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Laura G.
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 12/12/2007 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I haven't posted in a while.  I was posting about my son (Steven age 13) and his fistula last year, now I have a concern about my daughter Jenny. She is now 18 and was diagnosed with Crohn's in October.  She has been having trouble with anemia.  Each time we try to introduce iron her symptoms increase and she gets violent diarhea.   Her G.I. is not even sure what to do, and the hematologist isn't ready to do an I.V iron infusion.  Does anyone else have this problem (since it should cause constipation) and has anything worked to make it better?
Laura G.  / Steven & Jenny, both CD

john's girl
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 12/12/2007 10:19 PM (GMT -7)   
The only iron supplement I've had success with is iron elixir. I take two teaspoons per day mixed with some orange juice (vitamin C helps absorption). I'm 21 and also very anemic, but my doctor keeps telling me that low iron in a young female isn't as worrisome as an older person with anemia. I'd give the liquid iron elixir a try, but don't take more than two teaspoons per day. It also helps to take it with a small meal.

Good luck!

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 12/13/2007 1:57 AM (GMT -7)   
My doctor told me to take iron tablets, but last time I took one I got terrible stomach pains and thought it was the beginning of a flare-up but luckily it passed by the end of the day. Does anyone else get pains from taking iron? I haven't taken any since because I'm worried the pain will come back and I don't want to risk it as I can't afford to take time off work.
Crohn's Disease diagnosed 2003
Complex anal fistula since 2002
Resection 2004
Current meds: Azathioprine 150mg
Citalopram 40mg (depression)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 12/13/2007 2:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I am very anaemic and tried the iron pills but they gave me terrible D. I tried iron elixir too but the doc said it doesn't contain enough iron in it so he has put me on iron transfusions every 6 months and these work really well. I have to be at the hospital for 9 hours but it is so worth it to feel great for awhile afterwards.
Diagnosed with Crohns May 2005, been sick for years prior - D and arthritis mainly. Also have severely scarring of my Oesophegus, Bacterial Overgrowth of Bowell and severe migraines.

Currently taking: 6MP; Pentasa; Cipro; Zoplicane; Venlafaxin; Somac; Metropolol; Immigran; Glucosamine; Folic Acid; Calcium; Calciferol; B12 injections; Multi Vitamins; Loperamide and Coedine, phew!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/13/2007 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I can't take Iron either, its just too hard on my stomach. I am iron deficient and guess I am gonna stay that way, cuz I am not taking the oral Iron, it kills my guts.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1885
   Posted 12/13/2007 8:15 AM (GMT -7)   
My daughter takes Solgar's "Gentle Iron" with OJ...two hours after taking any meds or vitamins or food (which all interfere with iron absorption) and one hour before taking any meds or vits or food. No problems at all.
An iron infusion might be the way to go. Anemia not only makes you tired, but lowers your resistance to viral and bacterial infection. Also lowers cognitive and learning skills. If you'd like, I can email you a medical journal article that talks about how iron is best treated in Crohn's patients. It spells out exactly which kind of iron is best infused, the infusion rate, the quantity, etc.  

evs 89
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 12/13/2007 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I was put on iron tablets(ferrous sulphate). This was in the middle of a flare up which has now passed.They gave me extreme pain and i had a blockage already, so they made me even more constipated.
my doctor has just put me on fersamel syrup, which is supposed to release the iron slowly and the side effects are less extreme.
diagnosed cd : 7/6/07
asacol,prednisolone,azathioprine,iron for anaemia

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/13/2007 5:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I also have anemia my count hasn't been higher than 8.5 in over a year......They gave me chromagen twice a day but it upsets my stomach. I take one a day anyway. But my new G.I. will start with iron infusions if everything is the same come January. He put me on entocort now. Maybe you should talk again about your daughter getting the infusions, it might be the best thing.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 12/13/2007 7:51 PM (GMT -7)   
i am very surprised to hear of people getting D from iron supplements. from every one i've talked to, medical doctors (inc hemotalogist) to naturopaths, and from my own experience, iron constipates you. oh well, we are all different.

you can try floradix, it is a plant based iron supplement. i've only seen it in health food stores.

carlson labs (google them) sells organic dessicated buffalo liver. another natural good source of iron. this is potentially better than floradix cos it is animal based.

you can also try eating more red meat (cooked medium rare at most), liver, and dark green leafy vegetables.

if you are anemic, chances are your b-12 levels are in the tank as well. get those tested.

unfortunately i had to go the iron pill route to get over my anemia. the otc bottles say take 1 pill per day but my hematologist had me taking upwards of 6 pills per day cos my stores were ridiculously low. they told me that you know your body is absorbing the iron when on supplements when your stool turns a super dark color. dont ask my exactly why this happens.

there are many kinds of otc iron pills. which is better? i dont know. i was always told to get it chelated. i would assume liquid form is best since your body doesnt have to break down any coating or binder agents to get to it. but double check on this and dont take this at face value cos some things are better absorbed at different places (ie stomach, small intestine, colon).

last step is iron infusions. i heard they are painful but they arent as bad as they used to be. supposedly it can be done at any doctors office and the infusion takes about an hour.
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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 12/13/2007 8:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Try a cast iron frying pan or pots for soups and stews. spinach ,kidney beans ,greens maybe try a blender thing if you have to for dark green veggies, chick- peas, cereals,. Over cooking destroys folate.These are some things that might help and if you could find a way to get liver into you maybe a little blended with something for flavor .In my vittie book for anemia it recommends copper 2millgrams,folic acid 400 micrograms for older people 1000 for general people , iron 200-240 milligrams and B12 6 micrograms ,but cautions not to take more then 400 milligrams of folic acid daily as it can mask a vit. B-12 deficiency gail

Aimee =)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 12/13/2007 10:16 PM (GMT -7)   
May I ask why the doc doesn't want her to have an iron infusion?

We played around with my iron for years and couldn't get it up. Iron pills made me violently ill. Adding iron to my diet didn't do any significant good. So, GI sent me to the hemotologist who set me up for an infusion the next week.

I can't believe the difference in how I feel to be at a normal iron level. AND not eating ice all day long!

Laura G.
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 12/14/2007 11:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all of your responses! I too think that the iron infusions would be best, but I am not sure why the Hematologist doesn't want to do it other than he feels it should be reserved for incredibly low iron stores. I am going to have to contact him again. I will also ask about the b12.

Thanks again,

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