In January I was diagnosed with Iron-deficiency anemia. My ferritin level was 11.6 and my saturation was 10%. These levels were both low so my internist put me on Ferrex 150 daily. I just got re-tested and my Ferritin dropped down to 4! I guess my hemoglobin levels are normal. My Dr. wants me to get several blood transfusions, but I'm so nervous about it! I was wondering if for those of you that have experienced it, what exactly was your experience and did it help? I'm also upping my Ferrex to twice daily also. My dr. also said that there are several different types of iron transfusions you can get and she wanted to choose the best one. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks!!
In January I was diagnosed with Iron-deficiency anemia. My ferritin level was 11.6 and my saturation was 10%. These levels were both low so my internist put me on Ferrex 150 daily. I just got re-tested and my Ferritin dropped down to 4! I guess my hemoglobin levels are normal. My Dr. wants me to get several blood transfusions,
The ferritin level is not really an issue if you are not bleeding out. If you are bleeding out, you need to be sure why. Transfusions of iron replacement in any form is dangerous. If you are bleeding from menstrual situation, that can be stopped with hormones. If you are bleeding from gastrointestinal site, that needs to be stopped too. The ferritin is the amount of stored iron in the body that the body draws on to make blood, but can be absorbed from the daily food intake if necessary. Iron transfusions can cause iron to build up in the organs, around the liver, and around the kidneys, that isn't even counting the fact some people go into a type of shock from the iron infusion itself. Ask all the questions you can from your doctor before taking this transfusion. Get a second or third opinion if the doctor is being a little hesitant about your questions. Doctors in the US are trained to give instant answers to patients who want instant cures and if you want the best treatment you have to make sure your doctor understands that you are not going for the quick fix.
Hi Kecia - It seems that you are mentioning both blood transfusion and iron infusion and the first thing to know is that your hemoglobin count should be playing a large factor in determining either of those courses of action.
Typically a blood transfusion is NOT warranted if you have a hemoglobin above 8 (this will vary slightly by area and Doctor if you are hovering around 8) because there are inherent risks, and it is when the hemoglobin drops below that level that it really impacts the movement of oxygen through your body - and there is a risk of damage that outweighs the risk of the transfusion. I actually hit 7.8 and had to get a blood transfusion last Friday and I can say that it scared me a lot, but was definitely needed, and made an immediate improvement. That being said - I have to mention again, that if you hemoglobin is normal I would seriously be questioning why they are considering a blood transfusion and definitely get a second opinion as recommended by Merimac.
As for the iron infusions, I am slated to start my first one this week, so I don't have much information, but again, with a normal hemoglobin I would be wary here as well because too much iron can cause some really nasty problems.
My personal opinion here is that you should get your lab results to review yourself and talk to your Dr about WHY your ferritin is dropping (you could certainly find your hemoglobin dropping next) but it is really important to try and get to the root cause - too many doctors are treating anemia just as a condition but it isn't - it is a symptom of something else, and if you don't go after the root cause you will end up in the same, or a worse situation. If they are still pushing transfusion / infusion and your labs are normal, you really do want to seek out another Dr for another opinion.