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Old 02-19-2009, 05:30 PM   #1
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Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

Hi,

I have been Iron Deficiant for some time & NOW am Iron Deficiant w/ Anemia.
My Dr. put me on Iron Pills 2.5 mo's ago & I took slow FE but when I went back my hemglbn was 12.1. It was 12.8 Before I started the Iron pills.

My Ferratin is 6.

They are checking absorbtion problems (Which I doubt) and doing an upper & lower endoscopy, just to be safe.

Im 38 y/old female.

I cant understand why my body didnt absorb it.

Now she mentioned trying the pills for another month but then said if it doesnt work, she'll do IV Iron.

I have read HORRIBLE things & can use some help!!
Im scared.........I read that Sucrose is the least to worry about??

What Can I expect??


Can I choose to have a blood transfusion instead??
Thx all!
Blessings!

 
Old 02-20-2009, 06:12 AM   #2
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Re: WORRIED ABOUT IRON INFUSION, PlEASE ANSWER!

I totally understand your concerns about the infusion, though I know plenty of people reach the point where they're willing to risk any possible complications in the hope of feeling better. From what I understand, they will run a test dose before they start the full-on infusion, just to make sure you don't have a negative reaction to the IV iron.

Given that you have a month to see if the numbers go up by continuing the oral iron, make sure you are maximizing the absorption rate by taking Vitamin C along with it. I take 325mg of ferrous sulfate 3x/day, along with 500mg of Vitamin C (gel capsule) with each dose. While raising the levels is a slow process, this seems to be working for me.

I ordered some Betaine HCL (hydrochloric) yesterday b/c it's supposed to help with absorption; you might want to run a search on that and see if it might be helpful, though of course you'd want to run it past your doctor.

My ferritin is at an all-time "high" of 13 (low was 7). While the hematologist was OK with that level, my internist and the doctor I correspond with online believes the ferritin level is the best way to determine anemia. In light of that, I have ordered some ferritin (bioavailable iron, supposed to be easier on the GI tract and well-absorbed); the doctor said it was fine to take this in addition to the ferrous sulfate.

Again, I understand your concerns, but I'm sure MANY of the members here can offer you reassurance in you have to have an infusion. Hang in there!!

Nancy

 
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:51 AM   #3
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Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

BriansMom444--Welcome to the boards! First, know that you have to take in a larger amount of iron than is lost for whatever reason. Are you having a history of heavy periods? Second, If you already have a low ferritin (under the range), you really don't have any stores to pull from. In addition to this, Slow Fe is one of the lowest dose irons they make besides a multivitamin and your body requires a much higher dose. I would rule this out as a cause before I thought about absorption issues(which ~COULD~ also be happening at the same time) and iron IV.

As Nancy said, she takes 325mgs 3X daily which relates (I think) to about 65mgs of elemental iron x3=195mgs of elemental iron. You can see the difference in the amount that you having been taking. How much have you been taking as prescribed? This same thing happened to me because I wasn't able to take iron due to the Ferris Sulfate making me so ill. My Hgb dropped for a long time until I realized that my Hematologist wasn't too concerned about this, didn't show it, or didn't help me to correct it. This is when I started understanding (iron via internet and GI doctors recommendations), I also responded and finally, over a long period of time resolved the anemia and I am currently working on the ferritin. I was a 2 Ferritin and now 2 yrs later I am at 58. I was taking 300mgs of Poly iron 150 2X daily. Now I take for maintenance dose 150 daily. I also take PPI's for acid reflux and my GI doc believes that this is causing malabsorption of iron. First, they said that it was my periods, so I had an endometrial ablation to slow or stop the bleeding. After this it was thought to be iron absorption due to the fact that my Ferritin was 43 a little over the one year mark.

The only way to really know is to rule out things one at a time and see what is currently happening. Many people with an iron problems have to take a maintenance dose the rest of their lives or until Menopause for some.

I would work really hard at a higher dose with Vit-C and diet, you should respond better. If not, then you know their are other problems going on. And, of course we are always thankful that IV iron therapy dose indeed exist, for many people this is the only answer. You can read about iron and how to balance it with foods that increase the absorption and others that may inhibit absorption.

You are also mildly anemic and it may take a little longer for your levels to come up verses someone that is not anemic. Be patient, it takes time. Keep us posted.

PS--You can also call your local pharmacist or Hematologist and ask about higher dose irons that are GI friendly, they are out there. Some like mine are OTC without a script but located inside the pharmacy. It's something to ask your doctor about, you should always go by what they recommend for you as a patient. You were probably just dragging your feet with the slow fe.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:48 PM   #4
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Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

Nobody is a bigger chicken than me! I had 3 iron ivs 200mg sucrose Iron. I sat and waited for the side effects but I didnt have any. I think one of the keys to get less of a reaction is not having more than 200mg at a time some dr will do much more and then the patient suffers pain for weeks from to much at once. Another thing I would like to point out is blood transfusions also have side effects a women on here almost died form having 3 units of blood all at once but previously had done 2 units with no problem nothingis an easy fix when it comes to raising your ferritin. good luck Charlene

 
Old 02-22-2009, 06:01 AM   #5
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Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

Mine was done in the hospital and the women you talk to saying there are no side effects is an idiot! Hugs Charlene

 
Old 02-22-2009, 02:51 PM   #6
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Smile Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

I have had a total of 6 Iron Infusions with the brand name of Venofer. They have all been in the hematologist's office. I haven't experienced any significant side effects except for water retention (something to do with the clear bag they also run, maybe?). I was also extremely nervous and considered a hospital setting. For people prone to reactions, my doctor has given benadryl prior to the infusion.

