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Low Low Low
Jan 17, 2013
I had gastric bypass in 2004 and a revision/hernia repair in 2010. I have battled anemia since my initial bypass.

However my primary ordered labs and just recently got them back within the last few weeks. She called concerned bc my ferritin was a "4" and she stated that it should at least be "45". She also indicated that my hematocrit and hemoglobin were both low as well.

Throughout even pregnancies, my numbers have never been this low.

She has thrown a few things around like an iron transfusion to sending me to a hematologist. However instead she started me on ion pills 3x a day, and to come back into her office in 2 weeks ( which will be Tuesday )...and get my "finger pricked" and recheck things in the office.

Since then I have seen my gynecologist for my annual exam. I forwarded the labs to her. We ruled out heavy menstration as a source of the blood loss, but she gave me a lab slip and said that I should get a stool sample checked. She talked and talked about how I should not just take tons more iron to get the numbers up.....bc all that is doing is masking the initial problem vs treating the cause of everything. She's thinking we should start ruling out the GI and then go to bone marrow?
She gave me the lab slip and wants me to continue my treatment with my primary so it's all under one roof ....but to push to have the testing done. I could get the stool sample testing done and have the results sent to my primary by my appointment Tuesday so that's one more thing ruled out possibly.

What do you all think?
Has anyone else had the low iron mixed with low red blood cells? She indicated that the count is low but also the size of the red blood cells are on the smaller side as well...........

My symptoms include fatigue constantly, freezing feet all the time, headaches, bruise a lot, dizziness when getting up or down a lot...I can't even drive more than a 20 min distance by myself bc ill get so sleepy and fall asleep or have to pull over.

I'm only 36.
Re: Low Low Low
Jan 18, 2013
Oh, one more thing... the reason us bypass peeps have trouble with iron post-bypass isn't necessarily due to the food we eat or don't eat, but due to the bypass of the duodenum which is the primary absorption site for iron in the intestine. The remaining intestine can absorb some iron... some of us just do it better than others. More studies are showing that more and more bypass patients experience anemia to some extent, and obviously it's usually the women who still menstruate who seem to suffer the most.

Many docs will try to get you to eat handfuls of various types of iron supplements and the bottomline is that you can take as much orally as you want, but when only a tiny fraction of what you consume is actually being absorb/utilized, it becomes a losing battle. Add to that the fact that many oral iron supplements cause major gastric distress in high amounts (thank goodness for carbonyl and heme iron supplements, though!), and that seems an unworkable solution.

All the research I've read in addition to the countless discussions I've had now with my hematologist bring me back to one conclusion... must infuse iron to try to get back to near-normal state, then do oral supplements as long as possible until other options are again required.

Hang in there... I'm in the midst of it still too (this dizziness and coldness SUCKS!), but hope all I've been told is the truth! It WILL GET BETTER!!

- tori

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