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Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: Rawrrr! ()
Date: October 14, 2006 04:46AM

I just had a test to see if I'm anemic and I have anemia. My hemoglobin is 9. I'm very concerned and wonder if anything terrible can happen with it this low?

Has any other women here had this same low hemoglobin? Can you tell me what you did to get your hemoglobin up again? And how long did/does this take? Months? A year?

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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: jono ()
Date: October 14, 2006 08:49AM

I dont know what's a safe hemoglobin level, but I can tell you that when I was anemic once (due to a serious injury - broken leg and ankle), I was given iron pills to help bring my hemoglobin levels back up. It worked and I avoided having to get a blood transfusion.

Checking the web, it seems that anemia is most often caused by an iron deficienct diet. But there may be other causes such as bleeding.

You can boost your iron levels by eating iron-rich foods, such green leafy vegetables.

Also chlorella is a great source of iron... and was even shown to reverse iron-deficient anemia in rats:

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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: Ally ()
Date: October 14, 2006 02:21PM

I agree with jono that chorella is a good source of iron. Also, seaweeds, sprirulina, and bluegreen algae. I suggest you read the label on those to see how much iron the designated serving size provides.

In addition, one of the most concentrated sources of iron is unhulled sesame seeds. They are also one of the most concentrated sources of calcium. Sunflower seeds are also good for iron, but sesame seeds are the best.

If you are deficient in a nutrient, and if you'd rather not have to take supplements, it can be really helpful to take a look at the nutrition charts. is a good site. You can enter any food at the top right corner of the home page, and you can adjust the serving size at the top of the page for each food.

To give you an idea, according to

1/2 cup of sesame seeds provides 58% of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for iron.
1/2 cup of hulled sunflower seeds provides 27% of the RDA for iron.
1/2 cup of almonds provides 17% of the RDA for iron.
1 whole head of romaine lettuce provides 34% of the RDA for iron.
1 whole head of red leaf lettuce provides 21% of the RDA for iron.
1 whole head of pak choi (chinese cabbage) provides 37% of the RDA for iron.
1 cup of sprouted lentils provides 14% of the RDA for iron.
1 cup of sprouted wheat provides 13% of the RDA for iron.
1 cup of beet greens or 1 cup of spinach provides 5% of the RDA for iron.
1 beet provides 4% of the RDA for iron.
1 whole orange WITH the skin (if you like to blend) provides 7% of the RDA for iron.
1 whole banana provides 2% of the RDA for iron.
1 whole apple provides 1% of the RDA for iron.

What I do is eat 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of unhulled sesame seeds everyday, and then the other things I eat in the day make up the rest of the iron that I need.

Nutritionists often say that iron and calcium are the 2 nutrients that vegans most need to pay attention to if they want to avoid deficiency.

You probably don't need to get 100% RDA, but IMO it's a good idea to try include iron and calcium - rich foods in your diet as often as possible, and to have some idea of how much iron and calcium you are getting.

Best wishes, -Ally

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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: tropical ()
Date: October 14, 2006 03:37PM

Yellow Dock is great for iron, it both has it in it and helps with iron absorbtion - so you shouldn't take it with the same meal that you might take an aditional iron supplement.

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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: Rawrrr! ()
Date: October 14, 2006 09:28PM

Thanks you all! = )

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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: Diana (Cda) ()
Date: October 16, 2006 12:45PM

I'm a fellow sufferer and have been for years. This has been a serious concern for me and I've not had as much success as I would like.

The figure of "9" you are quoting sounds like it's your ferritin level, which is what allopathy uses as a measure of the level of iron in the blood. Is this 9 your ferritin level, then?

About 5 years ago, I registered a ferritin level of 5. 2 years of doctor-prescribed ferrous fumerate over ferrous gluconate (or whichever one Adele Davis said was safer) did nothing to my iron levels. 2 series of injections also did nothing. The only time I ever brought it up was the high levels of iron supplements with juice. But it was a time that I was earning more money (this whole thing was horrendously expensive). Last year I was back down but to a lower ferritin level of 3. I'm not even going to say what that level should be as it's shockingly low.

Anyway, I came back to the forum today because I have finally become successful at being nearly 100% raw consistently (only after a 16-year battle!!) and mean to fix this ONCE AND FOR ALL!! So I found this post, so very fortuitous for me.