Overall, I think the infusions are helping, but the whole cycle of replenishment takes alot longer than I thought. My husband and I thought the infusion would be a like an instant pick me up, but the nurse explained that it has taken a long time to deplete your iron stores and it will take a while (months) to restore it.

 
Old 02-22-2009, 07:11 PM   #7
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Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

Hi, BrainsMom444
What is Ferritin? I might sound stupid, but I'm from the US, and my doctor has not mentioned it. Hgb and iron level and other things, but not Ferritin. I found out my Hgb was 6.5 and my iron level was 1 almost 2 months ago. So I know nothing.

I had Iron infusion, instead of blood transfusion, was told it is safer. I was told blood transfusion were last resort. I was told some people have reactions to it, so they give you small anount first to see if you do. They gave Benadryl to help. Didn't give enough first infusion, I got restless feeling. Nurse argued with me normal, but I told doctor I can use Benadryl to make me sleep, never got restless feeling. Doctor up the amount, and I didn't get restless feeling that time.

I only needed two infusions, had first Friday and second the following Monday. 3rd visit for infusion, I was up to 9.3. So they told me to come back 3 weeks. When checked my Hgb it was 12.5. I was told might need one again later, but not now.

Now going to the Gastroenterologist next week. Oncologist wants upper and lower GI to try to find bleed. Said has to be one some where. Not showing in stools or urine

I had chronic anemia as chikd and adult, till I went through Menopause. This just poped up a few months ago, after having reaction to antibiotic..Don't know if had anything to do with anemia.
Doctor said this has been going on for a long time, has to be slow bleed.

I'm 66.and I didn't get a chance to worry. Did infusion on first visit.Just got voice mail this weekend, telling me to call, wanted me to come in that day. My appt was Jan 16. I didn't call!

I hope I have helped with iron infusion, but would like to know what Ferretin is.

Am I aloud to ask question on some one else's?
Good Luck, Diana

Last edited by DianaRo42; 02-22-2009 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Misspelled

 
Old 02-22-2009, 08:01 PM   #8
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Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

Dianaro42--Ferritin is the number that you gave for iron and you were 1. Ferritin is your body's iron stores. It is stored in the bone marrow and vital organs. The ferritin is what your body uses to keep your Hgb at a stable number. Your Hgb was really low which is vary dangerous and shows that it probably has been going on for a while. If you have something going on inside it may even be healed by now. Perhaps this is why it doesn't show on the stool testing. Occult blood testing only shows intermittent bleeding. However, it is a useful tool in evaluating for blood loss. Glad to hear that you are doing better now. Keep us posted.
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:58 AM   #9
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BriansMom444 HB User
Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

Thx so much for taking the time out to reply to my questions.
I cant say thank you enough!

Rachel

 
Old 02-26-2009, 02:09 AM   #10
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DianaRo42 HB User
Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

HI, FLFLOWERGIRL

Thanks for the info. I new iron level was amount of iron build up in bone marrow. Did not know it was called Ferritin. Thank you again. This message board has helped a great deal.

 
Old 02-26-2009, 07:20 AM   #11
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Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DianaRo42 View Post
Hi, BrainsMom444
Now going to the Gastroenterologist next week. Oncologist wants upper and lower GI to try to find bleed. Said has to be one some where. Not showing in stools or urine

Diana
Diana,
I'm certainly not an expert on this subject just another patient trying to fugure out what is wrong and why and how to fix it but I wanted to share with you something that my hematologist said. I'm 58 and post-menopausal and was told I had iron deciciency anemia in Aug 08 with a ferritin of 5 and my GP immediately said see your GI to check for GI bleeding. An in-office and take-home stool test were negative and a 24 hour urinalysis was negative for blood as well. Anyway I had a colonscopy and then a capsule endoscopy to check the colon and the small intestine respectively and both were negative for bleeding. The GI said I didn't need an upper endoscopy because I just had one in March 08.

I finally saw a hematologist on November 20 and she did very thorough bloodwork. According to the letter she sent my PCP she wrote that "unfortunately in some patieints an obvious source of GI blood loss cannot be identified."

I don't know your whole story but I didn't want you to worry that you might have a serious bleed somewhere - maybe you don't - I'm hoping for you!
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:48 AM   #12
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Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

DianaRo42--
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:55 AM   #13
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Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

DianaRo42--Susie brings up a very good point! I personally know a couple other people of completely different ages, and neither have been able to find a definitive cause for a lowered Hgb/Ferritin. The answers are not always apparent. Keep us posted!
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:50 AM   #14
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Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

Hi Susie,
Thanks so much, reminds me, I'm not the only one that can have weird things wrong, or test results.
Thanks for sharing !

My new doctor is so caring and patient . Didn't know they were still around. My GP is, but shows it in different ways.

Seeing another new doctor on Monday.GI.

 
Old 02-27-2009, 12:01 PM   #15
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Re: Worried about iron infusion, please answer!

Hi FLFLOWERGIRL

I read on Mayo Clinic, that they sometimes never find out why those my age are so low. (I'll use my age), like it better than their word. (smile) I looked up all I could when found out I was seeing Dr. Philip. Oncologist. That's how I found this board, Mayo Clinic..
Thanks,. again
Hugs, Diana

Last edited by DianaRo42; 02-27-2009 at 12:40 PM.

 
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