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  • Question about anemia, blood transfusions, and stable hemoglobin

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    Old 05-09-2007, 07:47 PM   #1
    mm9221
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    Question about anemia, blood transfusions, and stable hemoglobin

    I had a blood transfusion on May 27 for severe anemia. They gave me two units. My Hgb went back up to 10.1. My doc is having me get weekly blood draws for a month, then they space out. I just had my second check and so far my Hgb is stable...I know that means staying about the same. I'm taking my iron three times daily.

    Here's the question...If my Hgb is going to fall, when does it happen after the transfusion?

    They never determined why I was anemic in the first place and I did the whole GI workup from one end to another. I am a bit concerned.

    One more question...anemia isn't the only thing I have going on, but is it normal to be this fatigued after a transfusion? I have more energy and endurance which I love, but I am dragging later in the afternoon more than usual.

    Thanks for helping me and being willing to answer my questions!!!

    Elaine
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    Old 05-10-2007, 06:46 AM   #2
    AmieSue
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    Re: Question about anemia, blood transfusions, and stable hemoglobin

    Hi Elaine - I also had a transfusion (back in April) and also was able to get to just above 10, and it did hold stable until my next period and at that point I did end up dropping back down to 9.2 but even on Repliva up to twice a day I have not been able to get my feritin above 5 (granted it has only been about a month and it takes a lot longer for oral iron to build up - on the order of months). Since the ferritin is so low, any bleeding I have will knock down the HGB count. Since getting my period to stop it seems to have stabilized at 9.3 while I am waiting to have my ablation in June to stop my period altogether. If you are in the same situation, if it starts dropping again then you are losing blood somewhere, but if it holds steady it may point to an issue with the way you process iron - or at least that is how they have explained it to me.

    I also am hypothyroid - and while that definitely contributes to fatigue while they are trying to find the right replacement dosage, but just remember that even 10 is anemic and can also contribute to the fatigue in the afternoons. If you haven't had a thyroid panel, it doesn't hurt to have that checked during one of the blood draws - a lot of the symptoms cross between thyroid issues and anemia and the two can really work together to do a number on you.

    They are working with IV iron now to try and raise my ferritin more quickly - as I do appear to be having an issue with processing oral iron, and that should start to build my endurance further.

    With any luck you will be able to hold steady and start building your stores back up!

     
    Old 05-10-2007, 02:06 PM   #3
    mm9221
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    Re: Question about anemia, blood transfusions, and stable hemoglobin

    Thanks AmieSue,

    I'm hypothyroid as well and was stable when I was checked last month. I do feel better, but I'm so tired in the afternoon and evening. My periods have been tending towards the light side since right before I became anemic.

    I didn't think you could get iron storage problems as an adult. Shows you what I know.

    Thanks again! Of all the health issues I have, I never thought this would be one I'd have to worry about.
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    Old 05-10-2007, 04:14 PM   #4
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    Re: Question about anemia, blood transfusions, and stable hemoglobin

    Just a quick response... a hemoglobin of 10 is still low and would cause fatigue. That's great that it's staying stable but you're still anemic so that would explain things. Has your doctor recommended doing IV iron? That might help boost things from a 10 to a normal range and get you some more energy!

    Plus, finding out why you're anemic would be good and your doc should be working on that with you. Sounds like you've had the full GI work-up so maybe going to a hematologist would be the next step. I also suffered from severe anemia and had all the GI tests done, including the capsule endoscopy twice and they never found a cause. But over time things have improved, although I'm still borderline anemic with things staying stable around 11. Good luck!

     
    Old 05-10-2007, 07:03 PM   #5
    mm9221
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    Re: Question about anemia, blood transfusions, and stable hemoglobin

    Hi Lizzy,

    I don't have the breakdown on all the iron tests, but the one I did see said my iron was less than one. I know that's part of the problem. At one point, I was afraid I might have cancer because I've been losing weight for the last six months or so. Sometimes I'm not even hungry. I'm pretty sure I'm bleeding from somewhere, but I also think it's better right now. The GI doc said we would be looking at other things if I didn't have improvement over a month's time.

    This is stressful, but I know you understand. Thank you!
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