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MommyStina

Iron Deficiency Anemia

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I was diagnosed only about six weeks ago, but the doctor who diagnosed me had very little to say about the disease and offered little help or direction. He also did not do any other blood tests to tell whether or not there were other nutritional deficiencies present other than the obvious. I have lost a lot of weight and have very little energy even though I have been eating a lot more and a lot more often than before. I was just wondering if anyone can tell me what the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are and what do I do about it. I have an appt. to see a celiac disease specialist in Chicago on the 31st of this month, so I am trying to get "well" in the mean time. Maybe they would test for other things...I don't know.

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anemia.org has some information, as does medline plus.

the main symptoms are fatigue, weakness, headache, and irritability. decreased appetite and odd food cravings are also symptoms. obviously, that overlaps with a lot of other things, and they test for it by doing a couple of different blood tests. how to treat it, however, depends on the cause. anemia isn't always cause by iron deficiency, so it's important to find out what is causing it, and if it is caused by iron deficiency (or another deficiency, such as b12) what's causing that - sometimes, it's just the malabsorption.

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I discovered that I have iron deficiency anemia when I went to the ER with shortness of breath and mild chest pressure (these were my only symptoms). A CT scan also discovered a large tumor in my stomach which turned out to be non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (dx 11/07). I've been taking 225 mg of iron daily for two months but my RBC, HGB and HCT levels remain low. Ferritin, Iron and % saturation levels have improved to the low end of the normal range and TIBC levels remain high. My oncologist feels that the IDA is a result of bleeding at the site of the tumor but my own IDA research led me to celiac disease and alot of what I learned about celiac seems to fit. I'll be tested for celiac on Wednesday.

Stay on top of your iron levels. Your IDA could be due to many things so continue to search for the cause.

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I was diagnosed only about six weeks ago, but the doctor who diagnosed me had very little to say about the disease and offered little help or direction. He also did not do any other blood tests to tell whether or not there were other nutritional deficiencies present other than the obvious. I have lost a lot of weight and have very little energy even though I have been eating a lot more and a lot more often than before. I was just wondering if anyone can tell me what the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are and what do I do about it. I have an appt. to see a celiac disease specialist in Chicago on the 31st of this month, so I am trying to get "well" in the mean time. Maybe they would test for other things...I don't know.

I have also suffered from low iron for years until I discovered celiac and gluten free information. My symptoms were similar to the last postings, fatigue, weakness, irritability. I also had heavy periods and had terrible restless legs at night and while sitting in the car for long periods of time. I had those awful looking dark circles under my eyes. I was always underweight too.

I noticed that once I went gluten free almost immediately my restless legs stopped and the dark circles were gone after a few weeks. I have lab work done frequently and my hemoglobin levels are now fine. Ferritin is also the other test they need to run. I feel my low iron was due to malabsorption but you do need to rule out any source of internal bleeding. A doctor told me that if you are anemic, you tend to gain weight because your metabolism slows down and you are so exhausted. It's possible the reason why you are losing weight and feel so exhausted is due to malabsorption because you are not getting the nutrients no matter what you eat. I did gain weight after going gluten free.

Good luck!

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@Alaskaguy With regard to the timing, I think that everyone is a bit different! I used to have a shorter time to onset when I was first diagnosed (within 24h). As time has gone on, and I've glutened myself less and less, I have noticed that the time gets a bit longer.  Recent history seems to matter a bit too - if I've been glutened recently and then get glutened again, the rash will show up faster on the second round. For example, in the last 3 weeks I got slightly glutened by inadvertent
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