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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
At my 31 week MW apt this week, I was told that my 28 week blood tests have shown that my iron levels are a little low. We agreed that I would make some dietary changes and take Spatone (in addition to Sanatogen mother-to-be multivits I'm already taking) for two weeks then get tested again. If the levels are still low, the doctor will prescribe iron tablets.

Will two weeks be long enough for any changes to show up in my blood? I was tested in the past for B12 deficiency and had to take supplements for 2 months before being retested to see if they had made a difference.

Thanks
 

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This is what one of our standard texts says about iron supplements - but these levels will be seen with therapeutic doses of iron provided by 2-3mg/Kg of elemental iron or approximately 2-3 ferrous sulphate tablets per day.....Onset of initial response in iron deficiency: 1 week - higher increases in haemaglobin levels for the first 2 weeks, then lower weekly increases until normal levels achieved.

If you have had B12 levels low in the past, have your B12 and folate levels as well as you mean cell volume been checked this time?

Iron deficiency is seen by a low haemaglobin level and the cells tend to be small.
In B12 and folate deficiency the haemaglobin will be low, but the cells enlarged.

B12 is obtained from the diet, but in certain individuals the vitamin cannot be absorbed from the gut and has to be given by monthly injections. I believe it is quite rare to have a B12 deficiency from the diet unless you are vegan.

It is important to differentiate the cause of the anaemia, rather than just treating a low haemaglobin level with iron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Hazel, that's really helpful.

I have had my B12 levels checked two or three times over the last couple of years, and again, along with folate when I first found out I was pregnant.  I have managed to maintain the level of B12 by taking a supplement that contains 250% of the RDA and as far as I'm aware my folate levels are fine. I have also seen a dietician who has assessed my diet (I'm vegetarian), and as you say that doesn't seem to be the cause.

My iron levels are apparently only borderline at the moment which is why they have agreed not to put me on supplements straight away, but they have gone down since my initial pregnancy blood tests, so I'll be interested to see how they change over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks again.
 
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