OK, so there's a lot here to digest (no pun intended).
When I said I have a tendency to get sick, I meant illnesses like the common cold. When I was younger, during grade school and college, I had frequent sinus infections. Younger than that, I had frequent ear infections.
When I first sought medical treatment last summer for fatigue, I did not have any digestive problems. That's when the anemia was found. At that time, my hemoglobin was 10.4 and my hematocrit was 34%. Those are low values for a male, especially considering blood work from 6 years prior had my hemoglobin at 16.7 and my hematocrit at 49%. Obviously, something changed. My iron levels were subsequently found to be very low.
I've been taking an iron supplement for most of the past year. From July to February, I was taking 130mg of elemental iron per day. During that time, my hemoglobin and hematocrit rebounded to normal levels. I then stopped taking the iron supplement for 30-45 days. Following increasing lethargy, I restarted it in mid-to-late April. I did not have blood work again until this month. My hemaglobin, hematocrit, and iron are now uniformly down from their February highs, but still normal. This caused my doctor to conclude that a daily iron supplement of 65mg was needed to maintain my current levels.
My current iron supplement is 6x the recommended daily iron intake for an adult male. That is in addition to iron consumed in my diet, which is low in red meat, but not vegetarian.
I do occasionally have digestive discomfort now, but I think it could be attributable to the iron supplement. On Mother's Day, I got what seemed liked an intestinal virus. with intermittent diarrhea and a 100.3 fever on successive nights. The diarrhea continued well after the fever subsided, but had mostly stopped after 2 weeks.
I am in good shape. I can run long distances at a relatively fast pace. It's not world class, but I can post good times. I also lift weights.
So there seems to be some question to how my IgA might influence the other celiac tests. They are listed above, but I have no experience with them and only know what I read today. I was not given the exact numbers for those tests, just a "negative" value. My doctor didn't seem very concerned, but did counsel that I continue a minimal or gluten free diet to see how I progress.
I know it's unusual for a male to become anemic or need an iron supplement. I don't donate blood. I never have tarry colored stools or any visible blood in my stools. I was tested last summer for occult blood loss and that was negative. There is no evidence to suggest bone marrow dysfunction or blood cancer. There is even no evidence to suggest malabsorption, as all other values (calcium, potassium, sodium, folate, and b12) were normal and I seem to readily absorb the oral iron supplement.
I don't know. I'm willing to just wait and see what happens. I don't want to seem like a hypocondriac, though my doctor told me to have a short threshold for alerting him if something is wrong.
Last week I did have an odd episode where I had chest pain for a minute or two, but I think it was just indigestion. What concerned me about it at the time was there was a pressure feeling accompanied my shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and discomfort that radiated to my left jaw. I KNOW what that sounds like and I panicked for a minute. But then I burped a few times and figured it was nothing. I did have an EKG, enzyme tests, and an electrocardiogram last year, all which found nothing wrong with my heart. That was done last summer after it was determined I was anemic, but before it was found I was iron deficient. It followed an episode where I ended up in the ER because I passed out, slammed my head into some furniture, and bled substantially from my nose.
Yeah, that was a mess. I don't want to tell my doctor about that recent episode though because I really don't think there's anything wrong with my heart, despite it sometimes feeling like there's soreness there after I exercise.