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Old 02-18-2004, 03:08 PM   #1
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cassia HB User
Question Low Iron

Hi,

I Am New To This Site I Am On Another Usally.
I Have A Question And Some Concern, My Doctor Told Me That My Iron Is Low And I Should Take Iron Pills So I Did That Was About 6
Months Ago ,they Were Pills I Had To Send Away For. Then I Go Last Week And Take More Blood And He Tells Me That It Is Low Again And I Am Aniemic. I Am Concrned Because I Don't Know What The Numbers Should Be And I Am Taking A Multi Vitiamn, I Don't Eat Red Meat And He Knows That And Tells Me To Eat Red Meat (i Just Don't Like Red Meat I Eat Everything Else) I Am Relly Confused Because He S Not Giving Me Any Advice What To Do. Is There Something I Should Be Taking? Or What Is The Next Step I Am Really Stuck Here I Don't Know What To Do.
Thank You

 
Old 02-20-2004, 08:44 AM   #2
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Re: Low Iron

Hey Girl,

Welcome to the next complicated phase of getting healthy. BTW, congrats on your LEEP results. Did you say that you wanted to get pg when you get the clear from your doc? Well, it is good that you are getting a handle on your anemia first. As you can imagine, my bleeding made me an expert on anemia. I was diagnosed as severely anemic a year ago - BEFORE my bleeding started and a few months before my LEEP. Not eating red meat really doesn't seem like a good reason to be anemic. If you eat everything else, you should get plenty of iron from other sources. I will look to find this post we had here before that taught me a ton about iron. Here it is:

[url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=14438&page=5&pp=5[/url]

You can learn a lot from the entire thread, but the entry from surviving spirit tells a lot about how to get the most out of your iron. Talk to your doc about the severity of your anemia and about the iron supplements that you are using. I used Bronson Iron with C and my hematologist had me take 6 a day. Turns out there isn't that much iron in them. With the vitamin C and by keeping calcium out of my stomach when I was taking the iron pills, my body soaked the iron up and made blood really fast. Plus, I was never constipated. I guess the vitamin C helps with that. The only way I ended up staying so anemic is because I was bleeding so much.

That's the other thing I wanted to bring up. Iron deficiency can be caused by a few things and not just poor diet. being iron deficient can be a sign that your body has used up all of your iron to make blood to replace lost blood. Usually, in a woman, the first thing they check is your periods. For you, they may not seem heavy if that is what you are used to. And, if you want to become pregnant, it will be hard to control, but they usually try birth control to reduce your blood loss. Your doc really should be interested in finding a potential source of blood loss if you went from iron deficient to anemic AND you were taking iron. Also, after you try a few types of pills, you may have to talk to a doc about IV iron. I never needed it, but many people do.

It's a lot to take in, I know. Keep reading and you will learn a lot!

Nicole

 
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:43 PM   #3
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Re: Low Iron

panick...


so i find you again are we playing tag? lol..... i didn't know you posted on this site.. thak you sooooooooooo much for the useful info. i've been hearing this all my life about my iron. but nothing seems to be done. i found out when i was diagnost with epsein bar . it is like one hing after another... good to see you are up and about .

christie

 
Old 03-01-2004, 06:29 AM   #4
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Dear Maggie HB User
Did you have other symptoms, too?

Just wondering what things you were doing when the fatigue would have shown up & if you remember a time when your eyes burned and your urine turned dark?

The low iron is sometimes part of multiple symptoms that people can get when exposed to ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (or similar, probably). Since this chemical is in so many products we use regularly and don't think twice about, you may have too much exposure & not know it.

 
Old 03-01-2004, 03:19 PM   #5
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Re: Low Iron

HI...my eyes are really white and no they don't itch...but my urine is yellowish sometimes and i had a couple bladder infections. what is this usaually in? i just ay down and sleep when i get tired . i also have chronic fatigue syndrome. may be this is all connected . my doctor said take iron pills. so i take a multi and some other one (i would say the name but i don't know if i can on this site) .... lol...i just am very slugish should i keep on top of my doctor? any info would be very helpful.

thank you,
christie

 
Old 03-01-2004, 05:43 PM   #6
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Re: Low Iron

Hey Christie,

As far as I know, it is Ok to post brand names, just not contact information that leads you away from the boards unless it is to an information-only website.

