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Anemia Message Board

  • What should I do?

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    Old 12-23-2004, 09:20 PM   #1
    Tewfiddy
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    What should I do?

    Hi everyone. I've been doing a lot of reading on anemia and I was looking for some input. I have recently had some tests done. My Dr. has advised that I am anemic and has prescribed iron supplements and wants me retested after a while ( I don't know how long). My blood Iron level was 38, and my ferritin level was 5. This test was also done after I had eaten breakfast. I was advised it was a non fasting test, but after reading some I think it was supposed to be done while fasting. Anyway, the Dr.'s nurse doesnt seem concerned. She said this isnt anything unusual. She told me not to believe everything I read online and not to be scared. I am overweight (I am working on that though), so I dont think that I eat so terrible that my iron would be deficient through my diet. I do take advil nearly everyday. I suffer from headaches all of the time. I drink a lot of diet coke. I also take a proton pump inhibitor antacid, Protonix. I have read these things can inhibit the absorbtion, but would it be to this extreme? I guess my question would be, should I be as worried as I am and push the dr. to do further testing to find out why I am anemic instead of just trying to supplement my iron? I am 31 years old, female, 5'4" and 162 lbs. Any advice or direction for research would be appreciated. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!!
    Michelle

     
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    Old 12-25-2004, 10:23 AM   #2
    twizliz
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    Re: What should I do?

    if you take advil everyday I would be concerned about an ulcer... 38 is a pretty good level for iron, but the 5 is very low (I'm a 6)

     
    Old 12-26-2004, 10:22 AM   #3
    Tewfiddy
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    Re: What should I do?

    Thanks for your reply, I had never considered an ulcer.. But I guess it would make sense with me taking so much advil. I'm going to look up some symptoms, Im not sure what they would be or if I am having any. Thanks for your input.

     
    Old 12-27-2004, 02:04 PM   #4
    kenziesmom
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    Re: What should I do?

    I would not be worried about the fasting for the blood test for anemia because that does not make a difference. Weight wouldn't really make a difference with anemia either. I would suggest talking to your dr regarding how you have become anemic as you said you take a proton pump inhibitor probably for GERD right the disease can cause a hernia or ulcer in your gastrointestinal system also besides the advil. With the advil it depends on how much you take a day. Have the drs done any other blood tests like abililty to absorb iron and b12 levels which b12 sometimes can also be low with anemia. By the way my ferritin level is 1.

     
    Old 12-27-2004, 09:08 PM   #5
    Tewfiddy
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    Re: What should I do?

    Kenziesmom,
    Wow, a 1?? How have you been surviving? I was wondering that with mine just being a 5. Thanks for replying. I do take protonix for acid reflux. I had some scarring of the esophagus and heartburn symptoms. Ive been on that for a year. I take advil, usually 600mg at least 3 times a week. I also take duridrin which is also for my headaches (it contails acetamenaphin) maybe 2 times a week. I have researched ulcers and right now I do not have any of those symptoms. Like I said, I drink a lot of diet coke, at least 6 cans a day. But no coffee or tea. They did check my b12 levels and said they came back fine. I thought they said they were checking my folate levels too, whatever that is, and that came back fine I guess. I dont remember them commenting on that, unless I misunderstood the word folate for ferritin. It just gets scary when you read about anemia and what it could be. I dont feel like I am bleeding anywhere. Ive always been borderline anemic, just not this low. My hemoglobin was only a 10.6. I usually am around 11.
    In researching anemia, I found this site and its boards. It has been so helpful to read what others have posted. Im glad I found this, and I am glad for everyones help.

     
    Old 01-26-2005, 08:53 PM   #6
    Lorton
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    Re: What should I do?

    Hello,

    As a long time GERD sufferer myself, I don't know how you can drink so much pop without it tearing up your stomach. Drinking 6 cans of pop a day may also explain your frequent headaches. Taking Advil is probably not the best thing for your stomach either. You may have gastritis which basically means your stomach lining may be inflamed and irritated which is common in people with acid reflux disease. With proper medication and diet modifications, the gastritis usually clears up. If the gastritis is ignored and the irritation continues for a long period of time, you can develop ulcers and bleeds which then can cause anemia. It may be in your best interest to consult with a GI doctor and have some upper and lower GI tests done along with a complete blood work up.

    Good luck and let me know how you are doing!
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    LuAnne

     
    Old 01-27-2005, 12:14 AM   #7
    Marimac
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    Re: What should I do?

    Generally the ferritin level reflects the amount of stored iron that you have to draw from. Sort of like a bank account with saved money. Analgesics tend to lower the body's ability to save or store iron. You can do quite nicely with a low ferritin, but if you need to replace lost iron, you may run into trouble down the road. The hemoglobin reflects the available oxygen that is being carried by the blood cells and as that drops you get your fatigue symptoms. A lot of people run around quite anemic and do not realize it because the drop is gradual and they adjust. But the sudden change causes symptoms.

