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pcutil:
I think I agree with FLFG and would ask for the GI testing and additional bloodwork now before you start the supplements. In my case I tried to donate blood on July 2 and was turned away because of my blood levels and was given a note to bring to my PCP. Saw the PCP last week in July and he sent me to the GI who ordered the celiac blood test, had me do stool samples, did the c'scope and even a capsule endoscopy (I had to swallow a pill that had a camera in it which transmitted pictures for 8 hours to show what my small bowel looked like - it is not seen in the upper endoscopy or c'scope). Since they were all negative for bleeding and I am postmenopausal with no more periods and no bleeding of any kind, I was sent to a hematologist who drew lots of blood and then finally put me on the iron supplements on November 18 which I took until April because my ferritin increased.
I was lucky that I didn't have any really bad symptoms but can say that I did experience some minor ones - fatigue, some leg cramps more like a charleyhorse in my calves, a little hair loss but I have very thick hair so it is not noticeable to anyone only to me when I look at my hairbrush or the bathroom floor. Ironically I think I did feel better back in the spring and lately have been thinking that I was experiencing some return but I don't really know for sure.
So I guess I would urge you to follow up with your doctor.

Chicken09;
Don't be frightened about seeing the hematologist or having an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. You need answers to what is causing your blood to be so low. The only thing I would warn you about is that often the hematologist is also considered an oncologist and sees patients with cancer. Mine does and it was a little scary at the first visit because I didn't realize that. Not everyone with a blood disorder has a blood cancer so don't let your mind play tricks on you. You can scare yourself silly.
As for the scopes, within the last 5 years I have had 3 colonoscopies and 4 upper endoscopies. Neither is painful - you will be sedated for both and usually will not feel anything. For one of my endoscopies I was not totally out of it when they started and I remember feeling like I was gagging but that only happened once.
I can't help you about the transfusion but there have been a number of threads about them. try to do a search on this board.
Keep us posted on how everything goes.


FLFG:
of course I will post my test results! you can count on it. October 14 is my appointment and I am going to call the week before to ask if I can go in the day before to have my blood drawn so my results are there when I'm talking with the doctor. Makes no sense to me the way they do it - see the doctor w/o the results.

Best wishes to all!





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