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  • Decade of Anemia

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    Old 12-22-2011, 07:15 PM   #1
    SmallSails's Avatar
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    Decade of Anemia

    I am a 25 year old female who has been anemic for ten years. I am at a loss for what is the cause of my persistent anemia and hoping posting here may bring some new avenues to explore.

    When I was 15, my MD diagnosed me with severe anemia; I believe my iron levels was around 2-5 with an accompanying low haemoglobin. For years (literally), I've tried everything to get a handle on my anemia. Oral supplements always caused major stomach upset and my iron levels never increased - as if there was no absorption. An OB/GYN spent two years stopping my period for 6 months at a time - nothing changed (other than turning into a crazy wolf lady).

    Finally, I was put on monthly intramuscular injections of Infufer. They seemed to bring me up to ferritin levels of approx. of 12-15. I continued these injections up until last month, when Infufer was put on indefinite backorder for at least 1 year. My new MD did some blood tests as I'm trying to get on another alternative injection of DexIron; my iron is at 15 and my haemoglobin is at 120, which is apparently normal. Keep in mind, this is with my most recent iron shot about 3 weeks ago (and last one for awhile as I have run out of vials).

    The frustration;
    FIRSTLY, my MD is hesitant to put me on a new injection because they believe my iron levels and haemoglobin are on the low end of normal. I know if I don't get that shot, I'm going to suffer greatly - I'm at a level of 15 even when getting the shot monthly. I don't want to go back to the place of having such low iron, I can hardly walk without lightheadedness. SECONDLY, I still have no answers as to why my iron stays consistently low even with shots and why oral consumption never worked. A recent colonscopy and endoscopy revealed non-specific inflammation of my esophagus and GI tract, but no celiacs or h-pylori. Since then, I was put on a proton pump inhibitor and there's been some mention of IBS but no meds.

    I thought maybe my Doctor would've have seen this as a possible clue in solving the iron mystery, as maybe my GI tract is incapable of absorbing iron? When I was younger, I was put on a lot of antibiotics for kidney infections and now I'm reading up that it could've affected enzymes and such in my GI tract.

    I'm so lost. It's as if no Doctor or Specialist is willing to conclude that these issues could be the leading cause of my anemia, or at least look into them further. Are there any tests I can complete to get more answers? I've heard mention of bone marrow tests but I don't much about them and what they can find... and how painful they can be.

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    Old 01-24-2012, 04:12 AM   #2
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    Re: Decade of Anemia

    What a stupid medical approach... Sorry to hear about your problems. I don't have answers to most of your questions, but I think you're right that the hidden cause may be in you GI tract (or low stomach acid) that affects your iron absorption.

    It might also be a parasite issue, I think. Or, you might have candida (?). In fact, a lot of antibiotics have no doubt damaged thing there, killing a lot of good bacteria.

    I know this is not going to change things drastically, and your case sounds quite complicated to me, but maybe you could try adding probiotics in your diet. But be aware that the quantity of probiotics mentioned on the package of whatever brand it may be, is not always the real number. They say, many of them don't survive by the time you buy them, mainly bcz of storing conditions.

    I hope you do find the underlying cause of your anemia and do get treated by a sane doctor ASAP.

    Last edited by peace4; 01-24-2012 at 07:58 AM.

    Old 01-24-2012, 06:04 AM   #3
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    Re: Decade of Anemia

    OK you have appeared to have followed all the usual medical protocol.Have you considered alternative medical help? As a type 2 diabetic,I was being instructed on the use of insulin injections,when I discovered a holistic practioner. 12 yrs later everything is humming along fine with his remedies.No insulin required.He works along with my doctor so I get the benefit of both disciplines.Don't give up,there is help out there.

    Old 01-26-2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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    Re: Decade of Anemia

    Hi SmallSails,
    I have iron deficient anemia for 2 1/2 yrs now & has made a mess put of my life.
    I was told (I cannot have never been able to been able to take oral iron), the reason for my anemia is somewhere along the line, my stomach receives iron rich foods or an iron tablet & sees it as the enemy, hence, destroying it, getting rid of it.
    I've lost 45-50 lbs in these 2 yrs. Started as a 9/10 11/12 to a 0/1. I'm 5'7".
    So, maybe that is why you can't tolerate iron.
    I used to try to eat greens & veggies, just to get sick afterwards-severe stomach aches/cramps, then diarrhea. I was losing weight so fast, I was really scared.
    Finally, my hematologist said "eat whatever stays in, just eat!". So all my body will actually stay in is Chinese takeout.
    I'm still at 103lbs, but crossing fingers & toes that iron infusions aren't far off (insurance company's!! Ugh!!)
    The very best of luck!

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    anemia, ferritin, gastro intestinal, haemoglobin

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