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Old 03-02-2007, 09:05 PM   #1
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Question about iron infusions

I have been anemic for years. I have started menopause (at the age of 38!) so that is not the problem. I have had colonoscopy and endoscopy tests run and they were normal. My counts stay low. My last hemoglobin was 8.6 and my ferritin level is too low to measure. All my doctor does is prescribe more and more iron pills. He says my bone marrow just doesn't produce enough to keep up. I work full time, have small children and I am just exhausted all the time. I have read about iron infusions on this board but I have no idea what they are. Why would my doctor not recommend something like that to treat my anemia? I have asked for a referral to a specialist but it seems like my doctor thinks my symptoms are all in my head. Suggestions?

 
Old 03-03-2007, 07:09 PM   #2
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Re: Question about iron infusions

You should see a specialist, a hematologist right away if you aren't seeing one already. Your levels sound dangerously low. It sounds like you need an IV iron transfusion or maybe even a blood transfusion. I think a specialist would recommend at least an IV iron infusion. Hard to believe your doctor just tells you to keep taking iron with those levels, they sound dangerous. My ferritin is 23, up from 4 in about six months with oral iron, and I still feel awful, so I can relate to your feeling tired.

 
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Old 03-04-2007, 01:48 PM   #3
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Re: Question about iron infusions

I wonder mom_2_2 is seeing the same doctor as me! My heamotologist said as far as I'd left it for soooooo long. I can live with it. All other specialists said, "Oh, you can live with it"! I thought the doctors wanted me to stay as this level for good.... I'm really started to learn how to live with it.

 
Old 03-04-2007, 08:51 PM   #4
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Re: Question about iron infusions

I would definitely get a referral to a hematologist and get some IV iron if your ferritin is too low to measure. I receive IV iron weekly and have been since September because of a very low hemoglobin and ferritin that was 2. For some reason I don't absorb the oral iron well enough to keep the iron stores in my bone marrow at a normal level. The IV iron is absorbed much more quickly than the oral and that will help you to feel better. My hematologist told me it takes awhile when the ferritin and saturation were as low as mine were. I get IV Venofer and I haven't had any bad reactions to it at all. It goes in over about 20 minutes to a half hour. See a hematologist to see what he/she can do for you.

 
Old 03-05-2007, 06:10 AM   #5
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Re: Question about iron infusions

Definitely see a hematologist. My doctor sent me to one as my hgb was 8.4 and ferritin was 4. The hematologist started me the day I saw him on IV iron. I have had only 2 so far and my hgb went up to 8.6. They said it could take a while. I can not tolerate the oral meds and since this is an IV it bypasses your stomach. I too work full time and a mom and it gets very hard sometimes to function. Good luck and call for an appointment with a specialist. Take care.
Phyllis

 
Old 03-06-2007, 06:54 PM   #6
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Re: Question about iron infusions

Thanks so much for the replies. I have been reading over the board and I am starting to understand why I feel so awful all the time. I will request a referral asap.

 
Old 03-07-2007, 10:11 AM   #7
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Re: Question about iron infusions

my dr. called and told me that my ferritin was 2, hemaglobin was 8. he said it was no wonder i was tired and set me up with a hematologist. i go march 30. he also sent me in the er to meet a dr. to evaluate my symptoms(shortness of breath with exerction. tired, fatigue, headache, legs jumping at night, sores in my mouth,sides of my mouth always cracked.) they found no blood loss in stool and periods not heavy, but with ferritin of 2 he gave me 2 units of packed red cells. he said in 120 days those will break down and turn into iron. he said my marrow was starving and this would help. now we need to find out where the low levels came from. alot of test and will see hematologist on 3oth. you need a hematologist. they will not only look at your levels but find out why they are what theyare. i feel better already and that was on monday. there are answers you just have to keep looking foor the right person to help. i had iv iron but had bad reaction he said with the reaction i had (couldn't breathe) he would not give me any form of it again. but i will have to find a way to replace iron. not yet sure how he'll have me do that. (but most people do not have problems with iv iron.)bea kay

 
Old 03-07-2007, 10:14 AM   #8
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Re: Question about iron infusions

my dr. called and told me that my ferritin was 2, hemaglobin was 8. he said it was no wonder i was tired and set me up with a hematologist. i go march 30. he also sent me in the er to meet a dr. to evaluate my symptoms(shortness of breath with exerction. tired, fatigue, headache, legs jumping at night, sores in my mouth,sides of my mouth always cracked.) they found no blood loss in stool and periods not heavy, but with ferritin of 2 he gave me 2 units of packed red cells. he said in 120 days those will break down and turn into iron. he said my marrow was starving and this would help. now we need to find out where the low levels came from. alot of test and will see hematologist on 3oth. you need a hematologist. they will not only look at your levels but find out why they are what they are. i feel better already and that was on monday. there are answers you just have to keep looking for the right person to help. i had iv iron but had bad reaction he said with the reaction i had (couldn't breathe) he would not give me any form of it again. but i will have to find a way to replace iron. not yet sure how he'll have me do that. (but most people do not have problems with iv iron.)bea kay

 
Old 03-07-2007, 02:14 PM   #9
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Re: Question about iron infusions

May I ask what is the different of infusion and transfusion?

