By Judi62 Latest Reply 2011-03-05 21:56:10 -0600
Started 2011-01-14 13:10:49 -0600

In the past month and a half I was diagnosed with severe anemia. I'm apparently not absorbing much iron into my system. My doctors are very concerned and running different tests. I'm going for a colonoscopy and upper GI scope in February.
My question is this… What causes this? Does it come on suddenly? The last time before being diagnosed for a full blood work was approximately 1 year ago. Nothing was noted, then. It really has me worried because I don't know where to turn for answers. I've started taking an iron supplement 1 month ago and am eating everything that is high in iron. My iron is not going up. There is the possibility of an iron drip I've been told by my doctor. This isn't a cure, though, is it?

I appreciate anyone who can help me with the answers.

17 replies

MewElla 2011-02-24 08:04:35 -0600 Report

You are in my thoughts and prayers that they can pin point the problem with the anemia. Take care now and keep us updated.

Judi62 2011-02-22 12:25:43 -0600 Report

Hello Everyone.
I went for my second colonoscopy yesterday. Found out I have a peculiar bend in my colon, so now I need to have a virtual colonoscopy done. Still need to do a thorough prep before hand. When does it end?!!
So far, everything else looks normal. Still no answer as to what is causing my severe anemia. I go for a blood test tonight after work to get my levels checked.
I wonder what the next step will be. Or might I never know the cause?
I want to thank all of you for your support, Judi

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-02-23 21:23:06 -0600 Report

Oh no not another prep night. I am so sorry you have to do that again. Hopefully it will be the third time is the charm and get you some answers.

Judi62 2011-02-24 07:59:01 -0600 Report

Don't know when as of yet. Waiting on insurance approval and appointment time.
I am in no hurry.
Thank you, Judi

Judi62 2011-02-11 17:32:46 -0600 Report

Well, I went for my test today. After spending a whole day cleaning myself out, I am told I wasn't empty enough. Mom always told me I was full of crap. So, I have to rescedule for next Friday. They did get to do the upper scope. No bleeding ulcers could be found. A biopsy was taken, which I was told was standard procedure. It wasn't so bad. I really don't remember much.

So, next Thursday I start all over again with the cleansing. They actually want me to start Wednesday night. Starting with the liquid dinner that night and pills to soften me up. Then, liquid all day Thursday. My doctor is still very concerned about the lack of iron.

Hope next week works better. I'll let you know.
Thanks for the replies and concern, Judi

Hugs to all of you.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-02-11 21:09:26 -0600 Report

Sorry you have to do the colon cleanse so soon again. I think I ate a very light diet for a few days before the liquid diet day to make it easier. Still didn't enjoy the evening before though. Best wishes for your 2nd try.

birch21 2011-01-15 18:34:27 -0600 Report

Hi Judi, I to am dealing with anemia and didn't even know that I was anemic. I have been very tired and like you I get cold and can't seem to get warm. I think my iron levels are coming back up and I have been taking 325 mg ferrous sulfate everyday for I know the last 3 months or so. I don't know how bad I was but I know that the doctor is keeping me on iron and has done several test but am not sure of what they all are. I know that Jayabee52 asked about your stools and like your mine were normal. Of course my normal is loose as I have to deal with IBS and it is diarrhea predominant. Sorry for this part of the message. Anyway I really just wanted you to know that you are not alone in the anemia area. I will be praying for you and hope everything will turn out for the good.

Judi62 2011-01-16 09:12:15 -0600 Report

Thank you for replying. I am taking Biferra. It's new on the market. It's time released. I may not be givin myself enough time. I do think I will try a higher dose, but not too high. 325mg once a day sounds right.

This is all new to me. I must learn to be patient. I will take the tests and go from there. I am taking the day before the test off from work. I am figuring it will be easier to keep an eye on my glucose levels while at home. Being on the clear liquid diet for cleansing purposes is a first for me since being diagnosed with type1 diabetes. I think that scares me more than the test. I'm afraid of my sugars dipping too low. I've been told to cut my insulin dose a bit and to drink clear juices and regular pop. It will help me with calories for the day.

I promise to let everyone know how it goes. I really appreciate the feedback on this.

jayabee52 2011-01-14 17:58:16 -0600 Report

I'm not a Dr, but maybe you should get a workup by a hematologist to see where your blood is going and why your consumption of Heme iron is not budging. I could be possible tht you're consuming the right kind of suppliment. Some suppliments are not worth the money you pay for them.

How are your stools? (sorry to ask such a personal question) If they are black & tar like (very sticky) you might have a GI bleed somewhere.

I had a bleeding ulcer just before Thanksgiving 2010, and my first symptom was "coffee grounds" emesis (vomit). Later on. when I passed a very hard stool, I started having the black tar-like stools for about 3 or 4 days.

I was so anemic I had to have 6 units of blood transfused. I was running WAY low!

My very good friend, Suzanne, died from blood loss due to a perforated, bleeding ulcer on the very same weekend I entered the hospital in Hayward.

A scope down both "pipes" is no fun (especially the prep for the colonoscopy) But is the best way we can tell what's going on inside the pipes. If you are having the coffee grounds emesis & black tarry stools, it is a sign of a bleed somewhere in your GI system, and you should let your Dr know about it. If that is the case I'd be more urgent in getting your 'scopes done quickly. Has I postponed my trip to the ER, I may well not be here today.

I don't want to scare you, just want you to be aware of these symptoms so you can take action should they show up.

Blessings to you and yours


Judi62 2011-01-14 18:33:04 -0600 Report

That's just it. I don't have the tar stools. Actually, my stool move regularly. I'm just tired and I get cold fast. Hopefully, I'll know more after the tests are run. I really want to get to the bottom of this. I can't understand why my body is not absorbing or properly storing the iron it needs. Had I not gotten blood drawn through our clinic at work, I would not have known there was a problem in the first place.

The gastric doctor said it may take up to 6 months to rebuild my iron level and said not to stop even when I do start to feel better. I go for my tests on February 11th. Then, I'll have to wait for the results. I'm sure there will be more blood work, too.

Thank you for answering. I really appreciate your input.

jayabee52 2011-01-14 21:49:59 -0600 Report

Please keep us updated in this discussion.

Judi62 2011-01-15 10:46:49 -0600 Report

I will do so. My tests are on the 11th of February. Hopefully, I'll find some answers then. I'm also thinking about changing my iron supplement. Maybe I'm not taking the right one.

jayabee52 2011-01-15 14:08:26 -0600 Report

That's good!

Sometimes if you DO have the right suppliment, even then it may take some time to show a response. Please follow the directions. If you megadose, especially with Iron, you can get other problems. Please be careful and patient!

kdroberts 2011-01-14 13:14:08 -0600 Report

Not really sure about the iron issue but you should be aware that your A1c should not be considered accurate. When you have severe anemia your red blood cells don't have the normal lifespan needed for the A1c test so the results can be way off what they really should be.