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Let's Talk about Iron



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I am four months out from RNY surgery and doing really well. I recently had my Vitamin levels checked, and several measures of my Iron were low. Normal range for a woman, I believe, is 10-150. Mine was 5. My surgeon was not overly concerned about this--will monitor and see how I am doing at my 6 month blood work, possibly supplement with an Iron pill. I currently take 36 mg iron in my chewable Multivitamin. I am okay with waiting, except for the fact that my hair is falling out like crazy. (Not all the fault of low iron, I know....but I believe it is contributing to it.)

In the meantime, my primary care doctor has encouraged me to try to increase the amount of iron I am getting in my diet. She agrees that I will probably need a larger supplement than what I am currently taking, but feels that it would be good to try and see if I can raise my iron level through diet before my 6 month blood test. Iron fortified Cereal seems to be the best source of iron that I can eat. My current plan is adding a quarter cup of bran flakes to my greek yogurt--gives it a nice little crunch and gives me 6 mg of iron in just a quarter cup. (To compare, ground beef has about half a mg per ounce.)

Wondering what everyone else is doing for iron. DId you have problems with iron being low right after surgery? Do you supplement with a pill, injections, other??

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I have had issues with low Iron levels even prior to surgery and it actually has not been too bad after. I have had to get Iron infusions at certain points due to the inability to tolerate oral iron supplements. I will suggest green leafy vegetables which are high in iron such as spinach and broccoli. Also, organ meat such as liver as well. Those work well to bring up iron stores and the vegetables help with constipation that iron supplements seem to help cause. Hopefully your iron stores go up soon.

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I'm about a year out from RNY and am having trouble with Iron deficiency. My surgeon suggested I take ferrous gluconate (because stomach is less acidic after RNY) three times a day with meals. I'm really hoping this helps because I'm sick of being so tired and lightheaded all the time.

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I developed an Iron deficiency after a year. My doctor sent me to a hematologist for an Iron infusion. It turns out that our pouches have the section of our stomach that absorbs iron bypassed completely. My hematologist explained that no amount of iron supplements can change your ferritin level after surgery since the iron will just pass through you. It's odd that so many nurses and doctors don't seem know that our duodenum has been bypassed.

Not every patient will develop iron issues. Make sure you know your ferritin level. Mine was at 33 ng/mL. Please note that your ferritin level is NOT the same as your iron level. You can have a normal iron level and low ferritin at the same time.

This picture shows how the duodenum is bypassed after surgery. It makes it obvious why your supplements are never going to pass through it.

http://www.women-info.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/obesity-64-gastricbypass.jpg

Low ferritin levels can be serious for GB patients when left untreated. Iron infusions are the only known treatment that improves ferritin levels.

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I am 9months post op from bariatric surgery #3 subtotal gastrectomy with RNY gastrojejunostomy, I have started Iron infusions 3weeks ago, my hematologist strongly suggested I come in twice a week for 6weeks but I am only going once a week, it's takes about 3 hours from the time I walk in to when I leave, and I feel like crap after, and I also have to give myself B 12 injections once every 2 weeks, my suggestion to anyone who starts showing signs of anemia or B12 deficiency should take it seriously and see a hematologist, better to treat it early then what I'm going through,

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I am 13 months out from RNY surgery. My surgeon has had me on VItron C since before surgery. It is Iron plus C so it is easier to absorb. I haven't had any issues with my Iron levels although I did lose a bunch of hair but that doesn't seem to be related.

pam

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