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HIV+ Woman with Low Hemoglobin count
Apr 14, 1998

I recently had a low hemoglobin count. But it could be that I was feeling worn out that day. I've always been borderline anemic (even before I was diagnosed with HIV). I'm a vegetarian and when the count was taken it was one week after my menstrual period. Sometimes I take Feosol. But I noticed that there are lots of different types of iron supplements in the drug store and in the health food store. Which one is the best for borderline anemia?? And at what point should I consider other options?

Response from Mr. Molaghan

Hello

You could have been feeling worn out that day because your hemoglobin level was low. Borderline anemia sometimes occurs in women during the menstrual period. The fact that you are vegetarian does increase the chance of becoming iron deficient, but their are excellent sources of iron in green leafy vegetables. The body can only absorb about one milligram (1 mg.)of iron per day, so it really doesn't matter which commercial product you choose. Many of the more expensive iron supplements also have added multivitamins. It is important to determine if iron deficiency is truly the source of your anemia. This can be determined by a blood test that is ordered by your physician. If your serum ferritin level is normal, you should be evaluated for other sources of the anemia. Good luck!


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