Monday, January 19, 2009


My iron tested too low to give blood last week and I am annoyed. Annoyed enough to call the 24 hr nurse hot line and ask if I should be concerned. When I give blood in the winter I have a hard time testing at the 12.5 and above that they require and they normally need to give me 2 sticks. The usual excuse is that my hands are cold and once I warm them up (with a short burst of calisthenics in the tiny room, which is hysterical, really) I test fine. Thursday I started with 11.7, and managed to raise it to 12.0. Not enough. Suck.

My diet is pretty good. I eat red meat, I eat veggies (steamed and fresh), I eat leafy greens, I drink red wine on occasion (I happened to have 2 glasses the night before). Unfortunately I can't take an iron supplement because I get nauseous. The level of iron that is considered normal for someone my age is between 12.0-16, so I am on the low end of normal. I'm going to have a plate of liver and onions before my next donation and if I still test low I'm making an appointment to get blood work done. I know that the testing method used at the Red Cross is very subjective so I should not be concerned, but it's damned annoying to come in to donate and then have to come back a different night.

Unfortunately my mom has issues with low iron so it's possible that my body is following suit.


Rachel said...

I tend to test low as well. I have a friend who tests very well, and she said that she cooks with cast iron regularly, and makes her own refried beans in her iron skillet for extra iron! Hope this helps, I know you are very dedicated to donating.

Mrs. Pivec said...

I had iron defficient anemia after I had Eve and usually test low too. Have you tried ferrous gluconate as opposed to ferrous sulfate? The ferrous gluconate is over the counter, but often behind the counter for some reason and you have to ask for it specifically. My doctor prescribed that for me when I was iron-defficient specifically because it is supposed to be easier on the stomach. I'm sure you know to take the mineral on a full stomach too, right?

Molasses has a lot of iron too. And I use a cast iron skillet too -every little bit helps! :)