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Old 02-07-2008, 06:09 AM   #1
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I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

I just found out this week that I am anemic. My numbers are below. I’ve been having neurological problems for almost two years (numbness, tingling, bad coordination and balance, etc.) and my doctor seems to think the anemia could be causing it. I was first tested for anemia last April and the doctor I saw at the time never told me I was anemic. My new doctor tested me for anemia and informed me yesterday my numbers are very low. I’ve had the same numbers since last April.

WBC is 11.4 (normal range 4-10.5)
RBC is 2.39 (normal range 3.8-5.10)
Hemoglobin is 7.6 (normal range 11.5-15.0)
Hematocrit is 22.2 (normal range 34-44)

My doctor said those numbers are very low and my body has adjust to the levels so he didn’t give me anything to take immediately. I see him again in two weeks because he ordered more blood work and from there he said I may have to see a specialists to determine what type I have.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and it seems that a lot of people have to have transfusions and infusions when they get under 8 or 9 and they are barely able to function. I was that way in the begging but learned to live with it because the doctors kept saying they couldn’t find anything wrong.

My questions is has anyone had numbers this low? If so, what type of treatment did you receive? Has anyone experienced neurological problems as a result of their anemia. I had my B12 tested and that was fine.

 
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:25 AM   #2
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

It's good that you finally know you are anemic. Sorry that the doc didn't tell you about it before. Anyway, it's good that your numbers have leveled out without further decline. Also, your doc seems to be doing the right thing for you. Have you ever seen a neuro doc about your neuro symptoms? Hopefully the further labs will give you the answers you need as to what type of anemia. My doc told me that they don't want to transfuse until your Hgb is a 7. My Hgb was 8.5 with a 2 Ferritin. I have been taking iron supplements for the last year. I did have neuro symptoms, they said it was anxiety but I do not agree. Usually B-12 deficiency is related to neuro symptoms. What were your B-12 numbers? I was checked for everything under the sun and nothing else was ever found. The symptoms were present for about 6 months and went away as my ferritin raised and hgb went to normal range. Keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 02-14-2008, 06:06 AM   #3
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

hi
your Hb is pretty low, i was diagnosed with autoimmune haemolytic anaemia last may, by the time i saw a haematologist my Hb was 5 and he admitted me to hospital the same day for tests, the lowest it got was around 4. i know how i felt when mine was 4, i think it was a preview of how id feel if i was 105 yrs old!!! i had numbness & tingling in my fingers especially at night. have you been tested for an autoimmune cause?? thats when its your body is destroying its own rbc. i got tested for everything that could have caused my illness as it can be triggered by many things & a cause has not been found although the main suspect seems to be a severe chest infection i had just preceeding my illness (i didnt go to the doctors or get treatment for it)
ive been treated so far with prednisone (hate it but hey keeps me alive) and i am about to get another drug for my condition. i was transfused at a Hb of 4 but when my illness flared up again last august my Hb dropped to 6, i was offered a transfusion if i felt i needed it but i said no i wasnt too bad & would rather avoid it if poss. once again prednisolone high dose has helped control my illness.my Hb is drifting down again on low dose pred but its under control & i can work & function.
hope you find out the cause of your problems & good luck

 
Old 02-14-2008, 04:36 PM   #4
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

I was diagnosed last August and had a ferritin level of 9. I also had tingling, numbness, blurry vision, couldn't concentrate and sleep. That's too bad your previous doctor couldn't figure anemia out for two years. Hope you start to feel better soon.

 
Old 02-18-2008, 12:37 PM   #5
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmina63 View Post
I just found out this week that I am anemic. My numbers are below. I’ve been having neurological problems for almost two years (numbness, tingling, bad coordination and balance, etc.) and my doctor seems to think the anemia could be causing it. I was first tested for anemia last April and the doctor I saw at the time never told me I was anemic. My new doctor tested me for anemia and informed me yesterday my numbers are very low. I’ve had the same numbers since last April.

WBC is 11.4 (normal range 4-10.5)
RBC is 2.39 (normal range 3.8-5.10)
Hemoglobin is 7.6 (normal range 11.5-15.0)
Hematocrit is 22.2 (normal range 34-44)

My doctor said those numbers are very low and my body has adjust to the levels so he didn’t give me anything to take immediately. I see him again in two weeks because he ordered more blood work and from there he said I may have to see a specialists to determine what type I have.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and it seems that a lot of people have to have transfusions and infusions when they get under 8 or 9 and they are barely able to function. I was that way in the begging but learned to live with it because the doctors kept saying they couldn’t find anything wrong.

My questions is has anyone had numbers this low? If so, what type of treatment did you receive? Has anyone experienced neurological problems as a result of their anemia. I had my B12 tested and that was fine.

