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  • Iron Deficiency Anemia

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    Old 12-18-2005, 03:38 AM   #1
    bttws
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    Iron Deficiency Anemia

    Hi. I was looking for some information about people's personal stories about Iron deficiency anemia on medical forums, but surprisingly that's hard to come by, even on the internet.

    But this forum said it's a place to talk to others about medical issues, so here goes.

    I am a 27 year old woman who has always had irregular and sometimes very heavy menstrual cycles. I am under the impression anemia isn't something I have always had when things are going like they should. I donated blood in high school and after the iron test, I must have come up normal enough to give. Still, many many times I have noticed the symptoms of anemia show itself during/after excessively heavy periods.

    In September of this past year I was having problems with excessive bleeding but this wasn't that uncommon for me so I don't bother a doctor for it. Other than absences from my job and sheer hassle, I go on with life. This time though I began having disturbingly large and excessive amounts of blood clots. Since I had been through all this before and was fine after taking vitamin supplements and resting I didn't do much about it. Not to mention money for doctor visits wasn't easy to come by since at that time I had one month until I was married and would be on my husband's insurance and my job didn't provide it yet. (We had moved to our current state only 8 months prior)

    Less than a week and a half into the excessive blood loss I felt very light headed in the kitchen and started to see black...just a rapid dip in blood pressure. That was uncommon for me.

    Other than anemia, I am a healthy person. I exercise and I have never smoked. I just lay down on the couch and didn't feel much else for the next several days.

    3 days after this (still bleeding as heavy) I went to take a shower right after walking downstairs. I remember getting in the shower and then (I assume) a few moments later I found myself on the bathroom floor. After this initial pass out, I could not regain blood pressure and I remember being very scared and trying to dress only to fall again and hit my chin on the counter which caused quite a cut. Up until that time, I had never passed out in my life. I was also alone since my (then)boyfriend was already at work. I remember getting to the couch and entering a forced sleep of sorts and fading in and out of consciencenous.

    It was like a switch had been thrown and all of a sudden I could not rise to my feet without passing out or nearly doing so. I was in a haze but I still thought I could pull through because it WAS an embarrasing issue. I am a pretty modest person and truly wanted to at least be through bleeding before I went to the hospital. I knew what was in store and used the money issue to stave off my boyfriend from calling the squad. That and trying to make it seem like it wasn't as bad. He only saw me pass out twice and that was the day I went to the hospital.

    Through it all, I say I passed out about 15 times. Yes, I am stubborn. I hate being seen as weak and have always solved my own problems with health but I couldn't ignore it this time.

    At the hospital the thing I heard repeated over and over was how pale I was. One nurse said I was the palest living person she'd ever seen. It kind of amuses me that since they didn't have a room available when I got there, they put me in the hallway...I am sure I scared or disturbed quite a few people. At least that is what I remember seeing on their faces.

    I realize that people say different labs have different measures for blood levels, but here was mine:
    Blood count 14
    Hemoglobin level was a 5
    Blood pressure was 115/44
    Pulse rate 120 (my normal rate is about 68)

    I am not sure to this day how close I was on the brink. I actually felt like I was going to die at one point while I was at home. Since then, I have read that a hemoglobin level of 5 can be a step away from a coma or heart failure. I don't know anything about the blood count. The doctors wouldn't answer me straight when I asked if I was close to death...maybe too morbid...I don't know. One doctor did say that if I had waited a few more days, I could have bled-out. I think that was actually my answer in so many words.

    Within an hour I think, I was given 2 blood packs in a blood transfusion. I spent 3 days in the hospital. I didn't eat much and they kept me on Ambien. I had every embarrasing test they can possibly do to a woman as well. Maybe that is why I am not as shy about talking about it now


    There has been no cause found for my excessive bleeding. No fibroids, no cancer, I don't have diabetes, nor a thyroid condition....I know this because it's what they tested me for. Not that I know what those have to do with anemia. I do know this "problem" runs in the family. My grandmother supposedly had a hysterectomy in her 30's. Never got the full details...but I
    know my mother and sister had/have irregular periods but nothing like me.

    I'm on BC now to control the bleeding so it doesn't happen again. I've been taking iron supplements since September....complete with the lovely gastric problems that come with taking high amounts of iron.

    I know I did a lot of talking, but maybe I can provide some insight on what can happen and prompt people to get to their doctor sooner...since waiting so long only made that inevitable bill higher.

     
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    Old 12-18-2005, 11:24 AM   #2
    lindsalou
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    Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia

    My, next time Im sure you wont wait so long before seeking medical attention!
    Your levels (hb) were extremely low, people dont realise the servierty of anemia if left untreated, sounds like in this case you where lucky you sought help when you did.
    I have IDA, and have had to endure a course of iron infusions (not very nice), and mine is caused by heavy mentrual bleeding.
    Im having an endometrial rescection in feb, in hope of it stopping or at least slowing down my periods, as all the iron im given i seem to loose again every period.
    I hope others take your post as a warning to not ignore your body when its telling you something is wrong.
    Best wishes
    Linds

     
    Old 12-18-2005, 11:45 AM   #3
    bttws
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    Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia

    Thanks for the best wishes ^_^

    Yes, next time I will get help sooner, if this happens again...although I doubt it will if I keep taking my BC. I don't plan on having kids anytime soon, so I'll be on this awhile. Plus I have health coverage now so I have no need to wait other than the embarassment factor.

    Did they give you a reason for your heavy bleeding? Pretty much they shrugged their shoulders and told me they had no clue but that it was a hormonal problem. So the "cure" is BC and iron supplements until I get back to normal.

