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newinnj--Welcome to the boards! :wave:

herekittykitty is right, I couldn't agree more. Many people come here to the boards thinking the worst, it's a common response. Whenever there is anemia in women, the most common reason is blood loss, through heavy monthly periods. Age is also a major factor here as far as colonoscopy goes. Different test required for different ages. However, when it comes to blood loss it is prudent to be sure that there are no other "hidden factors" and you want to rule it out as a ~potential problem~ that may be [B]missed[/B]. That's all. When you have a colonoscopy you also want to have the endoscopy (I think susieq14 said this too in another post ;)) at the same time it is only 10 more minutes as far as the procedure goes. Some doctors don't do this (believe it or not) at the same time but you need to rule out these conditions also as much as the colon, I always say that looking at just the colon is like having half a mammogram, so it is necessary too. It is unfortunate that some doctors do one procedure :nono:at a time and the patient unaware elects to do this.

Many people also are looking for one reason as a cause for their anemia when actually there can many times be more than one cause or several. In my case I was a little more like you. I never ever ate breakfast, I didn't take vitamins :eek:, drank tea, tea, tea, :D, had heavy periods and this went on for years. In addition for me I also take a PPI (was Nexium) and I took that 1 hour before my main meal every night. Your stomach needs acid to break down the iron to be absorbed and I had very little. Now I take my PPI way after dinner to absorb as much as possible, don't know if it helps or not :dizzy: but it's a try. I also don't drink tea around supplement time or with iron source foods. I don't eat red meat either. So, you can see how this stuff happens. I think it's equally as important to see your GYN too, I opted for an endometrial ablation because I was told by the Hematologsit that I had to or have blood transfusions. At the time of my procedure they found 7 polyps that were missed on the US and they were removed and thought at that time to be a major contributing factor for my anemia. I had a 8.5 Hgb and 2 ferritin. Did you say what your ferritin is? If it makes you feel any better, my PCP told me that because my numbers were so low, (as yours are) that with that amount of blood loss you would have known it. I think thats about equivalent to 2 pints low on blood, I don't remember exactly, ask your doctor. But it all makes sense. You have multiple reasons as a major cause for your low numbers. It can take years to deplete the ferritin (total iron body stores) before anemia shows up which is the final, end stage of the ferritin store.

Have you also had your B-12 and folate checked? This is also a common deficiency that can happen (among other things) and should always be checked when anemia is present.

I truly hope that you are doing a little better now after reading these posts. Know that anxiety is very common related to low ferritin/low iron. Maybe you are experiencing a little of this too which doesn't help matters, it is a usual symptom just to let you know. Feel better soon!
Sending in angels :angel::angel::angel::angel: FLFG
Thank you to everyone for your thorough and kind responses (and warm welcome)! I was absolutely paralyzed all day Sunday thinking I was walking around with a giant tumor in my colon. You have all made me feel much more at ease, although I am a worrier by nature and will worry til the tests come back clean.

I will get my lab results (latest ones) from my primary and post them when I do.

I have an OB-GYN appt, on Wed. to discuss periods and anemia and possibly have a US.

I have an initial consult with the GI on Thurs. although they made it sounds like the wait for the colonoscopy would be awhile. The doctor my primary initially recommended wouldn't see me until July 28 (!) but I refused to wait that long.

I will keep you posted but I just want to say again how much of a life line finding this board is/was. I will try to stay off the ledge and stop reading so much about colon cancer until I know more.

If any members on here were diagnosed w/anemia primarily due to heavy periods, I'd love to hear from you. My OB nurse on the phone sounded surprised I'd be coming in with anemia, but I'm thinking the docs must actually see it quite often.

Have a wonderful evening.

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