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Protein and Iron Issues

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Is anyone struggling to keep up their iron and protein levels? If so how did you get over this hurdle?

I have been anemic for 6 months and now my protein levels are dropping.

I religiously take my bandbuddies multi-vitamin x 2 every morning, along with a vitamin C/iron tablet and a Berroca (this helps absorb the iron). I drink a low calorie protein shake every morning.

So I feel ran down and have fantastic bruising all the time. Due to the low protein, I crave milk. I went to the doctor, did the blood test, found out what I already knew, asked how to fix it and I get told to eat meat. This makes me want to SCREAM, as I find it really hard to eat meat and I seem to have gone off it, but I do make myself have mince once a week and chicken, the rest of the time it's fish.

Any ideas to beat it???

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Do you not like meat or just find it difficult now that you are banded??

I now some people aren't a fan but they say mince is high in iron, Have you tried making up some up some spag bol with some good quality mince I do mine without the pasta and load it with veges instead throw in veges instead? I've been working on getting a nice thick but runny consistencey which is working well!! I also like Chili so make up a chili con carne and throw in some veges too.

There use to be a fantastic Womens Weekly Mince Recipe book...I don't know what happened to mine and haven't seen one in years! If you can eat mince and get your hand on a copy that might help!

My iron was low when I was pregnant...mince made a difference!

S

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Try ferro grad c, it's a iron supplement in a white bottle with a red cap. Worked wonders for me and I no longer have a deficiency!

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Vegetarians get all the protein they need (well some do) without meat. You need to combine whole grains and beans or legumes in a meal to form the full protein requirements, as each has only some of the amino acids required. Say, baked beans on wholegrain toast (I know bread can also be an issue, but this is just by way of an example) or lentil and brown rice salad. Iron derived from vegetable sources require vitamin C to help with absorption.

Speak to the dietician recommended by your surgeon, they should be able to advise you on some good sources of protein and iron. It is also possible to have further blood tests as some anaemia is caused by medical reasons and not by poor diet.

Shelle

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Shorty, not sure if you have one of those $5 book stores near you, but I noticed that they have a HUGE range of the Womens Weekly cook books, you should try there if you can. I will look next time I am at my local shops for you.

I too was anemic, tried iron tablets and even iron infusions, and my levels still dropped. I use to have heavy monthlies, so I had a partial hysterectomy to stop them. Pre banding and post banding blood work shows a perfectly acceptable level of iron now.

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Hi,

I don't eat red meat. I was a vegetarian until I was 22 then got pregnant and ate meat until about 6 months ago (am now 48 and was banded almost 18 months ago). I eat chickpeas, beans, fish, cheese etc so don't have any problems but a couple of pointers that were given to my daughter when she was iron deficient as a teen;

1. orange juice helps absorb iron

2. don't freeze meat, within a week you have almost destroyed the iron

Hope things improve

Donna

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I've never found that diet alone can give you enough iron if you're very low.

I take the Ferro grad C every day and that's enough to keep my iron levels within normal range once they're there, but the only thing Ive found to bring really low iron levels back up is Floradix Herbal Iron Supplement.

But I think everyone's reason for being low in iron is different and what you do about it should depend on the 'why'. ie, if its diet that's letting you down then improve that as well as taking the supplements maybe.

Me, I just need to rip my uterus out and feed it to the crows.

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Shorty, not sure if you have one of those $5 book stores near you, but I noticed that they have a HUGE range of the Womens Weekly cook books, you should try there if you can. I will look next time I am at my local shops for you.

I too was anemic, tried iron tablets and even iron infusions, and my levels still dropped. I use to have heavy monthlies, so I had a partial hysterectomy to stop them. Pre banding and post banding blood work shows a perfectly acceptable level of iron now.

I do, so far I haven't found it. If you spot it please pick it up for me and I'll sort out paying for it and getting it to me!!

