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pcutil--Hello again! :wave:

Anemia is [B]ONLY[/B] a [U][B]symptom[/B][/U] not a disease in and of itself. It is telling you that something in your body is not working correctly. You have to find a cause. I was taught that it is not proper to begin iron supplements without first finding a cause for this. That is the first step, next would be to DX and eventually treat according to findings. Blood loss is the most common cause for IDA in women. [U]This is clearly not your case [/U]so it is important to begin looking for the culprit, there is one and you have to find it. It took me over a year to find mine. And I am still not so sure it is a definite cause, who knows? I have to remain on iron for the rest of my life, that is my prescription.

If you are seeing a PCP at this point I would highly recommend that you see a GI doc next. They are the profession that is experienced with types of malabsorption syndromes and other related issues to be ruled out at this time. There are many gastrointestinal conditions. We are just mentioning the most frequent that appear here on the boards. There are (AI's) autoimmune diseases and many things. There is no reason to wait 3 months in my opinion [U]being a male without known blood loss[/U]. Colonoscopy and endoscopy would rule out several things for you and should be one of the steps in diagnosis for you and even perhaps a small bowel study. No, you do not need to worry about colon cancer at this point. It is not just due to blood loss. There are many things that can and do go wrong within the GI tract. When going through these periods of not knowing, and uncertainty, the best practice that I have learned myself is NOT to worry UNTIL you have something to actually WORRY about. This is so true. It will save your sanity many times. So, don't worry about it. Just run tests and learn all that you can. Especially with a long history as you say. Hair loss can be due to many things; low ferritin and protein just to name a couple. However, there can be many causes for this.

Celiac is one of the first things too that should be ruled. Malabsorption is not uncommon in IDA because the iron is absorbed in the duodenum (1st segment of small intestine) and the upper part of the jejunum (2nd segment of small intestine), you should also have your Folic acid levels checked because they are also malabsorbed in Celiac and so is B12 but to a lesser extent. Whenever Anemia is present B-12 and Folate always need to be checked. Many doctors believe it or not, do not always run these tests which are a necessity. I didn't see that you have had these tested either! This is a must.[B] Even if you are not anemic [/B]at this point your ferritin is low for a reason.

You say you are physically active, are you overactive in sports? This can lead to a low ferritn. Use of certain drugs, i.e., advil can cause bleeding in the stomach too, if you use any of those. Any stomach problems?
None of us claim to be doctors, we are only able to give our personal experience and what we have learned from it. You need to consult a specialist to get proper diagnosis. I hope this has helped a little.

We are here for your support. Keep us posted. FLFG:)

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