0

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super low hemoglobin and iron

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 16, 2013 at 11:36 PM

long story short.

i have had ulcerative colitis for years now and i started paleo in august 2012 to hopefully get in remission. i didn't eat animal products for 5 years before this so i added in meat, eggs, and cheese. so far, my UC has improved some- diarrhea less, pain less, frequency down. my main problem is my anemia and low hemoglobin. i've had to get 3 blood transfusions since november 2012 and my doctor called me yesterday to say i need my colon out and also need more blood transfusions. i can't rely on other's people's blood forever.

the only thing is that i don't see a lot of blood in the toilet. it's not every day either. i just had a tranfusion in february and my hemoglobin already dropped from 10 to 7 (normal is 12-15 for women). i experience all the typical symptoms of anemia/low RBC- numbness/tingling, headaches, exhaustion, dizziness, fast heartrate.

i am just at a total loss of what to do. i figure my iron/hemoglobin levels would have improved with paleo but they've only gotten worse as the months go on. any ideas? could it be something other than my UC?

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on April 08, 2013
at 05:15 AM

I remove the meatballs as needed from the fridge. You don't have to thaw them.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on April 08, 2013
at 05:15 AM

Traditionally the solution was eating beef liver every day. The best way I found to eat liver is to make tiny meatballs (half ground liver, half ground beef, and then I like to add a lot of spices but it's optional). I use a measuring (table)spoon to make each ball and bake at 350 for... 10 min? It's REALLY good! I make a huge batch and freeze them. Then I make meatball soup: bring some chicken or beef stock to a boil, add one thinly sliced onion plus as many meatballs as you want, and cook for one minute. You don't want to overcook because the meatballs will have a rubbery texture.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 25, 2013
at 01:51 AM

I think oysters are the way to go, assuming you can absorb some of it.

1f83546ea1d503575f562e7146fe7709

(78)

on March 17, 2013
at 02:46 PM

I don't like the texture of real liver so, of course, the tablets were great for me and more convenient. The fact you can just have a few at regular intervals, without having to prepare fresh liver, seems like it might be better to bring your iron levels up. And they're cheap too. You can chew them if it helps. Google "desiccated liver tablets review dissolve" and click the davedraper.com link for more information if you're interested too. I'd be very interested to hear how you get on. Good luck whatever you try and I hope you'll be well on the road to feeling better very soon.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 17, 2013
at 01:59 PM

thanks x100. no prilosec for me. i did take it in sept 2011 but that's all. i dont really get heartburn ever since i started paleo. i will look at liver tablets. i have actual liver but not supplemental liver. sounds interesting.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 17, 2013
at 01:57 PM

thanks vb. i did take prilosec for a month in 2011 but my iron levels were okay during that time. i've been wanting a sibo test but doctors in my town are useless for any natural type of testing. i feel the same as you- eating tons of iron rich food and it doesn't get absorbed at all.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 17, 2013
at 01:54 PM

hey travis. i did eat eggs in aug/sept but haven't had them since october i believe. i added cheese maybe 2 months ago? not sure. my supplement list is so embarassingly long. i take random things and never all of these on one day- l glutamine, FCLO, probiotics, serrapeptase, digestive enzymes, astaxanthin, vit d, vit b 12, vit c, colostrum, iron.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 17, 2013
at 12:03 AM

Might try avoiding eggs as well: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1018851723920?LI=true

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 17, 2013
at 12:02 AM

Fish oil might help http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2036.1989.tb00232.x/abstract

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 16, 2013
at 11:56 PM

Have you tried excluding all dairy since you switched diets? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1952962/pdf/brmedj02877-0030.pdf

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 16, 2013
at 11:46 PM

What supplements do you take?

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3 Answers

1
1f83546ea1d503575f562e7146fe7709

(78)

on March 17, 2013
at 09:11 AM

PPIs like Omeprazole seem to cause low iron levels so IF you're on those, or have been, that could be a factor. Stopping them suddenly can cause a rebound effect on stomach acid so tapering off is the answer.

