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    Old 07-27-2009, 05:38 AM   #1
    hh4uk
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    feeling blah

    I am currently taken iron tablet (ferrous gluconate)300mg 1 tablet twice a day
    and have seen no improvement in my tiredness levels at all currently at 2 months in on the tablets of a 3 month course

    i'm also a sufferer of irritable bowel syndrome which i know can add to anemia, i also have very heavy periods, so heavy that i spoil sheets and bedding each month.

    im also noticing im catching more infections and seem to get one after the other especially in my chest/lung area which also leaves me incredible tiered

    i have no concentration and think im slowly but surely going mad.have dizzy spells and feel sick

    ive been to the Dr so many times and as we have a phone on the day and get an appointment i never see the same Dr, so im finding my self repeating my issue and getting sent away feeling like nothing was sorted.

    think im getting the stage where its not anemia and something more underlying but i never get to discuss my issue as i feel im rushed at the Dr,

    i also suffer from panic attacks and anxiety which are never discussed either

    i don't have my test results to hand but i do know my iron level was around -5 or 5 only saw it on the screen once

    is there anything else i can do apart from taken these tablets, i have a big family and i find i cant do anything for them which is also getting me down

    guess this is my scream for help

    Last edited by hh4uk; 07-27-2009 at 05:39 AM.

     
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    Old 07-28-2009, 09:19 AM   #2
    beth67
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    Re: feeling blah

    You sound just like me except for the heavy periods. I've left bad for years and repeated myself over and over to the doctors. One wants to have me go in the hospital for intavenous iron. My ferritin is 19. I thought that was a bit drastic so I went to the library and checked out every book on anemia and did research on the computer and celiac disease kept popping up. Celiac is an auto immune disease that prevents you from absorbing nutrients. It can cause anemia, irritable bowel like symptoms, bloating, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, mental confusion. There are too many symptoms to type and not everyone has the same symptoms. I went to my general doctor and asked for a celiac panel blood test and it was positive. This is what has been wrong with me all the time. I called the one person with celiac and her story sounded just like mine. She said after a couple of months of being on a gluten free diet she felt 100% better. You might want to ask for this test. I suggest getting a copy of every test you get done. I go back to the lab after a few days of getting a test and get a copy. I don't wait around for the doctors anymore. I've had them tell me one thing and I'll look at the test and it will say something else and I'll call them on it. Don't be shy and polite. This is your health. I was brought up to be a polite young lady and not to make a fuss and it has been a detrament to my health. I'd hate for someone else to feel the way I have felt all these years. Do your research, bug your doctors and find out the cause. It's not in your head. Good luck.

    Beth

     
    Old 07-28-2009, 03:51 PM   #3
    hopalong_too
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    Re: feeling blah

    Wow Beth, I can't even find a doctor to take notice with a ferritin of 20 and no periods. (Last was May, before that November). Was your B12 also at the lower end?

    Hh4uk, Keep screaming.......i am and eventually someone will here you! Try to get copies of your labs (you may be in the UK from your name and I don't know how easy that is over there).

    OMG!! I just looked at a couple websites for celiac disease. I wonder if this is my problem? What tests did you get? I have low normal ferritin (20), low normal B12 (320) and low Vitamin D that just will NOT stay in range! I had an endoscopy last year. Would the doctor have noticed celiac if she was not looking for that? I also had FIVE polyps found on colonoscopy.

    Last edited by hopalong_too; 07-28-2009 at 05:52 PM.

     
    Old 07-29-2009, 11:20 AM   #4
    beth67
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    Re: feeling blah

    hopalong, My B12 was high so that wasn't causing the anemia. My D is low and I'm taking 4,000iu a day and I'm going to get that checked in three months. I'm thinking my levels of everything will go up because as my intestines heal from being gluten free they will be able to absorb more nutrients. The test I had done was a celiac panel. It's a blood test. My doctor said that if it's positive, great we know I have celiac but if it's negative that could still mean I have celiacs. She explained why but it's too confusing for me to remember. The ultimate test for a positive diagnosis is a biopsy. If your doctor did a biopsy when you had your endoscopy and checked it for celiac that would have let you know. Celiac is an autoimmune disease and I have two others which are asthma and hashimoto's thyroiditis. It seems my body if prone to autoimmune problems and I wish I could figure out whats triggering them because I really don't want anymore. Things all started to go down health wise for me after my son's diagnosis with type 1 diabetes. He was only three and it was extremely stressful on me. It changed my whole life. I was stressed and scared all the time for him. I stopped doing things for myself like exercising and doing yoga and I put on a lot of weight. I think it was too much for my body and it has gone haywire. Now I'm trying to take more time out for myself and practicing relaxation techniques and hopefully that will stop any more health problems with me along with eating really good. I think anyone who isn't feeling well and the doctors are at a loss should have a celiac panel. From what I've read it can cause all sorts of problems. I've read of people being misdiagnosed for 20 years until one doctor finally figures out to check for celiac. In Europe the average time of diagnosis is a couple of weeks from when the person first starts to complain of not feeling well. I read that it's estimated that two million people are undiagnosed in the US. I've felt bad for three years and always told my doctors my symptoms in detail and they never figured it out. I did it on my own. We all need to be proactive. Good luck.

