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Iron Deficiency
4 Replies
JJ - February 6

I just visited my rheumatologist and found out that on my last visit (6 mos. ago) my blood was iron deficient (9.5) but the office did not alert me because it is "always low". Two years ago it dropped to 7.5 and I had to get an IV treatment of iron, so it alarmed me that I was not told it was dropping again. I had a blood sample taken yesterday, and do not yet have the results. I have developed, over the last month, an insatiable desire to chew ice which I have just discovered is a sign of anemia (strange, but true, look up "pica"). I am wondering if anemia is common with fibromyalgia since I seem to be having trouble keeping normal iron levels. I have a good diet and taking oral iron supplements does not seem to help. I also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and take Nexium, and I was also wondering if somehow neutralizing my stomache acid is not allowing absorption of iron.

 

Jean - January 5

Hello JJ: Well, you seem to know the problem areas so I would suggest talking to your doctor in referring you to an endocrinologist to see why this is happening. Fibromyalgia is a funny condition and it does affect many areas of the body, some more than others. Talk in depth with your doctor and see about getting more tests run to rule out other causes.

 

KimR - February 3

Ask your doctor to check your B12 levels. Somehow they are connected. I was low on iron a few years ago and took supplements. I was telling my fibor doc this and he asked if my GP tested for B12. I am not anemic now, but he said m y B12 was a bit on the lower side and I buy sublingual tablets at the drug store which he recommended.

 

JJ - February 6

I went to the hematologist on Friday for a 4-hour IV injection of iron. I found out that I had no iron in my blood (zero). The doc says it is probably due to the heartburn medicine. I have looked up possible side effects of Nexium and anemia is listed, although it is considered a rare side effect. The doc said that if my iron depletion were related to B-12 deficiency, then I would have enlarged red blood cells which i do not have. So, right now it sounds like my problem is not directly related to fibromyalgia (except that the gastric reflux disease, the reason I take Nexium can be one of the FMS symptoms).

 

JJ - February 6

By the way, the numbers I mention in my first posting were for hemoglobin, not iron, but hemoglobin is used as an indicator for iron deficiency.

 

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