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KCG91

Anaemia Caused By Malabsorption - How Long Does It Take To Start Absorbing It After Going gluten-free?

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I was badly anaemic at diagnosis (blood iron levels 3gl/l and transferrin saturation 3%) and have been taking iron supplements to try and correct this (210mg ferrous fumarate 2x daily). I'm fed up with the supplements as they give me bad C but if I miss even one or two tablets I really feel it. Has anyone else been anaemic at diagnosis and eventually come off supplements? It would really help me to hear other people's experiences (I know it'll be different for everyone) because after three months gluten-free my body doesn't seem any more able to absorb iron - I hadn't expected a total recovery yet but I'm surprised by how bad missing a tablet or two makes me feel. Many thanks! 

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One thing to consider might be trying ferrous gluconate - it is much kinder on the stomach.  I had awful trouble with other iron supplements but find that taking a couple of gluconate tablets with water on an empty stomach first thing, an hour before eating, and things are pretty much normal in that department!   I started supplements six months before my DX as they thought it was women's stuff that was causing the anemia (level was around 7) then I think from memory around 19 at DX in May 2013.   It has gone up to about 30 now and my consultant said I should be able to come off supplements in the Spring if things continue as they are

.

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I had 30 years of symptoms.  My anemia went away between a year and 18 months gluten free.  My red blood cells became normal at that time.  I feel digestive enzymes, supplements, and IgG helped in healing along with the gluten free diet.  I also dealt with a major number of  food intolerances.  I have never had trouble with the natural iron supplements that I take.  I currently am using reacted iron by Metagenics.

 

If you will optimize the nutrients you are getting in your diet/supplements, you will heal as quickly as possible, whatever that means in your case. Digestive enzymes helped in my trek.   I can tell you that it feels really good to lose the anemia and get more oxygen to every cell in your body!

 

I have also been using functional exercise in the form of sit-ups, push ups, and squats to help my body heal.

 

D

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Thank you Cristiana - I actually have some ferrous glucanate lying around so I will try it. Do you have any idea of the equivalent dose? 

Desperate lady you are so right about the oxygen thing - I run a lot and nobody could understand why I could run long but not fast (which requires your muscles to use a lot of oxygen efficiently). Now I feel like I want to run with a big sticker on my head announcing that it isn't my fault and that they should watch out over the next year or so :D 

Thanks for the stories guys - I am having an impatient-with-my-body phase (and it's the anaemia which affects my daily life the most) so it really helps to know that a year to 18 months isn't unusual. 

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I was extremely anemic.  Taking the iron correctly is important. Follow the directions. Take with vitamin C or juice.  It needs to be the only thing in your stomach for a period of time.  Never eat or take calcium or another medication with it.  You need B12 to help your system use the iron properly.  Get the sublingual B12 -  it bypasses the intestines.

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I have been gluten free for 17 months and am still taking the supplement.  But given Kareng's advice- maybe I'm just not doing it right!  I'll try those suggestions.

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Thank you Cristiana - I actually have some ferrous glucanate lying around so I will try it. Do you have any idea of the equivalent dose? 

Desperate lady you are so right about the oxygen thing - I run a lot and nobody could understand why I could run long but not fast (which requires your muscles to use a lot of oxygen efficiently). Now I feel like I want to run with a big sticker on my head announcing that it isn't my fault and that they should watch out over the next year or so :D 

Thanks for the stories guys - I am having an impatient-with-my-body phase (and it's the anaemia which affects my daily life the most) so it really helps to know that a year to 18 months isn't unusual. 

 

 

Hi.  I'm in the UK so the dosage is in mgs - but my box if ferrous glucanate is labelled 300mg and I take two a day.  The instructions are as follows...

 

"Adults (including the elderly) and children over 12 years

For the prevention of iron deficiency: take two tablets daily

For the treatment of iron deficiency: take four to six tablets daily in divided doses"

 

You do have to be careful with iron, as has been pointed out here, because you can take it alongside things that actually stop its proper absorption.  Also, I think it is important to have levels monitored as I gather too much iron is a problem too.   Hope that you are finding it easier on your tummy. 

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Thanks kareng, I followed those and it obviously began to work better because it made me very C! (Enter flaxseeds). Thanks cristiana, too, I'm seeing my doctor next week for my three month check up so I'll try and get some out of him. 

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I have issues raising my iron, also.

I didn't know this, but tea and coffee (without milk) can interfere with iron absorption when ingested within an hour or so around a meal/supplament.

I started taking my iron last thing at night (stomach is almost always empty) with a small amount of oj or lemonade. I hope it's helping.

Oddly enough, I am getting a crash course in iron, iron content of foods, absorption, etc. I admit to being surprised at what I'm learning....

