It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Anemia Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-04-2009, 06:47 PM   #1
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
nancyjo HB User
Saw hematologist

Hi all---

My appt. was this morning, and of course I had great hope of finally getting some idea if anemia is the cause of the problems I've been having.

The first thing the dr. did was told me implicitly that the hemoglobin number is the only one that really matters, so of course when my ferritin tested at 13 it didn't matter, b/c my hemoglobin has risen slightly which she said proves the iron is working, albeit slowly.

So, I was told to continue taking 325mg ferrous sulfate 3 times per day for a minimum of three more months, then have my internist re-do my labs. And of course, I got the standard weight loss lecture.

After it's all said and done, maybe my whole problem IS that I'm overweight and that makes me tired so I can only find the strength to work 17 hours a day, which is just not enough to get everything done...so I tell myself I'm just lazy. If the whole problem is my weight, then there is no magic pill, no shot, no infusion that will help me. GREAT...I needed more stress and pressure.

Needless to say, it was not an encouraging visit. I will put up the actual hemoglobin and iron numbers tomorrow, as I was driving when her nurse called and couldn't write them down, but I did remember the ferritin tested at 13.

Thanks,
Nancy

 
Old 02-05-2009, 01:34 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,987
Audrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB User
Re: Saw hematologist

It's standard for a lot of doctors to pronounce you to be out of danger once your hemoglobin results come ok. It is very positive and encouraging that they are actually telling you to keep taking your iron supplement AND to come back in 3 months for a re-evaluation. Not a lot of doctors do that, so that is great to hear.

Yes, being overweight can make exercise or even general day to day life a tad more difficult, but a ferretin of 14, regardless of your hemoglobin, would still be making you tired. You need to keep taking your iron and don't slacken off, even if you do begin feeling better. In your case your iron didrn't rise in a hurry, which is the same story for a lot of us on this board, so don't stress over iron overload.

With your weight, do you want to lose weight or do you feel comfy with your weight? That is only something you can answer. If you feel fine with your dress size, then maybe some light exercise just to keep healthy? On the other hand if you are looking at losing weight, maybe an overhaul of your kitchen cupboards and starting a healthy lifestyle plan. Losing weight slowly is always more beneficial and healthier for your metabolism than losing a heap of weight each week.

Low ferretin might make exercise a bit arduous as there isn't sufficient oxygen running through your system due to insufficient blood stores. So go easy and just do some light exercises for now. Regardless of your dress size, some light to moderate exercise is good for all of us.

If you are low in ferretin, there is a chance you can be low in other things eg: vit D, b12, zinc, folate, iodine. low iron can also be due to many things ranging from diet to gluten intolerance and a heap of other things inbetween.

Just remember don't go supplementing with things unless you have been tested first as some supplements can be bad for you in high quantities.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 02-05-2009, 05:55 PM   #3
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
FLFLOWERGIRL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: FL
Posts: 2,383
FLFLOWERGIRL HB UserFLFLOWERGIRL HB UserFLFLOWERGIRL HB UserFLFLOWERGIRL HB UserFLFLOWERGIRL HB User
Re: Saw hematologist

Nancy--I'm sorry your were disappointed a little with your docs statement about ferritin but know it's quite normal of a response from a Hematologist. They are looking for problems to fix. If you have ferritin that's good and if your in range even better LOL. That's just how they see it. I'm telling you it's not ALL your weight with a ferritin of 13 you barely have any iron stores. That means that when that is depleted there is nothing left to pull from (for iron) other then your organs and bloodstream. So, you see it's not really okay and fine. You should be at least 50 and then you should talk about symptoms and see how you are feeling. I bet you that you are not oh, so tired!!!! Best of luck to you and keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL

Last edited by FLFLOWERGIRL; 02-05-2009 at 05:57 PM.

 
Old 02-07-2009, 06:17 AM   #4
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
nancyjo HB User
Re: Saw hematologist

Thanks so much for the encouragement and advice, ladies! I truly appreciate your kind words; I was really down after that appointment and wasn't sure I'd EVER feel better!

Audrey-B, I totally hear you about how low iron affects our ability to exercise, and for me, it's coupled with asthma. I have what my doctor calls "Hollywood" asthma, which is to say that I can be just fine one minute and calling for an ambulance the next...it's freaky, and it makes "real" exercise just about impossible.

Having said that, however, I DO take the stairs all day at work and have a fairly active job, and I like to get out at lunch time and walk around the city. I always have to use my inhaler before and after I do anything, and unfortunately, I've been using it a lot more lately, which is one of the main reasons I was hoping for an encouraging appt. with the hematologist.

