Low Haemoglobin level
June 15, 2008 4:36 PM   Subscribe

My haemoglobin level is 13.7g/DL. (The normal range is 14 to 18). My doctor recommended to take SlowFe Iron tablets. Is it needed to take, since i feel it is only slightly less than the normal. Any other suggestions to improve haemoglobin level. Are there are any other better medicines ? Others who have taken SlowFe, can you share your experience ?
posted by tom123 to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
IANADY (doctor yet)
I don't think you absolutely need to take the iron yet, but it's still a good idea.. There are many different brands of iron. Some people are sensitive to iron and get black diarrhea from taking it.. That's why there are brands such as SlowFe that are supposedly better.. It's really your decision..
posted by majikstreet at 4:48 PM on June 15, 2008

IANAD. But I work at a blood bank and we talk about this all the time. You can increase your hemoglobin/hematocrit by altering your diet. Generally, increase your intake of green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, and red meat. The Red Cross has information on their website.
posted by radioamy at 4:49 PM on June 15, 2008

You got a doctor's advice, don't like it, and so you want opinions from MeFi instead?

Advice: Rethink.
posted by rokusan at 4:50 PM on June 15, 2008 [4 favorites]

"it is only slightly less than the normal"
I think you've misunderstood. It's not slightly less than the normal, it's slightly less than the lower bound of the acceptable range - the 'normal' is somewhere in the middle of that range, and a fair way away from where you are.
What are your worries about SlowFe?
posted by muteh at 5:02 PM on June 15, 2008

I take SlowFe. I have no side effects whatsoever.
posted by HotToddy at 5:09 PM on June 15, 2008

SlowFe has worked fine for me - you have no idea how much better you will feel when your iron gets back into a normal range - go and take it!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 5:11 PM on June 15, 2008

Dietary iron needs citric acid to be optimally absorbed.

Cook broccolli with tinned (or fresh, it's "in season," now) pinapple. Loads of iron and cheap.

Cooking meets with fruits (mangos, pinapples, apricots, nectarines, whatever) might also help. Maybe try out some Malaysian or Thai cooking?
posted by porpoise at 5:48 PM on June 15, 2008

Actually, iron only needs to be consumed with vitamin C if it is non heme iron. Heme iron refers to iron that is the center of a porphyrin. Heme iron is typically found in animal proteins, while non heme iron is more typically found in plants (and some animals as well). Heme iron also increases absorption of non heme iron.
posted by christonabike at 6:16 PM on June 15, 2008

I took SlowFe for months due to anemia while pregnant (fairly common). No noticeable upsides or downsides other than my iron levels improved. Since queasiness can sometimes occur, I took it at night with a little bit of citrus juice.
posted by cocoagirl at 6:26 PM on June 15, 2008

If you do indeed have iron-deficiency anemia, using cast iron cookware can help. That is not a substitute for following your physician's advice, though. Without knowing such things as your dietary habits and other medical problems it is impossible to know the significance of a single lab result.

As an aside, most people do not realize that "normal" lab results are typically determined by measuring the value in question in a group of healthy volunteers (often medical students strapped for cash) and setting the high and low values as the mean plus or minus two standard deviations; or in other words 95% of the results are defined as "normal". This means that 5% of healthy people will have an abnormal result on any given test; for that reason I tend to take an isolated borderline abnormal lab value with a grain of salt. As I mentioned above it is impossible to know the context of the low hemoglobin in the poster's overall health, so listen to what rokusan said above.
posted by TedW at 7:57 PM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

I also took it while I was pregnant, had no side effects at all, or queasiness.
posted by Joh at 10:39 PM on June 15, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and time.
posted by tom123 at 12:16 PM on June 19, 2008

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