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Has anyone had the gastric bypass that has caused their anemia. I have been anemic for the past 2 years, becoming severe this year. I have been on iron supplements that are not helping. I take the Vit. C and the B12 and B12 shots - but nothing is helping. Because of the gastric bypass there are many foods that I can't eat that would help. I have been thinking about having the iron supplement shots, but I haven't come across enough information to make an educated decision. Any suggestions?
Yes I have had a gastric bypass 8 yrs ago. I have now prenious anemia, I have been on b-12 shots for almost 4 yrs. I have also had to have the iron through an iv. I been through that 2 different times. The shots are better, because of having the surgry the intrinsic factor is not present, so the tablets that you may be taking are doing you no good at all. This is what my dr.s have told me. The shots will give you back some of the energy that you are missing. Here is something else that you may have to look forward to. I am in the stages of finding out if I have neuropathy. Which is nerve damage, caused from the anemia. Does any one else who has had this surgry, are they suffering from any of this.
I underwent a gastric bypass 8 years ago - about 4 years ago I developed pernicious anemia and have been on B12 injections since that time. This past summer I started having fatigue, swelling in my lower legs, hunger and weight gain. Finally I was diagnosed with iron defiency anemia. I have started on Infed (iron) transfusions - today was my second transfusion - two more to go and then will undergo a hysterectomy. I am interested in anyone else, who has had a gastric bypass has had this problem and how they are doing. I am wondering when I will start to feel better. Thanks for you help!
I just started the iron IVs two weeks ago for the same thing except I'm not considered to have anemia yet. My iron stores are extremely low (count of 4) and the shots didn't help. I had 10 of them and it only raised my iron stores to an 8. I also had the surgery and would love to hear from anyone who's solved this iron situation because I really don't want permanent damage from this! If I need a weekly IV for life, so be it as long as I have energy and my metabolism back! (I, too, am going through the lethargy and possible weight gain from this).

Question 2: Are you having a hysterectomy to stop the monthly bleeding to help the anemia? Is that an option because I'd consider it!!

BTW, I had my surgery 15 months ago.
Thanks!!
[QUOTE=sky1992]Has anyone had the gastric bypass that has caused their anemia. I have been anemic for the past 2 years, becoming severe this year. I have been on iron supplements that are not helping. I take the Vit. C and the B12 and B12 shots - but nothing is helping. Because of the gastric bypass there are many foods that I can't eat that would help. I have been thinking about having the iron supplement shots, but I haven't come across enough information to make an educated decision. Any suggestions?[/QUOTE]

I didn't have the bypass surgery, but, 1/2 my stomach was removed due to an ulcer (15 yrs. ago) Because of that, I have iron def. anemia and will have to be treated for it the rest of my life. The bottom portion of the stomach is the part that absorbs iron and with that part gone, I now have to have iron infusions to bring my hemoglobin count back up. Once it's back up to 14, that will last only 3 months and I have to do it all over again. This will always be a "bandaid" situation. I hope I've been help to you. Good luck.
I had a by-pass 6 years ago and I also have had major problems with this issue. I posted above. The big problem is that with that surgery you can't eat the volume of food needed to bring the iron levels up. I love being thin, but it would be even better to be healthy.
[QUOTE=marny61]I underwent a gastric bypass 8 years ago - about 4 years ago I developed pernicious anemia and have been on B12 injections since that time. This past summer I started having fatigue, swelling in my lower legs, hunger and weight gain. Finally I was diagnosed with iron defiency anemia. I have started on Infed (iron) transfusions - today was my second transfusion - two more to go and then will undergo a hysterectomy. I am interested in anyone else, who has had a gastric bypass has had this problem and how they are doing. I am wondering when I will start to feel better. Thanks for you help![/QUOTE]

