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    Old 08-23-2006, 01:12 PM   #1
    emmy108
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    Panic!!!

    I just recently found out that I am anemic, I don't have all my blood count numbers with me, but I believe my hemoglobin count was 6.8..I havent seen anyone with this number since I have been reading here.. my doctor says I am severly anemic.. I have a few symtoms.. but not many and don't feel tired.. I guess my question has anyone had a number this low? and also is there any damage to my vital organs

     
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    Old 08-23-2006, 05:38 PM   #2
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    Re: Panic!!!

    The great news is that your doctor knows you're this anemic. You didn't say but I assume you're being monitored and are scheduled to see a hematologist. Try not to worry as these conditions once treated are not normally life threatening. You should try to take it easy and avoid driving. You likely feel just "weird". My hgb dropped to below 6 before it started to rise. I honestly didn't think anything was wrong. If you think about it you're probably a bit weaker than normal and notice unusual things. Perhaps your skin or the whites of your eyes are yellow or you may just feel lethargic and not necessarily tired.
    There are nearly 100 different types of anemia so best not to try to diagnose this yourself. It's likely there's an underlying cause or perhaps the anemia is the problem itself. Your hematologist will be able to tell you what's going on. All I can tell you is that you will need to be patient as treatment can take awhile but you should start feeling better almost right away.
    There are many folks on this and the blood disorders thread that have experienced significant anemia. Keep coming back as you'll find lots of support.
    Les

     
    Old 08-24-2006, 07:40 AM   #3
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    Re: Panic!!!

    Thank you Les for your reply, this was very helpful. I went to my OBGYN and found this out.. just a few days ago. she has NOT referred me to a Hemotologist..so your suggestions is very interesting because I didn't know I should see one.. My OBGYN thinks that this is due to heavy menstrual periods, but she is going on my information only. She wants to stop my heavy periods and for sure so do I.. but I hope that is all it is..having said that..I don't like my options there either..birth control pill, and IUD or that Abalation thing on my Uterus...so I will have to make a choice.. I do fell a bit weak and lathargic.. and my heart rate does go up very easily upon exertion.. but thats about it.. I did get the rest of my numbers so far and they were : 25.4 for Hemocrite and my MCV was 62..which is very depressing based on what I have read so far.. I am 46 years old.. and in good pyhsical condition... exercise and nutrition has been a part of my life for 18 years, so this is very disrurbing.. but thank you again for you response.

    Emmy

     
    Old 08-24-2006, 08:59 AM   #4
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    Re: Panic!!!

    Emmy I would suggest you ask either your gyno or family doc if the lab results indicate you should seek advice from a hemotologist. Your hemoglobin is dangerously low and it just sounds weird that it would occur due to heavy menstrual bleeding. Are you being monitored to ensure your hemoglobin doesn't continue to drop????? Has your doctor recommended a transfusion or other immediate treatment? My hgb dropped from 7.8 to 5.8 in less than a week but my problem is due to an autoimmune disorder.
    I don't blame you for not wanting the bcp, IUD or the ablation although I have heard the endometrial ablation does indeed stop the bleeding.
    Please seek more advice and let us know how you're doing, okay?
    Les

     
    Old 08-24-2006, 09:08 AM   #5
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    Re: Panic!!!

    Hey Les,

    I ask her if I needed a blood transfusion, she said No..I am going back for a Ferritin checkin a week..just trying now to get as much iron in my diet as possible.. this could be an absorbtion issue..I just recently went full Vegetarian, but I have never been a big beef eater.. so that could cccount for such a drop.. last year at my annual exam.. my hemo..was 9.2..still low, but couldn't take those nasty pills she gave me.. so I am be very pro-active now.. I will take your advice maybe and see a Hematoligist in the next week or so.. Thanks again and I hope you are doing well?

    emmy

     
    Old 08-24-2006, 10:10 AM   #6
    KritterKeeper
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    Red face Re: Panic!!!

    If your Hgl is at 6.8 I'm surprised that your GYN isn't reccommending any action. At the very least you should be taking an iron supplement if this is a case of iron deficiency anemia. If your GYN has determined that your anemia is due to heavy periods there is no need to see a hematologist unless iron infusions are indicated. Heavy periods can indeed lead to anemia which will not resolve itself until you address the excessive blood loss. It is quite common in women your age. I am also 46 and suffering iron deficiency anemia. Even though my periods were not heavy my body does not seem to absorb adequate amounts of iron. I was put on continuous BCPs to keep any blood loss to a minimum. You probably do not feel badly because the drop has been so gradual you have not noticed the changes. This is usually a simple health issue to address and it should be addressed! Do not allow your blood levels to continue to be this low. If your dr is ignoring this FIND ANOTHER DR!!

     
    Old 08-24-2006, 12:02 PM   #7
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    Re: Panic!!!

    The problem is that anemia can be caused by a number of different things. I have low hemoglobin too, but it's from Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia, which means my body attacks my red cells. In that case, no amount of iron will raise my hemoglobin to a regular level - I require Prednisone. That's why you need to be monitored.

    And your heart palpations are from the low hemoglobin. I'm surprised you're not having more symptoms.

    You may have to push for answers. Just because you have heavy cycles doesn't mean that's the reason for your anemia. Better to find out the whole story.

    Best,
    Jill

     
    Old 08-24-2006, 01:51 PM   #8
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    Re: Panic!!!

