iron count - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-15-2003, 11:14 AM
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today i have my first wellness checkup since i became vegan and i have no idea what my doctor is going to say. im not worried about that, just more that my iron count might be too low. every year when my sisters and i get our checkups we always have a little competition to see who's iron is the highest. theyre going to the doctor on thursday but im going today and if its below 11 my mom is making me stop being vegan!!!! i ate all the iron filled things i could yesterday like my fortified veggieburger and spinach salad and almonds and strawberries and raisins. i even made oatmeal raisin cookies just because they had a ton of iron (they were really good i even had one for breakfast hehehe) but i dont know if thats going to be enough. if my iron count is really high my mom will take me to the farmer's market which i havent been to in a long time so i can get some soy butter and stuff but i dont know if it will be high enough...gah!!! what else has iron that i could eat?
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#2 Old 07-15-2003, 11:21 AM
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If you eat something with iron in it right now, your body won't have time to use it to make new red blood cells (if my science is off, anyone please correct me) so it won't affect your iron count on the test. However, if you do turn out to be anemic, you have options other than giving up on vegetarianism (which doesn' t cause anemia anyway): You can commit to eating iron-rich foods consistently (not just before tests) or you can take iron supplements. For me, it doesn't seem to matter how much iron I get in my diet, I still need the pills to keep in the normal range. (Of course, you shouldn't take the pills unless your doctor tells you to. Iron isn't water soluble so if you take in too much it can build up and cause other problems.)



Good luck on your test.
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#3 Old 07-15-2003, 11:44 AM
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I've actually brought my iron levels up since becoming vegetarian. My doctor was quite impressed. Last October, as an omni, they were 4 which is dangerously low. They are now 20.



Look for cream of wheat. It has 10mg of iron in it. Also some brands of tofu (firm) have about 10 mg of iron. easy. Who needs liver!!!!!!

Do not consume something rich in calcium when consuming iron as it cancels the iron out. Also do not drink tea with an iron-rich meal. to increase the absorption of iron, have something with Vitamin C.



Good luck with iron tests. Let us know the results and who wins the iron woman competition!
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#4 Old 07-16-2003, 01:21 AM
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Most GPs only take an iron count and not ferritin. The iron count may be low, but you still have enough iron in the body. Normal ranges are statistical values, which means any value over or under two standard deviations are considered not nornmal. So a "normal" value for iron refelcts normal range of omnivores. I think a little bit under the norm is better because iron is aggressive promotes free radicals.

To sum it up: look if the ferritin is low, if yes: use AuroraLily`s suggesstion.

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#5 Old 07-16-2003, 11:03 AM
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14.7!!!!! yay!!!! my doctor said thats really good but she still wasnt happy about me being veg. shes making me take a multivitamin and write down everything i eat daily to make sure im getting protein, calcium, etc. etc.



i'll post iron woman results tomorrow when my sisters get their iron checked!!!
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#6 Old 07-16-2003, 11:57 AM
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If you want, jot down what you eat and such and post for us. That way, we can help you out and get twinked, if needed, so that the doctor will be uber impressed.



Just a note, please post it in this thread or a new one if you do it, as I often don't look at the what did you eat today thread and I'm fairly handy at helping with meal plans; or so I've been told
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#7 Old 07-16-2003, 12:05 PM
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An iron count contest? That sounds..... bizarre.



I've been vegan for a decade and my diet is really bad but my iron levels are fine.
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#8 Old 07-16-2003, 12:18 PM
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I agree.

More than middle range of "normal" I consider abnormal.

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#9 Old 07-16-2003, 01:34 PM
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"14.7!!!!! yay!!!! my doctor said thats really good but she still wasnt happy about me being veg."

----------------





Yeah ... glad you got above 11 (but I disagree with your Mom saying she'd "make" you go un-vegan ). Your doctor sounds biased!



---------------------

" to increase the absorption of iron, have something with Vitamin C.

-----------------------



Sometimes if I make a rice stir fry with sauteed tofu cubes, I'll also throw clemintine segments in the pan right at the end (don't want to cook them but just heat them so they aren't fridge temperature). Oranges and pineapple can be good in stirfries (with the right other ingredients





I wonder what my iron is ...hmmm,
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#10 Old 07-19-2003, 04:00 AM
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im vegan too, and my friends mom has been pointing the "iron deficiency" finger at me...I was crunching my ice cubes. oopsies. I think I'll just dig up that list of iron happy foods and calcium ones to then tack it to my fridge. Yumm raisins. ]



wonder what my count is. Huh. Well, congrats! Good for you. i might try checking if I'm getting enough of what I need to , log for a week, then bury my nose in that nutrition book thingy. I think i might have a family history of osteoporis...soo...Maybe if I get really, REALLY bored though.
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#11 Old 07-19-2003, 04:04 AM
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Randomly, I know my iron count b/c I gave blood two days ago. It was 13.9 (they said 12.5 was min. to donate).

Yay! I never thought it would be low, but that shows you that a decent veg diet w/out supplements can do just fine (at least for me). So NYAH to all those who are all negative on our choice!
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#12 Old 07-19-2003, 04:10 PM
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going vegan was exactly what took me off iron supplements, i had pretty bad anemia before that (i've always been a dairy-addict veg). after i went vegan i never had problems with iron again.
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#13 Old 07-19-2003, 06:28 PM
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hehe i won the iron woman tournament!!!! (as AuroraLily dubbed it) my (non-veg) sisters got 13.2 and lower...muahahahahahaha



ive started using the www.fitday.com thing to track what im eating since my doctor said to keep it in a journal but i found the internet thing easier!!!
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#14 Old 07-19-2003, 10:05 PM
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congratulations.

I just thought of another good source of iron: figs. I didn't like them at first but now I find they really help satisfy sugar cravings.

I have definitely noticed in my energy levels since I brought my iron levels up. I'm not falling asleep at 8pm any more!
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#15 Old 07-21-2003, 01:04 PM
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I used to get anemic with my periods. I'd get dizzy, light-headed, fatugued, etc. Since becoming veg it has improved. I'm not sure why.



And you're in Alpharetta, GA, girl! I *know* you can find some collard greens! I recommend the Kroger frozen collard greens with veg broth or veg boullion seasoning. (The canned ones usually have meat/broth in them.) Of course, not everyone likes greens.
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