Confused About Iron

7 Replies
Erin - January 25

At my last appointment my doctor told me that my iron level was 13.. she made a big deal out of it like it was waaaay to low and put me on iron pills. Now I'm reading from all of you that 12 is normal and you have to be below that to be anemic. Why would my doctor put me on iron pills? Could it hurt me to take them when I don't need them?


Kel - January 25

Huh, that is weird. My doctor told me that 12 was normal, and that even though I am slightly anemic (mine was 11.5) he said that I wasn't quite low enough where he would want to put me on any supplements at this time. I have just been trying to eat more iron rich foods. I would think 13 would be normal.


Emy - January 25

Yeah, are you sure they said you were 13. My doctor tested me last week (i have been on supplements for anemia) and he said I was finally normal and he said I was 12.5! That being said, I am still on the supplements (they did not tell me to stop) so I am not sure it would harm you. Overdose of iron is dangerous for children and people who are not anemic but I am not sure if the rule applies for pregnant women. I say you ask your doctor because many women here have been told that 12 is the normal range.


rk - January 25

Hi my dr put me on the iron pills, I'm slightly anemic at 11.5 and they told me 12 was normal. Guess all drs do things differently who knows.


April mom - January 26

Hi, My level is 12. but my doctor said I was slightly anemic, the reason that I think she said that was, there was another reading called "Hematocrit", which is a bit lower than normal for me. she also said she wants me to take iron supplements so I wont get deprived of iron, when my baby needs more in the flollowing weeks. I am 28 weeks right now.


In the same boat - January 26

I just suffered through a nutrition cla__s for my nursing major and here is what I took away from the prenatal iron lecture. You need to keep your iron levels up during pregnancy (especially during the last trimester) because it is iron (or heme portion) of your red blood cells that carry oxygen. Since you have to breathe and supply your own body with oxygen AS WELL AS YOUR GROWING BABY, you need to keep your iron levels a bit higher. Also when you are pregnant your red blood cells tend to swell to accomodate more iron-oxygen binding in your cells. If you look at prenatal vitamins, they usually give you over 100% of the RDA because you don't get a great deal of iron from the foods you eat (unless you survive solely on meats and such). If you don't get enough iron during your pregnancy it could start to affect your baby's oxygen level and hence growth. If your dr. told you to take iron pills, then I would recommend you take them. I hope that helps. I know it sucks to take iron pills too. Hang in there and remember it is for the good of your baby.


hi - January 27

hi you need to check with your doctor and be sure because too much iron can be harmful. so i would just call and ask him/her just to be safe


I'm confused - January 27

So, are there two different iron level screening tests? My doc has had me on iron since 28 weeks because my hematocrit? was 27 which was too low. I'm now 37 weeks and it was 36 last week which made her extremely happy. It took it several weeks to climb up like readings of 31, 32, and 34 and she kept telling me it was getting better but never really seemed overjoyed about it until this last appt. So, I'm wondering what the test is that makes 12 normal if for me 27 was supposedly anemic? Any input would be great. Taking extra iron is tough on the system but certainly worth it.



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