    I myself hate the problems that come with taking massive doses of iron. I can't imagine what you must go through with an iron infusion. I really hope things even out for you. This was not a fun thing to go through at all. IDA has always made me feel so tired and I think at times it has affected my personality because I felt so crappy. Hopefully those days are over. I hope your IDA subsides after February too!

     
    Old 12-18-2005, 02:10 PM   #4
    lindsalou
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    Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia

    My heavy bleeding is caused by endometriosis, my mother had it (hysterectomy aged 38,) my sister had it (partial hysterectomy aged 36).
    Fortunately im having the 'new hysterectomy', where they just remove the lining of the uterus.
    I was un-diagnoised for a long time, but mines more my ferritin levels (your bodies iron stores) which are always low - i didnt always look clinically anemic and my hb was mainly boarder line.
    Its cause me anxiety, breathlessness and generally feeling like ive no energy at all.
    As for oral iron therapy, i couldnt tolerate it at all - hence the iron infusions.
    Keep me informed of your progress.
    Linds

     
    Old 12-26-2005, 07:36 AM   #5
    katie_2005
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    Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia

    My iron level is 7 (i'm not sure what it is supposed to be, more than double that right?). Anyway I am in holiday in the states for 2 months. I can't use my prescription for iron here (i asked the pharmacist). They said i'd have to go to the doctors over here! But how much would that cost? HELP..I need iron bad!

     
    Old 12-26-2005, 01:32 PM   #6
    bttws
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    Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia

    Most pharmacies sell iron rich vitamin supplements. I don't know if you could find a doctor accepting patients...you may have to go to the Emergency room. The doctor's visit, if you got one wouldn't cost that much for an office call, but a first time patient might have more fees. An ER visit might run you around $100-200 dollars and the prescription would cost about $25.

    I'm not really sure why you posted here instead of making your own topic, but good luck getting your iron.

     
    Old 09-25-2006, 06:11 PM   #7
    susan kay
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    Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia

    o.k.bttws all i can say is you were very lucky who called 911 you are your boyfriend? my mom has this anemia and so do i our doctor says it is usually an inherited gene i was like you bleed very heavy hurt all the time no energy sleep al night and still tired i have never passed out before but i have had plenty of cashiers at work pass out on me because of low iron so please have your peices and parts taken out beleive me hot flashes are a lot better off than laying on the floor bleeding. i take hemocyte plus and i am still tired the last test dr. mike did on me my iron was at 11.4 and my hemoglo. was 7 so i still have iron problems and i guess i all ways will. hope you feel better .........susan kay

     
    Old 09-26-2006, 07:07 AM   #8
    Star416
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    Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia

    you can buy iron over the counter until you get back home.
    find a walgreens, cvs, or another drug store, and look by the vitamins, or ask the pharmacist to help you find it.

     
    Old 11-23-2006, 10:43 AM   #9
    moommin
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    Red face Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia

    i have had heavy periods for years and took no notice of them,or should i say got used to them,i went to the doctors for other problems,but never mentioned my heavy periods i have been feeling ill for two and a half years,doctors,put it down to stress and treated me for stress,i went back to the doctors cos i felt a lump in my stomach,had a scan and was told that i have fibroids,a blood test showed that i was very enemic,now on medication if only i would have took notice sooner

     
    Old 11-26-2006, 05:06 PM   #10
    susan kay
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    Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia

    just an up date to you i had all of my peices out it helped my iron for a short time now i am back down again. to 7 hemoand 14 on iron so i am kind of half and half but i fatfully take my iron [hemocyte plus every day. see my momgot down to 7and1/2 and went end to have a blood tranfusion and had an arithmia and a second blood trans. had a bllod clot form went from her leg to her lung and lights out she didnt come home. so please take your iron EVERY DAY and see about a total hes. please it will be 2 months on the 28th.take care susan kay

     
    Old 11-27-2006, 01:19 AM   #11
    Pika
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    Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia

    I have iron deficiency anemia since 1999. The heamoglobin when up to 12.4 in 2004. After taking the beta blocker and anti-arrhythmias drugs, it went down to 9.3.

    Then I have an iron studies, it showed Iron : 4 umo1/L (9 30) ; Ferritin : 5 ug/L (9-136).
    Comment: Marked diurnal variation occurs in iron levels. Late afternoon and evening levels may be very low.

    English is my second language. Could someone help me, explain the comment to me what's that mean? Are yours iron study report also got the same comment?

    Thanks

    Pika

     
    Old 11-28-2006, 03:29 PM   #12
    pookerss
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    Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia

    I have heavy periods that last for a full 7 days. I also feel weak and feel like fainting on the first couple of days of my period. Once I had my blood pressure taken on the first day of my period and it was extremely low, don't remember the exact reading.
    One thing that slightly helps me is to take Pamprin. It bearly helps me with feeling faint. I take it every 4 hours for the first two days of my period and then I'm usually ok for the rest of the week.
    I too at one point tested for low iron and was wondering for those who take iron for their heavy periods, when do you take it and for how long? Do you take it for a few days when you start your period or just a couple of days before you start your period? I'm curious to try taking more iron around my period to see if it helps.

     
    Old 11-28-2006, 11:47 PM   #13
    Pika
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    Re: Iron Deficiency Anemia

    My period is not heavy. Normally 3 days and 2 nights. Sometimes it goes up to 4 or 5 days but still 2 nights only. In the mid cycle, if I take iron, then immediately has an extra period.

    Do you know what it means :

    Comment: Marked diurnal variation occurs in iron levels. Late afternoon and evening levels may be very low.

    I wish to know. Anyone can help?

    Thanks

    Pika

     
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