    Beth

     
    Old 07-29-2009, 12:45 PM   #5
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    Re: feeling blah

    Hi Beth, I also have Hashimotos HypoT and newly diagnosed exercise induced asthma. I had the endoscopy done for some thickening in my esophagus. That is why I was wondering if they have to specifically be looking for Celiac?

     
    Old 07-30-2009, 06:30 AM   #6
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    Re: feeling blah

    hh4uk--Welcome to the boards!

    Your symptoms sound like you may very well be anemic. It could be something else, but you won't know until you have a blood test done. You should check this. Also, you may want to see your GYN and discuss your heavy cycles because this often can be the culprit. This doesn't mean that you don't also have more reasons for malabsorption of iron either. When taking iron for anemia, it depends on your numbers and the state that your body is in. The longer these things go on, the worse it will be if it is left unresolved. When taking iron supplements, you don't always feel better right away. It can take some time. I also had many infections in the lungs before my anemia was discovered. I also had malabsorption of iron due to PPI's use (Nexium). On top of that they found at the time of my ablation 7 polyps and those were removed. So, you can have a few reasons for anemia. The best thing to do, is to first stop the heavy bleeding, because this will help so much. Next, you might want to see a GI doc and address the IBS and have further testing for malabsorption syndromes, especially IF you are not able to bring up your iron levels. If there is anemia present you also want to have your Ferritin checked to see if you are low, this would need to be brought to normal healthy levels as well which can take up to a year or more for some people.

    beth67--I hear you!!!!!! I loved reading about your experience, you are so right about taking care of yourself. Sometimes, it's just up to us to keep on checking and trying whatever it is to get well. We know when something is not right. So many times they blame our symptoms on something else. I know, they did this to me too. I'm glad you were a smart patient. Take care. FLFG

    hopalong too--Your doctor would have had to go into the small bowel for a proper diagnosis. FLFG
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    Old 08-01-2009, 02:57 AM   #7
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    Re: feeling blah

    The other posters have given some great advice and information. I just wanted to say that having heavy periods, you ought to get an internal and external ultrasound as well as having a full hormone test done. Heavy cycles can result from an imbalance of hormones.

    You should also get your thyroid checked. Thyroid related issues are very common and unfortunately so many people go undiagnosed for far too long. Like some of the other posters, i also have Hashimoto's, but it took me 9 long years to get diagnosed. Prior to this diagnosis i kept being told my thyroid was "fine". During this time my ferritin was on a slow decline, even before my periods got heavy, but as i'd never been tested for ferritin before, i had no idea what ferritin was or where i was supposed to be. Even later when labs showed it declining i didn't think it was important as my doctor never said anything. I now realise i ought to be begun educating myself a LONG time ago.

    No matter what testing you get done, if your doctor is simply going to look at "ranges" rather than where you ought to be at within your lab results, of course they will keep saying "fine" and you wont ever know there is a potential problem in the making until it's too late.

    Your ferritin issue could be as simple as too much blood loss due to your periods, but i'd still get all other possibilities checked out as it's quite common for monthly cycle issues, low ferritin, low Vit D, low B12, thyroid issues, malabsorption of nutrients to all be interlinked. Also like already mentioned, another common one is celiacs.

    With celiacs, not everyone will have symptoms so you would never know you had a problem with gluten. Celiac blood tests can be false negative/positive. Only way to know for sure is a biopsy of the small intestine. IBS is a symptom of Celiacs but also can be due to digestive issues eg: inability to digest fats or carbs as well as lactose intolerance. IBS is also linked to a build up of candida in the gut.

    In regards to auto immune disease, whether you have a gluten intolerance or not, gluten is an enemy rather than a friend. Best to keep it to a minimum or cut it out altogether. Someone i know has been anemic off and on for most of her adult life, but after cutting out gluten for 6 months her ferritin is now 110. Her gluten antibodies were off the scale so she didn't bother with the biopsy. I guess her new test results for ferritin and her overall health speak for itself.

    It might be a good idea to check your Vitamin d levels as well as B12. If it's a malabsorption issues eg: due to IBS, then you could be low in any number of nutrients. You can do a simple experiment. Cut out all dairy from animals for a couple of weeks and see how the IBS goes. If it still continues then perhaps it's not that, but then again lactose is linked to inability to digest carbohydrates. You can look it up on the net. Different processes are required for digestion of carbs, fats and protein. In my case i don't digest protein foods properly due to lack of digestive enzymes being produced by my pancreas so i take digestive enzymes with all my meals.

    If the IBS is not due to celiacs or lactose intolerance you can try taking a course of probiotics to help balance your good intestinal flora. Imbalances occur due to antibiotics, birth control, too much sugar or refined foods in your diet, illness, yeast, alcohol, unhealthy lifestyle etc etc as the bad bacteria love the bad foods.

    Dont forget that certain foods, beverages and vitamins taken directly before/after/during taking your iron supplement or eating iron rich foods can inhibit iron absorbtion. eg: caffeine type drinks, red wine, zinc, calcium.

    Hoping you find some answers soon

     
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