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I am responding to someone that sent info about RBCs and anemia in celiac disease. My bloodcells were so out of whack IDK how I didn't keel over or something. MCV, MCH all wrong and I had 25% teardrop cells and 25% ovalocytes. Low D, low wbcs, anemic and nothing helped. I'm still anemic now and my heart pounds and I'm extremely short of breath doing minor normal things. Like I can't walk but about half a block or stand long enough to do dishes etc. Much of the rest of my bloodwork is or has been abnormal. Sodium goes low on me alotand almost had to be hospitalized for that. It's good to know finally what's going on.

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I am responding to someone that sent info about RBCs and anemia in celiac disease. My bloodcells were so out of whack IDK how I didn't keel over or something. MCV, MCH all wrong and I had 25% teardrop cells and 25% ovalocytes. Low D, low wbcs, anemic and nothing helped. I'm still anemic now and my heart pounds and I'm extremely short of breath doing minor normal things. Like I can't walk but about half a block or stand long enough to do dishes etc. Much of the rest of my bloodwork is or has been abnormal. Sodium goes low on me alotand almost had to be hospitalized for that. It's good to know finally what's going on.

It might have been me.  I was stating that, in my case, Thalassemia a genetic anemia that I've had my whole life and peri-menopausal issues/thyroid (heavy bleeding), caused my doctors to over look Celiac Disease for years (decades).  I actually had that second iron-deficiency anemia and in my case, taking iron and being able to absorb it (and my other meds) by being on a gluten free diet has helped tremendously!  

 

Are you under a doctor's care?  Your anemia sounds severe and blood transfusions are one form of treatment.  Have you been diagnosed with Celiac Diease?  If you are self-diagnosed and just starting a gluten free journey, it will take months to years to heal and to properly absorb nutrients.    As others posted on this thread, their particular anemias were resolved in a few months to a year or longer.  A low white blood cell count could be many things and I'm not a doctor so, I can't comment on your health issues, but only share a bit of mine.

 

I hope you start feeling better soon and that you get to the bottom of your illness!

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I am under a doctors care and no I don't know what I'm doing, and being disabled I don't have access to a lot if medical care I need. Most things I've had to learn by trial and error. My reactions to wheat go back to childhood and I have been aware of the anemia since 2010 when I stopped being able to tolerate any kind of physical exertion. What treatment is available for Celiac besides Gluten-Free??? Milk, eggs, and a few other things upset me. .too. I have such bone and muscle pain (fibro) that I am very discouraged at this point. My daughter has gotten involved and is going to help me

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So, sorry that you are feeling so bad!  Fibro is awful -- my mom has it and I hope that I don't ever get it…….

 

The only cure for Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance is strict avoidance.  I highly recommend that you review the newbie section under coping with celiac disease located on this forum.  Here's the link:

 

https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/91878-newbie-info-101/

 

I suggest that you learn about supplements on this forum.  Everyone has so many good suggestions.  I started taking calcium after I had a vertebrae fracture a few months after my celiac disease diagnosis.  A bone scan revealed osteopenia and my doc thinks I have osteoporosis in my upper back (I'm just one point away from a full-blown osteoporosis diagnosis anyway).  With strictly adhering to the diet (a few accidental glutenings and intestinal healing, my bones are no longer hurting.  I used to have to get out of bed because my hips and rib cage would hurt from laying down.  My mattress is awesome, so it must be bone healing not much, but enough.  That's just a guess!

 

I also take iron (advised by my doctor) for my iron deficiency anemia.  That is better too.  I'm finally absorbing it.  Again, intestinal healing.  I'm on hormone replacements even though I'm post menopausal but then I wanted to try building bone without bone drugs (last resort) and cancer does not run in my family.  Mostly autoimmune disorders!

 

I take a general multi and some B-12 and magnesium which has helped with the tingling and muscle aches.  That's not all gone, but I understand that neuropathies difficult to resolve.  

 

I am glad that your daughter can help you.  It's very difficult to go at this alone (but you have all of us on this forum).  Even though my husband has been gluten-free for 13 years and he can sympathize, it's still a difficult journey to start.  But, it does get better!  celiac disease has taught me patience, an attribute I am highly lacking!  

 

Take care.  

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Thank you cycling lady

I am on supplements D,B12, magnezium, and was on iron for a long time. I am still anemic but not as bad, partly because I realized about 6 months ago NY problems were related to food and stopped eating processed food and fast food and anything with more than a few natural whole ingredients. It was a good change. It did not help the diarrhea or fibro or the severe bone pain in my thighs and upper arms or the confusion / brain fog. I will read the newbie stuff because I know I need to be taking calcium, folate, and a general multivitamin /mineral and hope I can absorb them. Thanks for your reply and support

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