Last night, when I went to donate blood I failed the "sink test" which confirms your iron level is high enough to donate blood.This has never happened to me before. When they put a sample of my blood into um...some kind of machine to see if it WAS high enough, my level was 12.5...the bare minimum to allow for donation. Had it of been 12.4, I would have been considered "too anemic to donate". Usually my blood sinks like a rock when I go to donate, so this was a huge suprise, though I should probably note that I was anemic as a younger teen because I ate very unhealthly, and really no meat, and because I am more prone to low iron levels. Having a carefully planned diet(although not completly veg until earlier this year) for the past year and a half or more. I am VERY concious of what I eat. I eat lots of whole grains and iron rich foods, but obviously I could be doing alot better. I suppose having non meat sources means that I am not metabolizing the iron as well.
So, suggestions on what I can bump up? I should be, from the nutritional values of the food I am eating, theoretically getting enough, even a little extra iron, but apparently this is not the case.
Also, interestingly, the woman ahead of me also failed her sink test. She is older, and has been a donor for a very long time. She informed me she is also vegetarian. She is a maraton runner, and very healthy, but says she has never passed the sink test, and has only once scored a 12.4(too low to donate), the rest of the time, her iron levels tested in the machine are very good, but not exteremely high. Of the 80 people who came through the clinic that night, we were 2 of the 3 people who failed the sink test (the other one was just a floating blob of blood, and I dont know who it came from,lol)
Any help you lovely VBers can give me about upping my iron levels would be greatly appreciated!