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I have been looking at past threads on this site regarding iron supplementation where people refer to 'digestive upset'. I'm just wondering what is meant by 'upset'. I've just started a supplement for the first time since having a j pouch and am experiencing burning and loose stools (which, in my case, also results in an active and burning r/v fistula). So my question is whether it is indeed a result of the iron (Feramax - polydextrose-iron complex) or is it maybe just coincidental? Thanks.

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CVS has  brands for gentle iron, Slow-Fe iron.  There is more if u look for gentle to your stomach & digestive.   I took them when I was on iron.

I do have Question for the others reading this response.  My Dr. took me off of iron when I became stable with the numbers.  I do have low RBC, hemoglobin and hematocrit.  I asked her if I need iron, I think I do but they don't think so.  What do u all think?   Thx!

I had a number of transfusions back with colitis but I'm not deficient enough for that now. I'll revisit it in a month to see a) if the numbers are up and b) has there been any improvement in the cramping. I'm just not convinced that I'll make it the month as the fistula is very active since I started taking iron supplements although I'm still uncertain if there's a direct connection. But I would sure appreciate the cramping to be resolved. The cramping is thought to be caused by nerve and muscle damage as a result of Humira. The iron is to rule out anemia as a factor.

For me it was also problematic with any kind of oral iron because of my chronic inflammation. Back in colitis times I took the pills with the lowest iron amount, and even those made my bowel more irritated.

With chronic pouchitis I had high dosage infusions for many years about every 3 months. That way I got to normal iron blood levels. Since 2 years my need for additional iron has subsided, obvioulsy because I take antibiotics in regular intervals and inflammation is better under control.

@tf posted:

I am anemic but iron count ok.  I give myself b12 injections.  Thanks for all the good info.

There are various causes of anemia, one being iron deficiency which could be from poor absorption or bleeding. But there are other causes as well. B12 deficiency as you pointed out, suppression of bone marrow from disease or meds, including a big one for those with IBD or any chronic inflammatory state: anemia of chronic disease (ACD). A CBC can help differentiate between some of these based on your MCV (volume of red cells) but you also need iron studies. In ACD you can have normocytic or microcytic (normal or small RBCs, just like in iron def anemia, but with normal iron stores. You could also have an inherited thalassemia. In these cases, taking iron isn’t going to help. I’ve always had trouble repleting people with PO iron due to intolerance and likely poor compliance so if you have significant iron def anemia my go to would be IV iron. Very effective and well tolerated. Two infusions corrected my post-op anemia very nicely. Your doc should be able to work up anemia in a few simple steps.

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