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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Iron deficieny anemia


01-08-2010, 10:08 PM   #1
uab grad student
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Iron deficieny anemia

I currently have moderately severe anemia (sorry, don't know my numbers, just that iron, hemoglobin, and blood pressure are low). I am taking 325 mg of ferrous sulfate 3 times per day, plus Vitamin B super complex, folic acid, and a multi vitamin.

My questions are:

* If you have taken iron for anemia, how long did it take to see improvement? I'm very easily exhausted right now and it is frustrating.

* Is there anything you do that makes it easier to take your iron supplement, especially to keep it from hurting your stomach and making you nauseous?

Thanks ahead for your answers.
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Ashlee

December 2009--Diagnosed with Crohn's

Current Crohn's meds: entocort, remicade, 6-MP

Other stuff: pulmicort, pro-air, celexa

Current supplements: ferrous sulfate, folic acid, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Vitamin D, women's multi-vitamin, Florastor probiotic
01-09-2010, 04:31 AM   #2
imisspopcorn
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Hi UAB....You may need B 12 in the injectable form. B 12 is primarily absorbed in the terminal ileum. If you have disease there, the oral route won't be as effective. B 12 is also important in the formation of red blood cells...I didn't really see improvement in exhaustion while on iron until I started getting B12 injections. I now only take a multi vitamin with iron and just take extra iron during my period.
There are many different brands of iron. Some of them say they are easier on the stomach than others. Also take you iron with some source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron. You can take a chewable Vit. C tablet if OJ hurts your stomach.
Try taking the iron with food to help with the nausea etc.
Flintstones Chewable Vitamins with iron never bothered my stomach. You can go that route too.
I hope these suggestions help.
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01-09-2010, 08:19 AM   #3
Claire617
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Taking oral iron supplements gave me such trouble, like badddd stomach pains so i was put on IV iron be in the local hosp for a couple hours only simply because it took the nurses so long to get into gear lol worth it though felt good to know I was definitely absorbing something cus I am so aneamic again hate looking so pale and ill.
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01-09-2010, 11:44 PM   #4
Nytefyre
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I was diagnosed with Iron Deficiency Anemia. I have a hard time absorbing oral iron, and numbers were so low we decided to go the IV infusion route. Started with 1 infusion per week for 5 weeks then once a month as a maintenance dose. It's good for me because I start to wind down around the 3 week mark. One week to go then it's my spinach in liquid form!

It seems like after the 2nd or 3rd infusion is when I noticed myself being able to walk up stairs without the dizziness, rapid heart beat, and being out of breath. The fatigue started to slip away and I felt down right energetic!
01-14-2010, 12:04 AM   #5
uab grad student
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Thanks everyone for your answers. I went to the doc yesterday and they recommended I try the sublingual B12 supplements (2500 mcg) once a day in addition to my folic acid and iron. Apparently, Super B Complex actually doesn't have enough B12 in it (only 15 mcg for the Nature Made B Complex) so that could partially explain why I wasn't feeling any more energy. I started the high dose sublingual B12 tablets and hope they will start working for me soon, if not, I'm going to get the injections.

Thanks again!
01-14-2010, 12:40 AM   #6
lancelot
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hey Uab! I got bloodtests done to check for the B12 and the Iron (I was getting B12 injections anyways...but had to stop for the bloodtests), turns out I only needed the iron, the G.I. team advised to go straight to the IV iron, they say it lasts about as long as what NyteFyre has posted (3-4 weeks of bliss for a 2 hour infusion clinic stay )
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Crohn's Dx as of Jan. 2006

Prednisone works (only used during flare-ups)
5-ASA does not
First go at Imuran didn't work

