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    Old 08-31-2007, 04:07 PM   #1
    rainiemarie
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    Question Newbie- So frustrated with doctors!

    I'm so frustrated! I have been anemic for at least the past 2 years and 7 months. I have 2 children (a 2yr 7mo old and a 4mo old) both were born by c-section. It's not a major shock that I am anemic considering those things, but my doctors said I had normal blood loss during my surgeries. I've been taking iron (slow fe) since I gave birth to my 4 month old.
    Just recently it has gotten so bad that I feel like I am high on drugs constantly, I cannot concentrate at all. The last time it was this bad I got into a car accident while driving and totaled my vehicle. A few days ago I almost ran over a bicyclist, that was the last straw I called my doctor, went in, my hemoglobin is 8.8. The day after my c-section it was 10. My doctor told me to take ferrous sulfate 325mg 3 times a day and come back in a month. I was already taking the slow fe three times a day I don't understand why my hemoglobin is so low and why my body is not absorbing the iron. I need help, I don't know what to say to the doctor to make her realize that I need further testing to find out why I'm having this problem.
    Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.

     
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    Old 08-31-2007, 05:48 PM   #2
    FLFLOWERGIRL
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    Re: Newbie- So frustrated with doctors!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rainiemarie View Post
    I'm so frustrated! I have been anemic for at least the past 2 years and 7 months. I have 2 children (a 2yr 7mo old and a 4mo old) both were born by c-section. It's not a major shock that I am anemic considering those things, but my doctors said I had normal blood loss during my surgeries. I've been taking iron (slow fe) since I gave birth to my 4 month old.
    Just recently it has gotten so bad that I feel like I am high on drugs constantly, I cannot concentrate at all. The last time it was this bad I got into a car accident while driving and totaled my vehicle. A few days ago I almost ran over a bicyclist, that was the last straw I called my doctor, went in, my hemoglobin is 8.8. The day after my c-section it was 10. My doctor told me to take ferrous sulfate 325mg 3 times a day and come back in a month. I was already taking the slow fe three times a day I don't understand why my hemoglobin is so low and why my body is not absorbing the iron. I need help, I don't know what to say to the doctor to make her realize that I need further testing to find out why I'm having this problem.
    Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.
    rainiemarie--Welcome to the boards and I'm sorry that you are having such a hard time especially with a new baby.

    I understand that you have been anemic since having children this is quite common. Are you also having a monthly cycle? I'm thinking that maybe you were not on a high enough dose of iron to recover from your anemia at least in the last 4 months. If you are taking it with food and some types of beverages, the absorption rate is decreased by 50-60% roughly.

    I was anemic for 8 months because I couldn't take the right dose or took it with food. When I could handle it, it took me about 2 months to recover to normal range. My Hgb was like yours an 8.6 with a Ferritin 2. Have your Ferritin checked because that is a good idea, you may have been using your storage. I would get my B-12 checked as well. An Anemia panel will give you these results.

    There is a difference in Slow Fe and Ferrous Sulfate. I bought the Slow Fe I think it had 45 mgs of iron which would give you 90mgs daily. Or if it comes in 50x3=150. I'm just throwing that out there I don't remember exactly. But I know for a fact the the Ferrous Sulfate 325mgs has 65mgs of elemental iron which would give you 195mgs of iron. Then you only absorb a small amount anyway. See the difference. This MIGHT be the problem. I had to be put on Poly Iron Caps 150mgs 2X daily=300mgs of elmental iron. It is a mild iron complex that is a RX and OTC but you have to ask for it I think. One a day my blood would drop, with periods. I had to fix that problem too. I would give it a month to see results before seeing a Hematologist. The amount and type of iron that is being recommened is vary harsh. I would talk to the pharmacy and try something that is milder and a dose equal to what your doctor is asking. Be sure to eat red meat 3X a week and take a good Multi-Vit like your PreNats. Good luck, you will start to feel better but it takes a long time. Keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 09-02-2007, 01:06 PM   #3
    Georgigirl
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    Re: Newbie- So frustrated with doctors!

