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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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    • thanks for your input, the reason I do the blood test is because I found out my duagther has it recently and she carry dq2 gene,so must be from my husband or me...im in the process waiting for my genetic test back,,by the way,I do have lots of celiac symptom,so it could be gluten sensitiive you said,thanks again.  
    • No I'm in the UK, from what I've been told that's a good thing for gluten labeling and standards compliance. What you and everyone else on here says makes me sense than what the doctors are saying (a confused message at best is what they're giving me, each one with a slightly different version of it). My referral letter is in the post so on theory appointment may not be that far away. I have a load of my favourite Quorn stuff (non-gluten-free version) in the freezer so perhaps using that up may be a good way to proceed for now. I'm out at the moment and torn whether to try chips from a café, in the strict gluten-free future would probably be a no-no but in current situation probably not so bad...
    • I also only really eat one meal a day and always after I get home. I never really feel hungrey. I call it 'Pavlov's dog in reverse'.  I think it comes from so many years of food making me sick. I have gotten to the point where I now at least can eat a sandwhich and some fruit during the day but it wasn't a quick process. When folks get like that it is very important to make sure that one meal has a good amount of both calories and nutrtion.  If your diet is how you describe you are starving yourself.  You need to get yourself used to eating again.  What helped me was carrying a baggie with some nuts and dry fruit with maybe even a handful of gluten free pretzels and always some chocolate baking chips. I just ate couple pieces when I thought of it throughout the day. A little bit of cheese and a couple safe crackers, a piece of fruit or a small tin or individual serving snack pack are also good. You need to get some nutrition during the day so you can feel up to cooking a simple full meal  for dinner. I hope your feeling better soon.
    • Ok, I can't seem to find my first lot of blood tests that were done for Celiac screening, they did include TTG I remember that much, and I am getting another copy of it but another test did come in today.  I don't know how different tests are done around the world and I don't get all the medical jargon but this is what it states, ******************************************************************************* HLA DR/DQ Genotyping for Coeliac Disease, Specimen type : EDTA blood Method : Detection of sequence-specific oligonucleotides (Gen-Probe). HLA-DR - 1, 13          DRB1 - 01, 13 HLA-DQ - 5,6        HLA-DQA1 - 5,6      HLA-DB1 - 05, 06 Interpretation : No genotype susceptibility for coeliac disease.  The DQ2 and DQ8 antigens associated with increased risk of coeliac disease were not identified in this patient.  In the absence of these antigens, coeliac disease is extremely unlikely.   *******************************************************************************   I have read the horror stories of blood tests and scope biopsies not be done right or flawed but here is what I do know as of now, At the moment the most non invasive test I can have done say negative.  I have double scopes (endoscopy and colonoscopy) booked for the 12th of October with results from biopsies expected a week or two after. Chances are they will show, a) signs of coeliac disease (even if the odds are low it can still happen), b) show signs of something else entirely and we will be busy dealing with the ramifications of that or c) it will show no signs of coeliac but I will still be suffering from gluten sensitivity (which is harder/impossible to measure clinically). My GP has told me that stress and anxiety can be a cause of all the symptoms I have been experiencing and suggests if the scopes show nothing that I may benefit from something to treat anxiety, i.e. antidepressants.  Not in a, "Oh we don't know what it is so have these," kind of way, he agrees with the thought that the scopes could indeed show coeliac, something else or even be negative. I did tell him that I could have a sensitivity and that even without benefit of clinical results, some people have gone on a gluten elimination diet for a period of time to see if they get any relief.  My question is this, if the scopes come up negative and I try eliminating gluten, how long would it be before I saw any results or improvements?  I have read enough here and elsewhere to know that everybody is different, some see results within days, some see results longer but are there any guidelines for how long a test like this should be undertaken for?  I have heard everything thing from two weeks to two months.  All of this is entirely moot at this point but I know that even if the results said clear, there would always be a little part of me that wonders if it could be a sensitivity that is the problem.  Any thoughts or advice greatly appreciated, and a thank you to all those who have taken the time to respond and offer advice and encouragement so far.        
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