Anaemia

I’ve been feeling really washed out the past couple of months and my get up and go has got up and gone.  Both ME and EDS cause “fatigue” but I’ve had both for so long that I know what that exhaustion feels like and my current waffy-ness feels different.  I’ve also been dizzy……a lot.  I do suffer from dizziness as part of my existing conditions, but only for the odd day now and then and it’s usually so severe I can’t get out of bed.  My current dizziness is milder but ever present and each time I turn my head the world tilts slightly on its axis.  Plus I’m not sleeping.  I’ve had insomnia for over 2 decades but again this feels different and I just have a niggle that “summat’s up”.

Of course I am peri-menopausal and fatigue, dizziness and insomnia are simply part of the bag for many women.  But then so is anaemia especially if your periods are heavy, and mine are definitely heavier than they used to be.  There are various types of anaemia, but in menstruating women iron deficiency anaemia is the most common so I made an appointment to see the nurse today to get my bloods checked.

I have just about every risk factor for anaemia going:

1.   Peri-menopause/Menopause

Any menstruating woman can be at risk from anaemia, particularly if she has heavy periods.

2.   Endometriosis

I’m not just bleeding from my uterus every month, I’m also bleeding into my pelvic cavity because I have endometriosis.

3. MCAS

Anaemia is the most common issue affecting red blood cells in MCAS patients.  See Lisa’s excellent post written on this issue over at Mastattack.org

4. Gastritis

Any type of inflammatory stomach or intestinal disorder can cause anaemia, eg. gastritis, ulcers, diverticulitis, crohn’s disease, colitis, coeliac disease, GERD (ie acid reflux).

5. Drugs used to treat GERD

PPIs, H2 blockers and antacids can all interfere with iron absorption and I have been swigging Gaviscon and Rennies recently like they’re going out of fashion on top of taking an H2 antihistamine.

4. Diet

I’ve been pesco-vegetarian for nearly 30 years.  Before getting Histamine Intolerance I was very careful to eat a wide range of high iron vegetarian foods but since getting HIT and having to eat low histamine I’ve had to remove many of these from my diet, eg. spinach, soya beans, kidney beans, dried fruit, cashew nuts.

Diet deserves special mention.  People with ME, EDS, HIT and/or mast cell diseases are often on restricted diets of one kind or another.  Here in the UK we hardly ever get to see a Dietician, so are left to try and work out our food issues alone.  We often don’t have the skills or knowledge to decide if we’re eating enough of the right foods to give us all the vitamins and minerals we need, so it’s really important to have our bloods checked once a year just to make sure we’re not deficient (I was shocked to learn today that I hadn’t had a full blood work up since 2014 despite all the various issues I’ve had in the past year or two!).

I won’t get my results back until early next week, so I’ll keep you posted.  For those of a religious disposition please pray I’m not anaemic and don’t need iron tablets.  My poop is the only thing in my entire digestive tract which is currently normal so the last thing I need is to not be able to go-potty for days on end! 😉

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8 thoughts on “Anaemia

  1. Glo

    Think I mentioned this before for somebody else. There are iron supplements made for people who have had bariatric surgery. I have MCAS and have been using these for about 3 months now with no problems. Regular iron supplements gave me severe stomach pain after a few days.

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    1. Jak Post author

      Glad you’re tolerating the iron supplements OK Glo, that gives me confidence if I need them. I think liquid iron is the best for people with stomach issues, as it contains less iron than tablets. That measn it takes a lot longer for iron stores to get back to normal but that’s fine by me so long as I can still poop.

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  2. Karen, The Walking Allergy

    I’m so pleased to hear that you and I are on the same path, once again!! 🙄 My iron stores are falling, enough that my hemoglobin is below normal, and any exertion leaves my muscles weak and shaking. My O2 levels suffer too. They’re fine when I am still, but dip to 85% when I am moving.
    I have a neighbour and friend with a genetic red blood cell disorder, and she introduced me to the Lucky Iron Fish. Not great for me, Not able to eat very much at the moment, so it doesn’t ‘fit’. It works well for stews, soups, that sort of thing, it could fit your cooking much better than mine. I am going to have get iron infusions- I can’t tolerate a single supplement. They are notorious for allergic reactions, but I think the risk is worth it… I have been craving steak for a year…. The fish won’t get me caught up, but once I am, I hope the fish will help me stay there.

    http://www.luckyironfish.com

    Karen

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      1. Gee

        Hi, Jak,
        Came across your blog today, has been reading it for two hours (ok, three hours).
        Thank you for sharing and for a host of helpful infrmation in your blog (and the time and effort you’ve put in, digging and writing it up). Right in time for me.
        I’m from Latvia, but the problems regarding the attitude on the part of doctors/diagosing/asssessing blood test results as “normal – falling within the range” or bothering taking one to identify anemia (ferritin), etc. here are no different from those you seem to have in the UK.
        In a quest to finding answers to my health conditions (which I have a few, I’m 47 after all), I came across a book “The Hormone Cure” by Sara Gottfried. It answered a lot if not all of my questions, I feel I’m healing.
        I rarely recommend anything to anyone (I don’t have a medical background) but I do recommend any woman reading this blog get a copy of this book.
        https://www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=the%20hormone%20cure%20sara%20gottfried&search=Find+book
        Thanks again and best wishes,
        Gee

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