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ItchyMeredith

If I Am Gluten Free- Why Would My Ferritin Be Low?

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I have been strictly gluten free for almost a year now. When I had my bloodwork done a year ago my iron levels were okay- though my bloodwork came back positive for the celiac antibodies. Now- the celiac antibodies are normal because I have been gluten free for so long but my ferritin is 13. What the heck? Does anyone know why that would be?

Meredith


DH positive skin biopsy June 2007

Blood test positive July 2007

Gluten Free- since 6-23-07

Vegetarian since 1991

Stay-at-home Mommy to:

Kellen 2-05

Cameron 10-06

Scarlett 5-09

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Well, apparently you are not getting enough iron in your diet. Being a vegetarian could be the cause, as the best source of iron is meat.

As a vegetarian who have to always take a good iron supplement to make up for what other people get in their diet. That obviously goes for B12 as well.


I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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A lot of people have low iron problems and they aren't related to Celiac. Yours may have nothing to do with your dx of Celiac. People's iron stores can ebb and flow, for various reasons.

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I kind of have a theory, and it is only a theory, but I wonder whether when we are ingesting gluten and malabsorption becomes an issue the reason we get so many illnesses and diseases could be because the body is drawing needed nutrients from other parts of itself in order to keep the essential organs going - for instance like the fact that many with Osteoporosis have been found to be suffering with Celiac. Their bodies are drawing calcium from the bones for use in other organs it would consider more important, like the heart.

Perhaps, now the body is starting to function more effectively and re-balance itself it demands more of the nutrients from the food we eat. Many follow a vegetarian/vegan diet out of choice, perhaps due to ethical reasons. What I have recently discovered though, is that Metabolically we are all different. Some are fast-oxidisers and need protein and fat, some are slow-oxidisers and need more carbs.

Those who metabolically sit at that end of the scale may cope quite well with a low-protein, high-carb vegetarian diet, but if one is at the other end of the scale, without enough animal-based purines (protein), their bodies cannot function properly. Its all in the genes.

I am an extreme 'protein' type. That means, that whether I wanted to or not, I could never be vegetarian. I could never get enough of the right protein for my type from vegetables and my body does not cope with vegetables. I did the Alkalising Diet last year. Yes, I lost weight and my Candida issues improved (probably because it was mainly veg and a little protein, but low-carb), but my stomach got so sore and painful after a month I couldn't keep going.

I now realise that it was not only because those who need a high-protein, high-fat diet should not eat very much in the way of vegetables or fruit but also because my body works the other way around to a carb-type, instead of alkalising my body it was actually making it more acid! My background is Anglo-saxon - originating from northern Scandinavia - you can't grow vegetables in frozen ground!!! So much of it makes sense.

Apart from the higher protein need (I would always get headaches if I didn't get enough!) and inability to cope with grains and carbs (which are unknown in the colder climes), I never have been able to cope with much in the way of fruit or vegetables, even though I love them. Weird. It's like a jigsaw puzzle slotting into place. My husband is a mixed metaboliser - much to my chagrin he can eat pretty much anything!

Sorry, I digressed. Anyway, I was just thinking that may quite possibly be why you now seem to need more iron.


Ali - 50 - struggled with what I now know to be GI symptoms and poor carb digestion for at least 35 years! Diabetic type II (1997). Mother undx Celiac - lifelong diabetic Type 1 & anemic (plus 1 stillborn and 10 miscarriages after me). Father definitely very GI.

Stopped gluten & dairy, Jan 08, but still other issues so dropped most carbs and sugar and have been following the Specific Carb Diet (SCD) since March 08. Recovery slow but steady and I can now eat a much broader range of foods especially raw which are good for my digestion and boost my energy level.

Not getting better? Try the SCD - it might just change your life.........

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Guest hightop girl

I have an autoimmune issue that does not allow me to absorb B12 properly as well as iron and other nutrients. No amount of meat, iron supplements or spinach will ever change that. My understanding was that it was not all that uncommon with celiac. I do not test particulary low on B12, but the antibody test came back positive. I listened to people harp on what I ate for almost a year before they finally tested for the antibody. Once my stores are too low (mine were so low they almost did a transfusion, but did the IV iron infusions instead) I have to have another infusion, they won't come back up on their own.

