Our expert says:
Dear Jade Jungle Eater
It is possible that your daughter has developed iron deficiency anaemia, which is quite common in vegetarians, particularly women who lose iron every month through menstruation. I would recommend that she should have a medical checkup and have herself tested for anaemia (iron and vit B12). If she is anaemic then the dr will prescribe an iron-folic acid supplement like FerroFolic which she will have to take for at least 3 months to replenish her depleted iron stores. If she has a vit B12 deficiency, the dr will also prescribe vit B12 supplements. The fact that your daughter does eat cheese, pulses and fish is good because these foods are rich in calcium, protein, omega-3 (fish) and vitamins and minerals. The fish and pulses also contain some iron, but certainly not as much as red meat and the iron in pulses is bound to insoluble compounds which makes it difficult to absorb. Fish and cheese contains some vit B12, but once again not as much as red meat. Your daughter should mention the fact that she does not eat red meat to the dr so that he/she can decide if she needs to take an iron or a vit B12 supplement, or both, all the time.
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 exmanication, 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.