Iron deficiency anaemia treatment

Patient

Q: I want to increase my iron levels so I can donate blood. I am always low everytime I want to donate but this time, I was not too low. My blood level was 12.4 and I have been taking 27mg of iron everyday and eating high iron foods. Should I take a 65mg Ferrous Sulfate pill? Would that be dangerous since my iron levels are normal? Should this pill only be taken during my period? Serious answers please! I was really hurt because I could not donate that day. Category

Doctor

A:   If your haemoglobin level is now normal and your iron studies are within the normal ranges, you do not require high dose iron supplementation. If your iron deficiency anaemia is secondary to menstruation, increasing your dietary iron may be adequate. Sources of iron in the diet include: red meats, fish, poultry, and any kind of liver, cooked beans and lentils, green leafy vegetables; spinach, broccoli; dried fruit, raisins, figs, prunes and apricots. It is also worth noting that meat proteins and vitamin C improve the absorption of iron, however tannins (found in tea), caffeinated beverages, calcium, and phytates (found in legumes and whole grains) can decrease absorption. I suggest attending your family doctor to check to your iron studies, which include serum ferritin and total iron binding capacity. If these are within normal ranges I would discontinue the supplements and continue to augment your diet appropriately.

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