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Old 10-19-2007, 07:11 AM   #1
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Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

I have celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and symptoms that I believe could be caused by anemia, possibly the pernicious variety. Apparently anemia is common in celiacs, and pernicious anemia can come about as a result of the poor intestinal absorption inherent to the disease rather than a lack of intrinsic factor.

As a matter of routine I have been 'tested for anemia' and told I don't have it, but I don't know how thorough the tests were, how reliable they are or if pernicious anemia was one of the things tested for.
If I was tested for regular anemia, would this also show pernicious anemia? I'd appreciate any info on this.

matt

 
Old 10-19-2007, 07:32 AM   #2
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Re: Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

With any type of anemia (pernicious, iron deficiency, etc), the lab values they look at is the hematocrit, hemoglobin, and the RBC count. If 2 of 3 are decreased below the normal range, then you will be diagnosed with an anemia. From that point, the doctor should run additional tests to determine if it is pernicious anemia, iron deficiency, or some other type of reason.

You should have a B12 and Folate test run (this would confirm pernicious anemia). You should also have a ferritin test done to check for iron deficiency. You can have both a B12 and iron deficiency without anemia. Celiac will/can cause a deficiency in both.

 
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Old 10-19-2007, 08:49 AM   #3
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Re: Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

matt--Christine is right, check your labs and see if you were tested for B-12. Although they may indicate (no anemia) as you stated, you can have symptoms from a low B-12. A deficiency would give you ~symptoms~, B-12 causes alot of them. No, PA won't show until the B-12 and Folate are checked. Many times doctors don't check this believe it or not. I would give your doctor a call and ask about your lab results to see WHAT was tested, get a copy if you can. Good luck to you. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 10-19-2007, 08:53 AM   #4
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Re: Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

I imagine the hematocrit, hemoglobin, and RBC count were tested. They would not have gone any deeper than that.

So would a negative result on those definitely rule out any form of anemia, but not necessarily a deficiency in either iron or B12?

Thanks.

 
Old 10-19-2007, 10:00 AM   #5
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Re: Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

Matt--Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is diagnosed when the HGB and HCT numbers fall below the range on your labs. There are many forms of anemia that I am not familiar with. You might want to search this on the net. IDA is the most common form. Ferritin is a test that shows the iron storage in the body.

PA is an AUTOIMMUNE Disorder, as is Celiac. PA can lead to another form of anemia that is related to a B-12 deficiency. A GOOD doctor usually checks for both when looking at anemia symptoms in a patient. Hope this helps. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 10-19-2007, 10:35 AM   #6
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Re: Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattjames View Post
I imagine the hematocrit, hemoglobin, and RBC count were tested. They would not have gone any deeper than that.

So would a negative result on those definitely rule out any form of anemia, but not necessarily a deficiency in either iron or B12?

Thanks.
Correct. You do not have anemia, obviously, however, you may have a deficiency of iron or B12.

 
Old 10-19-2007, 12:28 PM   #7
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Re: Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

Thanks. I'll look into getting my B12 levels checked. I'm not sure if the doc'll agree, but we'll see...

 
Old 10-20-2007, 01:35 PM   #8
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Re: Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

My mum has suffered from pernicious anemia since her late teens, in her 20 and 30s,iron deficencey anemia and was diagnoised celiac in her mid 50s.
She follows a strict celiac diet, has regular iron infusions and b12 shots.
Id insist on having your b12 levels checked out.

 
Old 10-22-2007, 06:18 PM   #9
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Re: Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

I was told that I only had iron deficient anemia from my heavy menstral flows. The doctor, after 18+ months checked my ferritins. They were a 3. They started me on iron supplements. After 6 months and no change in the ferritins, my dr sent me to a hematologist. They found I was also b12 deficient. On a CBC a low MCV points towards iron deficiency, a high MCV points towards b12 deficiency. My iron deficiency was masking the b12. Read up on the proper tests and push the doctor if need be to find what is wrong.

 
Old 11-13-2007, 09:31 AM   #10
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Re: Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

I got my B12 blood levels checked, and it came back as 612. I can't remember the range but it's well within it. My ferritin and haemoglobin (I think these are the two - I can't read my notes) were also checked and normal.

Should I not bother going any further with the B12 deficiency thing? Would it be worth dosing myself anyway?

 
Old 11-13-2007, 01:43 PM   #11
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Re: Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

I was just reading your post. I actually have both conditions and they are separate from each other.

Celiac obviously can cause an anemia for any vitamin that gets absorbed but B12, Iron and Calcium are the top culprits.

Celiac disease causes the intestines to swell then damages ileum making absorption difficult. Avoiding gluten avoids this problem and can reverse the damage already done, at which point absorption is no longer a problem as long as you are eating a balanced diet.

Low B12 does not mean you have pernicious anemia Ė thatís a common miss understanding.

Pernicious anemia is a condition that gets worse over time as the stomach stops making intrinsic factor, a substance needed to absorb B12. The less intrinsic factor the harder it is to absorb the vitamin. Eventually the levels are so low that absorption is impossible and the only maintenance is regular B12 injections for life.

Routine blood tests do not include the B12 or Iron levels you do have to specifically ask for them. Blood count and size is an indicator of B12 anemia the only problem is size can be related to swelling in the system and the count doesnít drop until the lack of B12 has done so much damage to your body that the bone marrow slows in its production of red blood cells by this point you would be suffering from a long list of symptoms including nerve damage.

Good luck,

 
Old 11-13-2007, 08:00 PM   #12
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Re: Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

Matt--People here say the higher the better on the B-12. You can't get too much like other vitamins. You can get the drops OTC at your local store without a script. Methylcobalamin is the type to get, it is easily absorbed into the system under the tongue. I wanted my B-12 to be at the high end it won't hurt you. Doesn't look like you are deficient in B-12 anyway. This is just my opinion. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 11-18-2007, 12:11 PM   #13
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Re: Anemia (pernicious?) and celiac disease - testing.

Until a day before the blood was taken I had been taking a multivitamin which includes 100% RDA of B12. I don't know if that could have affected the results.

I might give the drops a try, regardless.

 
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