Hi I had a gastric by pass in 1998. I am also severely anemic with my Ferritin level less than 4 and hemaglobin has been down as low as 7. My white blood counts have started to fall now and I too am tired. My weight loss has been extremely good. I lost 135 lbs which is half of what I weighed to start with. I can eat most everything now except beef, but still have times during the month that I throw up.
It is good to hear from others who are several years out on the Gastric By pass. I feel like this iron problem is something that never gets talked about sufficiently when people are talking about complications. The neuropathy is definitely a problem, but I have been lucky so far in that I only have a few problems. But due to the anemia, I am having a lot of bone pain lately. I did have an iron infusion almost 2 years ago. It helped for about a year. And, my iron has never dropped quite as low as that again. However recently I am having a lot of headaches. So I am pretty sure, the B-12 and Folic acid are off again.....
I had my gastric bypass almost 3 yrs ago. I was diagnosed anemia 1 yr ago. I tried iron pills for 3 months and my counts did not budge. So I had 14 iron infusions over 2 month time frame. My counts when up. Total iron from 31 to 121 and hemaglobin from 8.5 to 13.00. I felt great. 3 monthes later I went for blood test. Iron dropped to 31 again and hemo-10.8. I lost all the iron thru my menstral cycle. I had suddenly started to have heavy periods. Now I am going to have a procedure call endometrial eblation to reduce the amount of monthly bleeding, then I will get my iron infusions again an hopefully that will take care of my anemia problems.
... and iron is needed to make red blood cells.

I don't know anything about gastric bypass; but low iron? I have heard of that with those exposed to ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (2-butoxyethanol) Iron counts get down very, very low. Do the retic ratio test and CBC with differentials ... both test are $50 + $17 so not bad to rule this chemical exposure in or out.

Odd as it may seem, if you are fatigued and have low iron, I would ask for a kidney function test. Kidneys produce hormones that help make strong bones and red blood cells. Sometimes if there are kidney stones they are indicative of a metabolic imbalance (check thyroid)

Pernicious anemia? I read a little about that once, and someone shared a testimonial on eating liver every day and it gave wonderful results
[QUOTE=squeek]Yes I have had a gastric bypass 8 yrs ago. I have now prenious anemia, I have been on b-12 shots for almost 4 yrs. I have also had to have the iron through an iv. I been through that 2 different times. The shots are better, because of having the surgry the intrinsic factor is not present, so the tablets that you may be taking are doing you no good at all. This is what my dr.s have told me. The shots will give you back some of the energy that you are missing. Here is something else that you may have to look forward to. I am in the stages of finding out if I have neuropathy. Which is nerve damage, caused from the anemia. Does any one else who has had this surgry, are they suffering from any of this.[/QUOTE]

Hi Squeek, are you still around? I know this is an old post, but it looks like I'm in the exact same place you are. I have had iron infusions, transfusions and currently I think I have neuropathy but the doc isn't treating me for it .. yet. I didn't know what to call it until I read your post.
I'm currently sitting here w/ so much leg pain that I'm finding it hard to walk, but it seems the doc isn't interested. I'm pretty upset about the whole thing :( and at loss as to what to do next or to make it better.
If anyone else has this problem, please let me know what you did to get well.
There are side effects from the gastric by pass that people must be willing to accept. But, having this surgery for cosmetics reasons only should be against the law. It does cause iron deficiency anemia for the rest of your life. It does cause peripheral neuopathy. It causes osteoporosis, bone loss and can eventually send you down the road to acquired aplastic anemia. The reasons to have the gastric by pass are to prevent death from diabetes, undetected cancers due to being hidden in the fat, and heart attack and stroke from too much weight. We all have to die from something. Hopefully it will be boredom. But if not, the symptoms of iron deficiency are the least bothersome thing you could have.. IT is not an end of the world problem to have. It just takes good health care taking. Something that a lot of us overweight people were not doing to start with. I know that there are plenty of people out there who became obese no matter what they tried to do to take care of themselves. That particular group of people do very well on this surgery because they already try to take care of themselves. Those who want magicaly fixes for their problems do horribly on this weightloss surgery and then screw it up for people who need it the most. Some people enjoy poor health and the perceived attention that they get from having poor health. But, for those who want to do the best with what they have, it is a wonderful gift.
[QUOTE=Marimac]There are side effects from the gastric by pass that people must be willing to accept. But, having this surgery for cosmetics reasons only should be against the law. It does cause iron deficiency anemia for the rest of your life. It does cause peripheral neuopathy. It causes osteoporosis, bone loss and can eventually send you down the road to acquired aplastic anemia. The reasons to have the gastric by pass are to prevent death from diabetes, undetected cancers due to being hidden in the fat, and heart attack and stroke from too much weight. We all have to die from something. Hopefully it will be boredom. But if not, the symptoms of iron deficiency are the least bothersome thing you could have.. IT is not an end of the world problem to have. It just takes good health care taking. Something that a lot of us overweight people were not doing to start with. I know that there are plenty of people out there who became obese no matter what they tried to do to take care of themselves. That particular group of people do very well on this surgery because they already try to take care of themselves. Those who want magicaly fixes for their problems do horribly on this weightloss surgery and then screw it up for people who need it the most. Some people enjoy poor health and the perceived attention that they get from having poor health. But, for those who want to do the best with what they have, it is a wonderful gift.[/QUOTE]

