One iron pill, so sick??

EddieB

Active Member
Greetings everyone,
I’m new here, greatful to find so much information, hope to get better and help others do the same.

Along with the severe fatigue, a large portion of my illness is centered around gastro. I first became sick in 1987, after what seemed like a stomach virus.

Over the years, I’ve had dozens of blood tests. But apparently no one had ordered a full iron panel. Turns out I have high-normal ferritin (200-400 range) with low serum iron. So my GP decided to send me to a hematologist. Did a bone marrow test that doctors say was ok, but found no measurable iron in the marrow. And a bunch of other test that I don’t understand, but don’t seem to be concerning or conclusive. No bad news, but no answers.

Last week, the hematologist, at a loss, suggested that I try an iron supplement, to see if I felt better. Then we would retest my levels in a month. I told him I was reluctant, because I have reflux, IBS, and that it would more likely upset my system. He countered, saying without enough iron, digestion cannot work properly.

So last Saturday, I took one iron pill with food at lunch. Big mistake.

About an hour later, I started getting severe nausea and pain in my lower right side, spreading over the whole abdomen, some of the worst ever. Along with gas, cramps, reflux, the works. This continued all the rest of the day, night and into the next day. Yesterday it finally started to let up, still feeling it today.

I’m trying to figure out what happened. Why did this make me so sick? My wife took one of the same pills at the same time and felt no side effects. My guess is that the iron was slow release (pill was coated) and went into the gut where it dissolved.

Did the iron feed a bacteria/virus/who knows what, that’s already making me sick?

I’ve been researching this ever since, and apparently iron can feed bacteria. Has anyone experienced anything like this?
Thanks, E
 
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Remy

Administrator
Hi, and welcome. I am not sure what caused the reaction, but I would not myself take iron with an elevated ferritin level. You may wish to investigate anemia of chronic disease which is characterized by a reduced serum iron and a normal to elevated ferritin level. It's not a good idea to supplement iron in that case. Either way, iron is notoriously difficult on the GI tract, though there are gentler forms available.
 

EddieB

Active Member
Thank you for responding
I agree with you about the iron, but that’s what the hematologist wanted. Next I’m sure he’s going to want to try IV iron and there is no way I’m going to do that. It so hard, you want to trust these doctors, but they can really make things worse.

I don’t fit the anemia of chronic disease category either. I’ve had some fairly extensive blood testing; the hematologists I’m seeing are baffled over my results
(C reactive protein, etc, normal). I’m fairly certain a gut infection/overgrowth is the root cause, and I feel the conflicting test results reflect that.

The iron I tried was supposed to be easy on digestion. I also think that may have made it worse. The pill was coated. Instead of dissolving in the stomach, it probably passed on whole into my gut.

The result was a severe increase of the gastro symptoms I already have. Which led me to the question, could the pill have bombed my gut with free iron and fed an existing problem bacteria? Not sure that’s possible, just a theory. Something similar happens if I eat sweets (so I don’t). I have had a SIBO test, came back negative.

My second question; if what I’m researching is true, and the body has the ability to “hide” iron from infectious bacteria, does it deprive the rest of our body of iron as
well? If the infection was acute and short lived, probably not a problem. But with CFS that drags on for years, maybe? This should come up as ACD, but in my case does not.

Not expecting any definite answers, just opinion/discussion.
E
 
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KDX

New Member
Hi everyone,
I have had trouble with iron and vitamins in general causing gut pain and diarrhea my whole life. It wasn't until I found ferrous bisglycinate that I could tolerate swallowing iron at all, and the only multi-vitamin supplement I can tolerate is Alive. Even then, I don't take the full dose. What I really wanted to tell you guys about is a product called PatchMD. I am not affiliated with them in any way, but I do use their products. They produce patches that deliver various things like iron, B12, sleep helpers (5-htp, valerian, melatonin, magnesium, etc.), and NAD transdermally (through the skin) instead of orally. Now, I was a bit hesitant at first, because I am very sensitive to adhesives, and usually break out in a rash very easily, but I tolerate these pretty well. It gives me a way to get some extra vitamins or sleep help without challenging my dysbiotic gut. I have never been able to take B12 at all, but this way, I can get an energy boost, and still be able to stand up straight. It might be a way for EddieB to try iron without having to have an IV or a gut ache. Hope this helps! Best wishes to everyone for a happy and healthier new year!
 

EddieB

Active Member
Thank you KDX,
I was considering trying the patches, good to hear that they can work. That’s exactly what I want to do; add a little iron to my system, but not to my gut. The IV thing sounds too drastic. I’m so weak right now, I would think I’d feel something pretty quickly if it’s helping.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on iron, and have many unanswered questions to find.