My new gastro dr said will give me an infusion of iron on the 16/03. It would be the first time in my life to receive a scheduled infusion of something...... I'm very scared and produced a lot of anxiety. Although I have an anemia life long but I never be treated with an injection or drip so far. It all corrected by itself. This time I have been waited and tried but it's unable to correct itself.

Last few days, I've been constipated (very). I think I pushed too hard. My uterus had falled out. I went back to the bed and it slipped back. This morning I pushed again but it wasn't as hard as Tuesday. It bleeds and the uterus falled again. It has a piece of thing down there when I walk but no pain. I dare not to tell any Dr here because I'm afraid they'll cut it away. I called my mum in oversea but seems it is not a problem. Would all women have this problem when taking an oral iron or constipated?

 
Old 03-10-2007, 09:44 AM   #10
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Re: Question about iron infusions

Pika, I'm not sure what you mean by your uterus falling out? But you need to tell your doctor, you can also ask your doctor for a stool softener to help you with the constipation.

 
Old 03-12-2007, 10:01 AM   #11
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Re: Question about iron infusions

Do you need any fasting for iron infusion? Or you just walk in like normal?

 
Old 03-12-2007, 10:16 AM   #12
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Re: Question about iron infusions

You do not need to fast for the IV iron treatment. Take a good book to ready, you will be there the first time approx 4 hrs. They will give you a small amount of iron to see if you are allergic that takes about 45min, then they will give your the remainder which could take about 3hrs. After the first treatment with no allergic reaction, the following treatments will not require the 45min prep. Those other ones usually takes about 3hrs. You can take a snack if you feel like you need to eat. At my hematologist, they usually have drinks provided. I know for my first treatment, I actually fell asleep, because of the benadryl.

 
Old 03-12-2007, 02:35 PM   #13
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Re: Question about iron infusions

If I fall into sleep or froggy then how can I drive home?

 
Old 03-17-2007, 02:08 PM   #14
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Smile Re: Question about iron infusions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamrock View Post
I would definitely get a referral to a hematologist and get some IV iron if your ferritin is too low to measure. I receive IV iron weekly and have been since September because of a very low hemoglobin and ferritin that was 2. For some reason I don't absorb the oral iron well enough to keep the iron stores in my bone marrow at a normal level. The IV iron is absorbed much more quickly than the oral and that will help you to feel better. My hematologist told me it takes awhile when the ferritin and saturation were as low as mine were. I get IV Venofer and I haven't had any bad reactions to it at all. It goes in over about 20 minutes to a half hour. See a hematologist to see what he/she can do for you.
To Shamrock, I was wondering about your iron transfusions, I was told yesterday I needed Iron my ferritin is also too low to measure they say zero can't find it. I had low iron about 6 months ago and passed out, they said iron too low and gave me blood transfussions at the time I did not want them I heard could be dangerous. Now after 6 months my blood is even worse. So this time they said iron. Now, that I have read this site I guess it looks like the type of iron you get makes a difference Venofer seems to be the newest one. I am like allergic to everything so my concern is a reaction to this iron. I was wondering if you could share more information. I also live in Mass, outside of Boston. You say it takes half hour I read someplace else it take 3 hours. When I had blood it took 3 hours, so I was wondering about that.
I am so nervous I am almost thinking I'll just wait till I passout out, but my problem is they say my iron is so low my pulse rate runs 110-135 and at times goes as high as 170 which I risk heart attack or taccacardia they tell me. Other than this problem at 52 I never really had blood problems. I have tried to find another way to get iron into me there really is not good oral out there. And I also eat red meat everyday and beans and fortified cereals and I guess that has not worked. When I passed out 6 months ago, they did the usual, endo and colonocopsy and all the tests to say I was losing blood someplace but found nothing. I am allergic to latex and seafood and iodine and that is always a problem because if I buy vitamins with iron they have iodine. Thanks

 
Old 03-20-2007, 09:23 PM   #15
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Re: Question about iron infusions

TREE1A, I receive the IV iron once a week at an outpatient hematology/oncology clinic. I get IV Venofer which is only a small bag that goes in over 20 min-half hour. They are giving me the Venofer because,like you,I am allergic to everything under the sun including shellfish and iodine dye. Apparently the other types of IV iron go in over a longer period of time(2-3 hrs.) and have many more side effects. People that receive that type of iron also are premedicated with Benadryl to lessen the chances of allergic reactions. My hematologist feels that my anemia is due to my bone marrow not adequately absorbing the iron. I have to take medication for lupus and he feels that some of them block the iron absorption so the pills aren't enough. IV iron is also absorbed much more quickly by the bone marrow. I ahve been getting it since Sept. and my Hct. and Hgb. have gone up but my iron saturation and ferritin levels are still way too low. He told me last week that it takes a long time to rebuild the stores in the bone marrow. He said that I was probably anemic for a few years without knowing it and that I wasn't aware until I had bad symptoms of fatigue,dizziness,etc. Don't be afraid of the IV iron. It really helps you feel alot better and other than a little achiness the day after I have no side effects from it. Hope this info helps!

 
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