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Hello:

I have been anemic for several years now. I have tried several types of iron supplements, but nothing works. I also have an underactive thyroid, which I take Synthroid for. I also have a bad acid reflux. I have been on Nexium and Priolosec for more than 15 years.

Recently, I had an endoscopy and I found out that now I have esophagitis and gastritis. I also recently had a colonscopy to rule out internal bleeding, and thank God, I didn't have any. After all these years, I finally went to see a hematologist and he did thorough blood work on me. My Ferritin level is only 4! My iron level is only 12. My TIBC is 510, which is high. My iron saturation is 2, which is low. And, my unbound iron capacity is 498, which is high.

My doctor says to keep taking iron supplements, but I told him that I have tried everything and nothing is working for me. Because of my acid reflux, iron supplements bother me a lot. I asked him about iron infusions and he agreed to that. But, then I researched all about iron infusions and now I'm very scared about getting them because when I read about other people's stories, quite a few have had serious side effects. I'm a very anxious and nervous type of person. This coming Monday, I was supposed to go for my iron infusions, but I canceled the appointment. My folic acid and B12 are fine though I am very deficient in Vitamin D.

The question I have is: am I right in worrying so much about getting iron infusions? For no apparent reason, I've gotten severe hives twice in the past two years and then the doctors had to give me Prednisone. That's why I'm so worried - is it a good idea for me to get the iron infusions? I also have arthritis. If anyone has any other suggestions, can you please let me know? If anyone knows about good iron supplements, can you please let me know? By the way, I'm almost 50 going through menopause, heavy bleeding, severe hair loss even though my thyroids are under control, and fibroids.

Thank you so much.
rana7--Welcome to the board! Sorry that you are going through this too. Many of the people on this board are still trying to find out what and why. But we can help you a little and give support when needed.

What I can tell you is that this was also my experience. I was scheduled for IV iron but I was so ill when I got there and my hgb was responding, not well at all. The Hematologist said since you are absorbing, no IV. I had a 2 ferritin and 8.5 Hgb. I don't think you said what your hgb was. Your Iron stats are very low especially your sat%. I am also Hypo-T and have taken PPI's for 8 yrs. Many of us have these things in common as well, interesting isn't it? Anyway, IV iron is not without risk and this was pointed out to me by two of my doctors, so I remain scared of IV. It IS a last resort effort and thank goodness we have options when necessary. I also tried irons that didn't work well for me but I was absorbing it. I am not sure what type, how much iron you were able to take, and how long, but all of these factors make a great difference in the outcome of oral iron therapy. At one point it took me 7 months to become non anemic because I was unable to take the proper amount of iron due to the fact I was still so ill from the first one I tried. Crazzzy, isn't it. There are many types of prescription strength iron and if not already, I would try a couple of those before I called it quits on oral iron. There are many different types of iron some for people that have a lack of Intrinsic factor in them to help with breaking down the iron to be absorbed and others have Vitamin C to aid in absorption. I would discuss this at great lengths with your Hematologist. I was prescribed Poly Iron 150 elemental iron, made for people that have to take iron on a long term basis and have GI upset. It is polysaccharide, NOT iron salts which is what is probably bothering you. I can even take it on am empty stomach which is required to get the maximum benefit. And for me there is no constipation which usually is my problem due to my thyroid. My B-12 and Folate were also normal high.

With gastritis you can have bleeding and if you have fibroids causing heavy bleeding or anything, these things have to be fixed before anything at all is going to work for you. I wasn't sure from your post if these were factors or not at this time. I also had an ablation to stop my heavy bleeding and it worked but I still have a 41 ferritin and they say it's malabsorption from Nexium a year and 1/2 later. I hope I answered your questions. Don't hesitate to ask anything here. Good luck to you and keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL:)





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