Daily Life Updates

Not all iron supplements are created equal

Written by Louise

It came! (Much to my relief.)

I tried my new iron supplements this morning (after finishing the old ones last night), and got a nasty shock. A few minutes after I took them, I felt an urgent need to belch (kind of disgusting, but I’m single and live alone, remember, and my dogs and cats don’t tend to get offended) and it tasted metallic and … pretty disgusting, really. A few minutes later, it happened again, only this time I got a mouthful of bile and found myself urgently reaching for a glass of water. I ignored the need to belch from then on!

I got on with my morning chores and had breakfast, and then I started getting stomach pains. I wasn’t doubled up in pain, or anything like that, but it wasn’t pleasant. And then the stomach pains were joined by an equally unpleasant heartburn.

At about 6 o’clock this morning, Jimmy got me up to let him out – this is relevant, honest! – and while I was lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep again, I realised I would have to let some air out of my mountain bike tyres if I wanted to go on the rocky trails with it. That wouldn’t usually be a problem, except that my rear tyre already has a slow puncture and I wouldn’t want to risk running it soft in case the extra stress on the inner tube split it completely. I’d have to allow time to change the tube before going for my mini cycle ride and heading into town.

I overslept, and didn’t wake up until gone 9 o’clock.

That had put an end to the idea of going cycling, which I wasn’t totally sure about, in any case and … well, let’s be totally honest here. If I’d really wanted to go cycling, I wouldn’t have let a slow puncture and oversleeping stop me. But I’m not going to feel ashamed of myself for not going cycling when I’m supposed to be taking it easy because I’m anaemic and B12 deficient. I also decided the chance of my parcel actually being at the newsagent today was extremely slim, so I wouldn’t bother going into town either!

When the stomach pains started, that was my cue to make a mad dash into town.

So, I now have some proper iron tablets that don’t hurt my stomach. or give me heartburn, or make me feel sick. I also have my new magnesium tablets, with their super-fancy label that creates a rainbow effect when the camera flash hits it! I haven’t tried them yet. I’m supposed to take 3 a day, and I’m going to take them just before bed because – apparently – the bisglycinate part of them can make you pleasantly sleepy. Although my iron tablets don’t make me sleepy, and I have no trouble getting to sleep anyway …

The locally sourced iron tablets have been relegated to the back of the drug – er – supplement drawer, only to be used in case of the most dire emergency.

The day started quite cloudy, but brightened up and there was lots of sunshine this afternoon. It hasn’t felt as warm as yesterday, and it was starting to feel quite chilly by the time it got dark, and I headed inside to get the dogs and cats their supper. The numbers don’t seem to agree, but the dogs were obviously feeling cold too, so I’ll go with the majority opinion. Weather Underground is just wrong!

Weather 5th December 2015

Still no rain on the horizon (besides a very faint possibility tomorrow and Monday), but the forecast only goes as far as the 14th …

I’m starting to fear that coffee or chocolate consumption (or both – what a terrible thought!) may be a factor in my headaches. I didn’t have a headache this morning … but I developed one after having my morning coffee and chocolate. I ignored it for a bit, and it went away on its own. Then it came back again after my afternoon coffee and chocolate. I did try to ignore that one, but it got worse rather than better, so I ended up taking caffeine/ibuprofen at about 8pm, which is really annoying. I haven’t managed a single painkiller free day yet this week, and it’s Sunday tomorrow, so I only have one more chance.

Here’s the somewhat updated supplement list:

  • One and a half Jarrow’s 5,000mcg methylB12, one before breakfast and the half at about 7pm with 2 folic acid tablets
  • 6 Swanson 500mcg B12 capsules, 2 immediately after my workout, and the remainder spread across the day
  • 4 Valupak 400mcg folic acid tablets, 2 with lunch and 2 at about 7pm in the hope that they might help my headache
  • 2 Quest One-a-Day multivitamins with lunch
  • 2 Incite 5,000IU D3 with lunch
  • One Jarrow MK7 90mcg K2 with lunch
  • 2 Nature’s Bounty 28mg Gentle Iron (which turned out to be not so gentle, and I won’t be having those again), first thing in the morning with some orange juice to help absorption
  • 2 Health Aid 30mg iron bisglycinate, last thing before bed with some orange juice to help absorption
  • 3 Albion 125mg magnesium bisglycinate after supper

I discovered yesterday, when I was recommending Health Aid iron to someone else, that they’re actually prolonged release tablets (that will teach me to read the label!) which may partly explain why I tolerate them so well – because the iron doesn’t hit my system all at once. It also suggests that taking them with orange juice is rather pointless, but I rather like the orange juice, and it also has a decent amount of potassium in it (which you need to work with B12), so I think I’ll continue with it regardless.

Did 7.5km in 31 minutes on the cross trainer in mid-afternoon. I kept it short again because I cycled to town and back this morning, and should probably have skipped it altogether because I felt quite tired. My left foot also started hurting, and then went numb, part way through, and I was worried that it might be a symptom of B12 deficiency-induced nerve damage, but it turned out that I’d laced my shoe up too tight. There’s always one!

About the author


Animal lover, asexual, blogger, cyclist, daughter, dreamer, entrepreneur, expat, optimist, procrastinator, reader, realist, rescuer, runner, sister, writer ... Hate labels? Me too. Just read my blog.

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