The thing with sesame seeds is that during the time my iron was low, I was drinking a sesame seed-based "chocolate milk" twice a day so getting in about 1/2 C sesame seeds daily and that did nothing. So I'm not very confident that seeds alone will do anything. I've come to truly believe that the answer lies in the dark greens. I stopped using the iron supplements despite modicum success during that short period of time because I became afraid of the large dose the doctor was prescribing. I took this iron at those levels for 2 years and I was always afraid of what they might be doing. 900 mg (or is it mcg??, whatever) is 30 times the recommended daily allowance for women which is around 30 mcg/mg.

I am hypothyroid, you see, and iron is the one element I seem to have a lot of trouble with. The funny thing is that, esp. while I was drinking juice, I scored high on my hemoglobin count even while the ferritin was low, which is not usual at all (for allopathy). So this shocked the doc! <lol> But I'd like to fix the ferritin.

I currently don't have a doctor. Our health care system here in Canada is going down the tubes and there just aren't any doctors around taking new patients so I go to a walk-in clinic. So I'm looking for steps to take myself in the interim until I have a doctor again that can help me monitor this. I'm interested in finding out other sources of iron as the seeds, for me, don't seem to have worked. I am doing so well re the lifestyle that I've freed up some money now that I am making more of my food myself again. I will be able to afford the daily greens again. I'm currently eating a large salad a day but I find that a salad isn't enough. I find that I feel "balanced" only when I have a salad and 2 very large glasses of green juice a day, one in the a.m. and one in the p.m. I'm going to be putting that to the test again starting this week (that's my plan, at any rate).

So if anyone knows of teas or infusions that supposedly help, etc., etc., I'm interested, too, in that info. Teas are not my idea of a raw food solution, but I'd like to try several things at once and even the safer homeopathic approaches I'm willing to look at for the short term.

I remember a friend telling me re tests they performed on prison inmates re vitamin deficiencies. It took super megadoses to get the deficiencies back to normal but then after that, a relative minimum intake to maintain. So I'd like to get several sources to mimic megadoses of iron sources but via food, not supplements. The only "supplement" I've been taking is a daily green drink and I've been doing that for about 5 months now. It has chlorella or spirulina as well as barley or wheat grasses, etc. Wheat grass just doesn't grow in my apt., so that has never worked out. I get serious mold in the flats. And I've tried _everything_, too, re that. So hopefully there are other solutions out there that people have heard of. Re the green drink I've been drinking, that I haven't missed daily except for last week when I was house- and cat-sitting away from home. I'm back on that green drink today and have been doing that for about 5 or 6 months now.

Anyway, me too, comments really welcomed! smiling smiley

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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: Diana (Cda) ()
Date: October 16, 2006 12:50PM

p.s., I'm guessing that with the "minimum" approach of a large salad and 2 large green juices a day and based of my past experience, that if this is the approach that will work it'll take me probably at least 6 months to get my ferritin level up to at least the measure of 50 which is about half the figure of 100 to aim for. The minimum any of us should be at is about 35, if memory serves.

Anyway, I don't know if this is the answer, but the dark green juices and dark green salad seem the best main course to take. But my msg above was for any ideas for other things to do beyond that that might help.

Cheers. smiling smiley

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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: sunshine79 ()
Date: October 16, 2006 03:21PM

Also, don't forget that iron requires Vitamin C for proper absorption by the body - so have an orange or grapefruit, etc. with those dark leafy greens!

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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: Rawrrr! ()
Date: October 16, 2006 03:54PM

Hi Diana,

Thanks for your reply. What is the name and brand of your green drink?

I just bought a supplement called MegaFood Blood Builder. I called the company and asked if they had testimonials and they said people have been very happy with the supplement because it is iron fed yeast, so it's a easily assimulated food iron.

I'm also taking blackstrap molasses with raw apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsps of each diluted in water.

I too, eat lots of pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds for iron.

I have researched that, iron cannot be absorbed unless you talk it with vit. c, so I've been eating lots of citrus fruits and pineapple with my iron supplements and hugh iron foods.

I will confess that I am not real good at eating lots of greens. Maybe that is where I ran into a problem and became anemic. I love greens, but just rarely eat them... tho I used to eat lots of green salads, and was not anemic then.