    I too am anemic. Recently I found a good reference from CDC however can't find it now. It had to do with renal dysfunction and speaks to my problem. One thing it said is that 12 is anemia and <10 is severe anemia. I also wondered about the degree of mine, 9 but didn't know if that was severe or not so was glad to find that reference. I have an unusual situation, or at least I think it is unusual. My iron and B12 are OK. I asked my rheumatologist about that and she was reluctant to respond (not her area of course) but she did say that was uncommon. She had done a LOT of tests and told me the worst thing was kidney. I see kidney problems on the horizon and the reference I saw said that renal dysfunction causes anemia. A test in the spring was 10 and a month ago it was 9. I am to repeat it in a month to see if it is dropping. My GP who is handling this said he will probably send me to a hematologist unless it clears with these next test. Mine is also due to autoimmune problems.

    Based on what I have found you need to take that seriously.

     
    Old 08-24-2006, 03:29 PM   #9
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    Re: Panic!!!

    Emmy,I'm going through the same thing right now. I am 46 and my last hct was 28 and Hgb was 6.8. They sent me my lab report telling me how low it was and to take iron.I ahd all the scopes-endoscopy,colonoscopy,etc. and it was OK. I just had a couple of polyps that they removed. My PCP thinks it's from the occasionally heavy periods as well. I can't take BCP's(I have lupus) and when I asked her about the ablation she told me that although it does stop heavy bleeding it's not necessarily a cure-all,that the bleeding can come back. My rheumatologist drew more blood today for almost everything you can think of. He said that if the Hct/Hgb comes back that low again that they may try IV iron. He also took tests for thyroid function,renal,etc. My main symptom is fatigue although I'm really pale and get the occasional palpitations. I take an iron supplement almost every day so I wonder where it's all going?!?? I hope they figure it all out soon. I have even tried eating a little red meat (which I'm not a fan of) and I'm still anemic! I hope they send me to a hematologist soon if they can't figure out what to do. I also have another good friend who's going through the same thing! Good Luck! You're definitely not alone!

     
    Old 08-24-2006, 04:29 PM   #10
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    Re: Panic!!!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Betty325062000
    I too am anemic. Recently I found a good reference from CDC however can't find it now. It had to do with renal dysfunction and speaks to my problem. One thing it said is that 12 is anemia and <10 is severe anemia. I also wondered about the degree of mine, 9 but didn't know if that was severe or not so was glad to find that reference. I have an unusual situation, or at least I think it is unusual. My iron and B12 are OK. I asked my rheumatologist about that and she was reluctant to respond (not her area of course) but she did say that was uncommon. She had done a LOT of tests and told me the worst thing was kidney. I see kidney problems on the horizon and the reference I saw said that renal dysfunction causes anemia. A test in the spring was 10 and a month ago it was 9. I am to repeat it in a month to see if it is dropping. My GP who is handling this said he will probably send me to a hematologist unless it clears with these next test. Mine is also due to autoimmune problems.

    Based on what I have found you need to take that seriously.
    Betty I just wanted to let you know that you need to be careful when looking at reference ranges for what's a normal hemoglobin. Not only do the ranges vary by lab, but normal values are different for women then they are for men.
    For a woman, less than 120 is slightly anemic but really only warrants investigation if it's less than 110. I've been told by various doctors that anemia isn't considered severe unless it's below 100.
    I hope you get to a hematologist soon but don't worry. My hgb was below 7 for over a week before I started treatment.
    CHEERS!
    Les

     
    Old 08-24-2006, 05:46 PM   #11
    Betty325062000
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    Re: Panic!!!

    Thanks for your reply. The reference I sited was from the Center for Disease Control so it should be about as reliable as there is. I know that labs have different references and I take that into consideration. The other respondents to this have even lower than I but this needs to be watched. My GP told me he was thinking hematologist but I don't quickly go to another doctor and he knows that. I asked the rheumatologist about it and she agreed with the GP. What concerns me is my kidneys. I see no problems except what shows up in lab work.

     
    Old 08-24-2006, 10:44 PM   #12
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    Re: Panic!!!

    Betty, I have hemolytic anemia and when I was diagnosed my iron and ferritin levels were all spot on. My hgb was very low and skin and whites of eyes quite yellow. My hematocrit and reticulocyte and ldh (lactose dehydrogenase?) were all way out of range though. I hope you find the underlying cause for your anemia, even if it is your kidney. At least then you can get appropriate treatment. My disorder is unfortunately autoimmune and idiopathic, meaning no known underlying cause or trigger. Just went for my 14 month checkup (8 vials of blood!). Really hoping everything is normal this time.
    CHEERS!

     
    Old 08-25-2006, 04:19 AM   #13
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    Re: Panic!!!

    Les, thanks again for your comments may I ask how long you have been anemic, and what all have you for for treatment at this point and..are you better now? I do plan on going to a hematoligist.. as I mentioned I just found out and am still in shock.. at this point I am taking iron..Floradix, doesn't seem to upset my stomach.. addiotional herbs..and trying to eat iron rich foods..I am going back for more blood work.. asap.. I did forget to mention in my symtoms..I eat a ton of ICE.. so on the humerous side of all this..it is ironic to know that this is a symtom..I am not the only ice cruncher..whos annoys there entire family...Take care.

    emmy

     
    Old 08-25-2006, 07:13 AM   #14
    Les44
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    Re: Panic!!!

    Hi Emmy. Was diagnosed nearly 18 months ago. Was put on very high doses of prednisone and then weaned off it. The process took about 4 months. Recovery has taken much longer. Treatment for this disorder involves shutting down the immune system and "kick starting" it. Mine just didn't seem to come back to it's previous state, at least not until now. I've had back to back infections, viruses, you name it since going off the prednisone. Been quite the ride. Facing a spleenectomy if I have another hemolytic crisis (severe and sudden drop in hemoglobin). I had the pleasure of experiencing this plus a host of gynecological issues.
    If you're an "ice cruncher" you likely don't have the same anemia I do but you definately need to seek treatment now.
    So good luck.......and get better very soon!

     
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