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Author Topic: Iron supplements & other meds?
Sedi Tlugvi
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My iron's pretty much always been low and my mom's been on my case about taking an iron supplement lately, since I don't eat red meat or may other foods that contain much iron. So today I finally went out and bought some to start taking. I can't recall where, but I've heard that iron slows the absorbtion of other medications. Does anyone know anything more on that? Or if it's even true? If so, should I safetly assume that I should take the iron supplement seperate from my BC pills? :] Thanks.
Posts: 75 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
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How low is your iron? Did your mother infer this from symptoms (fatigue, low blood pressure, etc) or did you get tested by a doctor?

Because really, if you got blood tests done for this and your iron was low enough to cause concern, the first thing a doctor will do is try to find out why you have low iron. It's likely to be just plain old anemia, but it could also be a sign for other, more serious conditions.

So before you start self-medicating, please talk to a doctor about this and get it checked out. If they do prescribe an iron supplement to you, you can also ask them if you should take it separate from your BC (though I've never heard of iron interacting with BC).

Taking iron supplements when you're not sure that's what you need can actually lead to having too much iron in your body, which is very unhealthy. Not to mention that iron tends to have annoying side effects (it's notorious for nausea), so it's best not to mess with that before you've spoken to a doctor about it.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Sedi Tlugvi
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Basically my mother, with the fatigue, low blood pressure and all you've mention. Then, about a week ago, I went to go and give blood at the local college campus and they toldm e I couldn't after testing my iron levels. The woman from the hospital there told me I should look into taking them and gave me a list of foods she recommended eating to up my levels, etc.
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September
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If your iron is so low that you can't give blood, you really should make an appointment with your GP to do some blood tests. Because like I said, it's probably anemia, but could also be something more serious, and either way you need to get a diagnosis so you can take steps to get your iron back up (because really, iron defficiency that goes unchecked for a long time can potentially cause organ damage).

If you want to do something right now for your iron levels (because I know that low iron is likely to cause you to feel tired and weak), it's best to do this by adjusting your diet. Include some red meats, whole grains and leafy greens.

OTC iron supplements won't cause great harm (aside from the nausea you'll likely experience), so if you want to take some, you can go ahead. But please be aware that the dosage of OTC supplements tends to be really low and you won't feel much of an improvement. You really need to see a doctor to find out what's up with your iron.

(ETA: I am not trying to paint worst-case-scenarios for you. It's most likely that you're a bit anemic and need some prescription iron supplements to get you back on track. But I speak from experience when I say that having low iron for a long time can make you feel lousy, and when I say that it can be indicative of more serious things. So, please, just make that appointment to be on the safe side.)

[ 03-30-2007, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: September ]

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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mellygirl
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Also remember that iron can be lower than usual, definitely low enough to keep one from donating blood, during your period. If that's the case, it's common and my doctor suggested just taking a multivitamin to help. You really should get in to see a doctor though, that way you will know exactly what is going on. As September said, it really could be a big problem, so it's best to get checked out.

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*Melanny*

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