron, multi-mineral.

CureUCtogether
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 9/25/2011 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow! thank you so much for the help!!! I really appreciate it! Like you, i got use to it but now i am in remission, i really want to be feeling normal!!

And its funny because i put handfuls of spinach and juice into my magic bullet (a wizz) and drink them and i think they did help in the past!

Hope things keep going well for you =]

aguywithuc
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2580
   Posted 9/25/2011 7:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Did you try the SlowFE ? No problem when I take those.

Collicat
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Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 825
   Posted 9/25/2011 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Are your Hemoglobin levels increasing? And how are your iron stores? I am surprised they are not talking to you about transfusions. A couple of units would bring you up to around 8 which is much easier on your heart and other organs. You should be tested weekly when you are this low
Mom to Dillon (age 20) who had three major UC flares over two years....Very sick. Colectomy Sept/09, J pouch built Jan/10 and take down Feb/10. Now out living life at University and doing great. NO MEDS

CureUCtogether
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 9/25/2011 9:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I dont know if we get slowFE in new zealand??

Sorry what are iron stores?? Lol. And thats the thing.. i have ASKED for a transfusion from my doctor and specialist but they both said no??

They said my hemoglobin is 113 (should be 115 - 130) but my iron is 5.9 (should be 20-200) And they said they would test me in a month or something to see if anything has changed =[ they are really slack. They also said my white blood cells are up abit but i dont know if that has anything to do with it

cupcakespinkgal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 720
   Posted 9/26/2011 6:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Here is the website for anyone who wants it. I forgot the link in my last post!

http://www.uhs.uga.edu/nutrition/iron.html
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 1998, father has UC we were both diagnosed at 20 yrs old. Diagnosis changed to UC Sept 2011

Meds ~ Proctofoam, 30 mg Prednisone, restarted Humira
Supps ~ Fish Oil, folic acid, magnesium, D3, K2, Vitamin C, B-complex, multi-mineral.

padedo
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 9/26/2011 3:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had some luck with lots of spinich but mostly Blackstrap molasses several tablespoon thru out day.

cupcakespinkgal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 720
   Posted 9/26/2011 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I know Slow FE is supposed to be easier on the insides, but I still have trouble with that one. They had me try it the last two times. For me all iron pills are problems.

I have heard back strap molasses is a good source. But not sure I can down a few teaspoons a day. Is it a strong flavor?

I just looked up its nutrient profile. I didn't realize how good it is for you. It is an excellent source of a lot of minerals. Especially potassium which I have a hard team meeting the daily required amount on that one too!
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 1998, father has UC we were both diagnosed at 20 yrs old. Diagnosis changed to UC Sept 2011

Meds ~ Proctofoam, 30 mg Prednisone, restarted Humira
Supps ~ Fish Oil, folic acid, magnesium, D3, K2, Vitamin C, B-complex, multi-mineral.

Post Edited (cupcakespinkgal) : 9/26/2011 4:15:24 PM (GMT-6)


ThePostmodernIrony
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 9/26/2011 5:45 PM (GMT -7)   
My doctor said to get organic lean ground beef or else I would have problems. My iron was up so I did a little experiment by stopping the red meat (in hopes of healing my gut more) even though I was taking the iron pills and low and behold my levels dropped, so I've gone back to having a burger once a week. It's a tossup, but rather not be anemic and don't much like livers. I'm probably not as severe as some of you. Spinach never seems to make me feel the best or else I would have more of that.
UC diagnosed Jan. 05
Past Meds: Azasan (Imuran) - dicyclomine, Remicade -7x, allergy shots (03-07), levbid, prednisone (off since nov. 08!), astelin
Current: Asacol 3x3, rowasa/hydrocortisone alt, Azathioprine 150mg, Konsyl, Iron 2x, Multivitamin, Aciphex, Citrical 3x, Probiotic, Aloe Vera Juice

CureUCtogether
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 9/26/2011 9:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys, The hospital has booked me in for an iron infusion and they are going to give me things to stop the reactions. I have been finding each day hard and just had to have a 3 hours sleep in the middle of the day and have had headaches 24/7 so i really hope this works for me and doesnt effect my UC.

Will carry on with foods rich in iron though, thanks!!

OUgizmoASK
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 9/27/2011 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
CureUCtogether,

I also had trouble when I first took iron supplements. I bought a generic at the grocery store and ended up crapting iron filings. Not pleasant and did nothing to help the UC or its symptoms either! *wry laugh* My sister also cannot tolerate iron. At the beginning of her pregnancies her levels would be normal. Her doctors put her on iron by default. By the time she delivered her first child she was highly anemic. With her second, she threw the iron away after her levels began to drop while taking them, and she was normal at and after delivery. But she is REALLY weird when it comes her body and medications and foods.

I would start much smaller though your body will probably some day accept normal adult doses. You might want to start with Children's Flintstones with Iron, just one a day. After a while you may try 2 a day. Perhaps after that you may be able to tolerate Feosol or another slow release (gentle) iron supplement.

These days I can take Feosol easily whenever I need it. But my doctors are always amazed and how quickly my levels bounce back. And I've been down to 30% normal STORED levels in my body. But somehow, my body keeps the active level right most of the time. These days I manage to maintain it better. *grin* I'm sure my OB thinks so too since I nursed each of my kids for about a year!

Good luck!
OUgizmoASK
Mom to 5yo DD, 3yo DS1, 1yo DS2
UC 1999-2011 (moderately severe rectum & sigmoid colon; mild & patchy ascending colon & cecum)
Current meds: 3mg oral LDN, Apriso 2x 2/day, Rowasa (Singulair, Claritin-D, Calcium, Multi, Iron, Vit B )
No dairy, bay leaf, broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, cucumber or horseradish
Pregnant or nursing 2005-2011

DBwithUC
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1763
   Posted 9/28/2011 8:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I had Feraheme infusions, which I think is the latest iron concoction. It is said to have less/few bad reactions. For example, there is no test load given before the main dose - just observation for 1 hour afterwards.

It does seem puzeling that hemoglobinis almost noromal but iron is so deficient.

beatUC
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1140
   Posted 9/28/2011 9:06 AM (GMT -7)   
In addition to suppliments, etc.,
Another great way to get more iron is to cook in an iron skillet or dutch oven.
Stews are best, the food is delicious and you really get a lot of iron form the pot.
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