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05-10-2012, 03:30 PM   #1
Manzyb
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Iron levels

I just got results of my blood work from yesterday and they said that my iron was low.

The Iron saturation was at 7 and then iron serum was at 29. I kind of googled it and found that it looks like it is low, but does anyone know how low that is? Like bad low?

Also, what causes this type of anemia? Could it just be from the poor appetite I've been having, or is it caused by bleeding?
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05-10-2012, 06:29 PM   #2
kiny
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It's low. The saturation is how much of the iron in your blood is being absorbed by binding to transferrin (only 7% in your case) and the iron serum is the total available iron, which is also very low in your case.

Also, what causes this type of anemia? Could it just be from the poor appetite I've been having, or is it caused by bleeding?
Both, it can also be because your intestin is / was inflamed, which prevents you from properly absorbing iron, that's why they tend to give intravenous iron supplementation to crohn patients, since they don't know how well you would absorb orally.
05-10-2012, 07:04 PM   #3
Manzyb
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Thank you! I was just curious if that seemed really low. I got iron pills from my GP, but he told me to call my GI first to see if they want me to get an infusion instead.

Hoping this helps out some of my crappy feeling.
05-10-2012, 07:06 PM   #4
shamrock15
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As one who has had iron levels like that for a 3 year period, I can assure you that it's not great (but then I figure you knew that already). Low iron can also be a sign that your body is using up those stores to try to make new blood (along the lines of bleeding). Iron absorption issues can stem from a lot of things - excessive dairy, some medications (acid blockers), some iron sources are not as readily absorbed (animal based iron is more readily available than plant and mineral forms), disease. Bleeding, well, you know how that works too I would guess. Hopefully this does not become a chronic issue for you - not a fun way to go day to day...
05-10-2012, 07:12 PM   #5
Manzyb
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My hemoglobin has been low since I had my surgery in January. I was very ill and went to my GP yesterday because I was fairly dehydrated. That's when they checked the iron levels and they called me today to tell me about it. They had told me that they were low, I just wasn't quite sure what that meant, or why they were so low, and what that meant for me. I'm not having any visible bleeding at the moment. I'm assuming that it is because I am not eating well right now... well, much at all.
05-10-2012, 07:17 PM   #6
kiny
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Feeling dizzy is usually enough to know my iron levels are low, when you wake up and feel lightheaded or dizzy, feel weak in general, it usually means your iron is really low. There's many different kinds of iron pills too, some help better than others, some have added vitamin C to help absorption. There's new iron IV too, the new ones take like 30 min to get, the chance of allergic reaction is lower and they last a much longer time than regular ones, if you're sitting there for 2 hours, you got the old type, if you sit there for 30 min you got the new type, lol, since the chance of reaction is lower they are able to give the iron faster with the new type.

You can feel dizzy from hypolgycemia too, not enough sugar, you can buy those glucose tablets in any shop or glucose IV, which they tend to give to people who had blood loss too just to give them enough energy again, looks like water in the IV.
05-10-2012, 07:36 PM   #7
Manzyb
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Thank you! I'm going to run to the pharmacy in a bit to pick up my prescription. I'm going in on Tuesday for a Tysabri infusion, maybe if I call them, they can give me IV iron. I've taken iron tablets in the past and they really hurt my stomach.
05-11-2012, 12:28 AM   #8
Catherine
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Iron tablets are the main treatment for iron deficiency anemia but there are two other conditions that can look like it.

1. Thalassemia
2. Anemia of chronic disease.

Your doctors use the iron studies to work out which is the most likely cause. Your need to read the four numbers in conjunction to work out which condition. Your is most likely iron deficiency or anemia of chronic disease as both are common IBD.
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Mother of Sarah dx aged 16, Jan 2012
DX - CD 1/12, asthma
Small bowel to small bowel fistula

Meds: ), azathioprine 200mg, Mesalazine 1.2g x 2, seretide 250 x 2 (asthma), ventolin (as needed)

Currently no supplements.

Has previously taken Multi B, Caltrate, B12 & Iron

Prednisolone (from 30 mg 01/02/2012 to 17/06/2012, 30mg 24/10/12-28/12/12, 50mg 24/1/13-27/4/13)
05-11-2012, 12:34 AM   #9
David
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When they tested your iron did they also check MCV, RBC, TIBC, RDW and give you those results? Those can help determine what is causing it as well.
05-11-2012, 02:01 AM   #10
littlemissh
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Hi Manzy,
Really the main point of checking the iron is to see if the anaemia is due to blood loss or chronic inflammation (or both).
What was your hb?
With blood loss your ferritin/iron is low and your red blood cells are small(low mcv). With chronic inflammation your iron is normal/high and your red cells /mcv are high.
What complicates it is that inflammation makes ferritin appear higher than it is and some drugs eg aza can make your mcv high, as can b12 deficiency.
So what it boils down to is what your hb is. Because your ferritin is low an iron infusion may help but if Hb very low (usually less than 8.0 / 80 in uk) they may consider transfusion.
My last ferritins have been <5, but iron infusions make my hb rise pretty quickly.
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Diagnosed Crohns small bowel 2010,Gastroduodenal crohn's Jan 2012. Gastroparesis june 2014.
Duodenal perforation/peritonitis nov 2011. Portacath placed Nov 2013. Gastric pacemaker 2015.
Perforated jejenum/peritonitis oct 2015, PEJ for enteral feeding nov 2015

On Humira every 7 days, intermittent iv iron, regular blood transfusions :faint:
On TPN since March 2016.
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