 
Old 02-18-2008, 01:10 PM   #6
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

hi about 4 years ago i started getting out of breath i went to the doctors who said i was ok, then gradually over about 2months i couldn't walk 2 steps up the stairs without stopping ,i managed to keep this from my family most of the time after a while my husband talked me into going to the doctors again as i could not function and going dizzy constantly, and i kid you not he again said i was ok i was also having very bad panic attacks than one day i forced myself very ill as i was to go to the shops in the car i know i shouldn't have done but with the doctor saying i was ok i thought i was going cook coo and at some point i would be normal again, when arrived at shops which was just at top of the street, i got out of the car and i cannot remember anything there after until i woke up in hospital it was hemoglobin my count was 3 the doctors was panicking all over the place shouting for someone to see if the blood had arrived as they had to get this from 70 miles away, i couldn't talk only whisper and i felt i was fading away i was given 7 units of blood and topped up with tablets. so if the doctor says there is nothing wrong and you feel there is GET A SECOND OPINION and by the way when i eventually came round the first thing the doctor ask was i must have been having very bad panic attacks he said this is one of the effects of being so anemic and breathlessness amongst other symptoms.

 
Old 02-18-2008, 02:01 PM   #7
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

hi about 4 years ago i started getting out of breath i went to the doctors who said i was ok, then gradually over about 2months i couldn't walk 2 steps up the stairs without stopping ,i managed to keep this from my family most of the time after a while my husband talked me into going to the doctors again as i could not function and going dizzy constantly, and i kid you not he again said i was ok i was also having very bad panic attacks than one day i forced myself very ill as i was to go to the shops in the car i know i shouldn't have done but with the doctor saying i was ok i thought i was going cook coo and at some point i would be normal again, when arrived at shops which was just at top of the street, i got out of the car and i cannot remember anything there after until i woke up in hospital it was hemoglobin my count was 3 the doctors was panicking all over the place shouting for someone to see if the blood had arrived as they had to get this from 70 miles away, i couldn't talk only whisper and i felt i was fading away i was given 7 units of blood and topped up with tablets. so if the doctor says there is nothing wrong and you feel there is GET A SECOND OPINION and by the way when i eventually came round the first thing the doctor ask was i must have been having very bad panic attacks he said this is one of the effects of being so anemic and breathlessness amongst other symptoms.

 
Old 02-19-2008, 06:34 AM   #8
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

Thanks for the feedback.

I had my levels retested and I go back for the results on Thursday. I talked to my doctor over email and he said they improved but aren't back to normal yet. He's checking my iron and b12 and said I may need to see a hematologist. The funny thing is, when I had the bloodwork done, I didn't feel as bad as I do now. I just got over a cold and I've been extremely dizzy and lightheaded for the last week and very tired, although my levels have improved. I'm trying to take it easy until my appointment Thursday. When I move around I feel like i feel sick.

I'm just wondering now what the next step will be. I know my b12 is normal and i'm very confident tht my iron levels are okay. I've never had heavy periods so i'm at a loss as to why I would be anemic.

 
Old 02-19-2008, 03:06 PM   #9
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

It looks like you need further evaluation by your doc to determine why your numbers dropped. Perhaps he will send you to a Hematologist that can get to the bottom of it. Good luck to you. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 02-19-2008, 05:26 PM   #10
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

Should I still see a hemotologist if my iron is normal, but my RBC and HB have improved? My numbers were very low and i'm thinking I should get to the bottom of it now, versus waiting for it to drop again.

 
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:51 PM   #11
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

If you continue to improve and your doctor finds a reason why then you probably don't need to see one. If your doc suggests going I would, can't hurt you and you may get a clearer picture. I know I felt a lot better seeing a specialist that looks at this type of thing all the time. In my situation I wasn't so sure what my PCP knew about it. He wasn't looking (other than female related issues) and my Endo that discovered my anemia told me that it's probably my periods but I needed to find out why. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 02-23-2008, 08:54 PM   #12
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

My endo can't find anywhere that I lost the blood. She said is my period caused that. I'm 50. I'm in perimenopause! I'm only having 2 periods a year maximum.

 
Old 03-02-2008, 06:00 PM   #13
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

