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I am so glad to find this information! I had a GBP back in the 80's and due to my husband's job we have been transferred several times. I have actually been in good health other than severe migraines the last 15 years. In the last 16 months I guess..I started getting this "unearthly" tiredness...it is impossible to explain. I am 50 and I am a house wife but have always been productive...but I couldn't stay awake. Literally could not..have never been so exhausted, dead-tired..and felt so ashamed of it. There was not enough sleep or rest in the world to catch me up. I would lay down and fall dead asleep, dreaming...3-4 tmes a day. I hated to tell a doctor because I felt worthless! My nails were also funny...they had started growing curved and warped, and then a color change took place...a darker stripe across the top and pale at the bottom..hair was falling out. We had just moved again and I had to find a new Dr...who ran an assortment of blood work...all was fine except I am anemic, but it should not be so bad as to cause all this...it was just 8.5. Granted it used to be 16 but I would think this is not low enough to cause this degree of exhaustion. Then she checked Ferritin levels which were 11. So...I started taking Slow FE and immediately got some serious stomach pain along with bloating gas and running to the bathroom all day....I went thru hell with that...then I finally found out that Slow FE has Lactose in it..and it must be a good bit because it was worse than eating a bowl of ice cream. It took me a couple of weeks to get my stomach straight from that...meanwhile the Dr. made me an appt. with a gastrohepa something or another...and I got scared and cancelled it...I just know he would want to scope me and a) I know the anemia is from the gastric by pass b) I don't feel up to the scoping and c) I question if I will have insurance issues since I had a different insurer when I had the surgery and this insurer covers nothing to do with GBS...and they don't even know I had it..I prefer to KEEP it that way. I found some iron tablets that don't have lactose in it and I understand that absobtion is greatly improved if you take it in the presence of vitamin C...but these are hard on one's stomach as well...not nearly as bad as Slow FE was for me. I have read that Black Strap molasses is supposed to be pretty good too...but darn I hate to consume those calories. From every thing I have read it takes a long time to build up iron stores...I am so hopeful I will go through the change soon and maybe then it will resolve this issue for me. I do take B-12 shots at home...and I have had to argue THAT issue with every DR I have had even though I was told to take it for life by the Dr. who did the surgery...I just order it from Canada now. One important question I would like to ask you women whose levels are about the same as mine...has this caused you any issues as far as sex drive is concerned or is it just my age? It is as if there is no feeling or something....
That is a difficult issue to discuss with the Dr. as well. Unfortunately I can't take BCP to stop my periods because I had a blood clot during a pregnancy--so no hormones for me.
How long were you on iron before you started to feel better...I know that all of you have thought this very same thing...you can tolerate the stomach misery for a couple of weeks...maybe 6-8 if you know there is an end to the pain...but from what I have read about how long it takes...it is sounding like 2 years. (I have read some info at the Iron Disorder Center Research Web Site) I have to face my Doctor again on Friday and tell her I canceled that apt....I dread it so much. I honestly think I can get this thing licked with out going to a specialist...but I have to be able to tolerate those blasted tablets. I suppose I should just be thankful this is something that can be corrected with tablets and take them with a smile...but I am curious to know how long it will be until I feel a difference.





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