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summer

Update on blood tests!

6 posts in this topic

I have just come back from the local Doctors, and had some blood tests taken, as I am having a very salty taste in my mouth. My doctor mentioned that my Iron level storage is very low, I am on the border of being anemic.

 

I have just read Janey's response, to the post about Iron levels, that was somewhat helpful. Now I know why my fatigue has been terrible, and need to rest quite often, throughout the day.

 

I am not able to see my Gastro doctor until November, and I have not had a Gastroscopy/Colonoscopy since last year. My local doctor asked whether I have dark stools, and I said no. She seems to think that I maybe bleeding somewhere internally. I eat eggs everyday and meat 3 times a week, so I am not sure why my iron levels are so low.

 

I am wondering whether anyone can share any personal experiences about low iron levels and Scleroderma.

 

Best wishes

 

Summer :thank-you:

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Summer,

I don't have dark stools either and my rheumatologist and GI thought I might be bleeding internally as well. Thank goodness my test didn't show that. A couple of comments from my doctors that might help - my rheumatologist has me taking 500 mg of Vitamin C with the iron because the prevacid rids my stomach of acid and iron is absorbed best in an acidic environment. I try to put at least 2 hours between the prevacid and iron/Vit c combo and an hour between iron and any of my medications. Iron can inhibit the absorption of other meds. The second thing is that scleroderma can cause malabsorption which can prevent the iron from being absorbed. SO many things! What to do, what to do! :emoticon-bang-head:

 

I hope you have good results if you start taking iron!


Janey Willis

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster

(Retired) ISN News Director

(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Thanks Janey, Could you please tell me what Prevacid is used for?.

Also, I thought that Scleroderma patients, were not able to use Vitamin C tablets, as it would make the immune system stronger. And therefore, would attack our bodies further.

 

I have recently, had a course of antibiotics,in case I had bacteria overgrowth, and also have began to take laxatives, every 3 days.

I mentioned the laxative to my local Dr, but she didn't seem to think that laxatives would cause my storage levels of iron to be depleted.

 

Many thanks

 

Summer

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Hi Janey,

 

I am wondering if you have malabsorption problems, is this when you can have bacteria overgrowth?

 

Many thanks,

 

Summer :flowers:

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Hi Summer. It was iron deficiency anemia that led to my diagnosis of systemic sclerosis. Routine blood tests in conjunction with my annual physical showed that I was severely anemic, which led to an endoscopy and colonoscopy. The colonoscopy results were fine but the endoscopy revealed "watermelon stomach" (more properly called gastric antral vascular ectasia, or GAVE). That, combined with Raynaud's, led to an ANA test, which was positive and a subsequent visit to a rheumatologist, who gave me the Ssc diagnosis.

 

Could you have GAVE? Just a thought.

 

Judith

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Summer,

Prevacid is my heartburn medication (a little stronger than Prilosec). I've been taking heartburn medication for 7 years, so my tummy stays pretty deleted of natural acids. On the vitamin C thing, I wondered about that myself. Ever since diagnosis, I have avoided the Vitamin C because of its characteristic of strengthening the immune system - something we don't really want. So, in being honest (of course I won't tell my doctor this :)), I'll take my iron when I eat something that is naturally high in vitamin C - like strawberries, or tomatoes. I'll only take the 500 mg supplement if I haven't eaten anything acidic.

 

In reference to malabsorption, my GI doctor says that may be the cause of my problem as well as leaky veins. I do not have bacterial overgrowth, but the GI guy said that because scleroderma is a fibrosing disease, I may have mild fibrosis in the stomach and intestine preventing the iron absorption. At this point, we don't know for sure, but since the iron supplement has brought up my iron levels, we're just hanging in there for now. I sure feel better and that's what I care about.

 

I sure hope you find something out, but more importantly, I hope you find a good and easy solution. Keep us inform Darlin.


Janey Willis

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster

(Retired) ISN News Director

(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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