No Anti-TNF treatments tried yet (will try remicade after surgery: removing small portion of ileum, and dark mass believed to have infectious tissue in it): Surgery booked for April 2010!
02-26-2010, 01:24 AM   #7
GoJohnnyGo
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My blood iron is still extremely low despite taking a daily supplement for about a year and a half now. Today it was suggested I bump it to two tablets a day, and if that doesn't work, its infusion time.
02-26-2010, 02:17 AM   #8
lancelot
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I just went straight for the infusion...quite painless, and only took 2 hours..did it twice in 2 weeks, and I feel like a million bucks! Iron pills don't get absorbed that well if your ileum is involved (that's the part that's responsible for absorbing from your food I think?).
02-26-2010, 02:22 AM   #9
GoJohnnyGo
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lancelot said:
I just went straight for the infusion...quite painless, and only took 2 hours..did it twice in 2 weeks, and I feel like a million bucks! Iron pills don't get absorbed that well if your ileum is involved (that's the part that's responsible for absorbing from your food I think?).
Yeah, I think I might insist on infusions next time. Today I saw my regular GP's associate.

I see you're in Cowtown too. There's a couple of us here on this forum. Who's your Gastroenterologist? Mine's Dr. Martin Cole.
02-26-2010, 10:53 AM   #10
lancelot
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Dr. Remo Panancionne (research centre at the FMC). My GI group recommended the infusions...we didn't even talk about supplements when the blood tests came back as low iron, I was in getting an infusion about a week later!
Dr. Remo's NP Joan doesn't mess around, she's quite on top of things. I think the research that they do is quite important for the rest of us. After the surgery, I'll be on remicade, and hopefully be able to live a normal life and not have to ever worry about the crohn's again.
I really like them there as I do not have to ask for anything, they recommend stuff, give me options, etc.

Go cowtown! xD

Last edited by lancelot; 02-26-2010 at 10:56 AM.
02-26-2010, 11:01 AM   #11
Misty-Eyed
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Yeah I have the infusions too. I was kind of disappointed though at first becrause I wasn't as awake as I thought I'd be. Maybe my fatigue is just from my general Crohn's? I don't know. Anyway, I have noticed that I'm not always as cold as I used to be, or pale. Good luck!
02-26-2010, 11:06 AM   #12
lancelot
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Misty, glad to hear you have had some positive results from your infusions...have you had your blood tested to make sure you're not low on anything else? (Vit B12 is quite common in us crohnies to be low which causes fatigue big time...B12 shots are super cheap too!)
02-26-2010, 06:30 PM   #13
Misty-Eyed
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lancelot said:
Misty, glad to hear you have had some positive results from your infusions...have you had your blood tested to make sure you're not low on anything else? (Vit B12 is quite common in us crohnies to be low which causes fatigue big time...B12 shots are super cheap too!)
Thank you! Yeah, been having vitamin B12 injections every 3 months for a long time. It makes me laugh because the nurse who does it always says I look like I need it.

Plus they are actually free for me.. along with the iron infusions and everything else they give me at the hospital lol. The NHS may be rubbish in some ways, but good in others lol.
02-28-2010, 12:54 PM   #14
Nic
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I just had all of my Vitamin levels tested and suprisingly the only thing I need is Iron. After reading that Ashlee (UAB) is taking 325mg 3 times a day, I'm wondering if I should be taking more! I'm only taking one 50mg pill a day..one doc I saw last week said that I should be taking more, but since I don't see him all the time he didn't want to up me. I'm going to make an appt with my reg doc and see what he suggests.
I'll give you guys my numbers..what do ya'll think? I'm new to this keeping an eye on everything LOL

HGB is 12.5
Total Iron 36 L mcg/dL
Total Iron Binding Capacity 356 mcg/dL
% Iron Saturation Calc 10%

Ferritin is also on there..not sure what that is?? Anyone know? That level is at 8 and says premenopausal should be between 10-155, so guess that's low to? But it also says ***unable to flag abnormal results, next to it!
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Previous Meds: Imuran, Azathioprene, Prednisone, Entocort, Pentasa

