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Pencil Thin Stools and Now Anemia?

Hey guys! I hope everyone has been hanging in there. Seems like flare season is in full swing on the forum!

I went to go see the GI at the local hospital for a follow up visit since my hospital discharge in June recently. He isn't my usual GI. My usual GI is hours away from me but Im willing to go the distance because he is the only GI who hasn't thrown his hands in the air when it comes to treating me. Most GI's down in my town get frustrated with my case andeven ask me "How is it possible your GI tract is still a mess?" Not my fault my CD doesnt respnd to medications! This GI had empathy twords me so he is willing to work with my GI since im too ill to travel the distance.
Ive been having more pan in my TI area as well as left sided colon pain. The rectum inflammation has been horrific also. This GI locally is super nice and actually goes in depth with me about my test results and nutrition status!! :) Aparently my iron is low and he said I am now mildly anemic? My iron levels are usually great even with rectum bleeding so this is news to me! He naggd me about my weight but was pleased with my other vitamin leveks enough to let me now taper off Prednisone. It is the fastest tapering schedule I have ever seen. He said he usually dropes his patients by 10mg a week but he's going slow with me till Cimzia kicks in. He is debating starting me on iron supplements butfrom what I read they are horriably constipating? Constipation and liquid diarrhea are my major issue so Im not willing to go that route. Im hoping the iron was just a fluke in bloodwork. If you look up pencil thin stools you will seemy picture. I must have a stricture or some inflammation because the stools,although soft, look like a pencil/churro. They even have the well cut edges surrounding them. I rotate between miralax and mineral oil when Im not having diarrhea. The constipation is so much worse than diarrhea. Any natural ways, without red meats, to get iron? Im not worried about the levels because I have too many other things to thin about but some nonconstipating iron supplement ideas would be appreciated!
An iron infusion would be the fastest and easiest way to get your iron in normal ranges. Mine is also low and the supplements really screw up my normal bowel movements and make me really constipated. Even the "gentle iron" that is supposedly non-constipating messed me up. So, I went the infusion route.

Naturally, it's a bit of a pain to get iron up. You could cook in an uncoated cast iron skillet. Baby spinach contains a lot of iron. You could eat liver if you can stand it. :)

Getting your iron back up could make you feel better. Especially if you are extra tired lately. Iron aids in many of the bodies processes. You should get that squared away as soon as you can.

I hope you get taken care of soon :)


All animal meats have iron as well some of the green vegetables. Its good to have a vitamin c rich food with your iron serving. Eg orange juice. Avoiding diary for 2 each side of iron rich food will also help.
Hey - ive had low iron levels for 18 months now and cannot tolerate oral iron at all so have infusions weekly.

It depends how "low" it is - minor drops can be caused by malabsorption during flares but continuous low levels even after infusions it can indicate a bleed.

I have a stricture (with the pencil poo when i manage a formed one).

I had loads of tests to look for a bleed to explain my low iron (my Hb dropped to 5 last summer) and the final test was a pill cam which got stuck.

Went to see my surgeon who immediately said i had a stricture at the anastamosis of my last resection and also a slight blood vessel bleed in the same area - this was without any examination! He says its the most common place to have a slow bleed.

I dont want to sound all dramatic on you but make sure they keep checking your iron and get your ferritin levels checked - insist on an infusion if things are low.

Chicken liver is really high in iron and i made a really nice pate with it which i had on toast for brekkie every day, i then ate a lot of red meat.
Thanks you guys! I thought about iron infusions but I would like to wait till the anemia was at least moderate as far as low levels go. A friend of mine with CD has anemia so severe that she has iron infusions weekly and even then sometimes need blood transfusions every few months or so.

Fruit loop, that same friend had thein stools and is always constipated. A ct showed some stricturing so she went in for surgery. When the surgeon went in she had food in a good pit of her small bowel despit the liquid diet and prep done. After the surgery her iron levels went up significantly and her anemia is the best its ever been! I guess the narrowed segment cut off some blood supply? That is something to think about.

Cross-stitch gal

Staff member
I haven't had problems taking iron supplements. But, I don't take both of my iron supplements at the same time. I split them up into 2 different doses, one at breakfast and the other one at dinner.

Thankful that you're being taken care of:) Hopefully things will regulate out for you soon.. :hug: