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Old 08-14-2008, 06:16 AM   #1
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Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

Hello,

I am wondering if hernias are a common reason for iron loss. Besides my hiatal hernia, I have another one close to it that is bulging. Could I have been losing a lot of iron that way?
I have some other new issues being looked into as well that could have contributed. I am really curious if the hernias could be behind my iron deficiency.

 
Old 08-14-2008, 07:31 AM   #2
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

i have a hernia also but i really dont know if there connnected

 
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:07 AM   #3
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

I don't think so.

Hernias are caused by weakening or tears in the fascia of the muscle that lays over/protects the body. When there is an weaking or a tear, then part of the intestine or stomach can "bulge" through. There is no bleeding associated, so no iron loss.

Now, another thought to ponder: would anemia (of any type)in anyway weaken the muscles and allow for hernias to occur? Probably a stretch.

 
Old 08-14-2008, 08:07 AM   #4
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

flowergirl--Hello!

Sliding--These hernias are usually small and cause no problems.

Fixed--Have much more potential for problems of the esophagus being increased.

Complicated Hernias--Uncommon and may require SX.

Symptoms--In most people they cause no symptoms. I really don't believe this one. When I tell my doctors that I can feel it they say no or how do you know? I wasn't told what type I have but I think I can feel a sliding effect. Especially true in the Sliding type. Symptoms are heartburn and regurgitation, this is me. Fixed hernias can cause chronic reflux. Bleeding can occur due to injury and inflammation of the lining of the lower esophagus. This can lead to scarring and narrowing. So you can have anemia related to hernias due to chronic bleeding through the esophagus. Anything is possible. Can they find a reason is another thing.

Also, when considering what your blood counts might be. Mine were so low that they said I would have seen lots of blood. I hurt very bad sometimes depending on how much irritation is there. When they did the Endo there was nothing seen. So go figure! FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 08-14-2008, 10:34 AM   #5
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

I will chime in to say that I also have a hiatal hernia and anemia. I was told it wasn't "big" whatever the heck that means. I was told I also have gastritis, although the source wasn't found for that as I don't have the 2 things they biopsied for.
I have terrible GERD. My acid is being worsened by being on iron. I am on Protonix (well now the generic thanks to my insurance co.) which used to help quite a bit. Now, it is so bad that I can no longer drink ANY soda pop, coffee, etc. When I eat meat, it burns like a fire breathing dragon took up shop in my chest. I have to eat meat-I am anemic. I have close to no iron stores.

I am going back in tomorrow to find out what to do about the heartburn that is so bad now that I don't even want to eat anymore. (I have been sucking on ice/Popsicles etc.)

So, I think there has to be some connection to hernias and anemia. I was told that there was no internal bleeding. But, if you are having stomach acids not staying in the stomach, it makes sense to me that you would have a lesser absorption of nutrients. Especially if you then take meds to reduce that acid.

I have also heard of reflux of bile from the intestines and wonder if I have that. Ever since I was a child there was something that I cough up that is like waxy. It happens every once in a while. The older I get the more of it comes up.

Anyway--thought I would add some of my info to the question.

 
Old 08-14-2008, 12:44 PM   #6
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLFLOWERGIRL View Post
Fixed hernias can cause chronic reflux. Bleeding can occur due to injury and inflammation of the lining of the lower esophagus. This can lead to scarring and narrowing. So you can have anemia related to hernias due to chronic bleeding through the esophagus. Anything is possible. Can they find a reason is another thing.
I don't know if I misunderstood your reasoning, but a hernia is not going to cause your esophagus to bleed. It may cause you to have GERD and, if untreated, is going to inflame your esophagus, but that is a known fact. The hernia itself doesn't damage the esophagus. That comes from within.

