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Was hospitalized for anemia


Ashland86
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Title sounds worse , but basically I was at work yesterday felt great. Then I started getting all sweaty which isn't unusual, because it is hot at my job. Then I started feeling dizzy and was losing my breathe by just walking. I felt a weakness in my thighs and arms, they were really sore. I at first thought I was dehydrated, so I was gulping down powerade which wasn't helping. And things that are light were feeling like they weighed a ton. As the day went on the symptoms got worse and worse. It was to the point it took 5 minutes to catch my breathe so I went to the E.R. thinking I was dehydrated, they put me on iv's did some test as a precaution and about 4 hours later the DR. came back and said I know why you were feeling weak your anemic, your levels are 8.2 and when it gets in the 7's we have to do a blood transfusion. ( a normal woman is between 12-14)

 

And that freaked me out, because I don't like blood. The thought alone made me want to throw up. I found out I was anemic when I was in college trying to donate blood. Actually this is before I even stopped eating meat. You know they prick your finger drop a bit in this water if it sinks you can donate if it floats they have to test it again? Well mine are floaters, I even had someone jokingly say " your trying give blood but I think we need to give you some"

 

At times I do feel fatigue but yesterday it was horrible, I always thought it was because I laid around all the previous day. Any help or suggestions? I did a search and didn't find a similar topic.

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Take iron supplements and eat a lot more high iron foods (soy, other beans, lentils, seeds like pumpkin and hemp, spinach, blackstrap molasses, dates etc - http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm#table1). And if you cook much at home, get a cast iron skillet. Cooking in those, especially if you have anything acidic in the skillet (eg tomato sauce) dramatically increases the iron content of your food.

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I was anemic as a vegetarian, now I donate blood as a vegan

What works best for me:

1) Make sure you consume vitamin c with iron-rich foods!

Vitamin C makes the iron absorption easier. So f.ex. if you're eating lentil curry, make sure you drink a glass of orange juice with it or just eat or drink anything that has vitamin C along with it!

2) Look for a list of iron rich foods and try to include those more into your diet!

My favourites are: millet(!), lentils, beans, quinoa, spinach, potatoes, oat.

 

Only once they told me that my levels are too low to donate blood (still OK though, but too low for a donation), and what I did after that to get my iron back up: I drank 1tbsp blackstrap molasses mixed with 2 tbsp hot water (dissolve it this way), and a bit of cold orange juice. I like the taste (it is quite unique though so I'm not sure if everyone is into it), and it gives you a lot of iron and orange juice has vitamin c in it.

 

I guess at the moment it would be best to take iron supplements though, considering the very low levels!

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The suggestions of what to add to your body are good ones but I think your first order of business should be to determine if your body is actually absorbing what you are eating. No amount of supplementation, food, etc. will help if the cells aren't taking it in and using it properly. I would recommend seeking out a naturopath.

 

Naturopaths tend to have a better understanding of how the systems of the body work together and how one system may be working against another one under stress. Also, their solutions tend to be natural ones that are gentle and easy on the body, not some manufactured drug or processed vitamin that the body will have to work even harder to absorb and might even reject. Last, and definitely not least, they won't tell you to stop being vegan, they will work with your nutritional/ethical choices.

 

Most regular doctors are severely prejudiced against vegetarian and vegan diets (let alone bodybuilders) because they are still being taught old-fashioned mindsets in medical schools. To give you an example, many doctors actually call big bodybuilders unhealthy because their BMI is high, completely ignoring body fat percentages and stress testing, which are usually very good. Many insurance companies go off of BMI alone--not fair or accurate for the muscular athlete.

 

Herc

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Naturopaths are also quacks. They believe in homeopathy and "vitalism" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitalism). And sorry BH, but do you have a source on the human body rejecting iron? It's not as easily absorbed when not in food, but telling someone severely anemic to avoid iron supplements is reckless.

 

If you're going to see someone about your diet who's not a real doctor, go to a nutritionist or registered dietitian. They are taught evidence based medicine which and can help you plan iron rich meals.

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I was anemic as a vegetarian, now I donate blood as a vegan

 

That kind of thing is common. Cow's milk has very little, if any iron in it. Vegetarians tend to load up on dairy thinking that it is the next "best" thing to meat. That leaves them with less room for foods that DO have iron in a meaningful quantity.

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Naturopaths are also quacks. They believe in homeopathy and "vitalism" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitalism). And sorry BH, but do you have a source on the human body rejecting iron? It's not as easily absorbed when not in food, but telling someone severely anemic to avoid iron supplements is reckless.

 

If you're going to see someone about your diet who's not a real doctor, go to a nutritionist or registered dietitian. They are taught evidence based medicine which and can help you plan iron rich meals.

 

Where did I say don't take iron? I said make sure your body is going to get the full advantage of it before you take anything. There are forms of anemia that result from an inability to absorb nutrients regardless of how many the person is ingesting. I had it, myself, and it is now completely cured thanks to a naturopath.

 

Herc

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Also, their solutions tend to be natural ones that are gentle and easy on the body, not some manufactured drug or processed vitamin that the body will have to work even harder to absorb and might even reject.

 

This implies that you think processed vitamins should be avoided.

 

I believe "that the body will have to work even harder to absorb and might even reject" processed vitamins. Avoidance, or any other method of treatment, is up to the individual. I believe being well informed is essential in such decisions so I am offering my experience with a successful treatment of anemia here as a source.

 

Herc

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I've been anemic for months.

I used to get dizzy spells constantly, and I was always tired and cold. My face had no color in it. I looked SICK.

I tried adding iron-rich foods to my diet but it wasn't enough, so I got some pills. I take them with orange juice.

They made me feel better within days, but unfortunately.. iron supplements can upset your stomach. Take them at night when you're at home and don't plan on going anywhere.. lol!

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if you're eating lentil curry, make sure you drink a glass of orange juice with it
I don't think this would be very digestible. Hercule talked about absorption... this is important, because sometimes people eat enough iron/b12/calcium/etc, but they don,t absorb it well.

There are some foods that contain both iron and vitaminC, like parsley and spinach... Nature is perfect.

 

Naturopaths are also quacks. They believe in homeopathy and "vitalism" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitalism).
Homeopathy can work. Many farmers are giving homeopathy to cattle instead of conventional antibiotics that most farmers give. My brother often had otitis when he was young, for years my mother was giving him liquid for ears at each infection. After like 4 years she decided to try homeopathy and my brother never had otitis again.

I have otitis once a year in my right ear and it often seems blocked. I've tried what conventional doctors gave me, it keeps coming back. Soon I will see a naturopath that's for sure.

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your levels are 8.2 and when it gets in the 7's we have to do a blood transfusion. ( a normal woman is between 12-14)

A study made in an hospital tried to experiment with different criterion to do transfusions instead of systematically do it at 7, they lowered the standards for a group of 400 children with anemia and kept the regular standard for another group of 400. In the group with less blood transfusions, there was 30 less children that died. 30 more kids died in the group with more blood transfusions, because often new blood causes more harm to the body than it helps.

 

I had similar symptoms to yours except it was more sudden and violent: I would start feeling weird and warm and weak, and if I don't sit or lie down quickly I would fall on the ground and would be almost unconscious, unable to move but with eyes open; unable to move and afraid of dying. the only thing I could do was to wait a few minutes and then I was fine. Weird. It wasn't symptoms during a whole day like for you . This happened to me 2-3 times during a period of about 2 months, 2 years ago. Never took supplements, it does not happen anymore.

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