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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,I have had IBS and GI trouble forever. I had my iron levels done today and this is what came back: My Saturated iron is low (11) , my ferritin levels are low (10) WBC is normal. RDW High.. I am freaking out!!! I unfortunately did a general web search and saw a reference to cancer!!!! It really scared me. I am NOT loosing blood rectally, but need to do enemas to move my bowels. I worry that this might be a cause. I have anxiety disorder to begin with, so this is really upsetting me. I see my doctor tomorrow, but in the mean time, can IBS or other GI tract disorders cause enemia? My imagination is taking me to places I should not be going. HELP!!!!Art Lady
 

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Lots of things can cause anemia.Your iron is low you may just not be getting enough in your diet. People can get severely anemic from diet.With Lady in your name are you still having periods? Many women have a hard time replenishing the iron they lose every single month.If the enemas make you bleed that would also add to the loss.There really aren't cancer symptoms that are unique to cancer and only cancer. Part of the problem is it causes common symptoms of hundreds of other illnesses so you can't see one out of a whole list and assume that out of the hundred things it could be (including very simple things like having periods and not eating quite enough iron to make up for it) the one and only thing it can be is a death sentence.I know it is hard to deal with the anxiety but if you tend to go to worst case and only the worst case on a regular basis then you need to avoid looking up symptoms. Every single symptom you could possibly have is probably on one cancer list or another and having a major freak out over every cold and normal bump in the health that is very common will make things a lot harder for you.
 

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Kathleen's right, try not to worry! Anaemia is really common and usually easy to fix - huge apologies if this sounds like I'm making light of your situation but it's a really good excuse to eat chocolate, which is full of iron! Also green vegetables, especially broccoli and spinach, are very good sources of iron. It might be as simple as eating right or taking an iron supplement, although obviously they will want to get to the cause of the problem. I've never heard of IBS causing anaemia, though poor diet is often a factor in both conditions, and obviously if you're losing any blood that could well be the problem.I hope your doctor is able to put your mind at ease.
 

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Iron deficiency/anemia is usually pretty easy to fix as the others have said. And it is the most common deficiency worldwide. If you are a premenopausal woman I think you are twice as likely to have a deficiency as other age groups/genders. Also, GI issues (celiac disease, bacterial overgrowth, etc) can effect nutrient absorption, further leading you down the path to deficiency.I had SIBO (bacterial overgrowth) for a few years, plus I was a vegetarian for over a decade, plus my periods are rather heavy and I did end up with low serum ferritin (I think it was around 14) and I definitely felt symptoms from that (short of breath, dizzy, weak, hair loss, etc). You may want to speak with your doctor about starting an iron supplement, and also possibly get tested to make sure you don't have SIBO or another condition that would minimize mineral absorption.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks All for replying to my question on iron deficiency! I will try to stay calm and eat lot's of chocolate (I didn't know it had iron in it!!! ) I see my doc today and will figure this out. It is nice to know I am not alone on this. Best , Art Lady
 
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