S

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I do, so far I haven't found it. If you spot it please pick it up for me and I'll sort out paying for it and getting it to me!!

S

Not sure if either of these are what you are looking for??

http://ozwickedbooks.com.au/Australian-Womens-Weekly-Mini-Cookbook-MINCE-FAVOURITES-P503457.aspx

http://www.fishpond.com.au/Books/Mince-It-Australian-Womens-Weekly/9781863969369

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As for the iron saga.. can you eat casseroles to boost your iron levels, usually goes down ok with the band?

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1. orange juice helps absorb iron

2. don't freeze meat, within a week you have almost destroyed the iron

Donna.... I knew about the orange juice.... but I had no idea that freezing meat destroyed the iron :blink:

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i didnt know either about freezing meat.im also iron low and eat a lota meat- out the freezer :blink:

the doc just recently made me do poop tests to see if i was bleeding internally, i havnt heard back yet, but i dont think i am.

gota watch with some iron meds- constipation :huh: you can get iron injections if your really low. stirfry liver is great for boosting iron too.

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Wow, I didn't know about freezing meat either! We've been freezing a lot lately to save costs etc... Bugger!!

I was on liquid iron supplements a little while ago - it looks like water but tastes awful! Had to drink it with OJ because of the apsorption and also the taste. They seemed to do the trick for me...

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There are probably more scientific studies, but this test showed that iron was unaffected in frozen meat - even after it had been in the freezer for 3 years.

http://health.ninems...-or-frozen-food

But this study (a bit more scientific) shows that 13% of iron was lost after 8 days freezing and half that was lost from meat that wasn't frozen. ie, freezing did cause the loss of 6-7% of iron.

But this is interesting - they also found that slow cooking your meat (ie cooking at low temp) is a good way to reduce the iron. Didn't know that.

http://www.nutraingr...ut-iron-in-meat

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Hi,

It is interesting that different sites say different things. If there are more saying you don't lose iron then go with that. This was when Rachel was about 15/16 and she has just turned 26 so it is possible that information is more up to date. I would be inclined to go with the "losing some" train of thought even if it is not as much.

I guess knowing why you are low in iron is really important (I think someone mentioned that). When I went for my 12 month check I had to have blood tests for just that, luckily all came back well.

Hope you get it sorted soon.

Kristy, the only problem with consuming too much orange juice is of course the sugar content.

Have a good weekend all

Donna

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I have always been a low iron person but more importantly than just your iron levels is the 3 other levels that go with it - TIBC, transferrin and ferritin. If they are low even though you are eating enough meat and taking supplements then you are having an issue with absorbtion. I have had normal iron and very low others from taking supplements so in effect the supplements were useless. Even adding vit C didn't work.

A friend told me about her Grandmother with the same issues and how she got ALL her levels up by having 3 cups of Nettle tea a day. I told my doctor and he laughed at me but I tried it and within 3 months (between blood tests) my levels went back to a good normal level. My doctor was a little gob smacked and now tells other patients to do the same, no need for ferro-grad c or any other tablet, just the 3 cups of nettle tea a day. You can get Nettle tea in teabags (which I've found most convenient) at health food shops and it's actually quite nice with a little bit of honey and lemon, actually I don't mind it by itself. I don't know if you'd have to have 3 cups if you're already a meat eater but I'd probably do 2 and see how you go.

Oh and there is no need for orange juice etc for the vit c to absorb it and probably the best thing is no constipation/black poo!

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Googled the benefits of nettle tea.

Nettle provides one of the richest sources of chlorophyll and is a valuable blood builder. It is one of the most powerful iron sources in the vegetable kingdom. Therefore, it is a valuable aid for anemia, during menstruation to build up iron, for fatigue or whenever you feel run down or tired & think of nettles. As nettle is high in iodine it is beneficial for the thyroid gland.

Its the plant equivilant of meat :lol:

Nice heads up on that one, Kristen!

