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  • Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

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    Old 09-23-2010, 06:09 PM   #1
    AnnHilary
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    Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    I have been rather ill since June with weakness, tachycarida ranging from 100-120 beats per min, weak, fatigue and shortness of breath. I also have had a lump feeling in my throat. I have been prone to hair loss but it was abundant this summer. I am 40 years old and would run daily for about a mile prior to June. Now I walk briskly for about 12 minutes and I am totally winded. I went to my derm for the hairloss and got a letter today explaining iron deficiency anemia. I have a history of very heavy periods. My following lab values:

    Ferrtin 5
    Iron 28
    TIBC 503
    Iron saturation 6
    Hgb 11

    I have been taking a vitmain for years with 18 mcg of iron. What is the best thing to do from here? Over the counter ferrous sulfate or an prescription? I was so sure I had a thyroid issue but my thyroid levels came back fine. Would this be responsible for my shortness of breath?

     
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    Old 09-23-2010, 10:44 PM   #2
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    AnnHilary--Welcome to the boards! Since you have been DX'ed with IDA, you now need to stop any blood loss which equals iron loss. It would be a good idea to discuss your heavy periods with your GYN. You should also see your PCP to be sure there are not other reasons for blood loss. There can be more than one cause. Runners also tend to be more at risk for anemia. You have to take in more iron than is lost.

    For me I had an endometrial ablation to stop the heavy periods. That is when my iron begin to hold and stabilize. I also too a script iron, Poly Iron 150 mg's and I took 2 daily when possible. I ended up in the ER from the Ferris Sulfate it did a real number on me. So I say no to OTC iron in small doses if you are at a 5 ferritin. Your Hgb is not too, too, bad but no anemia is good no matter what.

    Just know that you have to first find a cause for the anemia and second iron therapy, what your doctor prescribes for you. I was 45 when I became anemic and I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy to rule out any other causes for blood loss but my Hgb was 8.5 and a 2 ferritin. Take care. FLFG
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    Old 09-24-2010, 07:53 AM   #3
    AnnHilary
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    I just called my doc & he is gone until Monday. I am so eager to get started on something so I can start to feel better! Should I try the cheleted ferrous for now until I get a hold of his office? I have also started Protonix. How far should I space any kind of iron I take and the protonix?

     
    Old 09-24-2010, 09:11 AM   #4
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    I would wait for your doctors guidance as to what course of action to take and not begin anything until prescribed.

    Iron should be taken 1 hr before or 2 hrs after a meal and 2 hrs apart from PPI's. If taken with food absorption is decreased by up to 50-66%. Also, 3 hrs apart from any calcium supplements. PPI (Protonix, Nexium, Zegrid, Kapadex and such) decrease absorption. It's a good idea to get an iron supplement that already has Vit-C included or it can be taken on the side to increase absorption.

    I take my PPI's last thing late at night. It works for me because my problem is at rest not day. Take care. FLFG
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    Old 09-24-2010, 09:39 AM   #5
    AnnHilary
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    Thanks alot! After reading through alot of the posts, I am suprised that my hgb was still 11 when my ferritin was only 5! I appreciate the feedback! Now I am off to seek opinions on oral contraceptives to control the blood loss

     
    Old 09-24-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    Hi AnnHilary and FLFlowerGirl, thought I would also add to the post as the story is similar to mine. My numbers were very similar to you, AnnHilary - ferritin of 4 and Hemo level at 11.2. I was training for a 3 mile run and carrying out 2 physical part time jobs when I hit exhaustion. From my angle, the iron tablets are taking some time to work - it's now been 9 weeks taking 2-3 a day of Ferrous Fumerate. My periods are quite heavy which has probably slowed things down. I am still doing hard physical work for a living. You may need to be patient with iron tablets or you may be lucky and quickly absorb the iron. Take care. Clare x

     
    Old 09-24-2010, 07:03 PM   #7
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    I probably sound like a broken record here, but I'll say it again. I was severely anemic and they started me on the ferrous sulfate tablets, and I got terribly sick - very constipated, bad stomach pain, indigestion, terrible. I couldn't do it.

    So I did research and found liquid Floradix. It is ferrous gluconate plus C and B vitamins. It smells terrible, but I mix it with berry V-8 juice and take it through a straw. It was amazing to me. No constipation, and no stomache pain, and it worked. Even if you can't do the liquid, look for ferrous gluconate tablets, they tend to be gentler. But the liquid Floradix did the trick for me. Plus extra Bs and folic acid.

    Oh, and remember, it takes 3 months to produce the good red cells once you've started supplementing. You'll feel better in a few weeks, but don't be surprised if you have bad days. Two steps forward, two back. Then in 4 months, you should feel an improvement. Just hang in and keep taking whatever you settle on. Everyone is different so what works for one might not for another.

    good luck. I remembeer hte days of heart rates of 110. It is not fun.

     
    Old 09-25-2010, 04:39 AM   #8
    AnnHilary
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    Were you able to find the liquid floradix at a whole foods co-op or did you have to order it online? I did pick up a supplement yesterday at our local co-op: Iron Complex with 27 mg Iron, Vit C 50mg, Folate 200mg, with herbs Dong Quai & Red Raspberry. I took one on an empty stomach yesterday with heartburn or nausea. What scares me is that I can't take a normal multivitamin without taking colace! How many am I going to have to take to aide with a high dose iron?! I am happy at least to have found out what was wrong--I had 2 significant dizzy spells last week. I had gone to the dermatologist to see about hair loss and she had ordered the Iron levels, as apparently I had issues with this before according to my chart. She felt that my hair loss is directly related to the ferritin level being low. When I looked at http://www.anemia.org they said there is no evidence that hair loss is related to anemia. They only listed a few symptoms of anemia, I think I have had several.

     
    Old 09-25-2010, 05:10 AM   #9
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    I've gotten my Floradix at Whole Foods and online, both. It doesn't constipate me. It's the only iron that's ever worked for me. No indigestion, nothing.

     
    Old 09-25-2010, 08:36 AM   #10
    payton123
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    When I was diagnosed with IDA my ferritin was a 5 also and I think my Hemoglobin was 10.8, so very similar levels to you. I started taking 108 mgs of elemental iron a day (6 pills Ė 18 mgs each) within 4 weeks my ferritin went up to 14. At that time I had switched to an iron complex (only because I could buy it locally and the other I had to order online) and over the next 2-3 months my ferritin never raised again and started going back down. I went back to the first form of iron I was taking and within 3 weeks had a blood drawn and my ferritin had shot up to 35. Itís an amino iron in the form of iron bisglycinate, highly, highly recommended on other anemia sites. Iíve never had any digestion issues with it.

    Japlopper is exactly right, Iím on month 4 and am no longer considered anemic, however, there are good days and bad days. Iím starting to have more good days but the bad days are still pretty bad, mostly fatigue. Itís the worst right before and during my period.

    Flflowergirl mentioned an endometrial ablation; you should definitely look into it. In the meantime, my Naturopath gave me something called Slow Flow to take just during your period. It works wonders Ė you can google it. It doesnít stop your period but makes it way lighter and shorter.

    I also had massive hair loss and believe it is connected to low ferritin levels. Thereís a ton of information about levels having to be around 70 for hair loss to stop. Iíve also seen 50 or 60 for hair loss to stop but up to 70 for new growth.

    Good luck girl - I feel for ya!

     
    Old 09-25-2010, 08:55 AM   #11
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    AnnHilary--If it is constipation that you are concerned about, when it comes to iron the higher the dose the less the constipation. Take care. FLFG
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    Old 09-25-2010, 09:00 AM   #12
    AnnHilary
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    You guys have been an amazing resource!! Thank you so much! Payton: The Iron complex I purchased listed the Iron source as "Ferrochel Iron Bisglycinate 27mg"...would this be similar to the one that worked for you? I will definately look into Slow Flow! As luck would have it, I got my period today and started the Lybrel I had on hand I worry as I am 40 and really don't like being on hormones at this age! My coworker with similar heavy periods did just have the ablation, and it didn't work for her-she is now on Yaz. Also, I have a myometrial fibroid and the ablation may be contraindicated. I used to take alot of Ibuprofen to help control monthly heavy bleeding & cramps. I tried Midol this morning, and so far it has worked wonders! Is it possible to feel better after a couple of days of iron supplements? I have been eating malt-o-meal, adding Ovalteen, without milk and drinking OJ, taking the iron and my shortness of breath is the best that it has been all summer. My heart rate is now in the 100s vs 110 and up. Our local Co-op didn't have the Floradix, but I didn't find it at ****** for $35.00. So far the Ferrochel didn't upset my stomach but maybe it is too soon to tell.

