AHA!! Iron levels are low!!

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map lady
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 154
   Posted 5/12/2008 8:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I saw the GI on friday and was complaining about how tired I was, he was going over my blood tests and telling me all my stuff was normal.  I asked about my B-12 levels and he said he didn't know and we could test for that.  He said we could test for iron too.  I was like wait I thought you guys test for iron with these tests, since my insides keep bleeding?  He was like no....clickity click....actually you haven't gotten iron testing in nearly 3 years.  I was like OMG LOL that's bad.
 
Anyways I am totally exhausted all the time because my iron is low.  Apparently standard testing they do for bleeding is just your hemoglobin count, and they make it sound like the only measure of why you would/wouldn't be tired.  Make sure your doctor checks that!!
 
Any advice on which brand or whatever of iron is more tolerable or works best?  Even having an ensure or powerbar or whatever with 8mg of iron makes me want to puke, I can't imagine being able to get along very well with having a pill of 325mg of iron tongue

meshice
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 734
   Posted 5/12/2008 8:53 AM (GMT -7)   

I took an iron pill for years then got to where I couldn't swallow it any more - it was a horse pill and tasted nasty.

When my iron has been really low they have given me iron via IV. 


"We can't beat this disease, YET, but we can't let it beat us!"
Mandy

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34


JenLS
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 5/12/2008 9:51 AM (GMT -7)   

My iron is really low also.  I take Feosol Ferrous Sulfate.  I take 2 pills a day, one at breakfast, one at dinner.  They are small triangle shaped.  They don't cause any stomach irratation, at least for me.  I've notcied a huge improvement, not as tired. 

Hope that helps!


sammies
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 493
   Posted 5/12/2008 9:58 AM (GMT -7)   
My iron is an 11 right now. I'm exhausted and have a horrible headache. 2 iron pills a day. The crazy thing is last summer my iron was 81. sigh. . .

Watch ingredients of iron pills as some contain lactose. I take a generic supermarket brand. I have difficulty ingesting foods with high iron--spinach, beef. But I try soy, seaweed, avocados, cream of wheat, the skin of a potato. Years ago, I even added brewer's yeast to my soy milk.

good luck!
23 years with moderate Crohn's/colitis; fistulizing crohn's; pentasa


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 5/12/2008 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I can't tolerate ferrous sulfate it makes me want to puke repeatedly. My doc just told me my iron is low and suggested VitronC. It costs a bit more than ferrous sulfate but I have had no digestive problems taking 2 per day. It is ferrous fumarate with vitamin c. And if lactose is a problem there is none in Vitron c.
Sj

Kittikatt
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 5/12/2008 4:26 PM (GMT -7)   
My iron was low this year, too. Around 14. Started taking Ferrous Sulfate and I feel MUCH better from a LETHARGIC perspective. I've been more than just tired for a long time now. I never knew low iron would cause me to be lethargic but once they tested my iron and put me on supplements...MAN! Did it ever make a world of difference! I assumed my iron had always been checked when they did regular CBC/Blood workups. I'm learning so much about blood tests this year. Everything is SO specific!!! I think EVERY Crohnie should be tested for iron levels who complains of LETHARGY!
Diagnosed in October, 2004 at age 33.
36/F/SC
Currently taking Colazal, Nexium, Ferrous Sulfate, One-A-Day multivitamin, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Vitamin A
Secondary conditions: mouth ulcers, joint pain, extreme fatigue


Kittikatt
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 5/12/2008 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I might also add, too, that it took about 3 weeks of taking the Ferrous Sulfate before my bowels adjusted to the Iron supplements...Iron supplements are ROUGH on the intestines...for a lot of people, anyway.
Diagnosed in October, 2004 at age 33.
36/F/SC
Currently taking Colazal, Nexium, Ferrous Sulfate, One-A-Day multivitamin, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Vitamin A
Secondary conditions: mouth ulcers, joint pain, extreme fatigue


CrazyHarry
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 5/12/2008 4:58 PM (GMT -7)   
i'm also dealing with low iron levels. been so for about a year now. very frustrating cos i thought i was over it and it just tanked. at least this time i seem to have caught it before i needed a transfusion.

as for supplements, my hematologist recommended ferrous sulfate, if i remember correctly. this is an otc type of iron you can get at the local drug store. i want to a health food store looking for a ferrous sulfate iron, since that is what my doc told me to get. i was talking with the lady who over saw the vitamin/supplements there and she said they dont carry that type of iron. she said it is synthetic iron and causes constipation and is not tolerated well. yikes! dont want to be taking that (and i firmly believe that there is a distinct difference between natural and synthetic, with synthetic being very poor). she recommended to me gentle iron by solgar. it is iron bisglycinate (25 mg). it is free of sugar, salt, and yeast. she said it is non constipating and is what she takes (she tried several brands before finding and liking this one) so i'm giving it a try. been only a week so far. i do not find it constipating and easy on the stomach, just like the label says. your stool will become dark though. the PA told me that is a sign it is working.

animal based iron is better than plant based, if you want to get it naturally as well. so rare/medium rare red meat and dark green leafy vegetables are good natural sources.
Crazy Harry

---------------------------------------------
Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 5/12/2008 5:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Crazy Harry, I have a bottle of that Gentle Iron too and I like that as well-no GI problems-it isn't as potent as the Vitron C that my doc wants me on so I alternate them.
Sj

Mike W
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 5/12/2008 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
My iron is at 10, but I can't take pills because they tear up my stomach, although I haven't tried these gentle iron. I am considering an infusion.
Diagnosed in 1999.
No surgeries.

Age : 31

Currently on 75mg 6mp and probiotics.


mesamomx4
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/14/2008 12:47 AM (GMT -7)   
my iron is at 6 today (just had a day at the mayo!) sooooo i expect we'll start the iv infusions - again - here sooon. tis okay, cause i just feel like a million bucks after taht stuff starts, almost as good as a transfusion (which I've also had) but as for trying some OTC iron... not that my stubborn guts will absorb any of it, BUT - I have tried Iron from blackstrap molasses (at the health food store) and doesn't hurt my tender tummy or constipate me (darnit) at all. just a thought!

ASteff
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 5/14/2008 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   
I have to take iron every now and again i try to take it at night so it wont upset my tummy. I also take it with OJ. The vitamin c helps alot. Thats how they told me to take when i was preg....

map lady
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 154
   Posted 5/14/2008 2:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, surprisingly, the 325mg of iron doesn't make me feel terrible at all.  I feel a little better already, I'm not dead tired by 8pm every night, but I still feel pretty tired in general and still have to take a couple naps during the day.  I got the Ferrous Sulfate from Walgreens (Feosol Wannabe) and it is making it difficult to go to the bathroom but oh well.  Thanks for the brand recommendations!
 
I saw the doctor today for this dumb cough I can't seem to get rid of for nearly 2 months now, and I asked them about my actual numbers from the iron test since the GI only told me hemoglobin numbers.  I already knew my hemoglobin was 11.9 and they said it's only bad to have that below 11.  They said when your iron something whatsit percent was below 10% they want you on iron pills, mine was 5%, and when they were showing me that I saw something highlighted in yellow that said 23, maybe the iron count? 
 
Does anyone know what a normal iron count would be or how much your iron count or iron whatever percentage should go up each month?  I'm just hoping I absorb it properly and actually get increases in my levels ;)
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