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DreamWalker

Gluten Free, Healed, Yet Becoming Increasingly Anemic?

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Anyway, I suppose the title explains the gist of my topic. I've been gluten free since the beginning of Oct '08 and all my other vitamin deficiencies have cleared. Actually, my B12 came back too high last time and my calcium & vit D are peachy. However, my ferritin & RBC keep dropping (at least it explains the thigh bruises that will not leave) & my MCV keeps climbing (but I was told this is normal). It was a doctor at student health that wanted to focus in on the MCV but I'm no longer registered so I can't head back in to get her opinion. My GP's sub keeps thinking I'm not taking my supplements yet I am + I'm drinking an iron-infused nutritional shake 3+ times per day. But my iron keeps dropping. I've gone over my diet and if there's hidden gluten it's coming from Merlin's hat. Anyway, my GP isn't back in town for another week & I usually refuse to see subs (far too many bad Dr experiences) so this was a one-time exception. Weird thing is, the sub said I had a hypotensive black-out & thought it was a medication interaction. I doubted it as I've been on this particular med before without issues. Anyway, I had another one (this was weeks ago) after that initial episode. So, obviously, she was mistaken. I looked it up & it seems to correlate with anemia.

My GP admits he's stumped but is open to whatever ideas I come up with or referring me to someone who may know what's going on if he knows what type of doctor to refer me to in the first place. I'm on the wait list for a gastro-specialist (ironically, for a completely different issue) & my appt is right around the corner but I'm starting to wonder if this is gastrointestinal-related to start with. For instance, I've been asthmatic since I was a kid & am on spirivia, singulair, pulmicort, xopenex, and zyrtec yet the mucus never leaves - I just stop coughing if I remember to take my scripts. And during my EGD there was diffuse mucus throughout my stomach. Also, when I had my gallbladder removed it turned out to be chronically inflamed (as suspected) yet it too had a mucus problem. (Cholesterolosis/Strawberry gallbladder.)

If I weren't absorbing other vitamins, I'd wonder if my gut was just clogged with mucus impeding my ability to absorb iron. Yet, maybe there's something specific about iron I'm unaware of. Once again, no gluten in my life. Any insight or suggestions?

Side notes:

1) The issue I've been referred to the specialist for is PCS (postcholecystectomy syndrome). However, my GP said he had never heard a case like mine before yet was very concerned. (I was brought into the doctor by a friend of mine who witnessed an event that I can barely recall.) I'm unsure if that has any relevance. I was considering posting this in my previous thread but it seems to be a separate issue. At least that's what the sub-doc said.

2) With the gluten free diet, I found myself barely needing asthma-medications. However, I caught a mild cold & it was just like the old days - congestion, breathing issues, feeling faint/dizzy (dyspnea), and the chronic, mucusy cough I've had since I was eleven returned.

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Have you tried dairy free? Maybe just lactose free?

All those meds, are you sure they are all gluten free? Do not go by some list on the internet, I find those aren't updated enough, and they do not cover the spectrum of generic drugs. You have to call the individual generic labs. I learned the hard way. www.glutenfreedrugs.com still lists Xanax as gluten free...I found out the original Xanax was never gluten free, and most of the generics aren't either. Once I finally found a gluten free Xanax, my symptoms went away.

My ferritin was reaching anemic levels, and I started taking Thorn Ferrasorb...my levels are rising.

Good luck.

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Have you tried dairy free? Maybe just lactose free?

All those meds, are you sure they are all gluten free? Do not go by some list on the internet, I find those aren't updated enough, and they do not cover the spectrum of generic drugs. You have to call the individual generic labs. I learned the hard way. www.glutenfreedrugs.com still lists Xanax as gluten free...I found out the original Xanax was never gluten free, and most of the generics aren't either. Once I finally found a gluten free Xanax, my symptoms went away.

My ferritin was reaching anemic levels, and I started taking Thorn Ferrasorb...my levels are rising.

Good luck.

I thought all generic Xanax was gluten free. I'll have to check with the company. Thanks.

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Are you taling a folic acid supplement? Folic acid supplementation will mask a B12 deficiency and B12 deficiency results in pernicious anemia, as you probably know.

Your post was difficult for me to follow because it kind of rambled but why do you say the low ferritin and rbc explain the bruises on your thigh that won't go away? That sounds like a clotting issue to me, not an anemia issue.

Have had a hemacult (blood in stool) test done? Are your periods regular and do you have excessive, prolonged bleeding with them?

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Heh. Yeah.... I ramble a lot. It's difficult for me to follow a full train of thought. I think it's the sleep deprivation (pain) coupled with anemia. My body went haywire when they removed my gallbladder 3+ months ago.

Anyhow perhaps a list will be a bit more organized: :)

- I don't eat dairy or soy.

- All the medications are gluten-free. I called the companies themselves.

- The doctor told me the bruises were due to my iron-deficient anemia. They're about the size of my hand & dark purple.

- As for periods, I'm unsure if I'd know what an abnormal one was. Until the gluten-free diet, I never had a "normal" period. I'd have a 1-2 week space between a few periods then it'd suddenly vanish for 3-4 months. Also, they'd last anywhere from 3-7 days with rare exceptions. About two years ago, I literally had a period (heavy) for a month. I didn't have insurance at the time so I couldn't head in to the doctor. Although, that was an isolated incident & before I was gluten free. My last period lasted around 6 days yet didn't seem out of the ordinary. They come ever 3-6 weeks now.

- I had a stool test to check for parasites in July.

- Folic acid is in my Vit B supplements. Although, my B12 came back high. The doctor said to cease taking Vit B12 yet I'm exhausted without it.

To those who found gluten in their medications this site has a gluten-suspect list yet it's a bit outdated:

http://homepage.mac.com/sholland/celiac/GFmedlist.pdf

I still check with manufacturers on gluten-free status though.

Thank you for reading my rambley posts. :lol:

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