I’m reading more and more, that despite normal blood tests (not clinically anemic), it’s still possible to be suffering from low iron. Adding to that, is the process of how the body can hide iron from bacteria to starve it. Can’t help but wonder if this is a contributing factor. Like a normal short-term process that went horribly wrong.

And for those of us with suspect gastro/bacteria/overgrowth issues, I would think a bad reaction to an iron supplement (oral) might be an indicator. It’s been almost a week for me, and I’m still feeling it.
E.
 

KDX

New Member
You're very welcome EddieB. I wondered about the bad iron reaction being an diagnostic indicator as well. I hope you get better soon!
PatchMD has a sale on right now if you use the code HEALTH50 at checkout you get 50% off when you spend $39.90.
K
 

EddieB

Active Member
Thank you, and a healing year to all!

Curious, if I may ask, did the oral supplements flare up existing symptoms or cause new ones?
 
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EddieB

Active Member
Remy, just found this post of yours,

The hematologists are telling me not to worry about my ferritin and to take some iron; retest in a month. If I don’t cooperate, they’ll dump me. Not sure what I’m going to do...
Thanks, E.
 
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jaminhealth

Well-Known Member
Well, for whatever it's worth my 56 yr old daughter has been challenged with Anemia for probably 20 yrs or so...she's had Iron IV's, blood Transfusions and oral iron supplements of many kind and enough blood type docs....

She started using an HGH homeopathic HGH gel about 14 months ago and reports her anemia is history. Her recently labs are that of when she was 20-30 yrs old and her docs are stumped. But she believes the HGH turned things around. Amazing.

Here is some info on HGH and anemia. She does not take injections and we both do the rub on homeopathic gel. She for about 14 months now and me going to 12 months next month.

 

EddieB

Active Member
Well, for whatever it's worth my 56 yr old daughter has been challenged with Anemia for probably 20 yrs or so...she's had Iron IV's, blood Transfusions and oral iron supplements of many kind and enough blood type docs....

She started using an HGH homeopathic HGH gel about 14 months ago and reports her anemia is history. Her recently labs are that of when she was 20-30 yrs old and her docs are stumped. But she believes the HGH turned things around. Amazing.

Here is some info on HGH and anemia. She does not take injections and we both do the rub on homeopathic gel. She for about 14 months now and me going to 12 months next month.

Do you have a source for the HGH gel?
 

Not dead yet!

Well-Known Member
Remy, just found this post of yours,

The hematologists are telling me not to worry about my ferritin and to take some iron; retest in a month. If I don’t cooperate, they’ll dump me. Not sure what I’m going to do...
Thanks, E.
They can't dump you for having side effects, if they do you can sue. The alternative is to eat more red meat. Have a steak every single day, and track the amount of iron in steak, and tell them that's what you did because the pills were damaging you. They can't very well dump you for non compliance just because you did your best.

Has anyone tested you for Celiac Disease? If you're having iron issues and gut issues then they should've already.
 
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EddieB

Active Member
Yep, over the years, did both blood and biopsy for celiac. Got the patches, will give that a try.
Also going to try and add some red meat.

I am on dexalant (ppi) for reflux, so badly want to get off that. It’s known to screw up absorption. But I had severe fatigue long before taking it, so not sure its a factor.

The real test is if it lifts any of this fatigue.
 
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Not dead yet!

Well-Known Member
Yep, over the years, did both blood and biopsy for celiac. Got the patches, will give that a try.
Also going to try and add some red meat.

I am on dexalant (ppi) for reflux, so badly want to get off that. It’s known to screw up absorption. But I had severe fatigue long before taking it, so not sure its a factor.

The real test is if it lifts any of this fatigue.
I'm really glad they tested you. If you have the genetics then I'd expect them to test you every year while you're not well. It can activate at any time in your life.

I can't handle PPI's at all. For about two years I slept with a built up slope of pillows so that my GERD would be controlled. I sleep on my side so I had two pillows under my waist, and three under my head, with my shoulder in between them. It was a bit uncomfortable but I was able to sleep like that. Thankfully I no longer need to. I couldn't get used to the bed lifts, but that's an option too... the head of the bed may be lifted a few inches to help GERD.

In the US there are a few direct to consumer labs that also provide injections of B12 for people with anemia. Some spa type places offer it too. There might be a local IV vitamins clinic that can help you, but I'm not sure.
 

EddieB

Active Member
Did IV b12, vit C, etc. All it did was drain my wallet. I've been sleeping on a wedge for 2 years now, killing my neck and back but oh well.

Really think that gut microbe/bacteria/virus is the root problem.
 

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