Pregnant and inexplicably anemic! What to do?

Answered on December 08, 2013
Created December 07, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Hi! I am primal-paleo in my second pregnancy and just got the results of my glucose test which showed that I was mildly anemic. Doctor wants me to supplement. Now, I'm pretty floored, given that I eat meat every day, I am an egg yolk vacuum, and I just can't believe that someone who eats the way I do is anemic!! My main craving in this pregnancy has been dairy -- I eat a ton of full fat cream. kefir, yogurt -- but I still do eat lots of red meat -- eating leftover steak at my desk right now as a matter of fact. I'm really reluctant to take iron supplements because of the digestive side effects, and everything's working really well for me. Any advice on what to do -- how important is it that I'm "mildly anemic?"



on December 08, 2013
at 12:01 PM

When I had my first baby just about all women took iron and folic acid tablets (which the state provided free of charge) which I was happy to do and it can be sensible. I don't remember side effects and folic acid stops many birth defects although that is a separate issue.

I think many women often are mildly anaemic as they don't eat enough meat and yet you do so perhaps it won't matter. At the end of the day you have to do what feels right for you and the baby.

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4 Answers



on December 08, 2013
at 03:26 PM

You're a woman who loses a significant amount of iron monthly via normal biological processes, I wouldn't expect you have anything above low-normal serum iron levels. I would think it might improve over the course of your pregnancy (you don't mention how far you're in). You've got a better diet than the normal pregnant woman, so suggest you give it a month or two and have your blood checked then. An intervention may be necessary, but nothing at this point to suggest immediate action is needed.



on December 08, 2013
at 04:03 AM

Liver is a great source of iron, folate, A and K2.

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on December 08, 2013
at 02:02 AM

Anemia does not equal iron deficiency. Please obtain detailed labs (ferritin, transferrin, transferrin saturation) from your doctor and report back.


on December 07, 2013
at 11:36 PM

On your electrolyte panel, what are your vitamin D levels? It's possible that other deficiencies and genetics are the culprits rather than the quantity of iron that you eat.

It's more likely since your body is creating tons of red blood cells during the whole baby making process that you have the normal/safe kind of anemia rather than the more extreme kind.

It sounds like your doctor didn't really give you enough information, so I would probably tell them that iron pills aren't an option unless it's a severe issue.

I'm sorry the doctor freaked you out!

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