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Can Sudden Anemia Be Caused By Celiac?
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I self-diagnosed myself with gluten intolerance from results from my diet change and Enterolab's testing last fall. I've been gluten free for 6 months now.

My sister, 2 years younger than me, has always struggled with anemia. She has been on iron pills a couple of times, but her levels eventually level out. A month ago she gave blood and they tested her hemoglobin, she was well within normal range. Now they tested her again and the results are that she is extremely anemic.

I know one of the main symptoms of adult onset of celiac is anemia, but would it cause sudden anemia like this? Counts dropping quickly, within 4 weeks? I don't think she'll listen to me anyway, as my whole family is very understanding of my avoiding gluten, but have stated they would never do it themselves. I carry a celiac and a gluten sensitive gene, so doesn't that mean that my sister likely carries one of them as well?

Thanks in advance!

Janie

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Did she have a heavy period between measurements? If her iron stores are low, and she lost blood, she might have a difficult time replacing it.

Also, was it iron deficiency anemia? There are different kinds.

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She's on the pill, so she has really light, short periods. I'm not sure of the type of anemia...she just said her hemoglobin levels dropped dramatically.

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Yes, it can cause sudden anemia. Can't say that's the cause here, though.

richard

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I carry a celiac and a gluten sensitive gene, so doesn't that mean that my sister likely carries one of them as well?

Thanks in advance!

Janie

At least one and likely both. All your first degree relatives need to be tested. But you can't force them to do it or to follow the diet.

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It's worth looking at. I have been gluten free over 18 months, before then my iron and B12 were shocking for over a year. I tried supplements and injections, but it just didn't need to stay in my system.

I was glutened twice in the first 6 months after going gluten free, and each time my iron and B12 levels crashed - B12 went from over 1100 to less than 200, iron dropped a lot. I had blood tests at least every 3-4 over that time, so I know that the drop was due to the gluten. I saw a haematologist and he coundn't give me an exaplanation why this happened, the gluten is the only explanation that I have.

Intestinal damage from celiac or gluten intolerance can stop you absorbing nutrients, but in my case it seemed to actually suck the nutrients out of my system. I don't know the explanation of how this happens, but I have had enough time to see the pattern very clearly.

In the last year my B12 levels have managed to remain ok with occasional injections, far less than I needed before. I have still needed iron injections, but my ferratin is starting to climb finally.

Make sure she is getting a full blood count, iron (total iron, TIBC, saturation and ferratin), B12 and folate all checked, as these 3 are all important in anemia.

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