Anemia and Peri-anal Crohn's???

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 9/12/2009 2:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I haven't posted for about two years - I had surgery in July of 07 to remove a skin tag and necrotic skin due to a low lying, superficial (skin only) fistula.  3 months with a draining seton and about 9 months of total healing (ulcers and all), I have been in total remission for almost a year and a half with no signs of ulcers, fistulas or the skin tag returning (woot-woot).
At the time I was diagnosed by a postive Prometheus 7 and specifically with peri-anal Crohn's because all of the CAT scans, MRIs, and some other imaging test showed no crohn's in the small bowel...problems were strictly rectal and slightly upwards into the descending colon.
ANYWAY - I have severe anemia that supplements are just not touching.  I wouldn't think absorption should be interrupted if I have no evidence of small bowel disease, but I can't find anything that differentiates the types.
Any info would be helpful.  Are there transfusions or something that could bypass the intestines?  I can't take the anemia anymore.  I keep thinking it might not be related to Crohn's at all.  I will ask my doctor to do a blood lead level test because I have had (and may still have) exposure to lead through antique painted furniture and both houses (both of which I have refinished and remodeled).
I want to try to have a baby, also.  Due to spinal cord injury and paralysis with my husband we had to go straight to IVF.  The embryo didn't implant so I want to do a little more figuring on my side of things before trying again.
11 years w/ symptoms
Officially Dx'd w/ peri-anal Crohn's 2 years ago
Surgery in '07 to remove skin tag and damaged skin - partial fistulotomy with draining seton
Full remission since April of '08
No meds other than iron supps

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 9/12/2009 3:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kann,
I too have peri anal crohn's and I get a B12 injection every month.  Recently though my hemoglobin levels have dropped so my GI is starting me on Iron infusions.  I will be getting them when I get my Remicade which is every 8 weeks.  I can not tolerate oral iron so im hoping this will help.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1810
   Posted 9/12/2009 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
What kind of anemia do you have? Did they tell you what your hemoglobin and hematocrit were? Sounds like you may need some more tests to figure out why you are anemic. Women who still get their periods can get very anemic from their periods. It sure can make ya tired, can't it?

I have a question: KAnn, could they not diagnose your crohn's from a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy w/ biopsy? I was told I had diverticular colitis back in January. I got my PCP to do the prometheus blood tests and they came back positive for crohn's. I wonder if I should go back to my GI doc to discuss this? I didn't think they put a lot of faith in these tests. It sounds like your doctor felt you had crohn's b/c of the test results. Would like to hear more about this from your perspective. Wish I could help more with the anemia issue, I don't know much about it. Good luck with it.
diagnosed 1/09 with "diverticular colitis" ?? location, sigmoid colon
localized scleroderma & IBS, low thyroid
 50 +  female
 colazal, fish oil, synthroid, zoloft, VSL#3 probiotic.
Blood test positive for Crohn's for whatever that is worth-:)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 9/12/2009 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I anemic as well. I have been anemic for so long my body was trying to compensate for it other ways not healthy for me. I just had an 8 hour Infed iron infusion last week. They told me to give it a week and I feel better already. I also get B12 injections monthly. I am really excited about the infusion. As I just want to feel better and I can not tolerate oral iron at all.  I don't know how long it will hold though. The chronic inflamation from our CD will increase the numbers on your ferritin levels. Good Luck, Kay
 RIP my beloved Chihuahua: Roxy
DX with CD of the TI in 2004 by colonoscpy biopsy, with partical obstructions x 3. Anemic, constant elevated ESR & WBC. Constant abd. pain and fatique.    
Meds: Vit B-12 shots monthly, zinc, multi vit, Vit E, Pentasa.    

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 342
   Posted 9/12/2009 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I am anemic too...slightly...i was very anemic when pregant and i recieved iron infusions...i found out later i had Lupus..maybe you should see a hemotologist..


Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 9/13/2009 12:36 AM (GMT -6)   

I do have iron deficient anemia.  B12 was ok.  I have a family history of low iron in the women of my family...periods aren't really heavy though. 

