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Mildly anemic?

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I have been cleared to donate blood for a few months now. I go every two months like clock work. Each time you donate your vitals must be good and hemoglobin has to be above 12.5
I had my finger stick and it was 10.4....the low end of normal is 12.1
There are a few different reasons why that # could be low but based on what I've researched and discussed with the nurse I think I have low iron.
*For the past 6 weeks I have been irritable and haven't had much energy. I thought maybe it was cabin fever or maybe I wasn't getting enough protien. Started drinking my "protien shake" (that's in quotations because it's not a typical shake. It's my shake) after a few days I started feeling a little better. When I donated last, on 12/29/15 my # was 13.4. Nothing has changed since then. No new meds, nothing EXCEPT that I started drinking tea in January. Every morning. I got this info online--
*"Compounds in tea called tannins can combine with nonheme iron and make it less available for absorption. Drinking tea with a meal can decrease iron absorption by 50% or more, and that may increase the chances of iron deficiency. Putting lemon juice in the tea helps counter the negative effect by increasing iron absorption. Coffee may also decrease iron absorption, though not as much as tea."
I checked and my multi vitamin doesn't have iron in it. So I added iron, 65mg a day and I take it at the same time I take vitamin C vit. C is supposed to help absorb the iron.
Later in the day I take a B12, D3, multi-vitamin with omega and biotin. Am I missing any vitamins here? Doc never said I had to take anything else. He prescribed pre-natal vitamins but those thing are horse pills!! I'll be going for routine blood work soon enough, so we will see what goes on. I'm going to schedule to donate in a few weeks, give my body time to get on track. No more tea for me.

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  1. xena7158's Avatar
    Oh wow, what a great find - I started drinking herbal teas in December (switched from coffee, in preparation for surgery). I now drink copious amounts of herbal tea during the day ... thinking it helps to get in the liquids...I wonder if it's ALL tea, or just like black tea, or green tea or whatever. What kind of tea were you drinking?
    I know that calcium and iron fight for "absorption rights" if you take them near each other, so maybe iron supplement being taken too close to foods with calcium, and iron loses most of the time?
  2. Sandra3's Avatar
    I had anemia for many years. Mainly because of pregnancies, huge blood loss and heavy periods. I never drink tea with my meals because I knew about iron absorption (herbal tea is different, there's no caffeine here).
    I had to take many sorts of iron, some made me sick, sometimes I took it from algae (spirulina) and felt it was working better. I just wonder about the dose you take because 28mg is supposed to be the max per day (since there's iron in meat etc) and iron can be toxic...just be careful....I noticed the pre natal vitamins from walmart are now much smaller, and way cheaper (it's like 6$ a box) but you need to take 2. Take care!
  3. jdavidson's Avatar
    I gave blood about a month ago at my work and I was worried how the finger stick was going to go. Yep right hand I was too low. So she poked the left hand and I was okay to donate.
  4. Ann2's Avatar
    Thanks for this info. I'll keep an eye on this.
  5. MargeB's Avatar
    Multivitamin should have iron in it (less important for us postmenopause people), and you need to separate iron and calcium by at least two hours. Also, B12 is critical for anemia prevention, so you may want to bump that.

    I just donated last week, and mine was high.

    When was the last time you had a metabolic panel run? It might be time. Things change.
  6. Aydensmomma's Avatar
    Xena, I was drinking just black tea. Not sure if it's all tea or not. I take my iron pill with my vitamin C seperate from my others.

    I'll be having blood work in a few weeks so we will see where I'm at.
  7. Muted_Tummy's Avatar
    this is one of the things I am hoping sleeve fixes....EVERY TIME I try and donate I am rejected. I already supplement (not extra extra iron, though)