     
    Old 01-30-2005, 09:39 AM   #8
    Tewfiddy
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    Re: What should I do?

    Thanks Marimac for your response and help. Just an update here. I have seen the dr again. My hemoglobin count is now 10.8, up from 10.6. My dr did not test the ferritin this time for some reason. He said he is still not happy with that, and he may end up sending me to a blood specialist. I get retested again in early march. In the meantime, I am seeing a gasterologist to persue some occasional rectal bleeding. And even before that, this coming wednessday, I am undergoing laproscopic surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. He is not sure what kind it is yet, and I did have my blood count checked so he knew where I stood before surgery. I do not know the results yet. Im wondering, If it is at least 10.8 like it was, with my ferritin previously 5, should I worry about needing a transfusion for this surgery? I am hoping that by removing the cyst, it may help my anemia somehow. My next stop is checking out the rectal bleeding. I am already on protonix for acid reflux, I dont think they would do an upper scope. Hopefully, by taking one thing at a time, I will eventually get better!

     
    Old 01-30-2005, 01:01 PM   #9
    pinkangel670
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    Re: What should I do?

    I'm concerned about your diet-coke intake as I've known 3 people with 'mysterious' illness that was traced back to aspartame toxicity. Here are some side effects: decreased vision, ringing in the ears, headaches, dizzyness, memory loss, sleepiness, depression, insomnia, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, nausea, diarrhea with occassional blood in the stools, weight gain, low blood sugar. It is unlikely that routine lab tests will pick up on this, so it is often misdiagnosed as a textbook disease.
    ~pink

     
    Old 01-30-2005, 04:34 PM   #10
    Marimac
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    Re: What should I do?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tewfiddy
    Thanks Marimac for your response and help. Just an update here. I have seen the dr again. My hemoglobin count is now 10.8, up from 10.6. My dr did not test the ferritin this time for some reason. He said he is still not happy with that, and he may end up sending me to a blood specialist. I get retested again in early march. In the meantime, I am seeing a gasterologist to persue some occasional rectal bleeding. And even before that, this coming wednessday, I am undergoing laproscopic surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. He is not sure what kind it is yet, and I did have my blood count checked so he knew where I stood before surgery. I do not know the results yet. Im wondering, If it is at least 10.8 like it was, with my ferritin previously 5, should I worry about needing a transfusion for this surgery? I am hoping that by removing the cyst, it may help my anemia somehow. My next stop is checking out the rectal bleeding. I am already on protonix for acid reflux, I dont think they would do an upper scope. Hopefully, by taking one thing at a time, I will eventually get better!
    Actually doctors do try to avoid transfusions because they can cause more problems than they fix. There should not be very much blood loss and the storage iron takes about 3 months to show a change which is why the doctor has not retested it. Your hemoglobin coming up some means that some iron has been added to your diet. That is good. But, those numbers are still relative measurement and should not cause a lot of worry unless there are other things going on as well. P.S. The diet coke thing: the caffiene can cause a lot of those symptoms, mostly when you are going through withdrawals. Although some people do have strong reactions to aspartame.

     
    Old 01-30-2005, 06:44 PM   #11
    Tewfiddy
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    Re: What should I do?

    Thanks to the both of you for your input. I do drink a lot of diet coke. When I see those symptoms, I do have almost every one of them. Then I think that those symptoms are linked to so many other things, its one of those things that if you read it, you'll think you have it. But I will mention it to the dr. and see what he says. Thanks.
    I am glad to know my chances for a transfusion are probably not that high. I dont expect a lot of blood loss. However, I have to sign something saying I will let the dr. take my ovary or whatever else he needs to if he thinks there is something more going on. In that event, I was wondering if I should worry. I guess the hospital will know what to do and when. I just wanted my mothers blood if I could have anyones. Its nice to talk and "vent" here, to throw out my thoughts and concerns and read what others have been through and what they think. I have had such bad, intense, painful gas pains off and on for so long now, wondering if it was normal. I have been having high fevers out of the blue (101-104) with no cold like symptoms. I hope removing this cyst fixes those two things. I have missed too much work due to them already. Then I will tackle the anemia, the rectal bleeding, then discuss my blood pressure with my dr again (ive been keeping logs, it stays around 140/90) I have had a lot of weight gain, started taking Lipitor last month, and have no energy to try to get in shape due to the anemia. I am only 32 years old, up from 110 lbs 2 years ago to 170 now.I feel so "old". I feel like I have been dumped a bunch of puzzle pieces, and I dont know where they go. I feel like they all belong in the same puzzle for some reason. I am taking things one thing at a time, getting rid of this cyst, and then move on to finding the cause of the rectal bleeding. And go from there. Its so aggravating!!!!! Thanks again , keep the responses rolling if anyone can add anything!! I sure appreciate it!

     
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