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    Old 07-15-2007, 05:18 AM   #1
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    Nyxie63 HB UserNyxie63 HB User
    Any clue what's going on here?

    Sorry for this being long. Just want to get as much info into this as possible. I was recently dx'd with low ferritin at 7 (10-291) and the dr has put me on 75 mg of iron a day. There's other things going on too, but not sure if they're contributing factors or not. From what little reading I've done on this, it seems like the whole chicken/egg thing.

    In Feb, they found thyroid nodules. My TSH has always been under 2. Antibodies are well within range (under 30 for both TPO and AntiTg). As of the last test on 6/5/07 (TSH wasn't run) FT3 was 2.99 (2.30-4.20) and FT4 was .95 (.89-1.76). I had been taking 3/4 grain of Armour daily (to try to shrink my nodules), but stopped 2 weeks prior to the testing due to bad side effects (extreme fatigue and unexplained weight loss - 12 pounds in a month).

    2 Years ago, I was dx'd with GERD and put on Protonix. I've stopped taking it since starting the iron supplementation (figured the stomach acid would help with absorbtion). My GERD really hasn't been that bad since I stopped taking the meds 2 weeks ago. My diet's pretty good. I've cut out most processed foods (except for whole grain bread - gotta have my crunchy bread in the morning). I also eat meat as well as a lot of fruits and veggies.

    In other testing, they also found that I had low vit D at 13 (25-80). While my manganese and copper were both flagged on the testing, they're still within "normal" ranges. Manganese at .03 (.007-.03) and Copper at .54 (.52-.89). I was also found to have elevated levels of mercury, as well as higher-than-normal levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead and thallium in my system (found with RBC elements test, not serum). Was also dx'd with borderline adrenal fatigue. Everything else was fine. Never had my B's tested.

    My last CBC was done back at the end of March. I'm scheduled for another one at the end of this month, but won't get the results back until the end of August when I see the dr. The results from the last CBC are:

    WBC 8.4 (4.0-11.0)
    RBC 4.15 (3.8-5.3)
    Hemoglobin 12.5 (11.8-15.5)
    Hematocrit 36 (36-46)
    MCV 86 (80-100)
    MCH 30 (27-33)
    RDW 12.6 (11.5-14.5)
    PLT 324 (150-400)
    Granulocytes 70 (45-74)
    Lymphocytes 16.8L (20-47)
    Mononuclears 9.4 (3-11)
    Eosinophils 2.3 (0-8)
    Basophils 1.4 (0-2)

    So as you can see, the only two things on my CBC that might be even remotely questionable are my Hematocrit, which is low normal range, and my Lymphocytes, which is below range. I hadn't been recently ill or had any infection that I know of.

    Since my period is really heavy and long (and always has been) my dr attributes the low ferritin to that. I tend to agree, but wonder if there isn't something else going on. I haven't put a list of my symptoms here, largely because it's pretty long and this post is long enough already. If you like, I'll post them. I'd really appreciate any input you would have as to what might be going on here.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Old 07-15-2007, 07:19 AM   #2
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    Re: Any clue what's going on here?

    Nyxie63--I am not a Doctor, I can only offer suggestions to you from my own experience.

    Your low ferritin could very well be from your heavy periods. But other things such as low B-12, other types of bleeding or even autoimmune disease can contribute to the cause. When my Endo. called me to tell me that I had a ferritin of 2 and 8.5 HGB he said, you MUST find out why, it is probably just your periods. They say that this takes years to happen so it goes on for a long time. I still hope that this is the reason. But I do wonder if we will ever know. I think time and testing different trials will tell, eventually. They tell me that anything under a 10 means nothing, no iron storage.

    It doesn't sound like your testing was completed. I would get a full GI work-up i.e., colonoscopy, endoscopy, Celiac Spure and B-12, Folate test w/ Iron package. Also, you can get a Transvaginal Ultrasound for the GYN part. If possible, you can have an Endometrial Ablation to stop or have lighter periods. I just had mine last month and no period so far. Only if you do not want to be become pregnant. Those are just the things I have done. Ask your Doctor about these tests.

