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Old 07-28-2007, 10:13 AM   #1
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Question anemia and stretch marks

Hi everybody,

My question concerns my daughter, anemia and a possible connection to stretch marks. I beleive that I've been anemic most of my life although just borderline. I had cancer a couple of years ago and even before chemo my tests showed I was mildly anemic and of couse throughout my treatment I became more so. I loose a lot of hair on a daily basis and this has been an issue off and on throughout my life. Also, I've always had bad skin including stretch marks at age 13. At age 28 I developed keratosis pelaris on my upper arms and have had this for over a decade. In case you are wondering KP is bumpy skin, like a nutmeg grater. I never wear short sleeves.

I've noticed skin issues in my daughter over the past couple of years. She is 14 now and very pale and is not very energetic. She looses a lot of hair and has recently developed stretch marks herself. Much more than I ever did. She had her first period a year ago and it lasted for over 2 months- heavy bleeding. I had her blood tested and the Doc said that she is not anemic, even after that period. None of my doc's over the years have really considered me anemic either because I always tested at the bottom end of the spectrum but within normal limits.

I've been taking iron supplements regularly for the first time in my healtly/post chemo life for about a month and my KP is almost all gone and I don't have hair all over my shirt all the time, and I'm beginning to think that I might have benefited from taking this most of my life. Maybe I would have never gotten cancer.

So now I'm worried about my daughter. She began her period again after several months of no bleeding, and she bled 2 weeks straight before we stopped it with birth control. Her stretch marks are getting worse. I asked the doctor we went to see a couple of weeks ago about the anemia again and she said that she didn't think that it was an issue either.

Sorry for the long spiel, but I would like to know from those of you who have anemia, are stretch marks any kind of indication. I know that hair loss and pallor are.

Thanks!

 
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Old 07-28-2007, 12:05 PM   #2
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Re: anemia and stretch marks

Raisingirl--I don't think that anemia causes stretch marks. I will share the little that I do know about this. When children go through a major growth period i.e., very tall girls. This growth period can cause stretch marks for some. Also, when children are growing like that, if not on a good diet (iron rich) they can become anemic. Heavy bleeding as you know can cause anemia or a constant pull from storage (Ferritin) may drop the Ferritin. I would check her Ferritin level to be sure that she won't have problems at a later date. You should also see what her numbers are if they are in high, low or middle range. I would also have her thyroid checked out. Thyroid symptoms are very much like anemia.

I know what you mean about the vitamins. I never took them because they made me sick. I always wonder what if I had taken the daily dose all these years I might not have become anemic. Oh well, you can't go back. Hope this helps. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 07-28-2007, 06:24 PM   #3
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Re: anemia and stretch marks

I have never heard of stretch marks being connected with anemia. I can't imagine how in the world stretch marks would even be associated with anemia? That's seems like an odd correlation. I know you said that you had stretch marks when you were her age so it sounds more like a genetic thing to me. Has your daughter recently gained or lost weight? That can sometimes cause stretch marks...

You also mentioned that maybe if you had taken iron supplements you may not have been diagnosed with cancer. I really do not believe that taking iron supplements would have made any difference in that matter, unfortunately. Anemia is always a secondary symptom of something else -- anemia is not just present on it's own without being caused by something else, like bleeding or cancer. So it more likely that your cancer caused you to be borderline anemic, not the other way around. Even at that, you said that your numbers were in range, just at the low end of the range so you actually were not anemic. Many women have hemoglobin and ferritin that are at the low end of normal due to our monthly cycle, so that's not all that unusual.

If you are still concerned about your daughter's health I would pursue other reasons as to why she's feeling tired, etc. Maybe you can take her to a gyn doc, or have her thyroid levels checked, and if you're concerned about her skin I'd take her to a dermatologist.

 
Old 08-03-2007, 02:55 AM   #4
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Re: anemia and stretch marks

I have read that stretch marks can be due to insufficient zinc in the diet. Some people will even get low zinc signs by those little white spots on their nails. I too have noticed with friends who developed too fast that they ended up with stretch marks eg: my cousin has very big breasts but has lots of stretch marks over them as they grew way too fast.

I can understand completely with the heavy periods. I began my period at 14 and it was heavy for two weeks at a time for a long time until things settled. I wasn't able to play any sport in school during this time and my sport teacher would get angry with me saying that a period is no excuse to swimming and other sports and she would embarrass me on purpose in front of the class. What i couldn't get across to her is that my periods were supper heavy and i had to use 2 pads, just incase i couldn't get to the toilet to change on time. It went on for about a year and then settled.

