I'd eat a herd of cattle if I thought it would help
December 17, 2010 9:33 AM Subscribe
What do I eat to increase my red blood cells?
posted by Felicity Rilke to food & drink (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I had surgery December 2nd to resect a small piece of my sigmoid colon and remove tumors from my peritoneum. I was discharged from the hospital three and a half days post-surgery and developed some kind of infection that landed me back in the hospital for another six days. While there, I learned that my red blood cells were quite low and continued to drop. My first day home from my second time at the hospital, and I started hemorrhaging -- the pocket of infection began draining itself. The blood is watery and pink, so it's not a huge concern, but it is steady and expected to last all weekend. My energy (which was already low) has completely nose-dived. I know a lot of this is related to the antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and pain meds I'm on, but there's definitely something different going on since the bleeding started. I suspect it's my blood counts taking another hit.
I've been told to rest at home and go back to the hospital if I develop a fever. But I'd like to do what I can to start feeling better. Sleeping just breeds more sleep without increasing my energy. What can I eat to raise my red blood cells? Keep in mind that my appetite is low, and I'm trying not to challenge my intestines after having them cut apart and pieced back together. A bloody steak would probably be awesome for iron, but hell on my bowels. So what do I need to eat? Is it just iron-rich foods? Something else? I've never in my life had problems with anemia/low red cells, so this is something new to me. I don't even know what foods are most iron-rich, other than beef.
Metafilter, please impart your nutrition expertise.