Question: Do you think it's possible to get my levels up by only taking oral supplements? If not, I wonder if my internist would agree to give me iron shots for the short-term, though I imagine she won't b/c of the hematologist's report. Speaking of that, here are the numbers from last Wednesday:

RBC 4.36 (3.93 - 5.22)

HGB 12.3 (11.2 - 15.7)

HCT 38.0 (34.1 - 44.9)

MCV 87.2 (79.4 - 94.8)

MCH 28.2 (25.6 - 32.2)

MCHC 32.4 (32.2 - 32.5)

RDW 15.5(H) (11.7 - 14.4)

MPV 9.4 (9.4 - 12.3)

As always, I appreciate any input you can give me on the test results!

Audrey, after my appt. on Wednesday I reached two conclusions:
1. I need to taper off the pain pills I've been using in very low dosages to give me energy; this is simply not a solution and is no longer an option.

2. I have to start working diligently to lose weight. At 5'6" and 235 pounds, this is INSANE...particularly when you consider that I spent my life until 8- 10 years ago weighing between 140 - 150 pounds. Even though it's very hard for me to exercise now, I'm just going to have to commit myself to "baby steps". My pantry definitely is in an "overhaul" state, because there are only two of us in the house now (my 16-yr. old son and I), and we both need to lose weight. I am going to look into joining Weight Watchers online or something similar just to have a community of people who are fighting the same battle.

The bottom line is this: Having spent 17 years in a completely dead marriage, then 6 years in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship (no self-esteem, clearly), taking medications for 8 years for anxiety/depression/PTSD/bi-polor (NONE of which I actually have), and discovering along the way that those neat little pain pills could help me get enough energy to get through the day (hello, addiction!) only to finally realize that anemia plays a huge role in every challenge I face, I'm ready to MOVE ON IN MY LIFE!!!

Thanks again for your support and encouragement. BTW, I have noticed this week that if I take my first iron pill w/the Vit. C at 5am when I get up, I don't go looking for 1/2 a pain pill within a couple of hours...so I guess I'm just going to have to figure out what works for me on my own and follow through!

Cheers,
Nancy

 
Old 02-10-2009, 06:48 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
FLFLOWERGIRL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: FL
Posts: 2,383
FLFLOWERGIRL HB UserFLFLOWERGIRL HB UserFLFLOWERGIRL HB UserFLFLOWERGIRL HB UserFLFLOWERGIRL HB User
Re: Saw hematologist

Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyjo View Post

Question: Do you think it's possible to get my levels up by only taking oral supplements? If not, I wonder if my internist would agree to give me iron shots for the short-term, though I imagine she won't b/c of the hematologist's report. Speaking of that, here are the numbers from last Wednesday:

RBC 4.36 (3.93 - 5.22)

HGB 12.3 (11.2 - 15.7)

HCT 38.0 (34.1 - 44.9)


As always, I appreciate any input you can give me on the test results!

Nancy
Nancy--No, you are not anemic, as you already know. However, you are low in the Hgb as far as being optimal, a women should be at 14.0 Hgb. You would be feeling much better at that range. Along with your ferritin of course, a 13 is almost no iron remaining in the bone marrow. As long as you are absorbing (which your Hema doc stated you were), you should be easily able to go the oral route. It should only take 2 months time on FS 3X daily to raise your Hgb (and to replenish some stores), I think that's what you said you were taking. As long as you don't suffer GI S/E's. Keep us posted.
__________________
Best of luck to you! FLFLOWERGIRL
*****************
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
Moderate Anemia (resolved) Low Ferritin-- Work in progress! Hiatal Hernia--GERD
Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

 
Old 02-11-2009, 05:20 AM   #6
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
nancyjo HB User
Re: Saw hematologist

Thanks, FLFLOWERGIRL! What you told me echoes what the hematologist told me, which is that while I basically have "sufficient" iron, it's basically the bare minimum and there aren't any iron stores built up. She said this is due to the fact that I had 19 years of really heavy periods (starting after my first son was born) and the fact that I wasn't taking iron supplements or eating red meat during all those years...so the result is depletion in the bone marrow, which as you say, accounts for the low ferritin. As she said, the next three months or so are "catch up time".

I sure do hope getting the numbers up even a little will help me feel better! I'm also joining Weight Watchers online with a co-worker so we can hold each other accountable and go to the gym together during lunch (we are fortunate in that our firm has access to a gym across the street). She also lives near me, so we're going to start walking in a huge neighborhood near her home on Saturday mornings, which my dog will LOVE!!

I even put a call in to my mom yesterday to get her beef stroganoff recipe, which I loved when I was a little kid (before I realized that the meat came from a cow I was playing with in the pasture a week earlier...ugh), as well as her vegetable soup recipe, which had a bit of stew meat in it. It's hard for me to even contemplate such drastic action (lol), but I'm all about getting my iron built up as quickly and efficiently as possible!

