Dieting with Obstacles - Anyone else develop anemia while losing weight?

04-05-2013, 04:16 PM
Lately I have been really struggling health-wise. A month ago I tried to donate blood but because my hemoglobin count was too low they refused to take my blood and they referred me a nurse who then sent me to my GP with a blood test request.

Anyway, I have extremely low ferritin (3)...some of the lowest I've found in my internet searchings and am now on Feramax, a minimal side-effect high dose iron supplement. Incidentally my hemoglobin count was just slightly low (11) so I'm not super "anemic" per se.

Here's the interesting thing and what I am really struggling with right now: What could have caused such a low count? There are so many different causes floating through my foggy brain right now so I thought I'd ask if anyone else has dealt with this as well and if they have any advice? I often wonder if my lifestyle change has caused this though I eat very balanced (just no seafood!).

Some background stuff about me:
-I have endometriosis (or it's suspected by my ob-gyn) so I am on BC continuously and have only 4 light periods a year.
-I eat a very good balance of veggies/fruits/fats/meats.

I am off to see my doctor tomorrow since I feel remarkedly WORSE on these iron supplements than I did off of them and it's only a been a month! (some slight GI issues but anemic symptoms have been amplified...)

Even if no one has advice, I just need someone to comiserate! Due to the nature of the symptoms sometimes I worry it's all in my head...

Here's an example of my diet (I eat extremely low cal for the first half the day because I value and love to have a really lovely sit down dinner):


-fruit and veg smoothie (1/2 banana, 1/2 cup strawberries, mango + 2 leaves of kale)

-2 gingersnaps and a cup of tea

-1 large pepperoni stick or 2 small ones
- chunk of cheese
- 1 cup of carrots and celery and dip
- apple + pb

-Varies but I cycle through through these meals a lot:
-low fat beef stroganoff
-jacket potatos with meaty toppings
-zucchini lasanga
-pulled chicken lettuce wraps
-pizza (at least twice a week! low fat & homemade)

- sugar free homemade pudding
- popcorn (popped in coconut oil)

04-05-2013, 06:06 PM
Can you possibly get a referral to a hematologist? Personally, that's what I would do... It sounds like seeing a specialist would be the logical next step from what you describe... So they could get to the bottom of it....

04-10-2013, 05:18 PM
I have really gone downhill since I posted this. My doctor's appointment the following day was a joke. I couldn't really get a word in edge-wise and left with a suggestion that I take more vitamins (calcium, d3 and b12) and a prescription for anti-depressants. I had a breakdown after that because this is a doctor that I thought I could trust. It took me a very long time to find one that I felt actually cared about what I had to say. I feel so let down and like I really have no one to go to. He didn't even seem interested in finding a reason for the low ferritin. There is a doctor-shortage in my city so finding one that is accepting new patients is a major hurdle.

I feel like I'm falling apart. I'll probably just wallow in self-pity for a good long while.

joyful retiree
04-12-2013, 12:19 PM
why don't you try eating more iron rich foods. just remember that the iron in meats is superior to that in veggies for those who are anemic. also, vit b-12 is needed for the body to process iron. you get that in iron rich meats. also, having vit c at the time you eat an iron rich food increases the uptake of iron. just have an orange with a steak, for example. google iron rich foods & lots of info will come up. good luck.

04-15-2013, 02:39 PM
Yes but according to a DNA test-and this is actually accurate about me-I am genetically prone to anemia. I get it a lot. Especially when I am losing weight-so I am taking these iron therapy pills called "Feosol". They help a lot-take a few days though.