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anemia: please help

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 21, 2012 at 6:33 PM

I've read through the answers about anemia on this site but I didn't find what I was looking for--and I'd really appreciate help or suggestions.

I've been eating a strict paleo diet (no dairy) for over a year, and my health has gotten worse.

I have developed thyroid symptoms, which my doctor wants to treat.

However, in tests for thyroid symptoms, I also noticed anemia-like problems.

I have an RBC of 3.37 (low), an HCT of 32.8 (low), and an MCV of 97.3 (high).

I'm concerned about the anemia since I eat a lot of iron-rich animal products (including liver) regularly. With no grains, legumes, dairy, seed oils, or excess fruit for over a year, I would hope that intestinal permeability would no longer be an issue.

I am also low on zinc. All other levels are normal.

My hypothyroid symptoms: low T3, normal-low T4, normal-low TSH.

Does anyone have any ideas about what's causing the anemia symptoms, or what I could do to treat this combination of factors? Again, I very much appreciate your help.

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 25, 2012
at 11:10 AM

Careful with the Iodine supplement, read up on that, Chris Kesser's blog has some stuff if you want to try that. Yeah, I know what you mean about the FCLO, but it is a great way to get vitamins but I was actually getting too much EPA for my body to handle. I don't know what the DHA to EPA ratio is on FCLO. But you're eating sweet potatoes, you're eating eggs and liver. I would think you're getting plenty of Vitamin A and you're already eating minimal PUFAs. Something to experiment with! Good Luck.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 24, 2012
at 11:49 PM

I eat a lot of non-muscle protein, including liver. I can try supplements of iodine or magnesium. I hesitate to cut out the fermented codliver oil, since everything I've read recommends it as a source of A and D, but it's worth a shot. Thanks for your thoughts; I'm at a loss. I'll post here if I figure anything out. For now, any suggestions very welcome.

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 22, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Those are just some ideas I'm throwing out there...

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 22, 2012
at 02:29 AM

Are you eating a lot of muscle meat? Are you limiting PUFAs? I found supplementing with cod liver oil really messed me up in the immune department and was largely unneeded for me as I don't eat a lot of PUFAs at all. That wasn't fermented cod liver oil though. You could try ditching that? Increase non-muscle meat sources of protein. Try some grass-fed liver for vitamin A and Iron. I had problems with eating eggs everyday, might want to mix it up a bit. What's your calcium intake look like? Magnesium intake? Iodine intake? Constant sore throat is kind of strange, not sure what that is about.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 22, 2012
at 01:53 AM

Apparently some of my comment got cut off--sorry. Other symptoms: sore throat, weight gain, insomnia, fatigue. I don't have ferritin level readings. Any help very appreciated.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 22, 2012
at 01:48 AM

I am not on any supplements. I take fermented cod liver oil. I sometimes take vitamin D in winter months. I don't drink any coffee or tea. Sample menu: 1 or 2 eggs w/ sauerkraut for breakfast, some meat and a sweet potato for lunch (w/ coconut oil and salt), meat and vegetables for dinner.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 22, 2012
at 01:43 AM

Diet: eggs, vegetables, meats, coconut oil. I usually have 1 or 2 eggs + sauerkraut for breakfast, some meat and a sweet potato for lunch, meat and vegetables for dinner. I don't drink any caffeine or alcohol. I eat nuts very sparingly. Symptoms: constant sore throat, acne, fatigue, insomnia.

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2 Answers

1
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on April 22, 2012
at 01:09 AM

Are you on supplements? Sometimes an excess consumption of something like calcium can inhibit iron absorption. Are you a big coffee/tea drinker?

Could you provide a sample menu of your daily intake?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 22, 2012
at 01:48 AM

I am not on any supplements. I take fermented cod liver oil. I sometimes take vitamin D in winter months. I don't drink any coffee or tea. Sample menu: 1 or 2 eggs w/ sauerkraut for breakfast, some meat and a sweet potato for lunch (w/ coconut oil and salt), meat and vegetables for dinner.

0
Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 22, 2012
at 12:46 AM

What did your doctor say, how does he want to treat it?

What are your other symptoms?

What does your diet consist of?

Did you check your ferritin levels or any other blood work?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 22, 2012
at 01:43 AM

Diet: eggs, vegetables, meats, coconut oil. I usually have 1 or 2 eggs + sauerkraut for breakfast, some meat and a sweet potato for lunch, meat and vegetables for dinner. I don't drink any caffeine or alcohol. I eat nuts very sparingly. Symptoms: constant sore throat, acne, fatigue, insomnia.

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 22, 2012
at 02:29 AM

Are you eating a lot of muscle meat? Are you limiting PUFAs? I found supplementing with cod liver oil really messed me up in the immune department and was largely unneeded for me as I don't eat a lot of PUFAs at all. That wasn't fermented cod liver oil though. You could try ditching that? Increase non-muscle meat sources of protein. Try some grass-fed liver for vitamin A and Iron. I had problems with eating eggs everyday, might want to mix it up a bit. What's your calcium intake look like? Magnesium intake? Iodine intake? Constant sore throat is kind of strange, not sure what that is about.

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 22, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Those are just some ideas I'm throwing out there...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 22, 2012
at 01:53 AM

Apparently some of my comment got cut off--sorry. Other symptoms: sore throat, weight gain, insomnia, fatigue. I don't have ferritin level readings. Any help very appreciated.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 24, 2012
at 11:49 PM

I eat a lot of non-muscle protein, including liver. I can try supplements of iodine or magnesium. I hesitate to cut out the fermented codliver oil, since everything I've read recommends it as a source of A and D, but it's worth a shot. Thanks for your thoughts; I'm at a loss. I'll post here if I figure anything out. For now, any suggestions very welcome.

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 25, 2012
at 11:10 AM

Careful with the Iodine supplement, read up on that, Chris Kesser's blog has some stuff if you want to try that. Yeah, I know what you mean about the FCLO, but it is a great way to get vitamins but I was actually getting too much EPA for my body to handle. I don't know what the DHA to EPA ratio is on FCLO. But you're eating sweet potatoes, you're eating eggs and liver. I would think you're getting plenty of Vitamin A and you're already eating minimal PUFAs. Something to experiment with! Good Luck.

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