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how long does Iron pills take to work


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Got this new Repliva iron tab with Vita c /b-12, and "special forumulation absorbtion" properties...or so the box and wes site tells me!!

My hemo globin was just down about a point and a half but my hematocrit is 32.

I forgot to ask how long before I feel a difference? I guess it will vary from situation to situation but I have no clue and didn't or can't call the doc tonight to ask.

I have read in some cases it can take a MONTH or two??? I am hoping energy levels improve before them.

But this HORRIBLE fatigue that has been with me the last few months...I HOPE it can be improved from the iron build up.

You take this supplement 21 days, then off 7 days to let body absorb it. I may not take it on a day I eat a high iron meal like liver!!

As I am doing ok after a couple doses but feel "off" a bit n the abdomen and don't want to risk problems.

I rarely if ever have constipation issues in the last 10 years but my insides feel tender.

Now if only I could afford the Procrit at $2000 a shot! Ha. Would be curious to see what that would do.

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hi sophia -

iron is my topic of the day as i found out i'm getting started on iron infusions. i am SO with you on the ever escalting fatigue for the past few months. and i certainly wasn't anywhere grand to begin with! but lately it's been inreal.

here's a link that says 3-6wks for oral supplementation:


though i'd guess that it would depend a lot on how well you're absorbing the iron, how much you also add to your diet, what the starting levels are, etc. so honestly who knows. i hope you're feeling lots better soon. i am impatient to get "pumped up" myself next week...

:blink: melissa

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Thanks, Melissa.

I have been Chronicallyfatigued for years but the last several weeks have been downright scarey.

The sicker periods have just left me TOTALLY SPENT and by the time I have the slightest recover.>*GUESS WHO! ANother period shows up?!?!?.

As I said to somebody, it's pitiful when brushing your teeth and flossing wears you out, while sitting down. I have electric toothbrush but haven't taught the cats to help me floss.:blink:

I push to do the SIMPLEST of things and then crash and sleep (even tho the insomnia is STILL ROTTEN) for 8-10-12 hours during my period.


Then somebody said if dehydrated you can have false high readings of hematocrit?! I wonder if that means my hematocrit is even lower?? Who knows....but I am tired of NOT being able to leave the house except for 3 minute jaunts to library/pharmacy/food drive thru. ..and the past week couldn't do that or get out of my jammies for days.

Thankfully I have a room mate who is here in the evenings but geez...it's HORRIBLE to have coped with severe limitations for years and then, to find yourself scared at "what the HECK is happening here?"..the last few months.

You are getting iron tranfusions? how low does your Hemato and hemo have to be to qualify for that I wonder. Good luck with that and let me know how you tolerate that.

thanks for the link

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hello again -

yep, i'll get my first infusion next wednesday...the earliest opening they had at the infusion center was monday & i have other appts on mon & tues & there is no way i can have multiple appts in one day right now.

i also started procrit about 6 wks ago and lo & behold it can't do a thing with poor iron stores so....duh...it can't work with where my levels are at now. it would have been nice to catch that a few weeks earlier but better late than never. the blood work had been done but somehow didn't get followed up on...and i'd even asked the nurse & been told everything was normal! when i got the results myself two weeks back i was a bit surprised to say the least & then waited for my appt with dr.g last week & my heme today to pursue it further.

another anomoly on my end is that i only get my period 3-4 times a year and then it is very light. so that's obviously not the cause of things for me. i seem to have malabsorption going on though as lots of my blood/vitamin/mineral levels are low these days and getting lower.

something else i wanted to mention though....have you had a full iron panel done? not just the H & H of a CBC but actual iron levels, ferritin, TIBC (total iron binding capacity), & saturation? if not you may want to ask about it as gives a much better picture than "just" the H & H re: what's going on iron wise in the body. also...do you know what your MCHC (mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration) is? it also helps "complete the package" & i believe is a part of the standard CBC panel.

