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Old 09-12-2007, 08:25 PM   #1
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gastric bypass 4 years ago and iron is at a 6 please help

i am 30 years old and had gastric bypass 4 years ago. The last year I have had several health issues pop up but this is by far the most baffling of all. I went in for regular blood work and was told my iron level was a 7. so i did the 3 months of iron pills 2 times a day and i still dropped to a 6. i then had a endoscopy and colonoscopy done and was told everything looked ok that there was no internal bleeding, however, they think the doc who did the bypass took out too much intestines, therefor I can not absorb iron at all. so now they are talking about bi weekly iron infusions for the rest of my life since i will never be able to absorb iron again. they told me that I am no longer producing new red blood cells thus my bone marrow is getting none. does anyone have any indight to this at all???????????????PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!

 
Old 09-13-2007, 11:02 AM   #2
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Re: gastric bypass 4 years ago and iron is at a 6 please help

I can't help you much with this but I can tell you that this seems to be fairly common is gastric bypass patients; i.e., you are not the first gastric bypass patient to post here about this problem. Your stomach is where iron is absorbed and since you lost most of your stomach you absorption is impaired. If this is the case, I assume that no amount of oral iron is going to help you.

You are probably going to have to do the infusions and then maybe try to find a gastroenterologist who specializes in gastric bypass patients and dietary concerns to see if you can do something about this.

 
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:25 PM   #3
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Re: gastric bypass 4 years ago and iron is at a 6 please help

I have had all but 4 feet of my small intestine removed due to ischemic small bowel, but I am basically like a gastric bypass patient. I take iron infusions until I get built up, then just monitor my blood work every month. When my levels go down I get another infusion. You may need B 12 shots too, as that is also absorbed by the small intestine. I take a shot every week. After my first infusion I felt like I'd had new batteries put in!!

What the previous poster said re: oral iron is correct. I was on prescription strength iron supplements and oral B 12 and my levels never budged. You (and I) simply don't have enough surface area of small intestine to absorb many nutrients.

Last edited by shefab; 09-13-2007 at 07:28 PM.

 
Old 09-13-2007, 10:29 PM   #4
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Re: gastric bypass 4 years ago and iron is at a 6 please help

A lot of the GB pt's that have posted this same problem are out post op about the same length of time when this happens to them. It seems to be 4-5 yrs when they start to have problems. I have heard that it is from the ~type~ of procedure that you have, not all are the same type as you know. My sister 1 yr post op and cousin 4 yrs post op both had this done and both remained on iron in their prenatal vitamins, plus iron supplement 2X daily and B-12 shots monthly. They still only absorb a little each day but have been able to keep their Ferritin up at this point.

You can use the search box at the top of this page and search for others on this subject and there are many threads here with lots of information under IV infusions.

The bottom line is that you most likely will have this procedure of IV iron replacement therapy for the rest of your like. That's just how it works for a certain percentage, I forgot what that was now, but it happens to many people. At least you can fill your stores quickly and feel better while building HGB in a much shorter period of time. The information that the doctors and posters here have told you is correct. Good luck. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:42 AM   #5
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Re: gastric bypass 4 years ago and iron is at a 6 please help

We must be related. I am 4 years post op from gastric bypass and my ferritin level is 6.
Taking mega doses of iron orally and so far nothing has helped. Seeing a hematologist and she is suggesting iron infusions. Will ask her why not try injections 1st, before going straight to the infusions. All I know is I am DOG tired everyday, no matter how much sleep I get. I am really worried about the infustions, because of the possible bad allergic reactions. I also have bad veins to start with, so the thought of a life time of infusions really worries me. Have heard about veins being distroyed by this. Has anyone ever thought of having the bypass reversed? Would the problem go away?
Does this occur with lap band also?

 
Old 01-21-2008, 07:59 AM   #6
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Re: gastric bypass 4 years ago and iron is at a 6 please help

You have to have Intrinsic Factor (IF) in the stomach to absorb iron. If this is bypassed then you don't absorb. If it is reversed then that would be the solution for malabsorption. Some as you know are not reversible. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 01-24-2008, 08:35 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Re: gastric bypass 4 years ago and iron is at a 6 please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyahsmomma View Post
i am 30 years old and had gastric bypass 4 years ago. The last year I have had several health issues pop up but this is by far the most baffling of all. I went in for regular blood work and was told my iron level was a 7. so i did the 3 months of iron pills 2 times a day and i still dropped to a 6. i then had a endoscopy and colonoscopy done and was told everything looked ok that there was no internal bleeding, however, they think the doc who did the bypass took out too much intestines, therefor I can not absorb iron at all. so now they are talking about bi weekly iron infusions for the rest of my life since i will never be able to absorb iron again. they told me that I am no longer producing new red blood cells thus my bone marrow is getting none. does anyone have any indight to this at all???????????????PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!
Well I am in the same stage just that I have never had a gastric bypass. My iron level went down to a 3 a my ferritin level was in the neg. Right now I have a PICC line in my arm. Well a cather which I have to go to the clinic every morning to get iron injected through the PICC line. It is helping my a lot I used to eat ice all day and now I have had about 10 treatments and 6 more to go and I think that I am getting better. Maybe you need to go see a hematology. He helped me right away. My anemia is doe to having heavy cycle bleeding. And I am schedule to have a novasure procedure on Feb 5 2008 to stop the heavy cycle. maybe you want to talk to an gyn if your cycles are heavy. It took me many years to find this out. But hay I am trying to get things together I did not have any strength but I have some now. I am begining to act like a 31 year old person now. Good luck

 
Old 01-24-2008, 08:44 PM   #8
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Re: gastric bypass 4 years ago and iron is at a 6 please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by barbarak13 View Post
We must be related. I am 4 years post op from gastric bypass and my ferritin level is 6.
Taking mega doses of iron orally and so far nothing has helped. Seeing a hematologist and she is suggesting iron infusions. Will ask her why not try injections 1st, before going straight to the infusions. All I know is I am DOG tired everyday, no matter how much sleep I get. I am really worried about the infustions, because of the possible bad allergic reactions. I also have bad veins to start with, so the thought of a life time of infusions really worries me. Have heard about veins being distroyed by this. Has anyone ever thought of having the bypass reversed? Would the problem go away?
Does this occur with lap band also?

Well I have to tell you that I just had the PICC Line put in my arm a about 11days ago. I have had rapid heart beats for the first few day. Remember however you have to take it easy and then gradually move to the things you was doing. I have had no reactions to these injection. They are done through a IV and yes the IV is in my arm right now as I type. Some times now I forget it is in there. My veins have not been destroyed. I go to the doctor office every morning for 8:30 and get my treatment of Iron infused in through the PICC Line. I get the line flused and then I get benadryl to relax me and then decardron for the pain and discomfort and then the Iron the treatment take about 1 1/2 hour to max. I only have 6 more treatments to take. This treatment is way better than the iron pills. I craves no more Ice or dirt. I had this so bad. I really don't think it is a gastric bypass problem.. One question to ask yourself is do you have heavy cycle if you do go to a gyn and let her know and tell her that you are lossing to much iron when on you cycle and you want to stop the heavy bleed and see what he are she says. I am scheduled to have my novsure procedure done on Feb 5, 2008. Due to me having heavy cycles to stop the bleeding so that my Iron can be restored. I will come back and let you know how everything has went after that. You can all so send me an email concerning this. I will be more than happy to talk about this with you. Thanks Leahh

 
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