Hello. I had uterine polyps from April – end of August causing spotting and when I had my periods they were pretty heavy. I have tested for low iron the first time in my life this past October. My GP wanted me to take an iron pill for six weeks and re-test. My GYN appt ran the blood as part of a recent check up and they want to run a colonoscopy. And of course I got concerned about colon cancer. Does anyone have any insight into this? And what else could cause iron deficiency besides and issue with the colon? I’m 41.
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@emfish18 Years ago had iron deficiency and took iron pills for short period of time but due to constipation so stopped pills. Have managed it with food such as fresh spinach and salmon with no side effects.
@emfish18, @marjou, and all…I'm 75 and have iron deficiency diagnosed after a sleep study for obstructive sleep apnea a couple of years ago. During the overnight sleep study, I was diagnosed with Restless Leg Syndrome. Apparently, that is often caused by low iron absorption. So, Mayo tested my ferritin, the protein that delivers iron through the blood to organs. It was extremely low.
When I was younger, in my 20-30s, I had low blood iron tests and took iron supplements. I had lots of nausea and didn't do well on the supplements. But, I now think this may have been an issue for decades that went undiagnosed, behind many of my quality of life issues.
The sleep doctor began me taking Vitron C, an OTC supplement. It has C included which aids in absorption and reduces side effects. I took it for a year, 1X daily, with some constipation but handled it for the year. My ferritin level increased but not enough, so I had 2 IV iron infusions that were a gift from above.
My life improved in so many ways. Thank you Mayo and God for this help. Now, I'm testing low again, so heading for 2 more infusions. That's fine. If needed, I'll have them every few months and be thankful.
I tell you this to help you realize the importance of iron for the organs to function AND that there may be many reasons for low iron tests-bleeding from somewhere, poor absorption by your intestines, or others. If your GYN is concerned about your colon possibly bleeding, ask questions.
You are your own best advocate. Be sure you ask your doctor every question you have and wait for an answer. They may suspect bleeding, possibly from a stool test or whatever. But, be sure you find the reason for the colonoscopy.
They aren't fun, and the prep is horrid, but the test is a good one we need every few years beginning at or close to your age. Not needed now usually but every 3 years since if they find polyps and remove them, it will take 3 years to grow another one that's big enough to need to be removed, at least this is what I've just been told by the doctor. This is new information.
I've had multiple large pre-cancerous polyps removed during several colonoscopic procedures. Thankfully. They were removed prior to development into cancer. That's the point. Those procedures saved my life.
I, as an older woman who had a hysterectomy at 35 and is thrilled to be alive, suggest you talk turkey with your doctors and get the facts and their thinking. Then, you can make a logical, informed decision. But, remember, a colonoscopy can save your life. And, they're in your future anyway.
Be blessed in your journey. Elizabeth
I have suffered with low iron most life. In 20s and 30s it was because of heavy menstrual cycle. Later in life I had surgery on stomach / small intestine , now it due to malabsorption and not getting enough protein.
Low iron can be caused by bleeding in you GI system. I have had colonoscope and endoscopies to rule out bleeding in GI track.
I try to maintain with healthy diet, increasing protein and taking supplements. Talked to dietitian today and she recommended protein shakes. I have used in past, and might start using again.
I am 65 and have dealt with low ferritin levels in the recent past. I used to give blood on a regular basis. I too had iron IV infusions, five in total. My ferritin levels are still good two years later.
@emfish18 Hello 👋🏻 from Kissimmee! Excuse the lengthy comments I tried to set the context.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Hopefully you get your answers soon and everything goes well for you. 🌼
I had been having lots of symptoms (on my other discussion about diagnosis I did a list of symptoms) multiple visits to hospitals I’m so ill now. I have history of neuroendocrine rectal cancer NED on 2019.
I can relate to the most part to your journey. I was/am iron deficient for months but my hemoglobin was high or normal ranges so no investigation was done even with history of unexplained hemorrhagic gastritis on February + high tumor markers (CA 19.9, Chromogranin A, etc). I had massive changes on my cycles and bladder issues. Finding on PET scan from March showed uptake on uterus+ “physiological uptake” all small/big bowels and the MRE shows the size of a fibroid. My local OBGYN March did a TUS to check stating the best way was the US for fibroids, it wasn’t visualized so no help there and just changed OBGYN. The urologist also suggested laparoscopic exploration since he found spots he suspected is endometriosis. My recent follow up colonoscopy showed lymphocytic aggragates and edema but they say it’s normal. On bone scan of September I had new degenerative changes but still no biopsy or further investigation.
I’m in need of infusions but locally it’s been a nightmare… my mom had to send me PR 🏝️ made supplements that aren’t pills cuz my GI issues are so bad and it’s being attributed to my POTS Dysautonomia, HSD, Fibromyalgia and diet… none sense honestly.