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Thank you everyone, it really helps to get different ideas.

I'm not a vegetarian and before the band could easily eat half a cow at any meal! But since the band I find it so hard to eat meat. I have used the slow cooker and mince. The problem with meat and me is I can eat it, but then I find the next 2-3 meals hard to get down, it's like it sits in me....so it has turned me off it. I do force myself with mince once a week.

I do take ferro-grad c I think it is the only thing saving me at the moment. I'm having a problem with absorbing the iron and the protein.

I'm so going to try the Tea, thank you!! And I will speak to my dietician again. I kind of dropped off her a bit, because she is 3 hour drive away, so it's hard to get that relationship.

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i just wanted to say, and sorry if someone else said this, but you shouldn't drink coffee or any caffeine products 1 hour before and 2 hours after taking Iron tablets because it stops the body absorbing the iron.

denise

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I became iron deficiency anemic also (considerably so) and have discovered that despite the iron and b12 injections etc, it's very hard to build back up (I was still under according to the latest blood test despite months of injections). So, I basically started eating meat or liver every day of the week. Even if it's just mince. I've been sick constantly this year (tonsillitis 5 times) plus the flu, colds, chest infections, lung infections...the lot.

My advice would be to start including protein and iron in every meal; I make spinach and eggs, mince with vegetables, pan fried liver and so forth. If you really can't eat enough of these things, it's worthwhile looking into injectables/transfusions as like I mentioned before, once the stores are depleted it's a pain getting them restored (can take 6-12 months).

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Protein shakes - then you dont have to try to eat meat at all

Or, like me - I make soups. spinach and meat etc etc blended right down into liquid. In one bowl of soup, i could literally have 1/2 a chicken breast. Its yummy and Im still eating meat without having to chew/swallow it the usual way. I make a few different flavoured batched and freeze them in small containers.

But... you do realise this might have NOTHING to do with your band? If you are taking the required amount of protein/iron for a normal female adult per day in tablet form, and you still have issues its probably nothing to do with your band at all. You might just be one of those females who has iron/protein issues.

My mother has to have regular iron injections to stop her brusing/tiredness etc. without them, her body just doesnt hold it. and she doesnt have a band!

~ Lilly

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Lilly, I recommend your Mum try the Nettle tea, I don't hold iron either but can build up my stores with 3 cups a day. Tablets seem to do little for me besides give me black poo!

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Hi there, i had a similar problem and consulted a fantastic dietician. She advised me to keep a record of my daily protein intake on a spreadsheet for a few weeks and it became really obvious where I was going wrong with my diet: http://www.calorieking.com.au/foods/?partner=hwf

Turkey is absolutely packed full of protein, so maybe swap the chicken mince for turkey mince and make a bolognaise, or even san choy bow.

I also swapped out whiting and barramundi in my diet for salmon and tuna which has more iron.

Also, the P30 Musashi Brand of milk drinks (in the Health Food section at woolies) are actually quite tasty, and have a whopping 30gms of protein per carton. Given that your daily protein needs to be over 40gms this would give you a great start to booast your protein (and iron) levels.

Good luck!

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Hi there, i had a similar problem and consulted a fantastic dietician. She advised me to keep a record of my daily protein intake on a spreadsheet for a few weeks and it became really obvious where I was going wrong with my diet: http://www.calorieki...ds/?partner=hwf

Turkey is absolutely packed full of protein, so maybe swap the chicken mince for turkey mince and make a bolognaise, or even san choy bow.

I also swapped out whiting and barramundi in my diet for salmon and tuna which has more iron.

Also, the P30 Musashi Brand of milk drinks (in the Health Food section at woolies) are actually quite tasty, and have a whopping 30gms of protein per carton. Given that your daily protein needs to be over 40gms this would give you a great start to booast your protein (and iron) levels.

Good luck!

Hey Ange - Are you able to tell me the calorie count for one of these drinks? Cheers Kelly

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