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18 Dec 2002

Dear DietDoc

I was diagnosed with iron anemia and low blood sugar about two months ago and then consulted a dietician who prescribed a special diet (I am also about 8-10 kg's underweight). I am very tired most of the time, but also realise that it will take some time before my iron levels are restored (I received a course of three intra-venous iron injections and have been taking Chela-Fer iron tablets since the diagnosis). In the meantime, I have started to suffer typical symptoms of depression, such as tearfulness, disinterest in my work, new house and general feelings of being down and tired all the time. Can this be the result of the anemia, which I have to see a doctor about at least once a year as I cannot shake off the problem? I have also embarked on a novice running program which I found on the Health 24 site and am currently completing the fourth of fourteen weeks. I realise that my posting contains elements of different medical disciplines, but I have received very good "all-round" responses from you in the past and hope that you will be able to assist me once more. Thanks and regards.
Answer 901 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Christin
It can take 3 months or more for your iron levels to get back to normal, so keep on with the tablets and eat plenty of iron-rich foods like red meat, liver, fish and egg yolk. Cereals which are fortified with iron also contribute a good quantity of iron to the diet esp if you eat them together with a good source of vit C (citrus fruits like orange juice, strawberries, pawpaw, etc). The symptoms you describe can well be due to the iron deficiency anaemia, but if they don't clear up in 3 months, then you need to seek some more professional advice - this time from a clinical psychologist to help you if you are suffering from depression which is not related to physical causes. Depression can also make one lose weight, so keep an eye on this. The exercise will be good for you as long as you don't overdo things while you are still so anaemic. Take it easy until you are feeling a lot better.
Take great care
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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