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TOPIC: Iron and Weight Loss

 
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May 16, 2011 10:07 PM
Hi everyone. I had a question about whether or not having low iron would affect your ability to lose weight. I've had low iron as long as I can remember, which means that I'm always fatigued and have very little energy. Despite that, I have been forcing myself to work out and eat right! However, I'm curious if my low iron levels are working against me in my battle to lose weight. I have read and know from experience that most people who are anemic are under weight (lucky ducks) but thats not the case for me. I've always been a little on the chunky side, partially because of my low energy levels.

If anyone knows if my low iron is causing me to have a heard time losing weight, I would be glad to hear it!

Thanks!
May 16, 2011 10:12 PM
I have lways been anemic too. Talk to your doctor about it and have them put you on a vitamin it helps so much!
  7042208
May 16, 2011 10:15 PM
I have low iron and st one point was taking iron pills, therefore I guess the answer is no. I lost.weight and no.longer needed iron pills. I also have ton of energy now, but still.aways cold far some reason. I guess you can't cure everything. tongue
May 16, 2011 10:15 PM
I've been anemic in the past, and my chiropractor (of all people) diagnosed me not with an iron deficiency, but with a deficiency in my body's ability to absorb all of the iron in my diet and vitamins. In addition to the ample Vitamin C in my diet, he recommended a B-12 supplement. It's been working, and my hemoglobin levels are on the rise.

I can't answer you question about whether anemia affects weight loss. The endless fatigue and longer recovery times from exercise are not fun, though.
May 16, 2011 10:17 PM
You may need to get your thyroid levels checked. Taking a good supplement for iron is a good idea but you gotta speak to a doctor because sometimes there is problem in absorption of iron in which cases you may need to take iron in injection form. As far as i am aware, iron deficiency doesn't play that much of role.
  6690668
May 16, 2011 10:30 PM
I have struggled with low iron before too. But after my third child was born the home visit nurse told me to eat Cream of Wheat with a glass of orange juice for breakfast. It has a ton of iron in it. Now I eat it at least three times a week and don't have trouble with my iron levels any more. I tried the pills but they upset my tummy so much I could never tolerate them. A bowl of Cream of Wheat made with skim milk (you can use water or soy milk instead) is 220 calories, 60% of daily calcium and 50% of daily iron. It is a lot of bang for your calorie buck!
  7450440
May 16, 2011 10:33 PM
I've been wondering the same thing. I've recently found out that I'm low in iron, and I'm training for a marathon. What that means for me is that I've been working anaerobically, instead of aerobically. I haven't lost any weight, pretty much, even though I seem to have been doing all the right things. What I can work out in my situation is this: because I've been working anaerobically (meaning that there isn't enough oxygen getting to my muscles) it means that my body isn't able to use my fat stores for energy (as it does when you're working aerobically) which means that it can only use the fuel I feed it.

I don't know if that can help you at all. Definitely get onto some supplements or iron shots.
May 16, 2011 10:43 PM
I'm anemic (HCT = 30 to 31) and until very recently had 100 times the amount of iron in my system than normal. Having iron overload prevented me from losing weight because the iron was so toxic it caused painful inflammation throughout my body, especially the joints and around the heart so exercise was impossible. Also, my liver was overloaded with trying to remove excess iron from my system so I am sure there was no time or energy to metabolize fat.

Long story short, I had to take medication for over a year and the lower my iron level became, the better I have felt and I have been able to lose weight easily. What is your ferritin count? If it is above 15 it is in the normal range. (Mine is still over 250).

So to answer your question, I think there is another medical issue going on rather than low iron and you should have blood work done and describe your symptoms to your doctor. Anemia can be caused by many things, low iron is actually not as common as the Geritol commercials try to imply. Also, medical problems that hinder weight loss are many fold (thyroid, liver damage, diabetes, etc.) but from my experience, low iron is not one of them.
  780509
May 16, 2011 10:51 PM
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May 16, 2011 10:56 PM
Thanks for all the great responses! I have had my thyroid and B12 levels checked recently and they're normal. Its definitely just the iron. I am on a supplement right now, but I have been slacking as of late taking it (oops!). I do have a physical check up this week and this was a question I was going to pose to my doctor anyway. Just thought I would get some feedback from you all first!

I will let you know what she says!
May 16, 2011 10:58 PM
QUOTE:

I'm anemic (HCT = 30 to 31) and until very recently had 100 times the amount of iron in my system than normal. Having iron overload prevented me from losing weight because the iron was so toxic it caused painful inflammation throughout my body, especially the joints and around the heart so exercise was impossible. Also, my liver was overloaded with trying to remove excess iron from my system so I am sure there was no time or energy to metabolize fat.

Long story short, I had to take medication for over a year and the lower my iron level became, the better I have felt and I have been able to lose weight easily. What is your ferritin count? If it is above 15 it is in the normal range. (Mine is still over 250).

So to answer your question, I think there is another medical issue going on rather than low iron and you should have blood work done and describe your symptoms to your doctor. Anemia can be caused by many things, low iron is actually not as common as the Geritol commercials try to imply. Also, medical problems that hinder weight loss are many fold (thyroid, liver damage, diabetes, etc.) but from my experience, low iron is not one of them.


My levels are always really low, often single digits. The last time I checked, i think it was at 12 or so, still not very high, but high for me. My doctor says she'd like it to be around 50, which seems like miles away for me!
May 16, 2011 11:00 PM
PLEASE TELL ME YOUR SECRETS. I HAVE A GOAL OF 40 LBS Y JULY! ANY TIPS YOU CARE TO SHARE
May 17, 2011 6:09 AM
One of the possible side effects of low iron levels is obesity, so yes, it can impair your ability to lose weight - probably from the fatigue and low energy levels.

It is common for the women in my family ot have low iron. My sister is obese and is very anemic - and has little energy to want to do anything.
I was diagnosed with an iron deficiency a few years back after fainting twice within 10 minutes after a long training run. This was after a year and half of trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I underwent every heart test, spriometry testing to find out why I was so short of breath, why my legs burned as soon as I started to run, etc. Of course, those tests showed nothing.
Once we realized it was the iron deficiency, everything made sense - oxygen was not getting to my muscles, so I was feeling a burning in my legs and shortness of breath.
Ladies - if you are working out, sweating and still having your TOM you are losing iron (more so if you are over 40 and have a heavy flow)! You need to make sure your iron levels are good. I started taking an organic liquid iron (Floradix) by the ounce ever day, sometimes 2x a day. I cannot tell you what a difference that made in my energy levels and exercise performance. I did see a doctor and my ferritin & hemoglobin levels were being monitored, but it took me almost 2 years to build up my stores. Today, I no long menstrate, so I take my iron occaisionally, especially if I am working out a lot and sweating.
Oh - and I lost weight. happy
May 17, 2011 6:11 AM
As a side note to my post - the Floradix was easy on my stomach. I was able to tolerate it well and was never constipated. I know many people have difficulty when taking iron PILLS as did I, but for whatever reason, the liquid was much more easily tolerated.
June 2, 2014 10:20 PM
Check for H pylori...

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