 
Old 08-14-2008, 12:47 PM   #7
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredOTired View Post
I will chime in to say that I also have a hiatal hernia and anemia. I was told it wasn't "big" whatever the heck that means. I was told I also have gastritis, although the source wasn't found for that as I don't have the 2 things they biopsied for.
I have terrible GERD. My acid is being worsened by being on iron. I am on Protonix (well now the generic thanks to my insurance co.) which used to help quite a bit. Now, it is so bad that I can no longer drink ANY soda pop, coffee, etc. When I eat meat, it burns like a fire breathing dragon took up shop in my chest. I have to eat meat-I am anemic. I have close to no iron stores.

I am going back in tomorrow to find out what to do about the heartburn that is so bad now that I don't even want to eat anymore. (I have been sucking on ice/Popsicles etc.)

So, I think there has to be some connection to hernias and anemia. I was told that there was no internal bleeding. But, if you are having stomach acids not staying in the stomach, it makes sense to me that you would have a lesser absorption of nutrients. Especially if you then take meds to reduce that acid.

I have also heard of reflux of bile from the intestines and wonder if I have that. Ever since I was a child there was something that I cough up that is like waxy. It happens every once in a while. The older I get the more of it comes up.

Anyway--thought I would add some of my info to the question.
TOT,

I too had (surprising) gastritis and fresh bleeding in my stomach during endoscopy. My doctor was shocked. We don't really know why I had it either--I had none of the other risks. However, I had been using Motrin too much for years but I hadn't taken it for 6 weeks prior to the endoscopy so my doc was REALLY perplexed because it should have apparently healed in that time.

My doctor said that sometimes people just get gastritis with no known cause. Who knows.

 
Old 08-14-2008, 12:51 PM   #8
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

flowergirl--My doctor told me that there is always a small amount of blood loss through the esophagus with my problems. However, this is not the reason or cause of my anemia. I had lost much more blood than this would/could produce without notice.

I'm sure I must have the sliding type. FLFLOWERGIRL

TiredOTired--I also have a SMALL hiatal hernia. With BIG symptoms I might add! FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 08-14-2008, 01:05 PM   #9
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

Thank you all for your input.

I have one hiatal and one fixed -epigastric hernia. The epigastric hernia is about two inches above the navel, just below the other one. I've been feeling pretty sick because of it. Surgery is required to fix this mess. I won't go into how bad the reflux and nausea have gotten. As it is, the hernias could turn out to be the least of my problems. I'll keep you posted.

FlFlowergirl, I don't believe for a minute that hernias have NO SYMPTOMS!!! I have been really sick! A hernia is NOT a natural opening in the body. Our organs end up protruding into areas where they do not belong, impinging on the space reserved for other organs. OF COURSE there are side effects. We just do not know to associate our various symptoms with this PARTICULAR condition.

I wonder if they'll be able to determine the reason for my low iron with any certainity. With my luck, (as is usually the case) there will be several good possibilities, making pinning down its cause very difficult.

flowergirl

 
Old 08-14-2008, 02:21 PM   #10
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
I don't know if I misunderstood your reasoning, but a hernia is not going to cause your esophagus to bleed. It may cause you to have GERD and, if untreated, is going to inflame your esophagus, but that is a known fact. The hernia itself doesn't damage the esophagus. That comes from within.
Christine--I know. Sorry if I was hard to understand. I didn't say that the hernia itself damaged the esophagus if that's what you though.

I was saying that bleeding can occur due to injury and inflammation as a result of the reflux which is caused by the hernia. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 08-14-2008, 02:33 PM   #11
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

flowergirl--I know, I hate it when they look at me and say there are no symptoms of an HH. Even at the time of my Colonoscopy the doc came out and said, "You have a SMALL HH." I said, "I knew it!" He looked at me like I was nuts and said that I sound like his wife. I knew from the time I had it 8 years ago. But they didn't scope me then so I couldn't prove it. I also have the classic symptoms as regurg. with very little reflux. It's enough to cause problems that require meds.