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02-28-2010, 01:06 PM   #15
GoJohnnyGo
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I was taking a 300 mg pill of Ferrous Gluconate daily, but last Thursday the GP checking my charts suggested I double that.
02-28-2010, 01:15 PM   #16
Nic
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Wow maybe I miss read my prescription, I'm gonna have to check and make sure it's only 1 I'm supposed to be taking!! Maybe I'm just a little low and that's why I'm not taking so much? Definitely gonna call tomorrow and get an appointment! The symptoms you guys were describing that come along with the low Iron are the exact problems I'm having, so if upping my dose would fix that then I'm ready!!! LOL It would be SUPER nice to walk up my stairs without thinking my heart is gonna come popping outa my chest!!
02-28-2010, 02:01 PM   #17
dreamintwilight
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When I was in the hospital they told me I was iron deficient. I'm not sure how severe it was, but they put me on ferrous gluconate 325 mg 3 times a day. I think I took them for 2 weeks total because my bloodwork came back and it had resolved itself. Now I just take a multivitamin with iron in it. Though I am interested to know if the multivitamin is enough. I guess I'll find out when I get my first blood work which is in a couple months. For now I don't feel fatigued or anything, so I guess that's a good sign
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Marisa
February 2010 - diagnosed with Crohn's disease.
January 2011 - Inflammation downgraded from moderate-severe to mild with no symptoms!
January 2014 - adopted a mostly Paleo diet
May 2015 - still in remission!


Currently Taking
Humira - 40mg/week
Imuran - 125 mg/day
Calcium magnesium citrate
Fermented cod liver oil/butter blend
Culturelle probiotics
Vitamin D
Vitamin C
Biotin
Allegra
03-06-2010, 01:34 AM   #18
Nic
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Crazy you had such a high dose too Marisa! I'm definitely gonna have to check into mine!
03-06-2010, 01:11 PM   #19
Cheshire Cat
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My HB is currently 10.5, it has been as low as 6.2!

I have not been diagnosed but have had MRI, Ultrasound, upper endoscopy (twice), colonoscopy and Video capsule endoscopy. I am now waiting for repeat video capsule endoscopy and double balloon enteroscopy.

Main symptoms, in addition to low HB, are diarrhoea, abdo cramps and general listlessness.

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03-06-2010, 06:53 PM   #20
dreamintwilight
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Yeah, I just went back and looked at my last blood panel the day they discharged me. My HB was 10.7. Hematocrit was 35.2 and MCHC was 30.4. All considered low levels. After two weeks on tons of iron supplements the anemia resolved itself. So, yeah. I would ask your doc about upping your dose if you're feeling weak still. I saw on one of my blood panels while in the hospital my HB was down to 8.8! Crazy!
03-06-2010, 07:15 PM   #21
katiesue1506
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I'm currently back on the iron regimen... I'm thinking about increasing it to two a day again because I feel like I'm int the 9-10 range. I guess I'll find out with my next blood test.
03-07-2010, 01:19 PM   #22
GoJohnnyGo
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Yeah, my count was 10.
03-08-2010, 11:49 PM   #23
uab grad student
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lancelot said:
I just went straight for the infusion...quite painless, and only took 2 hours..did it twice in 2 weeks, and I feel like a million bucks! Iron pills don't get absorbed that well if your ileum is involved (that's the part that's responsible for absorbing from your food I think?).
Great idea y'all! :-) Actually going to start the infusions in the near future... I can't really say it was b/c the 3 x 325 mg iron pills wasn't enough. I just wasn't a compliant patient--honestly taking 3 pills a day made my stomach even more of a wreck. My hematocrit is still low so they are starting me on the infusions this week. Thanks for the responses!
06-07-2010, 04:33 PM   #24
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I want to get myself some B12 shots done, since I have never tried any. Living in a country with restricted medical support I was never suggested to have any special supplements for my Crohn's. I want to know about how many shots and in what interval of time I shout get them done? I can buy B12 shots here pretty easily, and will have a nurse to get them done but don't want to overdose or something.

Please advise
06-08-2010, 07:02 AM   #25
DustyKat
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You should have bloods done first to determine whether you need the supplement. If you do then the doctor can prescribe an appropriate regime to suit your needs. As a general rule, and I stress general, you have 1 injection weekly or fortnightly for the first 3 injections and then 1 injection every 3 months.
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