I hope this little rant isn't directed at me ... but it sure seems to be.
IF it is ... and again, I hope not ... it appears you are assuming quite a bit.
I had wls in 2002. I was slightly anemic at that time so I started taking iron pills and B12 shots. It did not help. I became very anemic. My hemoglobin went down to 6.5 and I am now going to a nephrologist and he recommended that I take erythropoetin shots. I have only been taking it for 2 weeks now. I take it once a week. It seems to have help some but I am still hoping to feel even better.
Even though I am very anemic now I don't regret wls surgery. It was still worth it!
I had stomach surgery 24 years ago and it was similar to a gastric bypass. I had 2/3 of my stomach removed, the vagus nerve cut and the pyloric valve removed from a stomach ulcer. I have no intrinsic factor. For years I would have to go for blood transfusions. I have problems just eating because I don't absorb much or I have diarrhea. I have trouble with keeping my weight up also. I go about every 6 months for iron iv therapy and take monthly b12, which doesn't seem to help. I have panic attacks from the anemia. I have dealt with the side effects of the surgery for years and I just get tired of being so tired and anemic. I have pernicious anemia and autoimmune hemotylic anemia. I was told I would just have to do the iv therapy for the rest of my life. The doctor has added vitamins and minerals to the iv's that really seemed to help more than the iron. I had extremely bad migraines. I read that low manganese can cause them, so after he added that, the headaches have almost completely gone.
In December I got iron, but had to go back because of low ferritin, in January. I went July 26 for more iron. The doctor doubled the dose and I got a call day before yesterday to go back for another double dose. I don't understand why it doesn't bring up the ferritin level!
Is there anyone dealing with something similar? I would like to hear from you. I feel like there isn't much hope out there for us.
Maggie, I don't know what I was doing before the ulcer blocked my stomach, but it perforated into the pancreas and I had emergency surgery. I spent 6 weeks in the hospital and 2 stomach surgeries. I don't remember being around any chemicals because I did not work at the time.
I do have problems with sugar and dairy products. I have hypoglycemia so I stay away from sugars and dairy products.
My kidneys are fine! (knock on wood) I have had part of my intestines removed, my appendix, and a hysterectomy. As my daughter says "mom is just a shell." My 31 year old daughter has been diagnosed with Crohn's, but I haven't. Wonder if there is a connection?
Thanks for the new insight.
I have pernicous anemia also, I had a gstric virus that destroyed my intrinsic factor so I have had to give myself shots every week for the last 7yrs. My hubby gives them in the arm and then I do the thighs to give my arms a break. at least I don't have iron poor blood also.
Crohn's is an intestinal disorder that causes diahrrea and the wall of the intestines have small ulcer like lesions. The stool is full of mucus and sometimes blood. She had to take stweroids for a long time but is in remission right now after she completely quit diary products.
I have used Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner for years and the Tub and Tile cleaner. The doctors just try to treat me for the symptoms of whatever is wrong and that is it. I have a hard time understanding how the stomach surgeries and intestinal surgery has to do with the blood and everything else going on. They have never said the Auto-Immune Hemolytic Anemia was caused by the surgeries.

