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    Old 10-17-2007, 01:27 AM   #1
    Audrey-B
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    Finally got my results...

    sorry in advance, bit of a long post this time. Thought it might be a good idea to note everything incase it helps someone else along the way

    I had a repeat blood test 6 weeks ago and was rather surprised that after receiving iron injections my ferretin had only moved from 26 to 35. I had anticipated being at least around 50, but i have since been told that even though iron injections are helpful, they give the patient a "false boost". I suppose like everything it depends on the individual, but for me personally i guess this explains why after the 4th injection i felt fantastic and in the last couple of weeks i have felt as though i'm slowly walking down the other side of the mountain. My Trichologist did say that as my iron has affected a number of areas within my body that those 5 injections would have gone to boost vitally needed areas and therefore didn't leave much to sit in reserve so leaving my ferretin at 35. I suppose any improvement is good improvement so i shouldn't complain.

    The scarriest part of all of this for me is that during the 5 weeks of iron injections i was not on any form of iron supplement. After the injections were over i did not take any supplements either as i wanted the fresh blood test to be a true indicator of what the injections themselves had done. During the 6 weeks after the blood test i haven't taken any supplements and now that i realise that my ferretin was only at 35 at the last test i am now worried it could have fallen since then. Needless to say i am back on the supplement regime and all the other things which go with it.

    The reason i had great hopes pinned on the iron injections was not that i saw them as a miracle cure/short cut type of thing, but that they would give me that greatly needed boost so that with summer approaching i would hopefully not shed as much hair as i normally would. Anyway, we'll see what develops around Christmas time/start of January as that is the start of the worst time for me as i would loose abnormal amounts each year.

    In my last batch of tests i had a urine test for iodine and my iodine was found to be very low. He now has me on iodine drops first thing each morning.

    My vitamin D did go up a bit, but still low. He wants me to take 5 of the capsules i'm taking instead of the one and if it's a sunny day he wants me to sit in the sun for 10 mins or so with a bikini top/bra on as you need to get the sun on your torso as that's where the vitamin D is absorbed the best. I'm to take the D's before bed or 2 or 3 hrs after the evening meal. Apparently this is b/c it works best after eating a meal with protein in it. Once i've finished the bottle of vit D's i have now he will start me on liquid D drops so i dont have to swallow 5 tablets each night.

    My thyroid has improved somewhat, but still need to work at it. Possibly the exercise i've been doing as well as the small boost in ferretin has helped the thyroid, but we aren't quite there yet. He feels the very low iodine levels wouldn't be helping matters.

    My red cell zinc was found to be a bit low so now i'm on 2 zinc tablets each evening prior to bed, or 2 - 3 hrs after the evening meal so that it doesnt interfere with the iron supplements taken prior to my evening meal. The blood test prior to this one i was tested for serum zinc only and that was ok. I'm not sure what the difference is between serum zinc and red cell zinc, but i guess i can see now how important it is to do the correct type of test to enable a correct interpretation of what is going on in your body.

    He would like me to start taking digestive enzymes as he feels this is all due to something not quite right with my digestive process. He has also suggested a total gluten free diet for 6mths. I don't have the typical side effects which Celiacs sufferers get, but not long after i began shedding hair i began noticing each year i would gradually get a certain thing occuring on my arms. It was similar to folliculitis, but not quite like that. During the winter it would die down and flair up in the warmer weather. I had never had this before and there seemed not reason for it, but reading about gluten and Celiacs i read that this would occur in some cases. Another gp who i consulted on this issue said all skin conditions were as a result of something happening internally within the body. I know it's not from any products i'm using externally. My naturopath suggested it could be from dairy products. So i guess it's either gluten or dairy.

    The test also shows my hormones still being out. He gets a serum hormone test of SHBG, FAI and Testosterone checked. The fact i'm relying on naturopathy herbs to keep my monthly cycles in check is also being blamed on my iron.

    The one other additional thing i have began doing again and aim to stick to is making beetroot juice each day. Fresh beetroot is extremely good for the blood and iron levels. I juice enough for at least two days and leave it at work to drink a glass of with my lunch. The worst bit is cleaning the juicer.