I hope that they can find a definitive reason for your anemia. It sure does seem complicated though. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 09-03-2008, 08:03 AM   #12
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

Hi everyone,

I have just read about a girl who'd had to have a surgery for an esophageal hernia. Apparently, whenever the hernia slid into her chest cavity, it caused the capillaries (the smallest blood vessels) to leak blood. She was ANEMIC. I really wish more details were provided. This will have to do.

A question comes to mind related to blood leakage/usage elsewhere in the body. Is it possible to lose enough iron through the diversion of blood to the ovarian cysts and endometrial polyps to become iron deficient? I would think that a steady supply of blood/nutrients/whatever is needed to support their growth?
I just wish I had a doctor sit down with me and try to explain the course of action (IF ANY)! Seems to me that they are not even looking for the source of my iron deficiency. I guess it's not big enough of a deal right now. Needless to say, I am not on any iron supplements. My hematocrit and hemoglobin might not be borderline anymore. How long does it usually take an individual to progress from an iron deficiency to an anemia, given borderline (very low normal) lab values? I guess it depends on the amount of iron being lost regularly. Are we talking days, weeks, months or years? I am becoming a bit frustrated about not being able to do anything about this situation, besides eating spinach and more beef. We are going to be eating out tonight - a prime rib roast. I have been trying to do my part!

thank you,
flowergirl

 
Old 09-03-2008, 03:39 PM   #13
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

flowergirl--I had more than one reason for my anemia. My GYN thought that my cause was the 7 polyps that were removed when I had an endometrial ablation. My GI doc now thinks that it is malabsorption of iron due to long term use of PPI's. There is something to be said for both cases. Yes, the polyps or whatever, are using up the blood supply, this is why they want the source cut off. To answer your question regarding ID progressing to anemia, anemia is the final stage of ID. It takes anywhere from 2-5 years to lower B-12 and years to lower ferritin due to ID. Once the stores are lowered and you are not replacing what is being used by the body, this is when the stores are depleted and anemia sets in. Anemia goes on until your blood supply is depleted or repleted. I was lucky that we caught my anemia at 8.5 Hgb, all because I was eating ice! It takes months to lower the blood count, it doesn't happen quickly unless there is a trauma type of occurrence. I would be careful not to get to the anemia stage. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 09-03-2008, 08:44 PM   #14
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

Flflowergirl,

I've lost the previous post. I don't know why that happened. I hope to "keep" this one!

Thank you for your advice. I also suspect several possible causes of internal bleeding. Between the two hernias, polyps, cysts, PPIs and aspirin at least one is bound to contribute to the low iron. I have not even had the ''scopes" yet to rule out irregularities of the digestive tract. As with everything else, I have to wait for this test. The wait could be weeks or months long. I am the type of a person who likes to take the plunge and get things over with NOW. Having to wait for everything is very frustrating. Not to mention that the doctor's visits, tests and procedures cut into my work schedule. Needless to say, I am not on any iron supplements. I will make sure to ask my doctor about them when I see him next week.

With the ferritin level at 6 two months ago, I should still have enough iron stores left to last me months/years? When should I be re-tested? Maybe in another month? Or would that be too early (if the depletion takes years)? I don't want my doctor to think I am paranoid or anxious about my low iron. Well, I am a little bit anxious (just between you and me) since I don't need another issue requiring attention. How often should anemic people have their labs done?

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 09-03-2008 at 08:47 PM.

 
Old 09-03-2008, 09:16 PM   #15
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Re: Hernias and anemia-is there a connection?

flowergirl--I had a 6-9 ferritin for most of the year and sometimes I was on very little iron (not near enough), my Hematologist tested me monthly, but couldn't care less about the ferritin. He said, anything under 10 means no iron stores and if I exceeded that number it was not by far. He discharged me at a 20 ferritin if that tells you anything and 1 poly 150 daily until there is no further blood loss. I feel confident testing every 3 months since I have a normal Hgb. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
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