If I needed to bring up my iron levels I'd get some liver tablets and eat them regularly - multiple times a day. Just check that the ingredients are solely desiccated liver and not all sorts of other stuff that seems to be put in a few brands. If you're curious about how far some people have taken it (in terms of quantity) google "Vince Gironda liver tablets".

I believe, in healthy people at least, that the heme iron in liver is much harder to overdose on, unlike the iron in supplements and vegetables. It's also more available.

The tablets I used in the past were Nature's Life - they are quite big but I could swallow two or three at a time, much to my surprise.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 17, 2013
at 01:59 PM

thanks x100. no prilosec for me. i did take it in sept 2011 but that's all. i dont really get heartburn ever since i started paleo. i will look at liver tablets. i have actual liver but not supplemental liver. sounds interesting.

1f83546ea1d503575f562e7146fe7709

(78)

on March 17, 2013
at 02:46 PM

I don't like the texture of real liver so, of course, the tablets were great for me and more convenient. The fact you can just have a few at regular intervals, without having to prepare fresh liver, seems like it might be better to bring your iron levels up. And they're cheap too. You can chew them if it helps. Google "desiccated liver tablets review dissolve" and click the davedraper.com link for more information if you're interested too. I'd be very interested to hear how you get on. Good luck whatever you try and I hope you'll be well on the road to feeling better very soon.

0
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 25, 2013
at 01:18 AM

I ended up finding out what the problem is. I have hypogammaglobulinemia. it's a blood disorder that makes it basically impossible for me to absorb any iron. I guess that's why none of the 14 iron infusions I got ever worked as well as my blood transfusions.

I will be starting IVIG therapy hopefully to find some relief. This infusion will be from 1,000 healthy donors and is approx. 4-6 hours. I'm pretty nervous but I need to do something drastic to get my blood levels up since diet/supplements does not work.

I did start taking liver tablets last week as well as blackstrap molasses. not sure if they are doing anything, but I figured they wouldn't hurt. I also made a meatloaf with beef liver and that was interesting. the taste of liver is not something I really enjoy to be honest haha but I made a huge meatloaf and I never waste good quality meat.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 25, 2013
at 01:51 AM

I think oysters are the way to go, assuming you can absorb some of it.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on April 08, 2013
at 05:15 AM

I remove the meatballs as needed from the fridge. You don't have to thaw them.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on April 08, 2013
at 05:15 AM

Traditionally the solution was eating beef liver every day. The best way I found to eat liver is to make tiny meatballs (half ground liver, half ground beef, and then I like to add a lot of spices but it's optional). I use a measuring (table)spoon to make each ball and bake at 350 for... 10 min? It's REALLY good! I make a huge batch and freeze them. Then I make meatball soup: bring some chicken or beef stock to a boil, add one thinly sliced onion plus as many meatballs as you want, and cook for one minute. You don't want to overcook because the meatballs will have a rubbery texture.

0
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 17, 2013
at 07:05 AM

It happened to me, but I am not sure in your case. Stay strong!

I had SIBO, the doctor did not recognize it, gave me PPI, I got worse on PPIs AND both my iron (all iron tests including ferritin) dropped, as well as protein.

I was like, "Doc, WHY? I eat meat and spinach EVERY DAY!"

His answer was "I don't know".

I no longer have SIBO and my iron is back up! Well, I ate more liver than the whole Masai tribe could in one entire year as well as tons of red (almost uncooked) meat.

But I could do it. Not sure if you can do it in your condition. Check with your doctor. Go for second and third opinions.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 17, 2013
at 01:57 PM

thanks vb. i did take prilosec for a month in 2011 but my iron levels were okay during that time. i've been wanting a sibo test but doctors in my town are useless for any natural type of testing. i feel the same as you- eating tons of iron rich food and it doesn't get absorbed at all.

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