    This now means i take liquid iodine, herbal drops for menstrual cycle, lysine, iron powder, iron phosphate tablets and a probiotic capsule each morning. At night it's the herbal drops, lysine, iron powder, iron phosphate tablets, vitamin D and zinc. Sometimes i wonder if i will be able to just get up and have breakfast without having to actually take anything daily. It really kills off the appetite first thing in the morning!!

     
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    Old 10-17-2007, 01:30 AM   #2
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    Forgot to mention, when i told my doctor about doing exercise he cautioned me on "overexercising". He said moderate or low impact excercise like walking is ok, but not to over do it as he said people with low iron do not benefit from doing any forms of fanatic exercising.

     
    Old 10-23-2007, 03:38 PM   #3
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    It's now just over a week that i got my results and restarted my iron supplements. I forgot how bad it is taking them prior to eating breakfast and it quite puts me off eating anything at all. I have to take several things before breakfast and drink water with all of them and by the end its virtually making me gag!! The only thing i have been able to have for breakfast for the last week has been banana smoothies with a raw egg yolk in it and i also add some Sustagen powder for added vitamins and protein.

    I was reading about Vitamin D supplementation and it said that before starting a higher dosage of Vit D that you should have your calcium and magnesium levels tested, particularly calcium, as high dosages of Vit D if calcium is low can be bad for the bones.

    The next chance i get i will get my calcium, magnesium and gluten in/tolerance tested.

     
    Old 11-01-2007, 08:01 AM   #4
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    [QUOTE=Audrey-B;3261766]

    I had a repeat blood test 6 weeks ago and was rather surprised that after receiving iron injections my ferretin had only moved from 26 to 35. I had anticipated being at least around 50, but i have since been told that even though iron injections are helpful, they give the patient a "false boost". I suppose like everything it depends on the individual, but for me personally i guess this explains why after the 4th injection i felt fantastic and in the last couple of weeks i have felt as though i'm slowly walking down the other side of the mountain. My Trichologist did say that as my iron has affected a number of areas within my body that those 5 injections would have gone to boost vitally needed areas and therefore didn't leave much to sit in reserve so leaving my ferretin at 35. I suppose any improvement is good improvement so i shouldn't complain.

    The scarriest part of all of this for me is that during the 5 weeks of iron injections i was not on any form of iron supplement. After the injections were over i did not take any supplements either as i wanted the fresh blood test to be a true indicator of what the injections themselves had done. During the 6 weeks after the blood test i haven't taken any supplements and now that i realise that my ferretin was only at 35 at the last test i am now worried it could have fallen since then. Needless to say i am back on the supplement regime and all the other things which go with it.

    QUOTE]

    Audrey--That's way too long to go without iron supplements in my opinion, just from my own experience. That's why I was anemia for 8 of the 9 months. Because they kept taking me off and on the iron because it was making me sick they thought. Now, I take my 300 mgs of Poly Iron daily without any problem. The Ferris Sulfate gave me a rough start to iron supplementation.

    At least your Ferritin did respond, that's a good thing. I really thought that it would have been much higher. It might have if you would have stayed on supplements the whole time. Are you allowed to have injections and supplements at the same time? I don't remember what I have read about that here. Good that you are back on them now. When is your next CBC and will you be receiving anymore injections?

    I go back to the Hemo doc in the middle of January for my 6 month checkup. I mean 6 months after my blood finally went up. He said, at that time I will then be on 1 or no iron. That really scares me. I wonder what my iron stores are at this point. The docs don't want to test for it now, I hate not knowing. I'm so scared that maybe I won't hold enough iron when I stop supplements. I always wonder in the back of my mind if periods were the real problem. I have always thought about that. How do they really know for sure? Hope you are feeling better! FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 11-02-2007, 06:03 PM   #5
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    I know exactly how you feel about the worry of ceasing the iron supplements one day and then continuously wondering whether your ferretin levels are slowing going down or staying put. After years of not knowing what was wrong with me, to finally find out the truth this year, i highly doubt i'll ever totally go off iron supplements. I think even if one day my numbers do eventually get to 70 i will take it, if not daily, at least every second day.