I am copying this from the guidelines:

"How to Share Information

You may always name products or services and tell your opinions about them. Naming doctors/cities/states is OK, just do not post any off-board contact information; again, on-board sharing only. If it is inappropriate for the open forum, it doesn't need to be shared from this website. Messages that break any law are inappropriate and will be removed.

Information-only websites, such as .gov, always are welcome. The informational.edu and other strictly informational websites are fine, but if any is primarily for message forums/chats, then it may not be posted unless pre-approved. Promoting websites that have or link to message boards/chats is not permitted on the boards. You may request pre-approval of a website by the Administrator, [email]adminmod1@HealthBoards.com[/email] . Appeals will be considered, but the final decision must be respected."

Hang in there. It takes a lot of effort to get control of these things, and I can't even imagine combining chronic fatigue with anemia. Make sure you ask your doc to monitor your levels and add more iron pills or switch brands if you don't see a slow improvement.

 
Old 03-03-2004, 12:18 AM   #7
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Dear Maggie HB User
Chronic fatigue many times IS blood anemia

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaNik5717
Hey Christie, I can't even imagine combining chronic fatigue with anemia.
Maybe chronic fatigue is anemia!

Eyes would be OK now; but were they red and itchy and burning at some time in the past? If so, that could 'signal' an exposure to ethylene glycol ether chemicals. In the case of the one I've been learning about 2-butoxyethanol, the anemia is from blood damage to the red blood cells: approaching hemolytic anemia. Look at other posts to see more info

 
Old 03-03-2004, 03:34 PM   #8
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Re: Low Iron

thanks panick for the info...

the name of the vitamins are.... one a day women... and ..vita-lea iron formula by shakllee.... any one ever heard of them?
also dear maggie what is ethylene glycol ? i am sorry if i sound stupid i am knew at this ... and i am gonna get a copy of my blood work and looke at the numbers... thanks guys
christie

 
Old 03-03-2004, 08:10 PM   #9
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Re: Low Iron

Christie, I really think you either need to keep bugging your doctor to give you more details about your iron-deficiency anemia. He/she should have gone over all the numbers & ranges of your bloodwork with you & asked if you had any questions.

I was diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia about five months ago. Most doctors will want to try to find out the cause of the anemia, and I think you should push your doctor on this one, or find another doctor.

Usually, the doctor will want to find out if you're bleeding anywhere internally. After the initial bloodworkup (like you probably had), a doctor will usually give you stool sample cards to take home, and then bring back (yes, it's gross!) for testing to see if there's any blood in your stool. Then, you're usually advised to have both an endoscopy (to see if you could have a bleeding ulcer, etc.), and then a colonoscopy. While doing the colonoscopy, they usually take a biopsy, to see if you have a problem actually absorbing iron. Next...a lower bowel series of x-rays is also usually done at the hospital.

If all of these numerous tests turn out normal, and no problems are found...then, by deduction, the doctor will probably tell you to go see your gynecologist...it could be that you have heavy periods, fibroids, etc. possibly causing the anemia.

The gynecologist will usually do a vaginal ultrasound to see if you have any fibroids or other probs. that could cause your periods to be heavy.

In my case, I had all these lovely (ha,ha!) tests done...all of them were normal. I have no problem with iron absorbtion either.

My gyn. said that my periods were probably heavy, even though to me, they've been heavy ever since I was 12, and I was never anemic until five months ago...and I'm now 44! I didn't know I was anemic, until I went to donate blood to the Red Cross and got rejected.

At that point, gyn. drs. will usually put you on a low-dose birth control pill to try to lighten up your periods. I have been on a low-dose b/c pill for about four months...but it's not working well for me. Although my period is about half as heavy as it used to be, it lasts twice as long (10 days as opposed to 5 days b4 I took the pill)

I have not had additional bloodwork done yet to see if taking the pill helped my anemia at all, but will in another month or two.