     
    Old 09-25-2010, 09:29 AM   #13
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    I canít say for sure but if it says iron bisglycinate then I would assume itís the same form. How many are you taking a day? Glad to hear youíre feeling a little better but I would be surprised if iron supplements could work that quickly. Regardless, if youíre feeling a tad better thatís good. Any good days right now are a blessing Iím sure.

    I have heard of the ablation not working but mostly on the internet. I try to keep in perspective that most failures or bad side effects will be on the internet vs. people with good experiences are probably not going to post as much or are searching for forums to talk about it. It was recommended to me but Iím not sure yet whether I want to go that route. When my ND gave me the slow flow she said to start taking it a day before or the day you start your period. 3 every 3 hours until your period lightens (usually the 2nd morning itís lightened, compared to before where I had at least 3 days of heavy bleeding), then 2 every 3 hours until itís almost gone, then down to 1 every 3 hours until itís completely gone. I went from a 7-9 day period to a 3 day period. Make sure you check all the ingredients, etc, as I am not a doctor, just sharing what I was told and my experience.

    Another thing I wanted to mention was the lump (goiter?) in your throat. A lot of times low ferritin and thyroid issues go hand in hand. Just being in the range doesnít necessarily mean you donít have issues. I personally donít give any attention to the TSH level. Your Free T3 should be at the very top of the range, Free T4 in the upper third to quarter of the range, and you should have absolutely no antibodies. I would get to a good specialist for your thyroid. Naturopaths seem to understand thyroid better than most doctors. I would start there but you may end up with an Endocrinologist if you need anything more extensive. ďStop the thyroid madnessĒ is a good place to research thyroid.

     
    Old 09-25-2010, 10:01 AM   #14
    AnnHilary
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    The lumpish feeling started right along with the shortness of breath and heart rate (hair loss was eariler, and the vertigo was just last week). When I first went to see my gyn for these symtoms, they only did a hgb "spot check", which was 11 at that time. No iron was done and that was in June. I was thinking I did have thyroid issues, as even small nodules can cause the lump feeling. My dermatologist didn't give my thyroid levels, only that they were "normal". All of my aunts/uncles are hypothyroid so there is a family history.

    The Slow Flow was a reasonable price, I will order it to have on hand. Another problems I was having was that my periods went from every 24 days to every 21 starting last January.

    We don't have any naturopaths in our area-closest would be about 200 miles away. We do have a chiropractor that alot of people see for general heath issues, perhaps he would be worth a try.

     
    Old 09-25-2010, 05:00 PM   #15
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    Re: Newbie with Iron Deficiency Lab Values today, what now?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AnnHilary View Post
    I have been rather ill since June with weakness, tachycarida ranging from 100-120 beats per min, weak, fatigue and shortness of breath. I also have had a lump feeling in my throat. I have been prone to hair loss but it was abundant this summer. I am 40 years old and would run daily for about a mile prior to June. Now I walk briskly for about 12 minutes and I am totally winded. I went to my derm for the hairloss and got a letter today explaining iron deficiency anemia. I have a history of very heavy periods. My following lab values:

    Ferrtin 5
    Iron 28
    TIBC 503
    Iron saturation 6 hs
    Hgb 11

    I have been taking a vitmain for years with 18 mcg of iron. What is the best thing to do from here? Over the counter ferrous sulfate or an prescription? I was so sure I had a thyroid issue but my thyroid levels came back fine. Would this be responsible for my shortness of breath?
    I know how you feel I have every symptom (even face swelling) but my tsh came back normal low and my t4 came back right on the low end so im just waiting to see what dr says.. ..My iron levels are low my mvc high (indicating a vitamin deficentcy) and my kedney funtion is high.... so just waiting

     
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