Making Yourself

Bringing Your Blood-Iron levels up, prior to a BBL/Lipo procedure

Bringing Your Blood-Iron levels up


Some women find that when they have their blood tests prior to their BBL procedure, their doctor tells them their Iron levels are low and they need to bring it up before surgery. The reason for this is doctors have found that patients with low blood iron have a poorer recovery compared to ‘iron-replete’ patients. Additionally patients with low iron levels are more likely to require blood transfusions and with this - have a higher chance of mortality.   


Avoid these problems by managing your iron levels prior to seeing your doctor. There are several methods to improve blood iron levels through diet.

But keep in mind that not only are there foods that improve iron levels, there are some foods that improve – and some that impede; iron absorption from your food.


There are many foods that contain iron, obviously red meat is high on the list, but there are others, such as pork, chicken, fish such as salmon and tuna, and shellfish such as oysters and mussels. Organ meats such as liver are excellent sources if that’s to your taste.

Some non-animal sources of iron include leafy dark green vegetables such as spinach, kale and Brussel sprouts and some dried fruits such as apricots and raisins. Fortified cereals such as rice, wheat and oats, as well as pulses such as lentils and soybeans also have appreciable iron levels. However we will come to these in a moment.


Vitamin C increases the iron absorption from your food, so take some Vit C whenever you are eating an iron-rich meal to get the most iron from your meal. Also helpful for improving iron absorption are Vitamin A and beta-carotene


However there are some foods that reduce iron absorption:

Foods that contain phytic acids such as whole grains, cereals soy nuts and legumes actually hinder iron absorption.

But as mentioned above, these foods can actually have decent amounts of iron within them, the problem being the phytic acids within that hinder that iron absorption.


Calcium rich foods also hinder iron absorption – but only for a short time – ie several hours. Calcium is essential for bone strength, so it is necessary to have calcium rich foods – such as milk, cheese, yogurt.

So in order to ingest and absorb both essential calcium and iron, separate these foods to different means – ie calcium rich foods in the morning, and supplement meat/green veg/Vit C, Vit A & beta-carotene meals at night


There are other foods which also inhibit iron absorbtion – those containing polyphenols. These include both coffee and tea.


So in summary, separate your food types to maximize your iron intake - constrain your dairy and caffeine intakes to the early part of the day, and eat your iron rich foods in the afternoon-evening with vitamin supplements.


There are non-food iron supplements which may also be helpful, and as so common they are available in most supermarkets, drugstores, health shops and chemists.


Hopefully, armed with this information you will be able to improve your iron levels in a short time prior to your procedure, good luck, and happy eating.


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