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Hello and Welcome although I'm sorry that you have had to join us. It is a little unusual for a young male to be diagnosed with IDA so it is good that your doctor is scheduling the colonoscopy. If your ferritin and iron are low it can mean that you are losing blood somewhere through internal bleeding so that is what he wants to check out. You have to find out whay your levels are low. Do you donate blood on a regular basis? Another problem for the IDA is celiac - have they done a celiac blood test on you? you should ask for one. by any chance do you take a PPI? you know like Nexium or Prilosec? it is possible to have malabsorption due to PPI's. Do you know if they tested your B12 levels? that is important to know.

Don't be afraid of the c'scope - it is really not that bad. The prep is not pleasant the day before but the actual procedure will be done while you are sedated (be sure to tell the GI doc that you don't want to be awake) and you will not feel a thing. As soon as I was diagnosed with IDA I was sent for a c'scope even though I had one just 18 months prior. They may also want to do an upper endoscopy to see if there is any bleeding in the stomach. the c'scope doesn't see the stomach.

It is very possible to have low ferritin and iron yet have normal hemotocrit and hemoglobin levels. You are considered clinically anemic when one of the three Hgb, Hct or RBC fall below range. My numbers were similar: ferritin was a 5 and iron was 25, saturation was 5 but H & H were okay.

After the scopes showed no bleeding, they started me on iron supplements: Poly Iron 150 mg tabs two times a day for a total of 300 mg a day. I took them for 5 months from November to April. Since my Ferritin rose to 40 and Iron improved to 55 the Doc said stop the supplements and come back to see me in 6 months. My %Saturation only went to 16 which is up but still not normal but she's the doctor not me. I'm a little concerned obviously because it did not improve and my ferritin is not really that good. According to many of the gals here they say it needs to be well over 50.

Wish you the best - keep asking questions here and at the doctor's office. You need to stay on top of your health and be sure to get copies of all blood tests and reports from procedures like the scopes. It sounds like your doc is on top of things but you can never count on anyone but yourself so you ned to be your own advocate.

Hopefully some of the "experts" will chime in with some advice for you. I'm laearning as I go along.
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.

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.

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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