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Anemia & Iron Deficiency
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Hi All,

I was diagnosed with Celiac in Sept. 04 through a blood test that my abdominal specialist gave me as a result of chronic diarrhea and malnutrition. After going on a gluten-free diet, my health improved drastically within 2 weeks, so I decided not to do the colonocsopy at that time. BTW, I also have diabetes type 1. When I went to see my internist recently, he was concerned that I am still anemic and iron deficient and suggested that I go back to my abdominal doc for an endoscopy and colonoscopy. OK, I have scheduled those for the end of this month.... Now my question(s): Is anemia an ongoing problem with Celiac? Do we ever recover from it? My bones or muscles seem to ache all the time and I am struggling with my new diet and resultant blood sugars. But overall, I really feel pretty good. I would like to hear what others have to say about their experiences with anemia and any of the above.

Thanks!

Deb

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Most people do recover from the anemia, but others need a bit of extra help. I know that when I first went gluten-free I was feeling low. I don't have an official diagnosis, so I did not have doctors testing my various nutrient levels... but I had never been able to donate blood since my iron was always low. The doctors always said I was borderline anemic. <_<

Well after going gluten-free I started using a cast iron pan to make my scrambled eggs every morning. I would also cook my chicken in it occasionally for dinner. I was able to donate blood about 6 months into the diet! My iron was finally up to normal levels and has stayed up, even though I don't use the cast iron pan all the time anymore! The important thing with a cast iron pan is that it has to be new. It can't be an old one, or else it is most likely seasoned well with far to much gluten over the years! So that is one cheap iron booster. And it certainly can't hurt to try it. Just remember NEW pan.

Certainly have your doctor check all your nutrient levels, since there are supplements you can use, and some people might need shots at regular intervals. The gastro doctor should be able to help you in this area.

God bless,

Mariann

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I was anemic so I bought a 180 pill bottle of iron tablets. I took one a day til they were gone and got my blood back up to normal. I also recommend greens as they contain a lot of absorbable iron.

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I was not able to up my iron with pills and had an iron infusion--basically you sit with an iv in your arm, pumping you full of iron for 4 to 6 hours. This is always an option if you are not able to absorb or maintain levels with pills/foods etc. this procedure is done by a hematologist.

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I was terribly anemic and took pills for about 6 months, and by then had begun to heal to the point where my iron levels were HIGH :o . So I stopped taking them and haven't needed them since. I still do, however, take a B12 injection and I found some liquid vitamins that are DYNAMITE.

Hope this helps.

Sharon

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:D thanks for your input guys! My doctor has finally presribed some iron pills, so after listening to what you had to say, here's to hoping that these pills will do the trick. I am assuming that once I get my bloodwork in good condition that maybe I won't feel as much muscle and bone pain. I am also trying to establish a good exercise routine as I have noticed that once I stretch and work out a bit, I feel less pain in my muscles (for a while anyway). Thanks for your help!

deb

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    • Hi everyone, I've been reading this forum sporadically and have some questions of my own. I'm in my 40s and was diagnosed with celiac last December by biopsy and blood work after months of tests by my primary and then a gastro. My husband, around the same age as me, was dx'd with stage 4 cancer a month later, so admittedly it's took me longer than I'd have liked to learn about celiac. Now I feel pretty on top of my diet. I mostly make my own food - proteins and veggies, with some certified gluten-free snacks in the mix - and am pretty strict about what I will/won't eat at friend's houses or in restaurants (I prefer to go to dedicated gluten-free kitchens whenever possible). I'm doing okay on the diet, but still getting glutened every so often, usually when I let me guard down outside the home. I also periodically see my primary and a naturopath (who happens to have celiac!), but still, I have many questions if anyone would care to answer:

      -FATIGUE. I'm still so tired, fatigued so much of the time. My doctors blame this on the stress of my husband's diagnosis and my periodic trouble sleeping. But even during weeks where I'm sleeping enough (8-10 hrs a day), eating right, exercising as I can, trying to keep stress at bay, I'm still so bleeping tired. Maybe not when I wake up, but by late afternoon. Often my legs even feel weak/wooden. Has anyone else experienced greater fatigue early on after being diagnosed? This will pass, yes? I know I could cut out the sweets and that could help, but also, being a caregiver is hard and sometimes it's nice to eat your feelings between therapy sessions.  

      -SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY FATIGUE? Sometimes I'll have other "feels like I've been glutened" symptoms if I haven't gotten enough sleep, though I'm trying so hard to sleep at least 8 hours a night these days. Hasn't happened in a while thankfully, but there was a point this summer where my insomnia was bad and my arms were achy and I had some crazy flank/back pain I'd never experienced before. For weeks. Doctor ordered me to sleep sleep sleep, taking Benedryl if needed. I did, and the symptoms went away, but weird, yes? Has this happened to you? I ask because I want to make sure I'm getting all strange pains tested to the full extent if there's a chance it's something other than celiac. I do sometimes still feel that strange side stitch after a CC incident.

      -SKIN PROBLEMS. I have had a smidge of eczema since I was a teen and it - and the dermatitis herpetiformis I've acquired with my dx - are out of control right now. I recognize the connection with stress, but also, has anyone found any great natural remedies for DH to stop the itching? I've tried so many useless ointments and medicated creams, a number of them given to my by a dermo months ago. I see my naturopath this week, but thought I'd ask here too.

      -MOSTLY gluten-free KITCHEN GOOD ENOUGH? My husband is supportive of my diet and mostly eats gluten free meals with me, but we still keep a gluten-y toaster for him and the gluten-y dog food in a corner of the kitchen and he still makes the occasional meal with gluten for himself on his own cookware (ravioli, pizza, mac n cheese, etc). Or sometimes I make eggs/toast and the like for him when he's too sick to move. Otherwise, we're militant about how we cook, which cookware we use, etc. He even has a kitchen nook off our den where he makes sandwiches. But sometimes I wonder if having two separate sponges in our shared-ish main kitchen is enough and I should just banish all gluten whatsoever from the kitchen. I can't be the only one with a mixed kitchen, right? How do you do it if you have a mixed-eating family?

      Thank you so much!  
    • Hang in there!  Count your blessings.  Do something you like to do and relax. I know that is hard to do as a young mother (as I sit here in the kitchen sipping coffee quietly as my teenager is sleeping in after a late football game last night where she marched in 90 degree plus weather in full uniform).   But seriously, take a few minutes to relax!  
    • Meredith, this is very true. A colonoscopy is for diagnosis of the lower intestine, endoscopy for the upper intestine.  How did your doctor interpret the tests? I suggest you read the link Cycling Lady gave you because it contains a lot of good information. 
    • Sorry, but this product (supplement) is not even certified gluten free.   Seems odd that a product geared to Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance would not take the extra step of getting certified.   I guess I am a Nervous Nellie, especially after the reports that several probiotics were contaminated with gluten.   https://celiac.org/blog/2015/06/probiotics-your-friend-or-foe/
    • Thank you for posting that. I've had a lot of that bloodwork done and everything is normal. At the peak of this belly bug I had blood work done and my white count was fine. I think it's just my health anxiety scaring me into thinking this is something scarier (to me) than celiac. Maybe the anxiety will subside once I go gluten-free. The anxiety is brutal.
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