ChromoChallenges Jess Plummer Troubleshooting Chronic Low Iron

Troubleshooting Chronic Low Iron

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ChromoChallenges Jess Plummer Troubleshooting Chronic Low Iron

I’ve seen multiple questions in various support groups asking how to increase extremely low ferritin levels. I relate to these posts, especially since Aubby used to never tolerate oral iron supplements in any form like many of the posts also specify. She required IV iron infusions (like this person’s experience detailed at Patient’s Lounge) because she couldn’t tolerate oral iron of any kind until I finally found a couple that worked, and she’s allergic to beef and likely to chicken so just giving her meat couldn’t work. So I’m sharing what it took to get my daughter’s iron on the right track.

Live Probiotic Helps Gut Bacteria Process Nutrients

Live probiotic made all the difference for my girl who chronically had an iron level of 7 (full panels done).

“Microbiota stimulate the immune system, break down potentially toxic food compounds, and synthesize certain vitamins and amino acids, [2] including the B vitamins and vitamin K. For example, the key enzymes needed to form vitamin B12 are only found in bacteria, not in plants and animals. [3]” The Microbiome (Harvard The Nutrition Source, accessed 18 April 2021)

An important part of the makeup of the probiotics that’ve actually proven useful is that they contain SBOs (soil based organisms).

Synthetic Corn Derivatives Block Nutrient Uptake

Eliminating synthetic corn derivatives so her body could properly take up nutrients was key in being able to pull Aubby’s liver back to functional per her metabolic panel in September 2020. But let me introduce a couple terms that most people likely don’t know: Obesogens; VOCs (Volatile Organic Chemicals chemical family).

The common factor is that obesogens and VOCs are both made from synthetic corn derivatives, though food science might call them cousins “too distant” to matter, Still, being derived from the same chemical root makes them similar to how I’d imagine other things can be simple in some circumstances, or complex in others under the right conditions. So while they differ, the essence of homologous compounds before they were altered still remains.

“There are over 20 chemicals that are identified as obesogens. The term was coined around 2006, when exposure to these chemicals during early development were found to disrupt normal metabolic processes…” This is to say, the body cannot process obesogens.

Therefore, my takeaway from this was that additives in the processed food supply (including excipients like pregelatinized corn starch in non-compounded medications) disrupt the gut and metabolic processes, which then blocks nutrient uptake.

This was confirmed for me when eliminating corn derivatives from my Aubby’s diet and environment turned her health around. I would agree this reasoning is “reaching”, except the proof’s in the pudding. My daughter reacted to them at all levels, and with their removal at all levels, improved. The science on it is just in small pieces, and those small pieces are littered everywhere so that they appear unrecognizable. For purposes of keeping things simple, that’s all I have to say on that in this post.

A slide presentation I found interesting: Microbiota and obesogens: environmental regulators of fat storage. Of note on Slide 13, the following are some human diseases linked to the gut microbiota:

  • Allergy
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Autism
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever
  • Fibromyalgia
  • H. pylori & stomach cancer
  • Infectious enteritis
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
  • Liver disease
  • Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Obesity
  • Pancreatitis

This literature by Sekirov, et al. in Gut Microbiota in Health and Disease (Physiol Rev, 2010) expands on that further. With so many disease outcomes can come of a suffering microbiome, then iron levels can also be upsettable.

Corn Derivative Free Vitamins

An (AFFILIATE LINK) iron-containing prenatal by Naturelo containing no corn derivatives was what turned out to be tolerable. A child dose for Aubby was 2 caps rather than the adult dose of 3 caps. After comparing the ingredients labels with the Naturelo’s child chewable, I saw they were comparable.

I haven’t had a chance to try it yet for my son’s eczema, but I suspect the Karen Fischer Skin Friend blends would also be tolerated in the need for something to try quickly scenario.

Biochemical Cell Salt Ferrum Phos

“This is said to be a true ferric phosphate Fe2 (PO4)2 as contrasted with the ordinary phosphate of iron, which is a ferrous-hydric phosphate, Fe HPO;” “In Schuessler’s therapy Ferr-p. takes the place filled by Acon., Bell., Gels., Verat-v., Arnica, and other remedies which correspond to disturbed states of circulation, irritation, and relaxation of tissue; “It also retains the leading features of the other Iron preparations: anemia, hemorrhages, and disorders of the veins. inflammation, induration and enlargement of blood-vessels, great physical and mental lassitude, indisposed to physical exertion, nervousness, prostration, rheumatic paralysis.” (National Center for Homeopathy, full info link below.)

Learn more about biochemical cell salt ferrum phos:

This is where my family gets ours: I&E Organics Apothecary No. 04 Cell Salt ~ Iron Phosphate (ferrum phos). I prefer this product because I can choose the non-lactose sucrose pellets option due to Aubby and I both being lactose intolerant. Another option is Helios (UK).

Use of Iron Fish/Leaf & Cast Iron Cookware

(AFFILIATE LINK) Iron fish/leaf and/or use of cast iron cookware during cooking can improve iron levels in the short-term with continued use similar to ordinary dietary intake:

Natural Iron Cofactor(s)

Something I’ve come to feel is hugely underestimated is B vitamin intake. When nutrients are depleted (as described earlier), B vitamins are going to be hurting. But an interesting upside to supplementing this may be…

“Notably, the metabolism of iron and riboflavin seem to be intrinsically related across life kingdoms. In bacteria, iron availability influences expression of riboflavin biosynthetic genes. There is documented evidence for riboflavin involvement in surpassing iron-restrictive conditions in some species. This is probably achieved through increase in iron bioavailability by reduction of extracellular iron, improvement of iron uptake pathways and boosting hemolytic activity. In some cases, riboflavin may also work as replacement of iron as enzyme cofactor.”

Cisternas IS, Salazar JC, García-Angulo VA. Overview on the Bacterial Iron-Riboflavin Metabolic Axis. Front Microbiol. 05 July 2018; 9: 1478. URL: ( DOI: (10.3389/fmicb.2018.01478).

So, easing the production of iron by supporting with riboflavin may be an important thing. Reading this made me glad I’d already brought in use of B2 Riboflavin into my household regimens, and intend to get B5 Pantothenic Acid to go with it next.

The Big Question

At the point of seven months, I backed off of probiotic supplementation for my daughter. Unfortunately, ten months later, she began to exhibit reflux again. I started her on the probiotic again, and her reflux reduced again as before. So my big question is, if not diet or candida or metals, what more still impedes her healthy bacteria?

On a side note, the Root Cause Protocol details a lot of information regarding iron in their Iron Toxicity Post Index, and is another avenue of brain diving I still need to take.

The question I asked above, however, is rhetorical at this time, as (AFFILIATE LINK) my next research focus is going to be fungi, and/or even a focus on potential parasite infection. In addition, I also plan to try camel milk for the benefit of lactoferritin to see how much better it also keeps things maintained.

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