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This post may be a little long, please bear with me.<br><br>
I've been a vegetarian for almost a year now. I've never run into any problems, until now.. Last semester I worked almost full time on top of all my classes. I usually got 4-6 hours of sleep but I wasn't feeling weak in any way. Lately I've been extremely tired, even with 10+ hours of sleep per night. I get headaches more often and just feel horrible in general. I had jaw surgery over a month ago and while I know the fatigue may just be from the demands of surgery, I think it mostly has to do with my diet. I basically lived off smoothies and soup for 3 weeks, and right now I can only eat soft foods which severely limits my food choices. I was talking to my friend and she suggested iron supplements (what her doctor suggested when she had similar symptoms). I tracked my diet for a few days and found that it was quite low in iron (only about 50% of daily recommended intake), so I went out and bought the supplements. But I've just realised that the daily recommended iron intake is about 30mg for vegetarian women, and the supplements I have are 50mg, the lowest I found. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/dizzy2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":dizzy:"> I don't know if I should continue to take them seeing as it's in such a large dose, but I have been feeling a bit better since I began taking them (just 2 days ago)<br><br><br><br>
I should probably go and see my doctor about it but he's not very vegetarian friendly, and I'd just rather not go. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/bigcry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":cry:"><br><br><br><br>
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. =)
 

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Hm. I wouldn't worry about taking an overdose or anything with just 50mg. It's unlikely that you're absorbing all of that anyway. Plus, if you're iron-deficient, you would want MORE than the RDA to get your stores back up.<br><br><br><br>
I understand that you're doc isn't veg-friendly, but it might be worth it to get a blood test. Then you'd likely know for sure if lack of iron is the culprit. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I agree with Jen, a blood test is a good way to go. I'm anemic, and a lack of iron will make you dizzy, tired, and all together icky lazy feeling. (don't you love my professional vocabulary? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p">) I think the supplement will be fine! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I'm with the others, but I've got one additional comments. If you dislike your doctor so much, why don't you switch? Unless you're in such a small town that there is only one, it should be easy. Though after surgery, I guess you might want to wait until you're done recovering.<br><br><br><br>
I've actually been through 4 doctors in the last 8 years or so, but that's also because we have a higher than normal percentage of truly incompetent morons practicing medicine down here in Florida. I think all the doctors that can't cut it anywhere else come down here to scam all the retirees, who have to go to doctors often because they're getting old.<br><br><br><br>
--Fromper<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/juggle.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":juggle:">
 

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If iron is in question try to have an iron and ferritin count (blood test) and afterwards you most probably can leave the worries to someone else. If you unfriendly doctor will only test iron, resist the temption to throw something at hin, but insist on the ferritin count. "Normal" blood levels are statistically derived and reflect more the iron level of omnivores. But if the ferritin is below (in our lab 20 ng/ml) a certain level, then and only then you'll need iron.
 

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Iron can be stored in the liver. If you're worried you're taking too much (or if you get constipated, that's a sign of excess iron intake) you can simply take it every other day.<br><br><br><br>
Taking a food with Vit C along with the iron improves its absorption. That's easy to do with smoothies.
 

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If you're discouraged from going to the doctor, you should consider switching.<br><br><br><br>
I had some weird female thing going on (bleeding for 3 weeks straight). In that time, I could tell my iron was VERY low. I found some iron vitamins at Target that are a vegetarian formula. I knew I was low on iron because not only was a weak, but I had (still have because I haven't started taking them yet) bruises all over my body, especially on my legs.<br><br><br><br>
I plan on starting them up soon (I have strep throat now and am going to finish my antibiotics first).<br><br><br><br>
WARNING: Possible side effects of iron supplements include: stomach cramps, constipation, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting the first few days as your body adjusts to the medication. Iron can cause the stools to turn black in color. This is due to unabsorbed iron and is not harmful. Inform your doctor if you develop: severe stomach pains, chest pain, clammy skin, bluish-colored lips or fingernails. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
 

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Hi Miori,<br><br>
With iron deficiency there are a couple of ways to treat it .<br><br><br><br>
The advice given by Lothar Kirsch and IamJen was very good<br><br><br><br>
Remember just because your Dr is not vegetarian friendly is his problem not yours.......... politely but firmly make him aware of it<br><br><br><br>
Iron deficiency can feel like your system is being shut down , but with right diagnoses is easily treatable
 

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I used to be chronically iron-deficient when I ate meat.<br><br><br><br>
I eat eggs and dairy. However, to be on the safe side, I take small doses of a herbal iron and B12 tonic I bought from a health food store, which is 100% derived from plant sources. Since being veggie, I have optimum iron levels at all times, as evidenced by my physician's last blood test and physical. My blood pressure is now so low, they are sure I'll faint in the doc's office!<br><br><br><br>
You might want to try a health food store for a similar product if you're worried.<br><br><br><br>
My teenage daughter was in a class that told them that people who don't eat meat are low in iron and weak from lack of protein. At this assertion, she replied that her Mum is veggie and is in excellent health. There was no intelligent response to that comment.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/naughty.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":naughty:">
 
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