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I don't know exactly why it would be in your case (other than diet and supplements) but besides taking a multi vitamin and a B complex, you can try eating a spoonful of blackstrap molasses every day. Crude but effective, if it is the kind of problem that responds to eating more of the missing nutrient.

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I have this issue as well. I'm getting scoped (both ends ;):lol: ) on Wednesday to look for bleeding. I don't think they will find any but I don't know what else to do. If I take 400mg of iron and eat no dairy, I can get my serum iron up to a low normal. But all that iron is taking a toll on my stomach I think. Two years ago I had a gyno work up and that wasn't the issue.

Hightop, what is your autoimmune issue if you don't mind me asking? I have problems with b12 as well.

I'm not a vegetarian.

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meredith,

my hubby has been a vegetarian-no fish, poultry, pork, beef-his entire life. His iron is great. But as a woman who has not reached menopause and is anemic, I do pay close attention to iron. I use Floravital, liquid supplement. And beets, spinach, other veggy sources. And cast iron pans only. The floravital got me through a full term pregnancy with twins( I wasn't so sick then). Good luck


gluten . . . Kiss my grits!

pork and beef free- 1994

wheat free or wheat light- 2003

gluten free- January 2008

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Guest hightop girl

I wish I had not been so sick and out of it when they finally figured it out. I had been scoped both ends and tried oral iron supplements for at least 6 months as my iron dropped lower and lower. I think they said it was part of a multiple autoimmune syndrom and had to do with antiparietal cell antibodies. Basically they treat it as pernicious anemia even though my B12 is not low, just on the lower end of normal and I will have IV iron probably at least once a year. I also have Grave's disease, vitiligo, alopecia at times, and reynauds.

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Thanks everyone for your response. My doctor wants me to take Slow Fe. I am already taking a prenatal because we are thinking of TTC again. Usually, the iron in a prenatal is enough. At first my doctor said that it can be normal for women to be low in iron because of menstruation- but that explanation doesn't work with me because I haven't regained my fertility back yet due to breastfeeding. Who knows what is going on? I am going to take these supplements and hope that all is well when we recheck in 3 months. If my levels still aren't up by then I am sure my doctor and I will have to figure out why.

**Does nursing leech iron from your body? I'm going to look that up.


DH positive skin biopsy June 2007

Blood test positive July 2007

Gluten Free- since 6-23-07

Vegetarian since 1991

Stay-at-home Mommy to:

Kellen 2-05

Cameron 10-06

Scarlett 5-09

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Hi ItchyMeredith,

I'm currently having a similar problem. Been gluten free for 9 months and serum ferritin was just found to be 7. It was never tested before, but I have felt tired and like I've been slowly losing energy for years.

Some things I think have contributed to this are increasing my exercise, heavy menstrual cycles, and cutting out iron fortified cereals since going gluten free. (recently started having Rice Chex which is iron fortified = yeah). I also don't each much red meat, but do eat chicken and leafy green veggies.

Do you think this has gradually developed? You mentioned that your iron levels were ok when you got dx'd, are you sure your ferritin was checked at that time? A CBC doesn't show ferrritin and they have to order that as a separate test. Mine wasn't checked until I felt so bad I was begging them to test me for things and telling them I felt horrible.

My celiac antibodies also all came back normal, within 6 months. You would think we would be absobing much better at this point.

I've read you need extra iron during pregnancy, but not anything about during breastfeeding. Did you find out anything about that? I know the baby would get it's nutrients from breastfeeding, even if you are low.

Let us know if you find out anything!


Joni

Dx'd with Celiac Disease 8/01/07

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Joni-

That's a good point- I don't know if my ferritin was the actual thing that was checked. Right when I got my diagnosis my doctor took my blood. When I got my physical this year the new doc looked back in my records and noticed that I wasn't anemic when I got my celiac diagnosis. That's all she said.

That's really interesting- I wonder!


DH positive skin biopsy June 2007

Blood test positive July 2007

Gluten Free- since 6-23-07

Vegetarian since 1991

Stay-at-home Mommy to:

Kellen 2-05

Cameron 10-06

Scarlett 5-09

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