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Avatar universal

Iron deficiency without know cause

I have had several tests to determine the cause of my low Iron and ferritin levels.  My ferritin has been a 2 for a few years.

I was heavily bleeding 18 mnths ago and the tests shown a very low iron of 8.9 and ferritin of 2.  Since then I have my bleeding under great control with birth control pills and choose to block my cycle every other month.  I had a hard time with the iron initially but began taking it more consistantly 4 months ago.  Was checkd last week.  My iron is now 10.2 but the ferritin is still 2.  My GYN suggested Thallasemia but the GI disagreed.  I had an upper and colon scope both came out good so Celiac was ruled out along with colon and stomach cancer.  I am going to swallow the camera pill this week.  What other possibilities are being overlooked?
3 Responses
1756321 tn?1547098925
Iron deficiency can be the result of numerous causes which includes:

* Inadequate iron intake

* Rapid periods of growth

* Heavy menstruation

* Pregnancy

* Frequent or excessive blood donations

* Surgery or accidents

* Medications that cause bleeding such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs)

* Bleeding due to conditions such as ulcers, haemorrhoids, hiatal hernias, colon polyp, colon cancer

* Hypochloridia (low stomach acid), achlorhydria (no stomach acid)

* Bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, Celiac disease

* Inherited disorders such as thalassaemia, sickle cell disease

* Autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica

* Infections such as malaria, septicaemia, tuberculosis, osteomyelitis, intestinal infections (hookworm and other parasites), chronic/recurrent urinary tract infections

* Bone marrow conditions such as aplastic anemia (bone marrow failure), leukemia

* Hormonal conditions such as hypothyroidism

* Uterine fibroids (growths in the uterus)

* Chronic conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS

* Kidney disease/failure (erythropoietin [EPO] stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells)

* Liver disorders such as hepatitis C

* Poisoning from lead, toxic chemicals, alcohol abuse

* Intestinal surgery such as gastric bypass

* Excessive exercise (iron is lost in sweat)

* Diets that do not include heme iron (the form of iron in red meat) which is absorbed more efficiently than non-heme iron found in plants and dietary supplements

* Low or deficient vitamin C, vitamin B12, folate or zinc (nutrients that facilitates sufficient non-heme iron absorption)

* Lack of intrinsic factor (a protein necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12)

* Consuming foods, substances or medications that interfere with the absorption of iron such as:

- taking antacids
- proton pump inhibitors  
- calcium supplements
- dairy products
- coffee
- tea
- chocolate
- eggs
- fiber
Avatar universal
Wow!  Thank you.  This is more info then I've found on any website.  I have just been diagnosed with Hiatal Hernia.  I don't eat much red meat.  Have a lactose intolerance so I stay away from many calcium rich foods.  I also have a bad back and do take a lot of ibuprophine but I would think the endoscopy would have revealed any damage.  I do get more then my share of UTIs and passed kidney stones last year.  could there be any connection there?  I'm pretty positive that I have IBS.  Didn't know that existed until recently.  Have just thought that I have a very sensitive stomach.  
1756321 tn?1547098925
I found those causes of iron deficiency from many websites and put them together (okay rheumatoid arthritis should not be listed twice lol).

The iron deficiency due to a hiatus hernia is from a cameron lesion located at the neck of a large hiatal hernia. Cameron lesions are seen in 5.2% with a hiatal hernia so it's not common but it is a noted cause of iron anaemia. Cameron lesions may be missed during a endoscopy though.  

I'm not sure of what tests you have had so far but non invasive tests include a fecal occult blood test (checking for bleeding in the GI tract) and testing the urine for blood or haemoglobin. An easy baking soda test to check for stomach acidity is something you can try out as well.  The info for that test is on another answer of mine....



"Is IBS Real?

In a study recently published in Medical Hypotheses (2011 76(1):97-99), Dr. Habba analyzed 575 patients presenting with previously diagnosed diarrhea predominant IBS (IBS-D). 303 patients completed all the testing and follow up necessary to be included in the results. The study concluded that 98% of these patients had conditions other than the previous diagnosis of IBS.

When these conditions were identified and appropriately treated, 98% of them improved as assessed by fewer than three bowel movements per day. Habba Syndrome constituted 41% of the patients studied, post-cholecystectomy diarrhea 23%, lactose intolerance 8%, microscopic/lymphocytic colitis 7%, celiac disease 4% and several other specific conditions comprised the balance.

This result is very encouraging and is in contrast with the results presently achieved by treating “IBS”. Physicians frequently fall short of “getting to the bottom” of the problem by tagging patients with “IBS”, a vague entity that merely describes their symptoms and usually results in a poor therapeutic outcome.

These findings lead to the theory concluding that there is no IBS-D. Patients need to be evaluated thoroughly until a true clinical entity is found and treated."


"The Cedars-Sinai researchers found that 78% of the IBS patients they tested had what they called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a condition in which excessive amounts of bacteria are present in the small intestine.

The researchers treated the patients who tested positive for SIBO with a 10-day course of antibiotics. Tests at the end of that time found that 25 of 47 patients had no bacterial overgrowth present, and that 12 of them had no IBS symptoms, while the symptoms were "significantly reduced" in the other 13."
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