The next step, for me, is that I'm having a D&C and Thermachoice Uterine Ablation done next week. If the ablation works for me, it should either greatly reduce my period each month or even eliminate it. The dr. (and I) are hoping that this will alleviate my low iron/anemia problem.

The only thing about having the uterine ablation is that you have to really make certain that you are either through having your children or not having any, because it would be possibly fatal to an embryo and put your life in danger. With the uterine ablation, the lining of your uterus is burned away.

I hope that my trying to explain the steps my doctors & I went through to try to find the cause of my anemia will be of some help to you when you try to figure out what to do next. Please let me know what happens, and hang in there...yes, it is aggravating not knowing what's actually causing the anemia...but, I think it's even worse to have a doctor who doesn't order any additional tests other than bloodwork & leaves it at that. Hang in there.

 
Old 03-10-2004, 06:03 PM   #10
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Re: Low Iron

thank you so much roste for all the advice. i actually went to my doctor today and he told me to take a urine sample.
then he told me to make an appointment in 1 month for my iron test again. he gave my another iron pill to take it is called fergon tablet i hope i spelled it right.
i am already on the pill orto cycle low. and i don't bleed as musch as when i wasn't on the pill.
the thing i am worried about is the thing you mentioned about bleeding inernal . i never thought about that. i ask alot of questions today.he told me my iron was low, my TIBC was high, and the transferrin saturation was low.
if any one can help me with that thankx.
other then that i am very tired and it is is making me cranky.lol.
so i am gona try this new vitaiman . this other one is making me very nausea .
thanks again

Last edited by cassia; 03-10-2004 at 06:08 PM. Reason: i wasn't done typing yet .

 
Old 03-10-2004, 10:11 PM   #11
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Dear Maggie HB User
You may find some helps here

Quote:
If you have anemia, especially if the red cells are small and pale (microcytic and hypochromic), iron tests are usually performed.

Lots of info on this site [url]http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/anemia.html[/url]
I know someone who had the colonoscopy for internal bleeding check; and then a lymph node biopsy and then a bone marrow test; tests came back OK, but he definitely had a low red blood cell anemia that the doctor couldn't figure out why.

In his case he worked on the Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup and was overly exposed to 2-butoxyethanol. Eventually it should develop into hemolytic anemia per the literature on what this chemical does. (It is in lots of cleaning and degreaser and paint and varnish products that many people use - you should realize many people are at risk for exposures)

Others have expressed low iron counts as part of this 'package;' Retic ratio and looking at red blood cells may give some indication if your bone marrow is compensating for loss of adult red blood cells. IF all doctors checked these for people with fatigue, we would probably learn something our nation needs to know. AND maybe soon a doctor will find the way to test for it.

And they would have more than fatigue ... basically the 'gulf war syndrome' symptoms (It's a long list)

Last edited by Dear Maggie; 03-10-2004 at 10:12 PM.

 
Old 03-11-2004, 05:14 AM   #12
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Re: Low Iron

Hi All! The Pale Posse meets again!
I wanted to ask a couple of you about your iron issues--Robste and Merimac--you sound like you have problems similar to mine. I'm 44 and the iron deficiency is NOT budging! I saw my hematologist yet again yesterday (3 years with him and counting) and though my Hgl was just a tad under "normal" my Ferritin will NOT rise no matter what we've tried. I've even gone thru SEVERAL IV infusions of iron and I just can't store it. My Ferritin usually measures 3 or 4 and he can not understand why my Hgl is so "good" right now. I did all the same tests as you guys and all of 'em were normal. I even went on continuous BCPs to stop my periods all together though they weren't heavy and still my iron hasn't budged. Have either of you been told WHY this is happening??? I'm lucky in that my Hgl has never plunged below a 10 (I can't imagine cause that feels awful!) The IV iron will bring up my Hgl in a pinch BUT it doesn't last. I'm a gym rat and I'm having real isssues with getting thru a simple workout--I'm exahusted! My dr. claims that as long as I'm not actually anemic I should not notice any deficits. I'M TIRED all the time and I sleep like Mt Everest at least 9 hours a night (and I'm about as mobile come morning!)
QS
Hey, Panik--so glad you're back and feeling fine!!
Good Luck to you Cassa on your trip thru the testing maze!
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Old 03-11-2004, 01:33 PM   #13
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Dear Maggie HB User
You can have hemolysis & fatigue from low function red blood cells

Even without the numbers being out of range, you can have a red blood cell anemia: compensating hemolytic anemia where the bone marrow replaces the prematurely dying red blood cells. Chemicals like the ethylene glycol monobutyl ether can cause such. Look at the red blood cells. Are they the right size and shape and color? What age are they? (Retic ratio indicates how you are doing on the ratio of mature to immature red blood cells) ... and go from there.

