View Full Version : Iron problems!

06-18-2008, 04:52 PM
OK so I went almost two weeks ago to give blood for my surgery. I only had to give one unit since my dad donated the other unit, but my hemoglobin was at 12 before the donation. I had not been taking iron since I have never had problems donating and having low hemoglobin before, but apparently I would not have even been allowed to donate for the general population unless my iron was at least 12.5. They let me donate though since it was for autologous. So, my question is, I started to take iron supplements (only 1-2 a day, 65 mg) and now I am constipated, lol (I know this is the only place I can post this, you all should understand, haha). MY surgery is a week from this next coming monday (JUne 30th), and I really don't want to be constipated before my surgery but I also can't have low hemoglobin. Any suggestions? Sorry for the unpleasant subject!

06-18-2008, 04:59 PM
There was a really good post recently about how to boost your iron, I think from Pam. Here you go, I just looked it up:


I'm sure it wouldn't hurt if you ate steak and creamed or sauted spinach for dinner every night :) I haven't had this surgery yet, but before the birth of my last child, I was such a carnivore, and ate more beef than I ever ate in my whole life. 3 weeks after the birth I had a major hemorage and lost LOTS of blood. I was very surprised that I didn't need a transfusion, and the dr. told me that my iron level, even after the hemorage & emergency D&C, was higher than hers. I had to atttribute that fact to all the beef I ate while pregnant.

Are you trying anything for your constipation? I'd hate to go into surgery in that condition.

Good luck!

loves to skate
06-18-2008, 06:12 PM
Your pharmacist should be able to get you some iron with colase for the constipation. It isn't always out on the shelves, but they should have it somewhere. I don't know why the Dr's don't tell you that. Sally

06-18-2008, 06:16 PM
Abbie-- here's a link to Linda Racine's helpful hints for preparing for surgery-- and if you scroll down a ways, there are some constipation tips. Maybe that will help. Plus if you read that thread debbei gave you, the first post gives a link to some other discussions on iron, but I don't remember if they talk about constipation or not. Good luck! And I've been thinking about you and your upcoming surgery!


06-18-2008, 07:34 PM
Hi Abbie,

I had surgery 3 weeks ago and had problems with my hemoglobin levels too. I refused to take iron supplements due to constipation. I was very light headed after my second donation. I ate a few burgers and was amazed at how much better they made me feel. My mom gave me some Repliva (I'm not sure if this is prescription or not) to boost my iron after I came home from the hospital. It's non-constipating. Have you tried taking Benefiber or Miralax? They both work well for me.

Good luck!


06-18-2008, 09:48 PM
When I was pregnant I needed to take iron, and the nurse practitioner recommended Floradix liquid Iron supplement. I got it from the health food store. It doesn't taste very good, but it was non-constipating, did not upset my stomach, and boosted my iron level up pretty quickly. It is expensive, about $23 for a bottle, but it worked well for me. You can find out about it by searching Google for 'Floradix Iron and Herbs'.

Good Luck!

06-19-2008, 05:01 PM
I'm sure someone already mentioned this but my mum fed me boiled spinach & steak for weeks while I was donating blood. I think I did it four weeks in a row, a pint each time and ended up needing 2 transfusions... does that add up? LOL I was quite drugged while all the action was taking place so I can't quite remember. But what I DO remember is being congratulated by the autologous nurse for my great hemoglobin count! :D

hope that helps.

06-20-2008, 10:09 AM
Thanks for the suggestions!
I am trying to eat more iron-rich foods. I usually pretty much only stick to chicken and fish but more beef and spinach is on the agenda for the next week and a half. I also have started to take a stool softener once a day, and continued with the iron once a day also. I only have three more days to take iron before i have to quit before surgery. I feel a little better since i last posted too. Off to the lake this weekend to get in one last go at slaloming and water skiing till I drop, I know it'll be a while until I get back to that one!

06-27-2008, 12:52 AM
Like someone else who posted, when I was pregnant it was recommended that I take the Floradix supplement to increase my blood iron levels. It is a liquid, fruit and vegetable based iron-enhancing syrup. I don't find the taste to be prohibitive, it's not the best tasting liquid but it's not too bad.

Before Alexander's surgery, I got him a bottle of it and gave it to him daily for a few weeks. Since it is a food-based supplement, you cannot overdose on it, especially if you take it as recommended on the bottle. You can probably take it up until the date of the surgery, like with any other kind of food you'd eat. It helps with energy levels and you can finish what you don't use before the surgery afterwards. It is totally non-constipating.

Good luck with your upcoming surgery. I'm sure it will go really well.