I took an independent genetic testing and I have a gene that’s related to fetal hemoglobin, androgenic alopecia, MTHFR, higher than average risk of melanoma, breast, and colon cancer. Just found a Pineal gland cyst that wasn’t there on my 4 previous MRIs of brain. I dunno what all this could be playing but I’m going to discuss this with the team. I don’t mean to over concern you with all this honestly it’s just my personal experience. There’s also a common link with mal absorption and some times it could be managed even reversed but it’s very important to know the root. I do hope they get your answers as soon as possible sending best vibes/prayers for you 🙏🏻🌼
I was trying to see what can help my iron levels, like supplementation since the locals are making it so hard for me. Had anyone used vitamin C to aid the process of absorbing the iron? I found some research on this but I would like to know peoples experiences.
Thanks again for sharing 🙏🏻 Blessings of healing always for everyone ❤️🩹🌼🤲🏻
@lidiana and all…I just read your message and wonder at all that's happening at what appears to be a young age. I've had iron issues for most of my adult life. I'm 75 now and just had 1 iron infusion last Wednesday with the 2nd this Wednesday. I'm thrilled.
My iron is tested regularly by my sleep doctor as a very low ferritin level was first discovered last year by her testing due to severe restless leg syndrome, severe fatigue, and lots of other symptoms for years. It seems RLS is often a symptom of low ferritin levels.
FYI: my hemoglobin numbers are and always have been normal, even good. My ferritin level, the level of a protein that transports iron to the blood and organs, was 15 last year. I think that's the first test for ferritin I'd ever had. It appears my intestines don't absorb properly, as I have low D and B levels as well.
Yes, I take Vitron C, iron supplement plus C over the counter. 1 daily. That was prescribed immediately last year by my sleep doc. I brought the ferritin level up to 27 after a year of taking it. RLS needs the ferritin level to be as close to 100 as possible. Over 100 would be wonderful.
Last month, after a lot of crazy issues with my PCP and the medical system he's with, I finally sent a portal message to my sleep doc with the results of the other medical system tests. My hemoglobin was fine so the PCP didn't want to consider any issue possibility with iron. Little does he know about this and me…
My Mayo sleep doc had a ferritin test at Mayo and results showed a level of 57, from a high last year of 99. Not good. I was having all the symptoms of severe RLS and increased sleep interruptions, increased leg/ankle/foot pain, increased hand/wrist pain, extreme fatigue worsening again, overall feeling horrid. I knew I was anemic, but couldn't get the PCP to pay attention to the correct test levels.
So, the Mayo sleep doc ordered 2 infusions of ferrous oxide. After the 2 I had last year, I was a completely different person, with boundless…for me…energy, a positive outlook. A feeling of a new life I thought wasn't possible. Well, it was. It was wonderful for months until the symptoms began returning and I went downhill pretty fast.
I give myself B12 shots 2X monthly for decades due to poor absorption. Take B-Complex, CentrumSilver for Women, Zinc, D3, magnesium, and other supplements. I also continue 1 daily VitronC Now, my PCP has ok'd a B12 shot weekly. I'm thrilled!
After this Wed and the 2nd infusion, I'm hopeful I"ll see a good uptick in energy and all the other good things proper iron in the body produces. I'm already sleeping better re the RLS and foot/leg pain. It's lessened in the last couple of days. I am still quite weak, having issues with fatigue and dizziness/fainting on changing positions. Oh, my hair was falling out. Hope that improves in the next few weeks!
Once again, I remind each of you to be your own advocate re your health care. Be persistent. Ask reasonable questions and wait for the answers. Be strong standing up for your health and well-being, but not to the point of being obnoxious or becoming obsessed with your body issues. It's a fine line we in poor health or with unusual issues must find for ourselves as we walk this journey. We must be good advocates for ourselves, but not become obsessive about health issues or diagnosing our own symptoms. Fine line but we can achieve this if we continue to share and help one another. And, please don't forget to accept your body, and your health as it is. We must fight until we get good, reasonable diagnoses, but then accept the issue and move forward to help deal with it best as we can. Once you get a good doctor who gives you good diagnosis, you can work together to improve your daily life by accepting the facts of your health limitations.
What a relief that is to move forward. I hope you find your answers, get the treatments you need and your health journey takes on new light and joy. With the acceptance of the place, you are at this moment. Good journey for you. Be blessed. Elizabeth
Thank you so much @ess77 im just hoping not get into the claws of medical neglect and diagnosis overshadowing in this 33 years old journey. I pray every day my God will hold me with his strength and his righteous hand would unfold everything. I trust his plan and his timing. Only him has the final words. God Bless you Elizabeth 🌼