Chromagen and anemia question

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tewcute
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 300
   Posted 5/26/2010 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Saw my GP dr for followup urinalysis and routine blood work. She did a full CBC and everything came back normal except that I am anemic. I knew I was from the previous tests but noone had told me how anemic. I was always told I was slightly anemic. My GI had me on Ferrous sulfate which I could not stomach and I told him I stopped taking it. Well now my GP has called me in a prescription for Chromagen. I am thinking I am going to have to find a way to take this stuff as she said my level was 17 and normal is 40-150. So I would say I am pretty anemic. So here are the questions:
 
1.) She has me on 1 pill a day, I am not sure of the dose because the pharmacy had to order it. (suprisingly insurance is covering it yeah). Has anyone had really bad side effects from taking this? What I noticed with the ferrous sulfate was I seemed to have diarrhea more throughout the day where as without it I am confined to the morning which is a blessing. I also had some cramping. But honestly had I known I was that anemic I would have suffered through it.
2.) She wants to see me back in a month for followup but is that long enough for it to have a significant effect? I have read it can take months to shore up iron levels.
3.) I have had no bleeding (that I have seen) in my diarrhea ever and until just recently never had issues with diarrhea. My b12 levels were normal so I know it is not preniscious(sp) anemia. When my last stool was taken there was just trace blood amounts. can you get that anemic just from microscopic amounts of blood loss? Or can the diarrhea itself be causing the anemia because of malabsorption?
 
Sorry about all the questions. I am just hoping someone else has had an experience with this supplement.
Dx with crohns February 25, 2010. But suspect I had it since 2002 with very mild symptoms.
4 lialda a day.
3 entocort daily for the next few months
hyosamine for daytime
Bentyl for evening
Ferrous Sulfate(iron supplement)


Grandpato2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 681
   Posted 5/26/2010 11:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Remember you can be anemic because you body cannot make hemmoglobin! It needs iron to make it, no iron no red blood cells. Ignore the side effects as best you can and let your body repair itself.
Male, 55 years old with Crohn's since 15 years old, diagnosed at age 46. Terminal ileum resected 2002. 5 months of remission. Crohn's has now been active since early 2003. Had a gall bladder removed Nov. of 2009. Currently on Remicade every 8 weeks, Nexium, Iron, B-12 injection every 4 weeks,5-asa Asacol, Entocort, Morphine Sulfate as needed for pain. Cymbalta for long term pain control. 5-asa Salofalk,  Imuran and Prednisone in the past.


tewcute
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 300
   Posted 5/27/2010 4:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks grandpato. Noone had explained that aspect to me. I am slowly learning to ask questions of my doctors when they give me results. I had no idea how bad the anemia was or I would have suffered thru the other supplement. Being told you are slightly anemic doesn't seem to be cause for alarm but being told you are at 17 and normal is at least 40 concerned me. No wonder I have cole hands and feet all the time!!! Of course my mother always said, cold hands warm heart! :-)
Dx with crohns February 25, 2010. But suspect I had it since 2002 with very mild symptoms.
4 lialda a day.
3 entocort daily for the next few months
hyosamine for daytime
Bentyl for evening
Ferrous Sulfate(iron supplement)


AMinNJ
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 5/27/2010 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Do you have a copy of your bloodwork? I'm wondering what exactly was at a level of 17 with a normal of 40-150. Sounds like ferritin to me. If that is your only abnormal blood result, it doesn't mean you're anemic, it just means your iron stores are low. (As long as your hemoglobin and RBCs are normal, you're not anemic.) But having low ferritin levels can make you feel cold and tired.

My ferritin level has not gotten above 12 in the past three years. I've been tired and cold all the time and so my doctor told me to start taking iron supplements to build my low iron stores. I started taking them in April, and I just ended up in the hospital ER on Saturday with massive amounts of bloody diarrhea and pain. CT showed bowel wall thickening in the descending colon, and my colonoscopy today showed a 20 cm stretch of inflammation in that area. I've been doing some research, and I've found both through my research AND the hard way that you have to be careful with oral iron supplements because they can REALLY exacerbate IBD symptoms and inflammation.

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/3/1/2
http://www.springerlink.com/content/kydml4dc97125kfa/
http://www.newtreatments.org/dmso2.php

You might want to talk to your doctor about Proferrin, a heme-iron supplement that is supposed to be much less damaging to the colon than the non-heme iron salts like ferrous sulfate, etc. I'm thinking about trying it... once my colon heals, that is.

Good luck to you!
Angela
Crohn's possibly since early 20's (bowel obstruction)
Colonoscopy 2008: ulcers in rectum
Small capsule endoscopy: ulcers in terminal ileum
Chronis RLQ pain, no diarrhea
Gluten-free, dairy-free, low sugar diet


AMinNJ
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 5/27/2010 12:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Also, if your B12 levels are normal, I don't understand why your doctor has prescribed you Chromagen. It's basically just non-heme iron (damaging) combined with Vitamin C (helps your body absorb more non-heme iron but also increases oxidative stress in the colon when combined with iron = more damage), and B12 (which you don't appear to need.)

There has to be a better way!

I am so frustrated with doctors. It's like they all go to medical school and when they graduate they decide, gee, thank goodness, I never need to think or learn anything ever again. :(
Angela
Crohn's possibly since early 20's (bowel obstruction)
Colonoscopy 2008: ulcers in rectum
Small capsule endoscopy: ulcers in terminal ileum
Chronis RLQ pain, no diarrhea
Gluten-free, dairy-free, low sugar diet


tewcute
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 300
   Posted 5/27/2010 2:25 PM (GMT -7)   
wow. that is really intresting. When I got the prescription today It was called multigen and I think that is the generic name. I had no idea iron could make crohns worse. Seems like the ultimate catch 22!!!
Dx with crohns February 25, 2010. But suspect I had it since 2002 with very mild symptoms.
4 lialda a day.
3 entocort daily for the next few months
hyosamine for daytime
Bentyl for evening
Ferrous Sulfate(iron supplement)


Grandpato2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 681
   Posted 5/27/2010 10:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Good info AMinNJ
Male, 55 years old with Crohn's since 15 years old, diagnosed at age 46. Terminal ileum resected 2002. 5 months of remission. Crohn's has now been active since early 2003. Had a gall bladder removed Nov. of 2009. Currently on Remicade every 8 weeks, Nexium, Iron, B-12 injection every 4 weeks,5-asa Asacol, Entocort, Morphine Sulfate as needed for pain. Cymbalta for long term pain control. 5-asa Salofalk,  Imuran and Prednisone in the past.

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