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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
In rust we trust
An update on the iron situation, if anybody's interested: the results from Monday's blood test showed that my iron count was stable at 10 (without having been taking supplements), so I'm hopeful for an increase next week if I carry on drinking blood taking supplements and eating iron-rich food this week. Fortunately iron-rich foods are all really tasty. Clams! Who knew? Not that I have any clams, but still. Blackstrap molasses! Om nom nom!

Opinion seems to be divided on the question of liver, which is why I don't put much faith in opinion. It's currently not recommended in pregnancy (though the disrecommendation is a bit buried in that page, sorry) because vitamin A "could harm your baby if you have too much" ... but I've been struggling to find any actual scientific studies that even look at this, let alone conclude anything. (Anecdotally, I know that my mum was recommended to eat liver when she was pregnant with me because of the extra iron; but I also know that anecdotes are not data.)

BTW, when my GP told me the results of the blood test he reiterated that 10 was "really nothing to worry about", but was (as I suspected) surprised when I told him that the midwife had said that that was the cut-off point for allowing a home birth. He suggested upping the dose of the iron supplements he'd prescribed if I was worried, but he didn't have any opinion on Spatone or Floradix except that both were "worth a try".

Several of you recommended Floradix -- I've tried it and I'm afraid I think it's even more vile than Spatone! YMMV I guess. Hard to know which will work better though -- I suppose I should try each for a week, or something (while keeping diet more or less the same).

Sorry for such a boring post. :-} I would say "normal service will resume shortly" but I fear the boringness is becoming the norm....

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camellia_uk From: camellia_uk Date: February 25th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Guinness! ...or maybe not. I hear dried fruit such as prunes, dates and apricots are quite good, and apparently also halva which I seem to remember you like. Also found one site that says 'rich fruit cake and gingerbread' are high in iron. Worth a shot... :-)

Also, I am not a (real) doctor, but my memory of anaemia is that it makes you utterly exhausted, so if your iron count is low (or low for you, given the increased amount you need right now) then increasing it might help with the exhaustion? Fingers crossed...
j4 From: j4 Date: February 25th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mmmm, any excuse to eat halva! :-)

It's hard to tell whether the exhaustion is the anaemia or the fact that I'm now carrying an extra 3 stones of weight & haven't had an unbroken night's sleep since last August. :-/
htfb From: htfb Date: February 25th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I googled ' "Vitamin A" in utero' and found this.

It's a report of research specifically about Vitamin A consumption in the first trimester, and suggests you might want to avoid going above 4x the RDA during that period, at least if you are consuming your Vitamin A in pill form. This, on the other hand, says your RDA while pregnant is actually a little higher than in daily life.

The safe limit, just assuming the worst about dietary Vit A because I'm too dozy to read properly, seems to be about a pound of liver a week, during early pregnancy, anyway.
j4 From: j4 Date: February 25th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
You clearly have better google-fu than me -- thank you! I will read, mark, and inwardly digest (the papers, then possibly also the liver).
venta From: venta Date: February 25th, 2011 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
my mum was recommended to eat liver

More important than anecdote != data is that medical advice changes :) My grandmother was recommended both to drink lots of Guinness to help her low iron in pregnancy, and to smoke mentholated cigarettes to help her bad chest. I don't recommend you do either of these (her children came out ok, but she died of emphysema).

Your mother is presumably younger than my grandmother, so further away fom the Dark Ages of medicine.

Of course, whether you choose to view the long list of pregnancy-forbidden foods as new and important medical advances or pointless and poorly evidenced mithering by the doctors of today is a different question :)
j4 From: j4 Date: February 25th, 2011 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, sure, I know medical advice changes -- the point of that anecdote is not the recommendation per se, but the fact that I didn't turn out deformed as a result of my mum eating liver while pregnant with me.

Of course, whether you choose to view the long list of pregnancy-forbidden foods as new and important medical advances or pointless and poorly evidenced mithering by the doctors of today is a different question

That's why I want to see actual evidence rather than just a list! A list of advice without any indication of the evidence is no better than just asking my Auntie Maureen[*]. (And evidence for one of the things on the list does not automatically make the rest of the list equally sound.)

[*] OK, it is marginally better because I don't actually have an Auntie Maureen.
ewx From: ewx Date: February 25th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Clams! Who knew?

Clams got legs!
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: February 25th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
FWIW, I enjoyed this post and did not consider it boring. Take reassurance!
sebastienne From: sebastienne Date: February 26th, 2011 08:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I used to take Floradix in tablet form, I don't know if that's still available though.

And my mum drank a can of Guinness a night for the last 3 months of pregnancy, and look how I turned out..
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