All the best!

 
Old 03-12-2004, 05:02 AM   #14
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Re: Low Iron

I don't think so. I've been seeing this hematologist for over 3 years now and he's been very diligent about checking the blood counts and their arrangement. He practices with 4 other oncologists/hematologists and has shared info with my GI dr and GYN as well. All are in agreement that this is a remarkably stubborn issue with iron deficiency but none can determine the exact cause for the problem. It's frustrating to say the least and exhausting to say the most!
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Old 03-12-2004, 09:11 AM   #15
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Dear Maggie HB User
Doctors are missing it

... because they think hemolysis shows up in the blood counts. It may not.

I've looked at what a lab orders for anemia in our largest city of Alaska, and they don't check the red blood cells for anything. Sad story (hemoglobin & hematocrit is all - not even CBC)
... even blood counts can look ok and NOT be OK

Do you know your Retic ratio?

and....

There is a type of anemia, hemolytic anemia, that is cause from a chemical in many cleaning and degreaser products used extensively in the USA over the last 50 years; part of the symptoms, per YAHOO definition is

These are symptoms of hemolytic anemia *
Chills
Fatigue
Pale color
Shortness of breath
Rapid heart rate
Yellow skin color (jaundice)
Dark urine (indicative of blood in urine - never dismiss this! Stop exposure immediately!)
Enlarged spleen

AND, then it targets the kidneys and liver and there is
Central Nervous System damage showing up sometimes as
Loose your temper easily?
Short term memory loss
Difficulty concentrating
Personality changes to 'grumpy' - Extreme Irritability
All the time Depression
Suicidal Tendencies

People share about a dizziness and collapsing and as soon as they are given oxygen, they are ok.

The chemical is 2-butoxyethanol and it is also called ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. Doctors don't seem to recognize it as the primary source of harm, but many, many times treat the secondary problems related to endocrine disruption and the above ... should it be grouped together with what has come to be known as 'gulf war syndrome'? Is our military particularly harmed by it? These chemicals have been identified by the Govt as solvents troops were exposed to in gulf war; (& most likely today, too) but they don't know how harmful it is. It is in paint, varnishes, automotive products, cleaners and degreasers in general.

To find more info search on the internet. Just put in 2-butoxyethanol and the pages go on and on and on. When you see MSDS that stands for material safety data sheet. You have to memorize the warning signs, because they are in many every day cleaning products, and the chemical is not named, only the warnings given.

It is the red blood cells that are damaged. Ask for the Retic ratio and ask for a lab tech to comment on the red blood cells. And realize 2-butoxyethanol causes:

Narcosis
Damage to the kidney
Damage to the liver
Present an abnormal blood picture showing: Erythropenia
Present an abnormal blood picture showing: Reticulocytosis
Present an abnormal blood picture showing: Granulocytosis
Present an abnormal blood picture showing: Leukocytosis
Likely to Cause Fragility of Erythrocytes
Likely to Cause Hematuria

from Hemat = blood and
uria = of urine
Hematuria simply means blood in the urine


Causes Central Nervous System (CNS) DEPRESSION *
Loss of taste
Headaches and Stupor.
Causes skin irritation.
Causes severe eye irritation - damage to tissue possible
Irritating to mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract

Before it shows up in the blood counts it can be compensating hemolytic anemia as bone marrow compensates for the premature destruction of red blood cells, but these new red blood cells are low fuctioning, not able to do all blood cells need to do with iron/oxygen.

Last edited by Dear Maggie; 03-12-2004 at 09:23 AM.

 
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