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Can you develop anemia while on Medifast diet?

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Has anyone developed anemia while on Medifast? I was OP from June 09 through December 09. In January, I was having a lot of issues with fatigue, itchy skin, and intolerance to cold. I thought it was just a matter of getting past the holidays. I began to go off-program in January because of the overwhelming exhaustion, thinking maybe I wasn't getting enough calories. I usually ate another meal replacement or another serving of protein..

The exhaustion and coldness continued through February. This went far past the typical coldness I felt OPdressing like it is the dead of winter in 60 degree weather, layering clothing to go to bed, etc. I finally called and asked for a thyroid panel to be done. My doctor ordered a battery of blood work in addition to the thyroid panel..

It turns out I have iron deficiency anemia and my stored iron is nonexistent. More tests are going to be run next week to look for other causes, but I cannot help but wonder if my low-calorie diet has played a part. The only time I've ever had anemia in the past has been due to blood loss during the birth of my children. I'm a little freaked out. Any thoughts?..

Comments (5)

I doubt that iron deficiency is being caused by MF. Just looking at the nutrition of the shakes, each shake provides 30% of you RDA. The coldness could well be from ketosis. I know I was cold the entire time I was on 5&1. That went away in t&m. My teen has struggles with anemia off and on for years.



I have my own issues. My body stopped absorbing calcium after my parathyroid stopped functioning. Things happen that really have nothing to do with Medifast products. I do know that I felt fabulous while on Medifast and am healthier now than I have been in years, but will still have to deal with the calcium issues for the rest of my life..

I hope your Dr. can get some answers for you...

Comment #1

Library lady- you can also get anemia from heavy periods. what are your hematocrit and hemaglobin? iron is relatively easy to replace with supplements. you can also cook in a cast iron skillet which believe it or not does add iron to your diet! I advise my patients to take fluirdex ( not sure if I am spelling it right) an iron supplement that does not seem to cause constipation and is easy to absorb because it is plant based. good luck -..

Comment #2

Thanks for the responses. I don't actually think it is due to MF, I'm just trying to figure out the puzzle and see if there is a possible correlation. The doc has ordered a lot more bloodworkblood chemistry panels, more blood sugar tests, thyroid antibodies, more detailed thyroid panel, etc..

The doctor thinks the issues don't have to do with the iron per se, but that it is a metabolic issue. We shall see...

Comment #3

LL - I tended to anemia before Medifast and was still suseptible on MF. I just popped iron supplements whenever I started feeling run-down. Of course, iron tends to bind you up, which is NOT a good thing on MF!..

Comment #4

I've also been told that the liquid supplement "Floradix" (I'm also not sure if that's how it is spelled) is 'non-binding'...

Comment #5


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.