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Deficiencies despite supplementation

(4 Posts)
CakeRage Thu 19-Sep-19 19:30:48

I have a few long term conditions (inflammatory arthritis, asthma, bronchiectasis), so I have monitoring bloods done pretty regularly. At Christmas this year, they found that my iron levels were very low. After further tests they discovered that my folate and vit D levels were also very low. Malabsorption was mentioned, and I was given a coeliac screen which was negative, and prescribed supplements for all three.

My iron and vit D were re-checked by my rheumatologist in June, and I was told both were now within the normal range, but that I should continue with my maintenance doses until the levels were further from the threshold. (Folate levels weren’t checked then. Don’t know why!)

They were all then re-checked by my GP last week after I went about nerve pain in my hands, exhaustion, splitting nails and gut symptoms and the receptionist rang me earlier today to say my iron and folate levels are below the normal range and I should buy some over the counter supplements and see if that helps my symptoms. I’m currently still taking prescription-strength supplements of all.

As it was the receptionist I spoke to, I didn’t ask any questions, but do I need to chase this up with my GP?

I have a history of IBS, so the gut symptoms have been put down to that and the nerve pain and tiredness to my arthritis. But I have had both for well over 10 years, and blood levels have been steady until this year. I was anaemic at the end of both my pregnancies but levels weren’t even as low as now, and bounced back quickly with treatment both times. I feel like there must be something else causing this.

Should I push them to investigate further? Anyone had a similar issue? I obviously tried Dr Google and immediately regretted it confused

OP’s posts: |
swingofthings Thu 19-Sep-19 19:51:16

You need to know how low they are. Folate is different to iron and vit D.

It could be your diet, a combination of things (not enough sun for Vit D) or indeed malabsorption.

Why not make an appointment with your GP to go over it all?

CakeRage Thu 19-Sep-19 20:37:14

I don’t know what the current levels are, but went through the first abnormal tests at Christmas with my consultant. He didn’t specify the units of measurement, but for iron (I’m assuming haemoglobin?) they wanted them to be 12+ but mine were just below 8. For folate they wanted them to be 6.5+ - mine were 3.5. For vit d they wanted at least 30, ideally 50, mine were 17.

The bit that’s concerning me is that the levels did initially rise with treatment but are now falling again despite still taking the supplements.

I eat a fairly good diet - I’m not a saint but I eat a good range of food with plenty of veg. Nothing in my diet has changed in the last year, and as I said, previous to Christmas I’d had no deficiencies since I was pregnant (6 years ago last). I have regular bloods because of my arthritis meds so things tend to get flagged up quickly if they’re out of whack.

I do already have a GP appointment in a couple of weeks, so I’ll definitely ask her about it then, I was just wondering if anyone had experienced this, and if it’s an issue I should push them on.

OP’s posts: |
CakeRage Sun 22-Sep-19 11:10:45

Well, after getting the phone call on Thursday saying I don’t need to be seen, I then got a letter saying I do need to be seen and to book in with my GP as soon as I can. Hopefully will get some answers then.

Has anyone had similar? I know there are some people who don’t respond well to supplements, but I always used to be a good responder. After my last pregnancy my levels had risen from just over 9 to 13 by the time I had monitoring bloods 12 weeks later (on the same supplement as now). Is this something which can change in your life?

OP’s posts: |

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