    The reason i stopped taking the supplement whilst on the injections was due to the information in the literature provided to me. It advised to cease all oral supplementation. My Trichologist did tell me to keep taking the supplements, but i was worried about there being some interaction and ending up with side effects. I had also stopped taking the supplements 3 weeks prior to the injections as the powdered supplement i was taking was making me sick. I thought i would be starting the injections immediately, but the chemist wasnt able to get the iron ampules from the supplier for 3weeks. I couldn't believe that iron could be in such short supply, but didnt worry too much as i "assumed" the injections sky rocket ferretin levels. If i had known that they dont necessarily have this affect i would have resumed the supplements after the final injection.

    I'm back on the same iron supplement, but take iron phosphate tablets straight after to stop and unpleasant side effects from the supplement. The iron phosphate is used by people with a number of illnesses which makes taking of normal iron supplements unpleasant and full of not so nice side effects. My doctor told me the illnesses concerned but i could only recall Crohns disease, but basically anybody who gets an upset stomach from normal supplements can take iron phosphate tablets to alleviate the problem. Since then i've not had any side effects.

    Most days i'm super good and make certain i eat/drink the correct food combinations when i take my supplements, but there is the odd day when i find it so wearing and just feel like caving in for at least one day and having a morning coffee with my breakfast or a red wine with a nice steak. It's so frustrating........so it's no coffee with breakfast and only white wine occasionally with dinner. It also helps to be able to come on here and have a little vent and to also read how others are doing. When Christine posted her new results it really gave me hope for my own future results.

    You must be bursting at the seams to get your new tests done in January. Mine get done every 3 months and that's bad enough. I dont know how i would cope waiting 6 months. I guess i know what all of us will be asking from Santa this Christmas

     
    Old 11-07-2007, 09:59 AM   #6
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    I found it really interesting that there maybe a possible interaction with herbal supplements for your menstrual periods and iron levels. I too have been taking herbal supplements to keep my periods in check for the last 5 years. I take Vitex ( also called Chaste Tree Berry).

     
    Old 11-07-2007, 11:23 PM   #7
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    The herbal mix i take includes Chaste Tree along with a few other things. It's in liquid form and i mix it with water every morning and night. It has been the only thing to regulate my menstrual cycle naturally and the only other alternative was the birth control pill, which i dont want to take.

    I have been on the herbal mix for a good year and a half and when they attempted to lower my dosage my cycles got a bit unsettled again, causing mid cycle spotting and spotting for far longer before and after my period than was necessary.

    I couldn't work out why the herbal mix didnt fix things once and for all, but since finding out about being low in a number of areas (eg: iron, iodine, zinc, vitamin d) my specialist has agreed that i can't expect my hormones to be normal when other key things aren't right and haven't been right for years.

    Now it's a case of wait and see.

     
    Old 11-08-2007, 07:31 AM   #8
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    Well on the bright side, over the last few years I have tried to ween myself off the herbal supplement. It has worked pretty well but I haven't been able to give them up completely. I used to take a tincture twice a day each day. Now I take the herbs in a pill form once a day and skip the week of my period. When I spoke to my doctor about getting off the herbal supplements she said it could take a few months for my body to start producing the right hormones on it's own. Scary, so I haven't done it yet.

     
    Old 11-11-2007, 08:04 PM   #9
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    I've not heard of that possibility, but it is interesting. I'm a bit scared to go off the herbs right now as i ran out of them recently and wasn't able to get anymore without a consultation. I was without them for about 2weeks before resuming a fresh bottle and it's already thrown my cycle out. I was spotting so much at ovulation and probably will to some degree till i get my period. This wont help my iron levels any i guess but there is no point going off the herbs until the other things are looking a bit better on my test results as your doctor's theory does sound interesting. It's bad enough having the iron issues, but i'm finding iron and period issues are getting a bit too much for me.

     
    Old 11-12-2007, 11:29 AM   #10
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    I wouldn't stress to much about not taking the supplements for two weeks. It will take a few months to get your body back on track. Keeping a supply of herbs is pretty important. You may want to order a bottle of Vitex just in case you get in the same situation again. It's easier to obtain then tincture, for me at least. After a while your body will build up enough stores that missing a week won't really affect you that much. The whole period/iron combination is a challenge though especially if you are spotting quite a bit. I didn't have that issue. I just didn't have a period in general for a year and a half before I got on herbal therapy. Hang in there.

     
    Old 11-30-2007, 09:49 PM   #11
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    AudreyB- Thank you so much for mentioning your beetroot juice drink sometime ago. You inspired me to get a juicer and a blender. Now I am making smoothies with various berries and bananas and yogurt - this I have first thing in the am . Also doing juicing but haven't ventured beyond apple, carrot and lemon juice. The juice is so delicious , and feels so overwhelmingly healthy - that I actually look forward to the next day when I make my next juice - I have the juice in the mid afternoon. I must really be lacking something because I am so jazzed up about having both the smoothie and the juice drink. Anyway, thanks for the big inspiration. As you mentioned your beetroot drink again, could you share the recipe? Also any other great combo's that you have enjoyed. I recently took out a book at the library, the Big Book of Juices and Smoothies by Natalie Savona. The book is absolutely beautiful. Gorgeous colored pictures of drinks--see what I mean about I must be lacking something in my body to get so fired up about this .

     
    Old 12-01-2007, 07:50 PM   #12
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    CD111 - i tried the vitex on its own and it still wasnt correcting as i would have liked. The naturopath combines about 7 different things to make the concoction i take. It's working anyway so will keep at it until my iron and other things get better and then i will re-evaluate. My doctor says not to expect a hormone correction naturally until the other things are corrected as they can affect your hormones and cause an imbalance. The other day the naturopath made up three 500ml bottles of the herbs for me so i wont have to go in and get more for quite a while. Thanks for your info on this topic it's been greatly appreciated

    Osteo - wow, that is excellent that you have noticed a difference in your general well being after doing the juicing and smoothie making. It's not as much fun washing up afterwards is it

    The main juice i make for my iron is the beetroot, apple, carrot, orange and ginger. A lot of people dont like the idea of beetroot or might be a bit skeptical, but it honestly doesnt even taste bad when mixed with the other ingredients, especially as the first taste sensation is the ginger. I think the ginger really makes this juice what it is. I got this recipe when i stopped into a fruit/veg store to buy a few things and they were juicing this same juice to sell to customers and he gave me a free taste test. I was hooked.

    After i have juiced the fruit/veg, i also take some of the pulp and add it to the bottle i put my juice in as this way i still get the bonus of some fibre. A lot of people these days who dont eat much fruit but juice it instead lose the health of fibre by throwing it all in the rubbish. It makes the juice a bit thicker too.

    I have since learnt that ginger helps carry food into the body by aiding absorbtion and distribution through the bloodstream and into the organs. As ginger is 'warming' it helps improve the digestive fires. It also is believed to help carry poisons and undigested wastes from the digestive tract and removes them.

    The above juice is the only one i make, but with smoothies i normally do banana, milk/yogurt/butter milk, some flaxseed oil, some LSA mix (crushed almond,linseed, sunflower seeds), raw egg yolk (save the white for omlette as raw whites bind around biotin and stop its absorbtion inthe body), might add in some Sustagen powder which contains whey protein, i'll add in maybe strawberries or kiwi fruit or blueberries or sometimes just leave banana as the only fruit.

    Does this mean you will start your own juice/smoothie business in a corner of the Heathboard

     
    Old 12-02-2007, 03:48 PM   #13
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    Glad the your herbal remedy is working. It's such a relief to know that at least something is starting to get on track. I was on tincture for months before vitex alone would work for me. I also think ginger is great. I didn't know it aided with absorption. Good to know.

     
    Old 12-03-2007, 05:17 PM   #14
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    AudreyB- thanks again for all the great juicing/ smoothie making infor. You are so right about the cleaning up after juicing. That is the only downside! I just love the drinks. I will let you know when I try the beetroot-it sounds odd to me but I will try it.

     
    Old 12-08-2007, 07:27 PM   #15
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    Re: Finally got my results...

    Audrey - is your hair still shedding or has it slowed?

    Mine has not slowed. My ferritin was 19 in Sept. I have added 325 of ferrous sulphate, 500 mg of vitamin C, and Lysine tablets to my daily ritual. I have been taking them faithfully since the last week in August.

    I'm starting to lose hope again - thinking that maybe it is hereditary thinning or something. The hair loss is so much though.

    Last edited by littlebunnyfoo; 12-08-2007 at 07:28 PM.

     
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