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Does bruising a lot decrease your iron levels?

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Old 05-27-2011, 08:03 PM   #1
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Does bruising a lot decrease your iron levels?

I'm grasping at a straw here, but I have pretty severe iron deficiency anemia. Internal GI bleeding has been ruled out, my periods are not heavy. I did have gastric bypass surgery almost 7 yrs ago, so at this point, every blood doctor wants to blame my surgery for the anemia. I saw the Cleveland Clinic in FL in hopes they would try to figure out why the anemia is not getting better and I'd ideally love a way to not have to go the IV iron route again, but that was the only offer placed on the table

So, it got me thinking about how much a bruise. I bruise VERY easily. Like, I was moving my little boys bedroom around yesterday and within a couple of hours, I had massive black bruises on my upper arms. I knocked my shin slightly against the bedframe and I have a giant bruise with a baseball sized knot that is still coming through. We use a backpack for our diaper bag and if it's loaded with sippy cups, etc, then I get bruises on my shoulders from the weight in the bag.

If I clap my hands to hard or bang the inside of my fingers on anything, even lightly, I get bruises all over my fingers and upper palm.

Anyway, I never thought much about my bruising because I thought it was related to my anemia. (Reason I get frustrated with the doctors blaming my gastric bypass for the anemia is because I've been anemic since I was a baby.)

So, I am a very easy bruiser and I do bruise a lot. With 4 young kids, I am always getting bruises! Could all this bruising be a cause of blood loss/iron loss? Or does the body just reabsorb the blood at the bruise site? I know I have low vitamin D and low vitamin B, so not sure if those relate to the bruising or if the iron deficiency is the cause of the bruising afterall.

The Cleveland Clinic gave me a game plan that I'm not thrilled with. 15 IV iron infusions with Venefor over the course of a month and that will supposedly just take me out of depletion. After that, we'll have to do an iv iron infusion every 3 months for the rest of my life. Ugh.

BUT, if the bruising is the cause of the iron deficiency, then maybe it's a blood clotting issue that is the real problem? I have no idea! Just grasping at straws in hopes to find the root cause of it all. Thanks if you made it this far!!

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Old 06-02-2011, 03:21 AM   #2
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Re: Does bruising a lot decrease your iron levels?

Your bruising issue sounds like it may be related to thrombocytopenia which is pretty much low blood platelets. This very well can be related to iron deficiency anemia.

Platelets assist blood with clotting. When platelets are decreased, bruising would increase as blood isn't clotting normally and leaks into areas it shouldnt.

I know you said you didn't believe your surgery had much to do with this because you had anemia issues prior to your stomach operation. I dont doubt this, and I imagine your doctors dont doubt it either. Ya see, when you had your stomach surgery, they bypassed your duodenum. The duodenum helps absorb iron and without it, you are at a much higher risk for iron deficiency.

The truth is, iron deficiency anemia is very serious and can be life threatening. I'm 'guessing' the thrombocytopenia will improve when you get your blood supply back to normal (or at least -out of the deficiency stage).

So I guess you were onto something... your bruising and anemia probably are related. I'm sorry you face long term IV iron but without it, your organs can suffer (or worse, you could die). Please don't put your treatment off trying to find a dr that wont blame your bypass. It is, what it is.. no blame needed.

Old 06-02-2011, 06:55 AM   #3
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Re: Does bruising a lot decrease your iron levels?

The weird thing is my platelets are High and have always been high. So, that is what is so weird about bruising since bruising is usually because of decreased platelets.

I'm trying to figure out if the bruising might be lowering my hemaglobin/ferritin levels or if that blood from the bruising is just reabsorbed and used elsewhere in the body. Since I bruise a lot, I'm wondering if that could be why my blood levels aren't increasing despite taking so much iron supplementation whether by oral or iv. I don't know.

So my platelet levels are usually running in the mid 500's up to higher 500's despite the bruising. My bruises appear rapidly and develop rapidly as in, they turn dark purple/black within hours of running into something. But, they also desolve rather quickly too. If I bang my hand or fingers, I get a huge welt and bruise but it will be gone after a couple of days. I ran into something the other day and within a couple of hours, I had massive dark purple bruises on my upper arm. It's been about 5 days and they are about 75% gone. But I bumped my leg the same day and this bruise is a little different. I think it might have bruised my bone or something because I have a large swollen (about a golf ball) area that is bruised off the side of my shin area. It was a lot larger, but each day seems to be getting a little smaller. But that bruise never got dark purple or black. It just seems more like a shadow in that area.

I never worried about the bruising because I have always bruised a lot and I assumed it was part of the anemia, but I just learned in the last year that anemia and easy bruising are not related. I don't know what to think. My biggest question is if the blood that is involved in the bruising gets taken/affects the blood levels. Like is bruising considered blood loss or is it just blood that is damaged and the body reuses it once the bruise goes away? They have been looking for blood loss and nothing is there, so I wonder if the bruising could be silent blood loss affecting my iron levels. does that make sense? I'm tired and probably not making the best sense. lol

Thanks so much for taking the time to help me. I really appreciate it!

Old 06-03-2011, 09:30 AM   #4
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Re: Does bruising a lot decrease your iron levels?

i have high platelets, very very low iron and hemophilia. have you been tested for von willebrand?

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