Re: exhausted -- on iron supplementation

  • Hi ladies,

    Posting a new thread so more people may see it.  I've also dealt with mild anemia and am fortunate to have a good friend who is an RD (registered dietician) and really knows her stuff!  Here's what she's taught me:

    - many women are mildly deficient in iron without qualifying as "anemic" -- anemia is considered a real medical problem, but you can be deficient without being anemic and still suffer symptoms of anemia such as fatigue, weakness, and depression.

    - men are unlikely to have iron deficiency or anemia, unless they are endurance athletes or very serious bodybuilders.

    - calcium interferes with the absorption of iron, so it's important to take your supplements without anything that has calcium -- including multi-vitamins, which often combine the two.  

    - Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron, so it's a good idea to combine iron with Vitamin C.  

    - There are two kinds of iron, heme (from animals) and non-heme (from plants).  Non-heme (plant-based) iron is much harder for the body to absorb, so even if you eat a huge heap of spinach, you probably won't get very much iron.  Meat and beans are better food sources of iron. 

    - Cooking in cast-iron pots & pans is a good way to get iron into your food. 

    -  Since your body has a tough time absorbing iron, and iron absorption can be blocked by a variety of things, the best way to take an iron supplement is at night before you go to bed, with vitamin C.  

    - Too much iron can cause stomach problems and constipation, so you don't need a mega-dose supplement.  

    Hope this helps!  Take your iron! :-)

  • So...what can you say about B12 vitamin?  I have a friend who goes for a monthly (or more if needed) b12 shot at her doc's.  When it's "time" she is terribly lethargic... barely able to roll outta bed.  She says for a few weeks after the shot she's best kind again.  I wonder if the lack of RED meat could cause the same effect on BFLers? Not sure where else B12 is derived from.

  • Meat, eggs and other animal products have B12. If your friend is having B12 injections, she probably has a serious medical condition. Most of us can get plenty of B vitamins from diet (unless elder, alcoholic, or some diseases).

  • Or a long-term vegan.