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I apologize if I'm posting this in the wrong forum but am seeking advice on what could be causing my severe iron deficiency anemia. I am a 28 year old female and have had low iron for a couple of years along with GI stress. About two years ago I experienced IBS symptoms after months of severe anxiety. My anxiety is more under control now but my stomach ailments are still terrible. I have severe fullness/bloating and gas after eating, hard stools and sometimes diarrhea or mushy stools (sorry for details). I have pressure and pain in my upper stomach and sensitivity/stomach cramps through out the rest of my abdomen. Anyway getting back to the iron deficiency, like I said it's been low for a few years but current labs show total iron is 15, ferritin 2.4, Iron binding capacity total 413, percent iron saturation 5, iron binding capacity unbound 395. I am very weak and tired all the time, have muscle aches everywhere, and am dizzy and out of breath from something simple like holding my phone or getting up from a sitting position. I have been on iron supplements for months but my iron and especially ferritin levels keep dropping. I don't think my body can't or won't absorb iron and need to know what could cause this? I have IBS like symptoms and my stomach hurts, feeling of fullness after eating, and have lots of gas and cannot digest food well. I am at my wits end and have had every blood test out there. I know I need an upper endoscopy (again) and colonoscopy but before I put my body through those torturous things I would just like some ideas as to what causes iron malabsorption or what my condition in particular could indicate? I eat a plant based healthy diet and take my supplements to no avail. My sed rate was also 23, not too high but high nonetheless. My b12 was 600 which I was told is normal but my serum folate was very high at 29.4. My WBC is 4.0, RBC normal, HGB 11.0, HCT 34.7, MCV 74.0, MCH 23.5, MCHC 31.7, and RDW 16.6 which is high. Please reply if anyone has any ideas or suggestions for me. Thanks!
[QUOTE=kalouise;5309044]Wow, I hope I don't get banned. I had to cancel twice already due to bad headaches which get horrible if I don't eat. I am determined to do this next week because I have got to get to the bottom (no pun intended!) of this! I have been seeing so mucus in my stool, so I really need to buck up and get it done.
I really don't think the amount of iron you are taking will help get your iron up, sorry to say. Some preparations are much gentler on your tummy. With even normal menstruation, at such a low level you are not going to get it up with less than daily % (for someone with normal ferritin levels). I have tried feosol gentle iron. It is carbonyl iron and is only digested as your stomach acid becomes available so it isn't absorbed all at once like other formulations and is therefore much easier. My stomach was bloated and rough for the first few weeks I took iron but now, it doesn't bother me at all. And I will take a little upset over feeling like death any day! Try florastor or similar product for a probiotic. I feel some probiotics are rough on the stomach but I think its an initial problem that will go away after taking them for a bit. Florastor has the same bacteria that is found in kombucha, so it works differently. I found it to be very gentle and taking it along with the other probiotics helped.
I hope you get some answers and start to feel better. I know its hard but try to get that colonoscopy! I will let you know how mine goes! The worst is the prep! It will at least give you peace of mind that something serious isn't going on![/QUOTE]

Yes the prep is what terrifies me about the colonoscopy the most! I know it must be done though, I've heard of other problems that could cause all of this too. I've had to do my own research quite extensively to try to find answers as doctors don't seem to have any. I've read a lot about low stomach acid and am convinced this could be a likely cause along with SIBO. I have brought this up to my doctor and she agreed that all symptoms were there. Last year I was also diagnosed with PCOS after having many many many painful periods for the past 7 or 8 years. Doctors have also suspected that my menses mighty be he cause of the low iron but I don't really think so, but I guess it is possible. I know its bad to google health issues but sometimes I feel as if I am my own doctor lol. What really matters is I know how bad I feel, they do not. Thank you for the suggestions with the probiotics and iron. I have heard of both and may just have to purchase these. :)

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