Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Crohn's Polls » Have you been tested for iron deficiency (anemia)?

View Poll Results: Have you been tested for iron deficiency?
I have been tested and am NOT deficient 23 18.11%
I have been tested and I AM deficient 94 74.02%
I have not been tested 10 7.87%
Voters: 127. You may not vote on this poll

08-23-2011, 02:55 PM   #1
David's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Naples, Florida
Have you been tested for iron deficiency (anemia)?

Have you been tested for iron deficiency (anemia)? And if so, were you deficient?

According to this article, Anemia can be seen by performing a CBC (complete blood count) which is about the most common lab test performed. If you've had a CBC done, they've checked for anemia. Two of the levels checked with a CBC are hemoglobin and hematocrit; if they're low, that is a sign of anemia, although there are many different forms of anemia. If your MCV (another reading from the CBC) shows your red blood cells are smaller, that could be a sign of iron deficiency anemia. Your doctor may perform tests to check serum iron and serum ferritin levels which would help confirm iron deficiency anemia.
It's good to be back
08-23-2011, 03:50 PM   #2
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DustyKat's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Sarah was tested post op and was Iron deficient and also Folate deficient.

Matt has been tested, and continues to be monitored, and is not deficient in either.

Mum of 2 kids with Crohn's.
08-23-2011, 04:28 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
pre op with an abscess I was deficient post op i'm not

Diagnosed Crohn's 2010
ileocecal resection 2010
Meds: Nil and in remission

08-24-2011, 12:28 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ogden, Utah

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I'm not anemic, but doc said, according to my blood test results, I was almost anemic at the time. Much better now, though!

Dx'd with Psoriasis in 1993
Dx'd with Psoriatic Arthritis in 2004
Dx'd with Ulcerative Colitis on May 18, 2011

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... It's about learning to dance in the rain." ~Anon.
08-27-2011, 09:02 AM   #5
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Location: Halifax, NS, Canada

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yes... I was weak as a kitten, white as a ghost, so they checked my red cell count. Came back @ 24... which they thought was an 'error'... so they tested me again.. same number. I was told it should fall in a range of 160 - 240 ... took almost a year to get it close to 160 Not a good time, the iron supplements and high iron foods I was on to get there was extremely hard on my system. But, slowly it worked. Wouldn't want to go thru it again.

Dx'd July, 2006
Meds: Flagyl, Cipro, Pred, AZA.. to no effect
Low Dose Naltrexone Nov 2007 - May 2014
Remicade June 17th, 2014
08-27-2011, 09:55 AM   #6
KWalker's Avatar
My iron was so bad, while I was sitting for Remicade infusions, I had to sit with an iron transfusions in the other arm. It was awhile ago though, and I haven't been tested lately so I'm not sure if its still low or not.
08-27-2011, 10:06 AM   #7
no :
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Join Date: Aug 2011
90% of the time I'm iron deficient. My consultant says that the majority of crohns patients struggle with iron absorption and are often anaemic. Seems it's true I've been anaemic since diagnosis and when my haemoglobin hits 9 or below I get an infusion (tablets irritate my stomach). Mum and my 2 sisters don't have crohns but all have severe anaemia. The DRs think there may be some genetic disorder affecting us all. Hmmmm.
08-27-2011, 12:59 PM   #8
Jennifer's Avatar
Been tested twice in my life. Both times confirmed deficiency (before and after resection but many years apart).
Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 75mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel (endometriosis), Tylenol 3 (Osteoarthritis), Zantac 150mg 2/day (acid reflux), Klonopin 1mg (Panic Disorder), Imitrex 25mg (migraines), Zofran 8mg (nausea)
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 19 years and counting.
08-27-2011, 01:11 PM   #9
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: New York
Was tested a while ago my iron storage was almost depleted, and my iron count was low. I went for iron infusions that the doctor wanted each week, then it became two. Now she wants me back every week n half to two. I have had so much go on lately I have not been there since mid july. It is a trip to go into that part of the city. I am exhausted half the time. Also going there is like a day trip. I spend hours when I go there.
Years ago they wanted me to take iron pills. They make me so sick. My doctor now told me no one with an inflamatory digestive condition should take iron pills. Too hard on the system. Iron infusions are easier on the system.
08-27-2011, 02:03 PM   #10
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outlier's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: New York, New York

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My anemia was the only reason my gi ever thought to test me for crohn's. Finally after being anemic for most my adult life. I am not thanks to Asacol , hillarously started Humira after (for other issues). Now i don't faint on the subway any more!
Diagnosed: Crohn's Oct '09
Extraintestinal: scleritis May '08, GERD Aug '09, ankylosing spondylitis Feb '10
Current Meds: Humira, Asacol, Dexilant, domperidone, Tramadol and a whole lot of vitamins
No more sulfasalazine, Methotrexate, Xibrom, Pred Forte and Iron
08-27-2011, 02:13 PM   #11
David's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Naples, Florida
As four people reported not being tested, I've edited testing information into the original post. I should have explained that originally. My apologies!
08-28-2011, 04:51 AM   #12
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: UK
Hi David,

for me its seems to be a bit of a moving target. I'm quite regularly tested with various different results. For me this all started through anemia. After taking a course of iron tablets, my heamoglobin returned to normal, but I was B12 deficient. After then sorting out heamoglobin and B12 I was then low in ferritin. The B12 continues to be an ongoing issue, but I'm off the B12 tabs to see how things go as they think now that the crohns is under control, I may not need the B12.

