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First, thanks again to those of you who responded! I believe what you're saying about the Nexium but for some reason can NOT get my gastro doc to buy into it. I asked him if I could try reducing my Nexium to one pill every other day to see if that would help with my ferritin levels and he didn't have a problem with that, so I'm going to try that and see what happens when I get my bloodwork done again at the end of April.

I told him that I am taking my iron pills with orange juice and he said with the Bifera tablets, it probably doesn't matter if I do that or not because of the way these pills work. This is what I've found out about Bifera (copied and pasted info from their site):

[I]Unlike all other over-the-counter iron supplements that only include non-heme iron, Bifera includes heme iron, the natural carrier of iron found in red meat. Recent studies show the heme iron found in Bifera offers 25 times greater absorption than other iron supplements. Due to its highly-efficient absorption, heme iron is generally free of the side-effects, including stomach irritation and constipation, commonly found with conventional iron supplement products. As a result, the iron supplement Bifera can be taken with or without food and does not need to be taken with Vitamin C.[/I]

Also says that it has 25 times greater absorption than other over the counter iron supplements, potentially as effective as intravenous iron. (But that this statement hasn't been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. I got this info from a flyer from the doctor.

NOW....with that info, doesn't it seem like my iron and ferritin levels would soar after taking 2 of these pills daily for a month and then 3 pills daily for the next month? Again, my iron went from 11.4 to a 28 (I thought it was 29 as I reported earlier) and my ferritin levels only went from 3 to 6.1. Did it take awhile for all of you to have your iron and ferritin levels reach normal levels? I AM concerned about this, but all the gastro tests I've had come back normal (for which I'm TRULY thankful, but still don't know why my levels are not good). I guess I'm especially concerned with my ferritin levels since I now can see that my hair is MUCH thinner that it used to be and as a woman, I want to keep the hair I have!! :D And then of course my energy levels are low, and I don't want to be like this.

Also, does anyone have any ideas on where else I could be bleeding that they haven't checked? Do you think I should go see a hematologist to get to the bottom of this or should I just listen to my doctor and not worry about it? I am so confused!!!

Again, thanks in advance for any info you give me. You don't know how much it means to me!!

-Wendy

PS: Sue, are we still very similar in our experiences with what I've typed above? If we are, it's nice to know that there is someone else out there like me! :)
Well, I got the phone call from the doc's office yesterday. Ferritin levels have dropped AGAIN, so they're going to start me on Venofer IV infusions. Once a week for 5 weeks. Anyone out there had good results with this type of infusion raising the ferritin levels quickly?

I'm hoping that with the switch to Zantac (from Nexium), taking 1000mg of B12 daily, a multi vitamin and Vitamin D AND these new iron infusions that this will conquer my iron deficiency anemia. Has anyone out there ever gotten rid of anemia once and for all??? If so, does it take YEARS for everything to go back to normal? I'm beginning to think this is starting to take over my life! I'm freezing, have no energy and think about sleeping ALL the time, but I never do... Too much to do.

Also, are there any strange side effects I should expect from these types of infusions? Guess I'd better get reading the boards again.
Well, I've had my 2nd round (week of) Venofer IV infusions and have had no side effects! I have noticed that I'm not freezing all the time, too! I honestly haven't sweated in years (because I was always so cold) and I've been hot and actually sweated at times! I can't believe it!! I am praying that between the switch to Zantac and the IV iron, my iron and iron stores (ferritin) will put me back at normal levels and I can get on with my life (even it it includes sweating!). LOL!

I will keep you posted on how it goes once I'm done with the IV iron. I have three more weeks of them, then wait 6 weeks before I see the doctor and give blood again before they check where everything is at. I'm believing that I'm going to be back to "normal".

Thanks to all who have read and commented on my situation. You have all been so wonderful!

-Wendy





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