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Low iron levels inspite of taking supplements, persisting bruises on body, weakness. Remedy?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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I been taking iron supplements for a while now. But they dont seem to be working. I have been noticing a lot of bruises on my legs and arms and i crave ice. My iron levels have always been low i always feel really weak ,tired,and have really bad headaches. I have seen my doctor already and i get the same thing to drink orange juice with the iron pill and take one in the morning and one at night but my iron is still low and i feel the same.
Posted Fri, 17 May 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 4 hours later
Hello and welcome to XXXXXXX

Thank you for writing to us.

First of all, I would like to comment and shed light on the possible cause for your iron deficiency. Has this been found by your doctor?

The treatment of iron deficiency anemia is divided into two aspects according to their importance:
1. Finding and treating the cause for the iron deficiency
2. Correcting the iron deficiency with diet and supplements. This should continue up to 6 months after the cause has been treated

Replacing the iron that is being lost will not help, as from one end the iron continues to be lost and from the other, you provide supplements. Your doctor is correct when he advises you to have your iron supplements between meals and with vitamin C (the orange juice in your case) as this helps in better absorption or iron. But it is crucial to find the cause.

Some of the causes of iron deficiency can be: gastric surgeries that result in poor absorption of iron, malnourished individuals, heavy menstrual periods, peptic ulcer diseases, long-term use of acetyl salicylic acid, disorders or injury of the colon, other causes of blood loss, low dietary iron, etc.

Please discuss the cause with your doctor first, as this is the first line of treatment, without which there is no point of including the second line of therapy.

I hope you found my response helpful and informative. Do write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you.

Best wishes.
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