Thanks again for all the info...now if I can just stay out of "anemic" range and start pushing higher, I should be on my way to feeling better. Oh, and I'm thinking perhaps I should buy stock in Dulcolax, lol.

Cheers,
Nancy

 
Old 02-11-2009, 01:19 PM   #7
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,987
Audrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB User
Re: Saw hematologist

Hi Nancy - that is excellent news about your motivation to gain better health and not just lose weight. Exercise doesn't only help us keep toned or lose weight, it releases those feel good endorphins too. I'm not sure whether your work friend has any health issues, but in your case, with low ferretin, you may find you will get puffed out sooner. The lower the ferretin the less oxygen we have as the blood carries the oxygen through the body. So start your exercise regime slowly and at this point don't overdo it. Too much exercise too soon can actually stop your ferretin going up.

I'd say taking walks is good. I wouldn't go jogging at this point though. Some light exercises in the gym or doing a few laps in the gym pool (if there is one). The thing is to keep it light enough at this point to be of benefit to you and to your ferretin.

I'm really happy for you that you have a work friend to do the Weight Watchers with. That should make it so much easier and put the fun element into it.

Do you not eat any meat at all or just not red meat? I was going to say if you don't eat any at all you could start off with chicken. You also only need red meat about 3 times per week. You could also make a stir fry using lean beef strips.

Meat isn't just for building ferretin. It's also good for B12 and protein and i'm sure there are other things.

Protein first thing in the morning is ideal for weight loss too as it helps kick start the metabolism. My doctor recommended and isolate whey protein as it has the carbs and sugars taken out of it. You can buy ones which are a meal replacement and others which are basically protein, yet not a meal replacement.

Best wishes to you

 
Old 02-12-2009, 11:37 AM   #8
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
nancyjo HB User
Re: Saw hematologist

Thanks, Audrey!

I walked by myself yesterday at lunch, pushed it too hard, and had an asthma attack...grrr! Today I went with a co-worker and she made sure to monitor how I was doing and she slowed her pace so I could be comfortable. It just annoys me no end, b/c I used to be SO in shape! As with rebuilding iron stores, however, I guess fitness will be a slow process for me. That's OK; it's a gorgeous day and I figure any exercise beats sitting at my desk all day!

I eat minimal amounts of chicken (maybe 4 oz. per week), so getting back on protein shakes would be a good option for me...thanks for the reminder! I'll pick up some whey protein this weekend, along with some soy milk...makes for a yummy smoothie!

Take care,
Nancy

 
Old 02-12-2009, 01:12 PM   #9
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,987
Audrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB UserAudrey-B HB User
Re: Saw hematologist

Good to hear your friend is willing to slow the pace and keep an eye on you So no sneaking in any power walking, ok.

I was actually doing some research on my own situation and came across a doctor on the net who was giving advice to a lady who does a lot of competition running. Her ferretin had dropped down to something like 22 and she tired easily, yet ate a healthy diet. The doctor obviously told her to start an iron supplement, but told her to go easy on her training runs and to cut back for a while so as to give the ferretin a chance to build.

This is why i'd advise you to take it slow for a time too. When your health and fitness levels begin improving you will likely find that your asthma will too.

You take care and no training for the London Olympics ok

 
Old 02-12-2009, 01:24 PM   #10
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
nancyjo HB User
Re: Saw hematologist

Just when I thought perhaps I could "stand in" for David Phelps, lol! Just kidding; I'm totally allergic to chlorinated pools!

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
why am I being sent to a hematologist? nutmeg22 Anemia 6 09-28-2009 02:02 PM
Hematologist??? krazy2day Blood and Blood Vessel 7 04-04-2009 09:32 AM
Doc wants me to see a hematologist sophie56 Cancer 6 03-12-2009 01:46 PM
I have an appt with a Hematologist jann71 Blood and Blood Vessel 11 02-24-2009 02:09 PM
New here, seeing hematologist next week nancyjo Anemia 4 01-29-2009 06:46 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Benadryl
Folic
Nexium
Potassium
Prednisone
  Prenatal
Prilosec Procrit
Synthroid
Tylenol




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



Heatherx5 (48), jonnstar (29), ladybud (16), FLFLOWERGIRL (12), ChristineVA (8), japlopper (7), peace4health (6), palmtreegirl (6), worrywort (4), Lady50 (4)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1166), MSJayhawk (1000), Apollo123 (898), Titchou (833), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (758), ladybud (747), sammy64 (668), midwest1 (665), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:17 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!