I am so glad to find this information! I had a GBP back in the 80's and due to my husband's job we have been transferred several times. I have actually been in good health other than severe migraines the last 15 years. In the last 16 months I guess..I started getting this "unearthly" tiredness...it is impossible to explain. I am 50 and I am a house wife but have always been productive...but I couldn't stay awake. Literally could not..have never been so exhausted, dead-tired..and felt so ashamed of it. There was not enough sleep or rest in the world to catch me up. I would lay down and fall dead asleep, dreaming...3-4 tmes a day. I hated to tell a doctor because I felt worthless! My nails were also funny...they had started growing curved and warped, and then a color change took place...a darker stripe across the top and pale at the bottom..hair was falling out. We had just moved again and I had to find a new Dr...who ran an assortment of blood work...all was fine except I am anemic, but it should not be so bad as to cause all this...it was just 8.5. Granted it used to be 16 but I would think this is not low enough to cause this degree of exhaustion. Then she checked Ferritin levels which were 11. So...I started taking Slow FE and immediately got some serious stomach pain along with bloating gas and running to the bathroom all day....I went thru hell with that...then I finally found out that Slow FE has Lactose in it..and it must be a good bit because it was worse than eating a bowl of ice cream. It took me a couple of weeks to get my stomach straight from that...meanwhile the Dr. made me an appt. with a gastrohepa something or another...and I got scared and cancelled it...I just know he would want to scope me and a) I know the anemia is from the gastric by pass b) I don't feel up to the scoping and c) I question if I will have insurance issues since I had a different insurer when I had the surgery and this insurer covers nothing to do with GBS...and they don't even know I had it..I prefer to KEEP it that way. I found some iron tablets that don't have lactose in it and I understand that absobtion is greatly improved if you take it in the presence of vitamin C...but these are hard on one's stomach as well...not nearly as bad as Slow FE was for me. I have read that Black Strap molasses is supposed to be pretty good too...but darn I hate to consume those calories. From every thing I have read it takes a long time to build up iron stores...I am so hopeful I will go through the change soon and maybe then it will resolve this issue for me. I do take B-12 shots at home...and I have had to argue THAT issue with every DR I have had even though I was told to take it for life by the Dr. who did the surgery...I just order it from Canada now. One important question I would like to ask you women whose levels are about the same as mine...has this caused you any issues as far as sex drive is concerned or is it just my age? It is as if there is no feeling or something....
That is a difficult issue to discuss with the Dr. as well. Unfortunately I can't take BCP to stop my periods because I had a blood clot during a pregnancy--so no hormones for me.
How long were you on iron before you started to feel better...I know that all of you have thought this very same thing...you can tolerate the stomach misery for a couple of weeks...maybe 6-8 if you know there is an end to the pain...but from what I have read about how long it takes...it is sounding like 2 years. (I have read some info at the Iron Disorder Center Research Web Site) I have to face my Doctor again on Friday and tell her I canceled that apt....I dread it so much. I honestly think I can get this thing licked with out going to a specialist...but I have to be able to tolerate those blasted tablets. I suppose I should just be thankful this is something that can be corrected with tablets and take them with a smile...but I am curious to know how long it will be until I feel a difference.

 
Old 03-03-2008, 08:08 AM   #14
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

My new results showed that everything was back to normal except for high platelets and my CRP is still very elevated. I believe we are going to repeat the test in a month to see how the CRP looks.

Thanks everyone for your responses.

 
Old 03-03-2008, 08:38 AM   #15
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Re: I'm severely anemic...anyone had numbers this low?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SofieSoSweet View Post
Dr...who ran an assortment of blood work...all was fine except I am anemic, but it should not be so bad as to cause all this...it was just 8.5. Ferritin levels which were 11.

SofieSoSweet--Yes 8.5 Hgb and 11 Ferritin IS enough to make you feel that exhausted and to feel bad all the time. Your body is not getting the oxygen to the organs. They are not functioning properly.

I do take B-12 shots at home...and I have had to argue THAT issue with every DR I have had even though I was told to take it for life by the Dr. who did the surgery...I just order it from Canada now.

I have read on this board about other people that are not taking B-12 shots after surgery. My sister and cousin both had this bypass and both were placed on shots for the remainder of their life due to risk of malabsorption. I think that regular PCP's and other docs don't have an understanding of bypass.


One important question I would like to ask you women whose levels are about the same as mine...has this caused you any issues as far as sex drive is concerned or is it just my age?

I have not had this experience


How long were you on iron before you started to feel better...

A very long time, It is such a gradual process of feeling better, I don't think that you notice it until you feel really good unless you are mildly anemic.


I know that all of you have thought this very same thing...you can tolerate the stomach misery for a couple of weeks...maybe 6-8 if you know there is an end to the pain...but from what I have read about how long it takes...it is sounding like 2 years.

It has been 1 year for me and my Ferritin was at 35 last time checked.


(I have read some info at the Iron Disorder Center Research Web Site) I have to face my Doctor again on Friday and tell her I canceled that apt....I dread it so much. I honestly think I can get this thing licked with out going to a specialist...but I have to be able to tolerate those blasted tablets.

My sister was noncompliant with supplements. She was recently put on an iron supplement by her bariatric doc. It is Foltrin-a multivitamin with iron and vitamin-c and B-12 with (IF) Intrinsic Factor. I don't know if you would absorb it or not but you have to have those ingredients to absorb or your not going to get anywhere for sure. It's worth a try. Many people with gastric bypass go on to get IV iron therapy because of a lack of absorption. Good luck to you. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
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