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I am a 45 yr old woman and I have recently been diagnosed with iron def anemia although I think I have had the problem for the last few years as I have been struggling with severe fatigue, weakness, rapid heart rate, dizziness, and shortness of breath for quite some time. It has gotten worse since now I am losing my hair, have itchy skin, sores that do not heal very fast, and some other irritating symptoms. My most recent blood test had the following out of range:

Hemoglobin 8.8
Hematocrit 27.7
MCV 70
MCH 22.2
MCHC 31.7
RDW 18.0
Platelets 471
Iron Bind 451
UIBC 420
Iron, Serum 31
Iron Sat 7
Ferritin 5

My WBC and RBC levels are within normal range along with my B12 and folate. I am currently under the care of a GI doctor for chronic gastritis, GERD, and I had 6 colon polyps removed (benign). My Dr. thinks I may be bleeding somewhere but to date, I have had an endoscopy, colonoscopy, and barium tests of both the large and small bowel and all tests have come back negative. She has now scheduled me for a endoscopy capsule test next week. It is an odd test because you swallow a capsule that has a very tiny camera in it. You wear a small machine around your waist and for 8 hours the camera takes pictures as it is traveling through your upper and lower GI tract. Not sure what the next step is if this test comes back negative. I know I cannot continue to live like this. Every day is a struggle, some days worse than others. My Dr. suggested I see my Gyn to rule out any female problems even though I have always been problem/symptom free in that area. So, I have an appt. with a Gyn next week also. questions are for anyone out there that may know:

1. If this GI doctor can't find the problem, is there another kind of specialist I should see?

2. Is it possible that a reason for my anemia may never be found?

3. Why would my platelet count be higher than normal if everything else is lower than normal? What relationship do platelets have with iron deficiency?

4. This is a weird question, I know...if camera's have been placed inside my upper and lower GI tract and no bleeds are detected, is it possible for an organ to bleed from the outside where a camera can't see? If so, is there another test that can show a bleed from anywhere in the body?

5. I am currently taking 80mg of Nexium per day for my Gerd. I read somewhere on the internet that high or prolonged doses of acid reducers/prohibitors can possibly affect your iron levels. Has anyone heard this and is it true?

Anyone out there that has some good insight into all of this....I would be eternally grateful if you could share your wealth of knowledge with me!

Thank you!
Even with taking iron supplements, you're not feeling any better? I don't know much about iron def., but I do know a little about B12 def. I've since learned (after going mis-diagnosed) that serum levels of B12 don't mean much, and the other usual "sign"--a high MCV can be masked by a co-occuring iron def. ALSO, it is known that acid-suppressors cause B12 to be malabsorbed, so regardless, in light of your long term Nexium usage, I'd be taking at least 1000 mcg daily of B12 (preferrably in the form of methylcobalamin if you can get it).

And while many things can cause the symptoms you mention, a deficiency in certain B vitamins can also be the cause......worth investigating.

Good luck to you.

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