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Old 06-28-2010, 03:54 AM   #1
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LavenderRose HB User
Anemia vs. Hemochromatosis

I have had the DNA testing and I have the double gene for hereditary hemochromatosis (iron overload). I have been a voluntary blood donor for most of my life, however recently, I have been unable to donate because of low hematocrit count. My doctor checked my ferritin level and it was '9'. Now he tells me that I have severe anemia and need to take iron, which I am reluctant to do because of the HH dx. He said that I must have turned off my HH gene. I do not have any GI or menstural blood loss. This makes me wonder if the acid reflux medication that I take is blocking my iron absorption? Has anyone with anemia linked their low irons to acid reflux medications?

 
Old 06-28-2010, 02:26 PM   #2
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herekittykitty HB User
Re: Anemia vs. Hemochromatosis

Yes, acid reflux medications can make you not absorb your iron out of foods, or if you take iron supplements it can make you not absorb those either. You have to have enough acid in your stomach to make everything work correctly, and that is what these medications do is stop acid production. Do a search and you will find all kinds of information on this topic.

 
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:22 PM   #3
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Lightbulb Re: Anemia vs. Hemochromatosis

Quote:
Originally Posted by LavenderRose View Post
I have had the DNA testing and I have the double gene for hereditary hemochromatosis (iron overload). I have been a voluntary blood donor for most of my life, however recently, I have been unable to donate because of low hematocrit count. My doctor checked my ferritin level and it was '9'. Now he tells me that I have severe anemia and need to take iron, which I am reluctant to do because of the HH dx. He said that I must have turned off my HH gene. I do not have any GI or menstural blood loss. This makes me wonder if the acid reflux medication that I take is blocking my iron absorption? Has anyone with anemia linked their low irons to acid reflux medications?
LavenderRose, I have double gene for HH and was first diagnosed with the disease itself about 6 years ago when my ferritin level was above 2500. I also take prescription acid refleux meds daily (and have for about 10 years) so it would seem, atleast in my case, that the acid reflux meds didn't block the storage of excess iron caused by the HFE genes.

Of course, "normal" iron absorption is an entirely different thing than HFE's storage of excess iron (in the normal kind, your body takes what it actually needs and then expels the rest through going to the bathroom, breathing out, and sweating. In HFE, your body is tricked into thinking it never has enough iron and so hordes every drop it gets, storing it organs(liver, heart, pancreas, skin) and bone marrow where it not only doesn't get expelled but also doesn't allow your body to use the iron in the way it was intended.) As a result, it is not uncommon for blood tests to appear as if you have LOW iron anemia. This is especially true if you suffer from any other condition or take medication which can cause Hemolytic Anemia (which is where your white cells mistakenly believe your red cells are "the enemy" and so attacks and kills them prematurely, resulting in not only a lower red cell count but where the red cells you do have being inefficient in their job of carrying iron and oxygen throughout your body.)

I am not a physician, but based upon my own experience, if I were you I'd go to a Hematologist (specializes in diagnosing and treating blood disorders) for a second opinion before taking any iron supplements - especially since you no longer menstruate as that makes you at extremely high risk.

Hope this helps!

 
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