It's probably a good idea that you have gotten your daughter onto the pill, but i would speak to a gyn just incase the heavy periods are related to something else, like fibroids (not sure whether very young girls get fibroids of the develop in some people as you get older?). If you have to be on the pill then you have to, but personally i would be afraid of taking it from such a young age and then virtually all the way to menopause. I still dont fully trust what it can possibly do to you side effect-wise.

While your daughter is on the pill she ought to be on a Multi Vitamin B as BCP depletes you of your Vitamin B's which can lead to tireness and even depression. It can also cause yeast infections in some people in which case taking a daily probiotic would help.

 
Old 08-03-2007, 03:16 PM   #5
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Re: anemia and stretch marks

I'd like to say thanks for all the replies.

Flflowergirl,

We go back to the doctor in a couple of months and I'll ask her to check my daughter's thyroid and blood work in general.

Lizzy76,

Are you sure that anemia is always a result of something? My father was anemic for most of his adult life. He took iron supplements daily. I just assumed it was a genetic thing, but I'm certainly no expert. The thing is that I've always shared so many of my Dad's health problems. Psoriasis, feeling cold all the time, cancer. Now my daughter is having problems and I worry for her health. She by the way also had psoriasis when she was 10. I'm just trying to find the cause. She isn't one of those kids who only eat hot dogs, white bread and cookies. She eats everything and she eats well but she isn't fat and you know, I've seen plenty of really fat people with no stretch marks at all. It's very confusing.

Audrey-B,

I found what you had to say very interesting about the zinc and white spots. She is always complaining about the white spots on her nails. I think I just need to get her a better supplement and make her take them no matter what. I was reading something yesterday about essential fatty acids that sounded promising.

What a horrible teacher! Why can't some teachers be more understanding, esp. since she was a woman? My daughter had a teacher who wouldn't let her go to the bathroom.

I understand what you mean about the being on the pill. I think the doctor wants to try to take her off again when we go see her and she also mentioned doing some kind of physical examination of my daughter's insides with an ultrasound I guess to check for fibroids or some other possible cause. I would definitely like her to be off the pill and hopefully things will settle for her soon like they did eventually for you.

Thanks for the info on the vitamin B's also. Why don't doctors ever give out that kind of information?

Thanks again to all of you and I will update this if I ever find out what's going on.

 
Old 08-03-2007, 04:20 PM   #6
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Re: anemia and stretch marks

Hi raisingirl! Yes, I'm positive that anemia is always the result of something else going on. Anyone else can jump in here too to confirm!

Here are some common causes of anemia -

- diet that does not consist of enough iron
- malabsortion problems where your body doesn't absorb iron and other vitamins
- for women, our monthly cycle commonly causes anemia
- GI bleeding, which is why most doctors will order a colonoscopy/endoscopy when they find someone is anemic
- cancer (well this one isn't as common as the others but it is a cause of anemia)
- autoimmune disorders, which can be hereditary so maybe that is why you have a family history of anemia
- B12 deficiency can also cause anemia

Those are some reasons as to why people become anemic. I know I left some stuff off so if anyone else has any input that would be great! Anemia is always the result of something going on. If you are unsure of this I would encourage you to talk to your doctor. The reason your doctor may have not run any further tests on your daughter is because, like you said, he didn't find her to be anemic. Also, you mentioned that you have been borderline anemic in the past and that is probably why your doctor didn't run any further tests on you as well. Regarding your father, did they ever do any further testing to find out why he was anemic? Anytime a male is anemic it is taken a bit more seriously than when women are anemic because men shouldn't be losing any blood at all, unlike us women who have to deal with that every month! I honestly don't think men could deal with what we go through every month!! Well I hope this helps a little ~
Lizzy

Last edited by lizzy76; 08-03-2007 at 04:21 PM.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 03:27 PM   #7
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Re: anemia and stretch marks

Over the weekend my mother was telling me about a lady who was receiving iron injections for a very long time until a doctor finally found the tiniest hole in one of her intestines, which no other doctor had noticed on a previous examination. Once they patched up the hole she had no further problems. They have no idea what caused the hole or tear in the intestine either.

 
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