My Battles With Anaemia

My Battles With Anaemia. I’ve battled with iron deficiency anaemia ever since my diagnosis of Crohn’s disease.

So what is iron deficiency anaemia? It’s where a lack of iron in the body leads to your red blood cell count dropping.

What does iron do? Iron is used to produce red blood cells, they store and carry oxygen through your blood stream. With less iron, your organs and tissues don’t get as much oxygen as they normally would.

There are several different types of anaemia, and each one has a different cause. Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common type. Other types of anaemia can be caused by lack of vitamin B12 or folate in the body.

We are discussing all IBD-related side effects on The IBD & Ostomy support show this evening

My Battles With Anaemia

Ive always battled with anaemia since my Crohn’s diagnosis back in 2003. I bruise easily. I tire easily. The heart palpitations I get bug me to high heaven. They normally set my jaw off and I have to lie down. I also suffer with hair loss and have a slight panic when Im pulling out strands of hair.

Iv going in

Iv going in

Ive tried absolutely everything over the years to increase my iron levels.  Nothing works. Due to the amount of bowel removed and now a permanent ileostomy I don’t absorb what I’m supposed to. The amount of IBD sufferers that suffer from anaemia is high. I personally know ladies within my IBD friend group that have had to fight for Iron infusions.

The stuff they tell you to try

They’ve told me to try these remedies over the years to increase my iron levels

good sources of iron include:

  • dark-green leafy vegetables
  • iron-fortified cereals or bread
  • brown rice
  • pulses and beans
  • nuts and seeds
  • meat, fish and tofu
  • eggs
  • dried fruit, such as dried apricots, prunes and raisins

I eat a lot of eggs. The nuts, leafy greens, dried fruit, pulses & beans are slightly difficult when I have an ileostomy that is full of strictures. I can’t tolerate red meat in high quantities, it makes me feel sick and causes my stoma to flush all fluids,My body just doesn’t like it. My diet is mainly gluten free so finding fortified cereals is slightly difficult. I eat a lot of white meat and fish.

I also remember someone telling me that hot chocolate & Horlicks contains iron. I can’t guarantee as to if this is true or not but I do drink a lot of it.

What they’ve tried to treat me with

  • Iron tablets, Ferrous sulphate in 800 mg pills. I can’t tolerate these. They make me projectile vomit
  • Feroglobin Liquid Iron supplements. This also makes me projectile vomit
  • B12 Injections every 6-8 weeks. Ive been having these injections since 2007 and to be perfectly honest I don’t think they work anymore

What they are treating me with now

Ive had to fight my corner the last year to have this administered.Even though I can’t tolerate oral forms your haemoglobin has to be pretty low for them to consider giving it to you. I’m pretty aware of my medical issues and forced this as I’m fed up of being so lacking in energy that Ive begged to have this done.

Iron infusion

This is where they give you two loading dosages. First one is 1000mg and the second is 500mg.

Iron Infusion going in

Iron infusion going in

This iron infusion that Ive had takes 30 minutes to administer, flush through a drip for 15 minutes and another 15 minutes of observations and you can go home. This is pretty quick and painless and I’m hoping that I will feel the benefits in the oncoming weeks and feel better within myself.

The only side effect I had from this was leg and toe cramping for a few hours on and off. I took some pain killers and slept those off.

How many of you have had Iron infusions? I would love to hear your comments. Please comment below.



  1. Hi Louise

    I too have had iron infusions due to iron deficiency anemia because of my Crohn’s. Even before diagnosis I used to need iron a lot and they gave me tablets which made me constipated. Since diagnosis whenever I need it, my consultant always sends me for an infusion which for me has been so much better. You can use this on IBD and Ostomy Support show if you want.

    I have my 3rd Vedolizumab on Monday coming but so far it’s going fine but still not kicked in and I don’t feel well.

    Hope your doing okay?

    Take care


    • Hi Elaine,
      Sorry to hear that you are poorly. Fingers crossed the Vedo kicks in soon. I’m due my 4th infusion at the end of this month. Also, have my second iron infusion on the 20th of June. My weight has dropped so they had to amend the dosage as they can’t give it all to me on one sitting.

      I’m all good. Still learning my lessons with food and my ostomy but I’m absolutely fine, I will use your information on the show this evening. Thank you ever so much.

      Are you still on the steroids? How are you coping with the infusion hangover? I experienced leg and toe cramping after the Iron infusion but all is well.
      Take care, chat soon
      Louise xx

      • Hi Louise,

        I get achy legs after infusions. Not on steroids again yet. GI said this morning – worst case back in hospital, best case steroids.



  2. My daughter was getting iron shots in the bum and that really helped bring up her iron levels. Also President Choice has a hot chocolate that one serving is 30% of your daily iron. My daughter loves this stuff !!!

    • Hi Lyn,
      That is really interesting to know about the Iron with the hot chocolate. I was never too sure if it was just one of those myth things that people like to tell you. Ive been having B12 Shots for years. Thank you ever so much for taking the time to read my blog post and comment.
      Many thanks
      Louise xx

Leave a Reply