my levels all-in-all are in the "severe" deficiency category but there were/are a few reasons why we opted for the infusions for me. they will likely "kick in" much more quickly which is an added bonus but the decision was made largely b/c my full iron panel was pretty bad (in terms of iron stores, etc), the procrit which i've already started is almost pointless without the needed iron, and perhaps most importantly i've had MAJOR GI issues with oral iron in the past....GI bleeding (ulcerative colitis flare-up) that started a few weeks after coupled with a flare-up of my gastroparesis/dysmotility/constipation that kept me in the hospital for a week as i couldn't even keep fluids down. not something i care to repeat. and with the current thinking of all my docs that i have issues with malabsorption the deal was sealed....

specifically my H & H levels are actually a bit higher than yours but some of my other levels were WAY off base. and my hemoglobin "should" have moved from procrit by now which it hasn't (though we now know why). along with my other levels that are low they were/are:

Hemoglobin 11.1 (12.0-16.0)

Hematocrit 33.4 (36.0-46.0)

MCHC 30.9 (32.0-36.0)

Iron 31 (35-150)

TIBC 502 (240-445) --> higher (rather than lower) indicates iron def. anemia

% Saturation 6 (25-45)

Ferritin 5 (20-120)

okay.....that's all of my ramblings for now...i've been reading up on this stuff a decent amount so let me know if you have any other questions & i may be able to at least point you in the right direction...

:blink: melissa

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Wow! Thanks, Melissa. I remembered when reading something a couple hours ago about the Ferritin stuff being 'more exact'.

about 5 years ago I saw a rheumatologist and he ran the complete ferritin panel of REAL IRON testing and it was all normal but of course, I don't have the results...

maybe it's something I need to talk with my ANS doc OBVIOUSLY in 7 weeks or when I see him.

Wow...I wonder if those could be off on me. I hate I didn't think of this stuff but they don't call it BRAIN fog for nothing.

You obviously have some GI stuff going on indeed for hidden bleediing...I have had horrible periods for years (heavy) but the last several months, they literally wipe me OUT..and like I say..I BARELY make progress...have a few good days ( by my standards, not normal folks) and another STINKING period!! But the OI is unreal.

Thank for my MUCH needed reminder (after the reading I did earlier) on things to address with my endocrinologist.

My Gyne Nurse P --who I have only seen 3 times, was nice enough to give me the paperwork for the CBC as I am around the corner and up the hill from their small suburban, one doctor office. My ans doc is a 45 minute drive. Ha, like I am going to drive that far these days.

Thanks Melissa for the enlightenment on the "real iron absorbtion" test. I wish I could get those tests done NOW but it wouldnt' hurt to follow up with things to see how I am absorbing the iron.

Good luck with your infusions and I hope they jump start you! this being so RUN down STINKS!!


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I got really anemic years ago from blood loss (Hb at 9, but I don't remember the other readings.) If you are bleeding heavily and losing whole blood, not just iron, maybe other things can help, too. I researched this then, picked people's brains, and made myself a program taking iron and iron-rich foods.

But what is fascinating to know is that chlorophyll (available widely and in many forms in health food stores) is the exact, identical molecule to hemoglobin, with one exception. In chlorophyll, the molecule in the middle is magnesium, whereas in us red-blood hemoglobin types, the molecule has iron. So you might want to get some chlorophyll and also eat your green veggies as part of your anemia program.

I think it was the combo chlorophyll and the iron which helped me so quickly.

If it is just iron-deficiency and not hemoglobin and hematocrit, there are other things going on. But heavy period losses are pretty obvious culprits.

Good luck.


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Thanks for the replies.

Sally, that would be me...weak!!!! That's the word!! not just tired but WEAK!!

And brain fog....just lying in the bed it's tough to use the laptop.

Chicken livers for dinner tonight, by the way!!B) Mashed potatoes and green beans. Place close by has good drive thru.

I was happy to find out baked potatoes had iron as I had been craving that and steak/red meat for WEEKS!lol

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My niece is anemic and was having problems tolerating iron. I told her to get prescription nifrex, which I tolerated really well when my ferritan was low. She is having good luck with the iron supplement made by shaklee. Her doctor also commented that the shaklee iron is absorbed much better.

Good Luck


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