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Anemic And Pregnant
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Hello,

My name is Suzanne and am a bit desperate for some advice about anemia.

My family and I have just moved to Spain. I’m 5 months pregnant with our second child and am experiencing anemia symptoms.

We just moved to this small town and will be moving to a larger city very far away in about a month.

I went to an ObGyn and had some thyroid and iron tests run, but the results will not be back for another week. (We are on an island). He doesn’t understand celiacs, because he contradicted me when I said celiacs is an autoimmune disease and caused my anemia in the first pregnancy. He wrote me a script for some iron pills and prenatals.

Two and a half years earlier, I delivered our daughter and immediately afterwards began to lose consciousness because of a severe and instantaneous drop in hemoglobin. I later had an emergency blood transfusion. Almost one year later, we decided to experiment with a gluten free diet and have been so thankful for this information. We have been extremely vigilent with mine and our daughter’s diet. We are Gluten, Corn, Soy, and Dairy free.

So, we are pregnant again, in a new place, we don’t know any doctors or who to see. I’ve been reading how people with celiacs can have problems with with their bodies blocking iron absorption with orally taken iron.

I’ve also been reading that anemia can cause lack of oxygen for the baby. I’ve already started cutting out coke, coffee, tea, chocolate, tomatoes, lentils, beans, and the little bit of butter I’d been allowing myself for toast in the morning. I’m trying to eat or drink vitamin C fruits/veggies with any iron containing foods I eat. I’m also eating dried fruits.

I’m pretty concerned. I’m feeling weak, tired, short of breath, headachy, and cold.

Any advice will be so appreciated. Thank you!

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You may also be anemic from the pregnancy. You're body has been making a LOT more blood, and if you didn't have the iron stores previously to put enough into your new-made blood.

Iron supplements are a good idea, as are iron rich foods (and avoiding calcium when you take your supplements or iron-rich foods, and taking vitamin C when you do have your supplements or iron-rich foods). You can also cook in a cast iron pot (especially acidic foods like tomatoes) to get more iron.

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It worries me that you are cutting out a lot of foods at a time when you need a variety of healthy foods. Why?

If you are gluten free, you should be able to absorb the iron. As Tiffany said, it is common for pregnant women to be anemic. Take your iron supplements correctly - on an empty stomach - no food before or after for about 2 hours if I'm remembering correctly. If you need a little food, an apple or applesauce is usually OK.

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