I hope this helps you, and if you have any other advise as well, please let me know.

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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: Rawrrr! ()
Date: October 16, 2006 03:56PM

Sunshine, that is so true... I need more dark leafy greens and lots of citrus fruits.


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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: Yogamama ()
Date: October 16, 2006 04:00PM

This might be a silly question, but do you have to eat the dark leafy greens AND the citrus fruit right at the same time in order for the absorption thing to work? Or can they be eaten a few hours apart??


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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: shep252 ()
Date: October 16, 2006 04:36PM

My iron levels used to be low, too, but since my periods have gotten lighter on raw, I haven't had troubles with my iron. Plus the citrus and the dark leafy greens have helped enormously. No more horrible symptoms of having low ferrin counts. So, I agree with you all about the dark leafy greens like Kale! Kale is awesome! About one leaf does it for me, plus maybe some romaine. smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/2006 04:38PM by shep252.

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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: zohra ()
Date: October 16, 2006 11:46PM

In reference to Sunshine79's mention of citrus and
dark greens, a great way to unite them is a green
smoothie of:
2 Mangos
4-5 leaves of kale or romaine
some squirts of fresh lime juice (optional)
purified water to taste


Blend the mangoes first, then add the greens.
As it's blending until smooth, add the water and
lime (if using) from the top hole until desired
consistency is reached.

I love the flavor and scent of this and it's really
energizing. Also the fiber that stays in the drink
delays the absorption of fructose into the bloodstream
so the glucose levels remain level.

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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: Bikini ()
Date: October 16, 2006 11:57PM


When I was anemic and low in Iron I used Floradix liquid herbal Iron Supplement. They make a yeast and gluten free one that was really helpful in raising my iron and boosting energy.

At first I used it only when I was on my period for extra support from the loss of blood.

i breathe in
i breathe out

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Re: Anemic and hemoglobin is 9
Posted by: Diana (Cda) ()
Date: October 23, 2006 05:56AM

I've started something. For last 16 years I've resisted supplements, etc., despite taking them when the doctor prescribed. But I've never been able to forget that before getting so sick of it that my body resisted, when I was taking brewer's yeast in 1990, I never felt as strong or as vibrant in all the time I've been trying to go raw since then. I know that eventually my iron levels will get better with raw food but I'm tired, literally and figuratively, of waiting. I've seen in last few years how much my income has been a huge hurdle when trying to eat right. I've come a long way and go far on a small salary, but though my body can't afford not to have lots of kale and romaine, etc., each day, my pocket book just can't afford it.

I spent 3/4 hour at the health food store on Friday night looking for answers once again. And they had a book there that pointed to brewer's yeast more than others. So I'm going to give it a try. I'll know if a few days whether or not to keep at it at least until I can use those other methods I feel better about, such as dark leafy green juices each day. Yes, I know about all the issues with brewer's yeast but I'm desperate enough to try it again. I'll never forget how well I felt when I used it last even though that period only lasted 3 months till I would nearly gag every time I would try to drink my orange juice with brewer's yeast. I'm not taking the same approach. I'm going to keep my intake low but consistent and am trying out taking just 1 tablespoon of BY at a time in a 1:1:1 ratio mix along with water/lime juice/date paste. I've tried several different things over last 3 days and that seems to mask that awful taste well enough for me to drink this.

Again, only time will tell. The difficulty with serious deficiencies is that it takes megadoses over a relatively long period of time to normalize. After that, it takes relatively little to maintain. I'm hoping the brewer's yeast, which is something my wallet can more than easily afford, will help during this megadose period. After that it should be easy to maintain with just raw foods alone, which is my aim.

Anyway, my last ferritin level tested at 3 and the stupid lab technician said I was walking around dead! Well, little did she know that although the numbers said that, that I was functioning quite well despite that (except around menstruation time). That's the power of raw, though! <g> Despite the fact that one should be at a minimum of ferritien level 35 and that most people are between 100 and 300 in their unit of measure of ferritin that I'm still able to function and exercise! Imagine walking around with a 3 watt bulb when you should be minimum of a 35 watt bulb and most are between 100-300? Thanks to raw, I'm still managing. <g>

Anyway, good luck to everyone re this. I'll look here occasionally to this post to see how everyone is doing and to let everyone know how it goes. yawning smileyD

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