Jeaneac:  I got food poisening from a McDonald's fish sandwich in 1995 (I'm really wishing I would have went to the hospital and gotten a nice fat check from the deep pockets, but was 23 with no insurance at the was the worst 10 days of my life - physically speaking)  Anyway...the very first time I had symptoms after that I freaked out thinking I had food poisening again, but no fever or vomiting let me know I did not.  Then periodically after that I would have days where I was just unexplainably "poopy."  It became known as "I'm feeling poopy today" (on the toilet 12 times with not much but blood or mucus and a small amt. of stool).   I went to my dr and she said, "oh you have ibs, just try to avoid spicy foods and stress."  In college I had a horrible flair and went to the clinic - they took it more seriously and dx'd hemmies and gave me cream and pain meds...still ibs.  This went on for years.  In 2004 I got to a point I could no longer eat, had horrible acid reflux and ulcers in my mouth and esophagus.  The next doc wanted to do an EGD.  During scheduling the nurse assumed I was having a colonoscopy and EGD because they're usually done at the same time.  I got to thinking about it and said something my doc about the "poopy days."  Since I was being put under for the EGD he said it would be a good time to look at the colon.  He noticed inflammation and took biopsies of small areas of inflamation because he suspected Crohn's from clinical perspective.  His test came back neg for Crohn's so I was not dx'd.  Little did I know the knot I was feeling on the exterior of the rectum was an early fistula that had not broken through.  I eventually developed an abcess that began to drain.  Went to the ER cause I didn't know what was happeinng and they incised and debried it.  Then I developed an abcess on the interior of the vag wall that would drain through the original "cyst" opening.  I went to two different docs trying to tell them that when I pushed on the vaginal cyst it would drain at the rectal opening & that it had to be conencted somehow.  I actually had one female ob/gyn look at me and tell me that if I knew anything about anatomy, then I would know that wasn't possible.  The next doctor decided it was just a vag cyst and performed another surgery. So he opening up a lovely tract at the vag edge that I started passing gas and feces through on my "poopy days."  FINALLY I decided to take matters into my own hands and with about 15 minutes of internet searching I discover without a doubt that I had and ano-vaginal fistula.  When back to the first doc who referred me to a local surgeon.  That surg. didn't want to touch me since there was an earlier speculation of Crohn's and he sent me to a specialist colo-rectal surg.  That doc couldn't even do a rectal exam because of the pain.  By this time I had developed a skin tag as big as my earlobe.  He dismissed me and said he couldn't do anything if I had Crohn's because it would just come back.  He said I needed to talk to my GI and get the Crohn's under control.  No one at this point has even really dx'd me w/ Crohn's!  I just let it go figuring I would have to live with it...I had tried taking Asacol, but 3 pills 3x a day isn't really my thing.  I visited ANOTHER GI during a brief stay in Pittsburgh who ran me through an abdominal scan and said she didn't see and fluids, but clinically thought that yes I did have Crohn's.  I let it go again out of sheer exhaustion with 6 different docs and no one helping me.  When I move to a different city I tried again.  On a particularly bad day I went to the Redimed clinic hoping they would give me pain meds (I had found that if I made pain go away it would make the colon spasms and contractions stop, which would make the pooping stop, which would make the inflammation go away).  They immediately got on the phone found me a colo-rectal surgeon who saw me the very next day.  She was about my age and smart and said she could help me.  I had surgery two weeks later and after fully healing have been in complete remission.  She scheduled the Prometheus and on the morning of my surg. officially dx'd me.  She also discovered that the reason I had so much pain was because there was a HUGE ulcer hiding behing the skin tag...she didn't even know it was there until she removed the tag.  Giving all of that a chance to heal made all the difference.  I am so thankful every day that she wasn't afraid to do something.   She had me do a relatively new abdominal cat scan and found no thickening of the small intestine or any evidence of Crohn's anywhere but the peri-anal area. There you go. 

32 yrs old - dx'd w/ Mild CD in 2004 after 5 yrs of IBS (I swear it's from food poisening - bad fish from McD's) 2 fistulas (1 recto-vag).  Asacol for a while at first - now on Flagyl and sulfasalazine, Activia w/ diet control and pain meds for really bad days. Getting ready for Had seton placement and partly successful fistulotomy.  Officially dx'd w/ peri-anal Crohn's. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 9/13/2009 12:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been thinking about seeing a hemotologist.  My grandmother had lupus.

32 yrs old - dx'd w/ Mild CD in 2004 after 5 yrs of IBS (I swear it's from food poisening - bad fish from McD's) 2 fistulas (1 recto-vag).  Asacol for a while at first - now on Flagyl and sulfasalazine, Activia w/ diet control and pain meds for really bad days. Getting ready for Had seton placement and partly successful fistulotomy.  Officially dx'd w/ peri-anal Crohn's. 

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