Thanks again
Wow, I thought I was the only one in the world who had gastric bypass surgery and acute anemia! I think the doctors downplay this complication by saying you MAY have to take iron supplements. Heloooo, if we are not absorbing naturally occurring iron because of our digestive configuration, how the heck are we going to absorb the supplements??
I found out a year later that although my anemia readings weren't bad, it was the ferritin (stores) that are affected. A lot of doctors don't know this. So I got a referral to a hematologist and he said I needed an immediate iron infusion because my stores were almost empty! So, since 1999 (I had the bypass in 1998) until last year, I had to get an infusion every three months. I had heavy periods, and the doctor said I would need infusions at least every three months due to my blood loss, until menopause anyway.
My solution was to stop my periods (I'm 43) for now by using Depo-Provera. This really helped, and although I still have to be tested every three months, I'm now averaging infusions about every six months.
Goes to show, WLS doctors continually play down the important stuff. Oh, and I also take B-12 injections monthly.
Just my two cents...
I had a reux-in-Y 2 years ago and developed anemia, even though I took iron supplements. A nutritionist told me that I wasn't metabolizing the iron because I wasn't getting enough protein. I upped the protein and in no time had back my energy, my hair started getting fuller and stronger, everything. It's hard to get enough protein, you really have to pay attention anad work at it.
I am responding to the over all question about how the intrinsic factor effects the blood counts. The intrinsic factor allows the body to process b-12 which tells the body to take the iron and store it in the liver for future use if the diet becomes low in iron or needs more iron for some reason. Some times the body locks the stored iron up and it can not be used by the body. It is there and just can not be used. Other times, the body misses a signal and the iron is flushed out of the body with other wastes. When we are over weight because we over eat, we take in enough usable iron to get us by day by day. When resort to the gastric by pass or have to lose part of our stomach and intestines then we no longer take in enough dietary iron or we can not absorb what we take in for using to process oxygen and blood cells.
Now although I do believe there are environmental dangers out there ready to do major damage, I do not believe that every one who gets fatigue or has dietary deficiencies are being posioned by household products unless they are mixing them together and shooting them up in the form of crank. Then they are merely asking for trouble. I have seen the blood values of heavy duty illegal drug users and their blood counts are higher and stronger than mine and I do not use any drugs. By the way, I have gone through menopause, and now my hemoglobin is rising and staying put and my ferritin is now in normal range and I do not use iron supplements nor do I have to have IV injections or infusions. My body has learned to utilize what I get and is not dumping it anymore. The body is capable of being taught to function or adapt.
B12 deficiency is rather different from Iron deficiency and is treated differently.
Pernicious anemia is caused by a lack of intrinsic factor, a substance needed to absorb vitamin B12 from the gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin B12, in turn, is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. Anemia is a condition where red blood cells are not providing adequate oxygen to body tissues. There are many types and causes of anemia. Absence of intrinsic factor itself is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. Intrinsic factor is produced by cells within the stomach. In adults, the inability to make intrinsic factor can be the result of chronic gastritis or the result of surgery to remove the stomach. The onset of the disease is slow and may span decades. Vitamin B12 injections are the definitive treatment to correct the vitamin B12 deficiency, as it bypasses the stomach and goes directly into the tissues. This therapy corrects the anemia and may correct the neurological complications if given soon enough. Since about 1% of vitamin B12 is absorbed (even in the absence of intrinsic factor), some doctors recommend that patients with gastric atrophy take oral vitamin B12 supplements in addition to monthly injections.
Within the first week of my 1st iron infusion, I have gained about 7 pounds. I don't see that my diet has changed much from before the iron, and after. Also, my stomach area is bigger...feeling bloated (or similar feeling).

Did anyone else notice weight gain, and or bloating, after infusions, and if so, did it last long, or did it even out?

Thanks.
I am so pleased to find this thread. I had open RNY in June 2001. I have been suffering from low B12 since 2003 and was put on monthly B12 injections. In 2006, I started having vertigo and passed out at work. That was my first diagnosis of iron deficient anemia. I was sent to a hematologist and put on 10 weeks of IV iron. Then last August my Vitamin D came up low and I started having severe arm and leg pain. They said it's nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) from the micronutrient deficiencies and put me on anti-convulsants to control the pain. The pain just comes back every 8 weeks or so and they have to increase the meds. The latest round of bloodwork shows that, despite regular supplementation with Ferrous Gluconate plus Vit. C, my Ferritin level dropped from an 8 in August to a 4 last week and my B12 is at 324 (low normal) despite WEEKLY B12 shots for the past few months. The D is up, at least...

I'd love to hear tips from those of you who have been there. This pain I'm in is horrible. I'm only 29 and had no idea that I would be in for this world of torture when the doctor spent those 90 seconds explaining the vitamins I wouldn't be absorbing after surgery. He said, "Just take a multivitamin and some Tums and you'll be fine." Never even mentioned iron...





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