    If you are Hypo Thyroid this can cause heavy bleeding and a decreased production of acid in your stomach in addition to the PPI. Taking PPI'S can inhibit the absorption as you already know. My Hemo Doc said that it does not STOP the absorption for what that is worth?? I wouldn't just stop taking your PPI, what did your Doc suggest? You don't always feel the damage that is going on, it is also silent for some people. Perhaps if you just cut back. Every other day was suggested to me or a lower dose if possible along with diet changes a must. Know that this is a disease that never gets better it progresses. Taking iron with a thyroid med can also make your numbers rise so it must be taken 4 hours after, if you are on any at this time. You have to keep checking your thyroid as you supplement with iron.

    When you speak of symptoms, know that a lot of them may cross over from thyroid to anemia, they are very much a like. I told my GYN I know I'm anemic and I was Hypo. They I told my Endo that I was having Hypo problems and no, I was very anemic. This can really get mixed and confused for something else.

    Hope this helps. FLFLOWERGIRL

    Old 07-15-2007, 09:03 AM   #3
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    Re: Any clue what's going on here?

    I agree with FlFlowerGirl, especially on the Celiac Disease.

    I was diagnosed with Iron Deficient Anemia, as well as low Vit D. I also have a history of Grave's Disease (hyperthyroidism) and Celiac Disease. I believe in my case my anemia and low Vit D are due to the many (11+) years I suffered with undiagnosed/misdiagnosed Celiac Disease.

    Good luck!!
    Graves Disease

    Old 07-16-2007, 03:37 AM   #4
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    Nyxie63 HB UserNyxie63 HB User
    Re: Any clue what's going on here?

    Thank you so much for your reply. I wasn't so much looking for a diagnosis, as much as a clue where to start looking. My drs, for the most part, are very passive as far as any kind of testing goes (or diagnosis for that matter), so I'm having to be my own health advocate and do research on my own in order to get any kind of proper testing done. It took going to 3 different drs just to get the Free T's tested (in spite of asking several times) and the only reason ferritin was tested was because I asked for it. Guess it pays to trust your instincts.

    Thyroid - none of my drs have said that I'm hypo, since all levels are well within normal ranges. I'm aware that most folks feel better with their FreeTs in the upper third of the range, but that doesn't help with diagnosis. I'm not taking any thyroid meds now and will be asking the dr about starting up again when I see him at the end of August.

    GERD meds - You're probably right about just scaling back on the med, rather than quitting altogether. I've never liked taking the med and still can't see the point in taking a med that lowers stomach acid if you already have low stomach acid to begin with. I think stopping was a knee-jerk reaction to what I've been reading about PPIs and malabsorbtion of nutrients, along with the shock of my test results. I didn't talk to the dr about it (yeah, I know) and have been taking digestive enzymes instead. They really do seem to work. Taking the med every other day sounds like a good compromise.

    GI and "girl" stuff- Guess it's time to make appts with specialists again. My PCP's been dealing with both, but this is definitely beyond her scope. The possibility of Celiac or other GI problem never occurred to me and nobody's ever mentioned it. I'd been planning on making an appt with a GYN anyway after I get back from vacation because one of my drs suspects fibroids.

    Thanks again and I'll post updates as things develop.

    Old 07-16-2007, 03:58 AM   #5
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    Nyxie63 HB UserNyxie63 HB User
    Re: Any clue what's going on here?

    Thanks for the confirmation. It's nice to have at least a starting point when looking for answers. Trying to get a dx out of my drs has been like trying to chop down a tree with a herring (and just as effective). Trying to get testing done is slightly easier, but still an effort.

    What kind of treatment did your dr recommend for your vit D deficiency? Mine has me on 2000 IU of vit D as well as 15 minutes out in the sun, without sunscreen, every day. Since I'm usually slathered head-to-toe in SPF45 whenever going outside, it's been quite the change (and probably a huge contributing factor to my deficiency). I've always tended to be somewhat sun-phobic since there's a long history of skin cancer in my family.

    Thanks again!

    Last edited by Nyxie63; 07-16-2007 at 08:39 AM.

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