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Re: Mild anemia
May 15, 2005
I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia in late March. I had gone to give blood and was turned down because my hematocrit was 34( has to be at least 38).
I went to my doctor who had more bloodwork done....hematorcrit was 32
( two days after bloodmobile test) and hemoglobin was 10.2.

I did the hemocult stool test....neg.
More clinic bloodwork a week after the other showed my hemoglobin was at 11....after being on iron pills for that period. My ferritin level ( iron stores in body) was 6. Dr. said I needed colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy to check for bleeding and polyps. They do that if iron deficiency anemia has an unknown etiology.
I am 51 and pre menopausal yet. I had been on ibuprofen off and on over the last 9 months for pain, from a breast biopsy, car accident where I was rear ended at a stop and carpel tunnel surgery. I also had given blood in Nov and january.
I've lost 20 pounds( because of ibuprofen mainly) since Sept 04 and am exercising at least 3 days a week as well as having some strenous exercise with my farm chores. ( I read on a website that women that exercise at least 3 hours a week need more iron)
I had a really heavy period at the end of Dec and a uterine biopsy in early Jan., which is recorded on my medical record sheet. I didnt' think I needed the GI tests, but did them anyway. Neg. for bleeding and anything else there....but I did get a nasty sore throat and cold 5 days later which lasted almost a month....antibiotics were needed. Do they interfere with iron absorption? Surgeon asked if I ate red meat....I do. I don't drink alcohol.

Looking back, symptoms were fatigue ( I thought I had gotten out of shape the month of Feb. because of carpel tunnel recovery and not doing farm I can get that out of shape that fast.
I had shortness of breath on exertion and sometimes just walking.
I had restless leg syndrome at night and if I was sitting and reading or watching tv. I had dark circles under my eyes.....but my face still had pink areas on cheeks, so I wasn't really pale. Nail beds were light or sometimes bluish...I thought it was because of the cold.
I go back for blood tests May 31 to see if iron pills are bringing levels up enough.

I've had a heck of a time trying to limit eating of certain foods that might inhibit absorption of iron. Calcium for one. I get calcium ...milk and yoghurt in morning a few hours ahead of taking iron pills with orange juice and water.
I've limited coffee to zero on some days...have only one cup on others...and I love coffee. I have always eaten spinach, nuts, peas and beans, oysters, raisins, red meat, chicken, seafood and eggs and whole grain breads..all of which are supposed to have iron in them. I cook a lot in an iron skillet. I'm trying to eat a fruit when eating things like spinach and beans and peas.
I take the other iron pill half hour before bed.

I still feel somewhat out of breath when exerting, but not like before. Restless leg syndrome is gone.

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