Finally after a very recent period of tiredness and feeling generally unwell, I got my blood checked again. The doc told me everything was ok, but later when I asked the nurse what the results were, she told me all was ok apart from the hematocrit, which was low, so I'm not sure what this means. Quick search on google told me this was a form of anemia, so I'm slightly surprised the doc never mentioned it. I intend to ask about it next time I attend the surgery.
08-28-2011, 07:15 AM   #13
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Georgia
Anemia was the catalyst for the eventual diagnosis of my CD. After being diagnosed as having IBS, I developed anemia but my GP insisted on my taking high doses of iron to combat it and didn't want to do further testing to determine why I was anemic. I then went to one of the top GI Drs in the area, who started by doing a colonoscopy and managed to get a little ways into my small instestine. He found quite a bit of damage, which led to a cat scan of my SI, and the CD diagnosis. And, of course he followed with a B12 test and of course that was low also. In the words of my GI Dr -- "Of course you are anemic -- you have Crohn's." Everything is now in balance.
08-29-2011, 12:39 AM   #14
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Columbus, Ohio

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Always have been deficiant since I could remember. It got so bad my iron dropped to a 7 when for a regular adult female is a 12-14. The doctors fought with each other as it if I needed a transfusion or not. I had one say I needed it, the other told me I was young enough to pull through(ok thats great and all but while I spew more blood out the a$$ and get closer to death that will be on you idiot!) Eventually 2 pints were administered to me...and promptly after being admitted the nurse checking the blood bag dropped it on the floor and the bag that was a crazy night
Diagnosis: Confused officially diagnosed in 2010

Bloodwork is indeterminate IBD, biopsies are crohns positive, symptoms and visually it's UC

Current meds-
Prednisone, humira, 6mp, and lialda
awaiting surgical consult

Mom of Little Z
eosinophilic esophagitis 5/2015
08-29-2011, 03:22 PM   #15
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Location: Charleston, South Carolina

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My hematocrit always hangs around the low side of normal, but my ferritin was below 20 both times it was checked last. My dermatologist just had it rechecked last week and I am waiting on the results.
08-29-2011, 04:06 PM   #16
Gwen pippy
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ireland
Have struggled with Iron def since dx age 11. they insisted on many iron tablets over the years and GI wouldn't accept that they hurt me like hell but that was back when they were only getting to grips with things. I have had many muscular iron injections over the years but thats not ideal as each time its injected it weakens the muscles around the hips, just got my first infusion in May and happy days, no pain, no muscle iron stains and instant boost.
08-29-2011, 04:10 PM   #17
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta

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I was always a bit on the low side with my Hemoblobin - due to girl issues. I had a emergency hystercetomy and my HB went down to 89. I begged for a blood transfusion(am in the medical field so I knew exactly what I was asking for) Dr said no, it really wasn't low enough. He sent me home with iron pills. It was a long tough fight out iron deficiency - about a year before my HB was normal( I didn't tolerate iron pills orliquid very well)
My Ferritan remained low for so long - GI mentioned doing iron transfusion if I could not get it back up.(offered just as it was only slightly below normal) Well then I blew up at her - you mean you had a way to help me feel better faster but choose NOT to offer me that option!!! She said the procedure had a small chance of causing an allergic reaction. I was so pissed off, I'm feeling like crap and you think the chance of an allergic reaction would put me off this(like a 1% chance)

First I was pissed that they wouldn't transfuse me - now I am really pissed they wouldn't offer an iron transfusion esp after my Crohn's diagnosis. I went through months of needless exhaustion. Perhaps my Crohn's would be under better control if I hadn't spent the 2 years trying to make red cells and up my iron stores instead of using that energy to fight the Crohn's!!!!!

And since all the girl issues are resolved giving me transfusion(either one) was going to have lasting effects as I wasn't losing blood at all anymore!!!

I am sorry if my language offends anyone. I get so hot under the collar about this as I am a very proactive kind of person - just tell me what will fix this the fastest and let's get on with it, no waiting to see if it get's better on it's own - let's jump on it. I think what I went through was so needless - it just makes me angry.
08-29-2011, 04:17 PM   #18
Gwen pippy
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ireland
I get so hot under the collar about this as I am a very proactive kind of person - just tell me what will fix this the fastest and let's get on with it, no waiting to see if it get's better on it's own - let's jump on it. I think what I went through was so needless - it just makes me angry.
I don't blame you for feeling that way at all, I was put on some many iron tablets / liquids over the years for them just to rip the insides out of me, but I think it's sometimes about the money, I shiver if I see the GI write with a medical company pen, chances are I'm going to get a prescription for that drug before I leave the office even if I don't need it!!!
08-29-2011, 06:06 PM   #19
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Location: Western Isles, United Kingdom

