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Hello to my new, anemic, cyber friends...so glad to have found you!

I am 51 and had a hysterectomy 9 years ago, so we know that my anemia is not due to that kind of bleeding. I have been feeling sick off and on for almost 2 years now, though with symptoms not due to anemia as well. Something else is going on, too...I have abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, low appetite (but not weight loss), and these weird "brain zaps," which feel like an electrical shock to my head and cut off my hearing for a sec.

I've had a colonoscopy, endoscopy, abdominal CT scan and a small bowel follow through (which involves drinking a disgusting amount of barium and then getting abdominal x-rays every 20 minutes until it passes through). On 6/19 I will be swallowing a pill camera, which takes 2 pictures per second as it passes through your system. Very high tech! Current theories for internal bleeding are either AVM in the small intestine (abnormal clusters of veins in the wall of the intestine that bleed slowly and cause anemia), Chron's or some other irritable bowel type of thing.

My GP has been ignoring my anemia for a year now, but I finally got a referral to a hematologist at my request. My numbers aren't good!

Iron 26 L (30-160)
Total Iron Binding Cap 408 normal
unsat. iron binding Cap 382 H (110-370)
% Saturation 6 L (15-50)
Ferritin 5 L (13-150)

RBC 3.95 L (4.00-5.20)
Hemoglobin 10.7 L (12-16)
Hematocrit 32.1 L (37-47)


There is a question in all this! The hematologist said "Whenever you get to single digit ferritin..." then kinda trailed off. Strangely, I'm to take a Flinstone vitamin w/iron (?!), will go back and see her after the results of the pill camera, on 7/1, have a blood draw an hour before the appt., and then most likely be set up for IV iron treatments.

I understand that ferritin is stored iron and that it gets depleted if you don't have enough iron in your blood. I don't understand why the ferritin is so low when the other numbers are not super low. I guess I don't quite get the relationship between low ferritin and anemia...:confused: Does it mean my other numbers are going to go down quickly and I'm going to feel worse?

I have many more questions, but I won't make this any longer. ;) Thanks in advance to anyone who can shed some light on this ferritin/anemia issue. Also, anyone else have AVM as a cause for their anemia?





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