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  • Have your levels dropped w/o blood loss?

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    Old 07-30-2009, 10:03 AM   #1
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    Have your levels dropped w/o blood loss?

    Hi. Quick recap. IDA diagnosis in early Feb. Went on supplements, levels came back up into normal range in less than 3 mos. Went through the usual course of tests - colonoscopy, endoscopy, celiacs, pelvic US. Was put on bc pills for heavy periods (few small fibroids), which have gone down to nearly nothing in two packs. When I went for my scopes on June 10, I had to go off iron for 11 days as a prep. This coincided w/my period, such as it is. I felt fine afterwards, but now - 6 weeks later - I am having anemia symptoms - specifically hair loss, fatigue, back pain and minor reflux (I get none of these when I'm not anemic).

    What could be causing this? I took some blackstrap molasses last night and this morning in addition to my supplements, but I am so concerned there is still something going on they haven't found. I did read that very low ferritin levels can cause your levels to drop after several months of supplementing because the bone marrow is claiming its due, but I only read this one place.

    Has anyone else had setbacks with symptoms returning w/o blood loss?

    The one test I haven't had yet is a kidney US which I've been putting off but I guess I better sked it.

    I haven't been told I'd need to see a hemotologist. Hope that's not where this is headed....

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    Old 07-30-2009, 05:52 PM   #2
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    Re: Have your levels dropped w/o blood loss?

    newinnj--Have you been taking iron the whole time other than the 11 days for colonoscopy prep? You might want to try to have another CBC done to check your levels again if you can. I know until the ferritin goes up to a healthy level it can and often does drop depending on the demand for iron. If you have a malabsorption and are not taking in enough iron then it could begin to drop over time. Or just not taking in enough iron in the first place with low ferritin will pull from the ferritin. After the ferritin initially builds to low normal levels many times this can slow down because the ferritin storage is getting what it needs. Definately get any testing done that you can, it's worth it because this is your health and sometimes things can go undetected, at least you will know this is not a cause. I know if I was not taking iron, my numbers would slowly go down, and I would be back to square one, so I stay on iron daily. Take care. FLFG
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    Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
    Moderate Anemia (resolved) Low Ferritin-- Work in progress! Hiatal Hernia--GERD
    Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    Old 08-01-2009, 01:49 AM   #3
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    Re: Have your levels dropped w/o blood loss?

    Hi newinnj - it's good you have had those series of tests so that you can at least elimate a few reasons for possible low ferritin. If you eat meat in your diet and eat a healthy diet, then the low ferritin can't be from your diet, but can be due to malabsorption of nutrients in your diet due to any number of reasons.

    I also had heavy periods which seemed to get heavier and heavier as well as becoming irregular, i had the hair shedding, chronic tiredness and low in vitamin D, ferritin, iodine and my B12 was good, but i'd been on Vit B supplements for quite a long time, thinking i was tired due to lack of B vitamins.

    For my periods, i was simply told to go on birth control, but i wanted to find out what exactly was going on so i refused. For my hair shedding i was told this was stress and to ignore it. My ferritin each year appeared to be dropping but my doctor couldn't care less. I wasn't even aware how important ferritin was or how to read my lab results so i ended up ignoring it too. I also had my thyroid tested and was told it was fine.

    Fast forward 9 years and i finally found a doctor who knew his stuff and it ended up that all my issues were linked. I did have a hormonal issue, thyroid issue and malabsorption of nutrients, ALL courtesy of being hypothyroid as well as having the thyroid autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's.

    Prior to finding all this out, i simply focused on raising my ferritin, thinking it would be easy, but each time it rose and i began skipping doses, my iron began dropping again. This showed me that i couldn't afford to not take my daily dose of iron. Then finding out about how everything interlinked with my thyroid issue it all began making sense. This is why it's important to find out what exactly is going on.

    I've been on a herbal mix from a naturopath to settle my cycles, make them lighter and regular. As my hormones are a mess, i'm scared of going on the pill as this can make things worse for some people.

    You mentioned having fibroids, that's a direct result of too much estrogen. Have you had a full hormone panel test done to find out where all your hormones are at? Excess estrogen is known to have hypothyroid and adrenal issues as symptoms, while long term low iron can affect the thyroid and long term low vitamin d can affect your adrenal function.

    I'm not sure what else to suggest, but if you haven't already, then get your thyroid tested. This ought to include TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Thyroid Antibodies. also get your Vitamin D and B12 tested.

    I also bought some black strap molasses and was using it for a number of weeks and at my next blood test my ferritin had moved up well. I've stopped taking it now, due to lazyness might have to start again. Do you find it has helped you?

    Best wishes and don't stop taking that iron supplement

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