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Ah, thanks for the edit, David: I was one of the four. GP told me I was borderline anemic when I was first diagnosed but didn't prescribe a supplement. Today Gi said my haemoglobin level is good.
Dx Crohn's terminal ileum April 2011
Ileocaecal resection & partial cystectomy Sept 2012
3.5 years happy remission, in mild flare since Feb 2016 with related Portal Vein Thrombosis

Previous: Prednisolone, Mesren, Omeprazole, Infliximab, Azathioprine
Current: Pentasa, Librax, Warfarin
Helen x
08-30-2011, 09:20 AM   #20
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Iron levels have always been low. Should be over 80 and I am consistently around 20 or lower. Iron tabs and that's it. B12 is low too. Never had injections for either.
Abdmonial Pain/Bloating
Difficulty Eating
Weight Loss/Gain
Back Pain
B12 Deficient & Low Iron
Stabbing Pains - LRQ Pain
Groin Pain

08-30-2011, 11:53 AM   #21
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle, Washington

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As four people reported not being tested, I've edited testing information into the original post. I should have explained that originally. My apologies!
My bad. I voted that way because I have never been tested specifically for anemia (at least that I know of). I have had plenty of CBCs and have never been told I am deficient.
08-30-2011, 11:57 AM   #22
David's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Naples, Florida
Nope, it was MY bad. I should have provided information upfront. My apologies.
08-30-2011, 11:57 AM   #23
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Ian's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: London, UK
I didn't vote because I wans't sure what to say - I have been iron deficient a number of times over the last 6 years, but they test for it with every blood test (which I have before every appointment) and I wasn't last time. Will be having a blood test tomorrow for Friday's appointment and hope it will say the same .
Dx Ulcerative Colitis Oct 2005 (age 19)
Dx Crohn's Colitis Feb 2010 (age 23)
Dx Indeterminate Colitis (IBD unclassified) Oct 2011 (age 25)
Dx likely Ulcerative Colitis July 2013 (age 27)

Currently taking:
6MP (75mg daily)
Asacol (3 x 800mg, twice daily)

Have taken: Humira, Infliximab (Remicade), Prednisolone, Predfoam
08-30-2011, 01:27 PM   #24
Crohn's 35
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Have been tested but long after I felt like I did have deficiency but no, it was ok and I am not a bleeder. Just low on B12.
08-31-2011, 03:42 PM   #25
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: United Kingdom

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I have been iron deficient due to bleeding from the small bowel and this helped with my diagnosis. I had blood and iron infusions and my hb had been fine for the last few months.
A recent adventure with a serious leg infection has caused a flare and so my hb has gone from 142 in june to 93 last week, even on oral iron. So booked in for 3 more iron infusions starting tomorrow.
My bloods today show it has dropped again to 82 so may need some blood, but am hoping to avoid that.
My GI says that often iron absorption is much poorer whilst you are flaring as the bowel inflammation prevents absorption. I seem to absorb it ok when my Crohn's is under control.
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.
08-31-2011, 04:01 PM   #26
Senior Member
Kit's Avatar
Was tested by my GP and my Hemoglobin was 10.9 (should be 11.5 to 15), Iron Serum 28 (suppose to be 35-155) and Iron saturation 8 (suppose to be 15-55) I am on iron supplements now (27 mg 2/day) and will take a blood test again next month to see what happens. Right now very very fatigued and running a low grade fever almost part of every day. Sigh. Taking a couple days off work to chill and see if I feel better.
Enjoy the moment, just be
01-14-2012, 08:13 AM   #27
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Nottingham, UK
I haven't voted because I have been tested a few times- the first time I was deficient but after a 3 month course of iron (and also started azathioprine and got my flare under control) my levels improved and have been normal every blood test since.
Crohn's in the terminal ileum, dxed Jun '10

125mg azathioprine
4g Pentasa
01-14-2012, 08:17 AM   #28
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Nottingham, UK
For the record, when I was iron deficient I barely showed any signs of anaemia (I had symptoms like fatigue but it turns out they were unrelated!) and my haemoglobin was only 0.2 lower than normal. However my ferritin levels were 7 or 8 (12 is absolute minimum, but 20 is better).
03-22-2012, 05:27 PM   #29
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

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Johnny was iron deficient but the doctor said it was because he was taking Prevacid. Once he could stop the Prednisone, he could stop the Prevacid and then he could stop taking his Iron supplement. So he is off all three now and labs are normal.
Mom of Johnny
Dx Oct 11 2011 Crohns disease
Prednisone done 12/30/11
6mp 50mg every day
Allopurinol 50mg -discontinued per new G.I. on 11/01/12
Multi Vitamin
Vitamin D3 1000mg
03-23-2012, 09:12 AM   #30
Senior Member
carey's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: lakewood, Colorado
Supposed to take iron pills 3x a day, but their way too harsh on my stomach so i don't take them, by the way, yes i am iron deficient
Diagnosed 2009.
Asacol, Prednisone, Imuran, Sulfa meds,
Bentyl, Remicade, Humira, Entocort,
Cimzia, 6 MP
(All failed)
Have not experienced remission yet


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