    I am no expert and I am not qualified to tell you this but I think you need help in a serious way. You should have all of your levels checked. Ferritin, Folic and B-12, as well as your total hemoglobin. No wonder you are having trouble concentrating. You shouldn't have to suffer so and especially with small children to look after. Perhaps you could ask for a referal to a specialist. I hope things improve for you. It's so hard when you are "running on empty".

    Last edited by Georgigirl; 09-02-2007 at 01:07 PM. Reason: spelling mistake

     
    Old 09-03-2007, 10:16 PM   #4
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    Re: Newbie- So frustrated with doctors!

    in order to absorb iron the body needs vitamin c, so lots of fruit and veg. take your iron with OJ to help absorption. Tannin in tea kills vit c so cut out tea if you drink that. Foods to help also, dark green leafy veg, eggs, meat and for added vit c, oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit. HTH

     
    Old 09-04-2007, 03:06 AM   #5
    Audrey-B
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    Re: Newbie- So frustrated with doctors!

    You know your body better than anybody else and if you have ended up in an accident previously and now a near miss with a cyclist then i would say a thorough check up is required. For you it's likely a combination of very low iron levels as well as being worn out by the stress a new born baby brings on and also looking after a toddler.

    Iron supplements often seem to take a long time to work for a lot of people and as somebody else mentioned in their reply, other foods/beverages can stop your body successfully absorbing the iron, even a glass of milk with your meal will stop the iron absorbtion by up to 60%. You need to be careful when you have your supplements (before meals is best), what foods you eat, your food/drink combinations. The iron which your body does absorb is utilised to help a number of areas in your body first, leaving your energy levels till last. So after the iron has gone everywhere it needs to go first, there might not be any left, or only a tiny bit left for your energy.

    Do you have any time to actually relax during your day? I know it's hard work raising a baby and another very young child, but you might benefit from some relaxation time or even a nap when your kids have their nap during the day. This way you keep what energy you do have in reserve for later in the day.

    When i was on a very high dose supplement it gave me irritable bowel symptoms and then my doctor got me to take organic iron tablets along with the supplement and this got rid of the IBS symptoms. The doctor gave me a reason why organic iron over non-organic helps settle your stomach, but i forget why. I also never had side effects from iron in liquid form, but then again the dosage was so low that it wasn't getting me anywhere fast.

    Regardless, my levels had difficulty rising and even began dropping. I was fortunate that my specialist and my gp co-operated with me and with each other and agreed on iron injections, which only took 30 seconds once per week for 5 weeks. Now day by day i feel i have more and more energy than ever before. I know not every single person out there is suitable for iron injections, but a lot of people are, yet quite a few gp's refuse to give the ok to get these injections. It would save so much anxiety, stress, time and money to simply get the injections if you are suitable for them. Otherwise finding an understanding and broadminded doctor.

     
    Old 09-05-2007, 07:25 AM   #6
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    Re: Newbie- So frustrated with doctors!

    I have also been suffering with anemia for years and Drs only solution was to take iron supplements which leave me constipated and nauseated. Two years ago I demanded tests to be done, a pelvic scan showed I had moderate fibroids but everything else was clear. A colonoscopy showed polyps with first stage cancer, the polyps were removed.
    6mths ago the anemia worsened, it was an effort to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, I could no longer function, I slept nearly 18hrs a day, my hair started falling out, my bones ached and I was having strong chest pains. As Drs were not helping me I decided to help myself and ******d 'Anemia', first thing I discovered is Anemia is known as a silent killer. Anemia is a symptom of another problem which needs to be found. So I searched for disorders that have anemia as a symptom. I then searched for tests for those disorders and fronted my Dr and demanded the tests be done. First was full blood tests including ca-125, ca-125 was normal but bloods showed I have microcytic anemia [red cell count is less than half what it should be and those cells are half the size they should be] no wonder I had zero energy. Next was ecg, heart is healthy but working overtime because of lack of oxygen, because of low of red cells. Next, chest xray, everything clear. Another colonoscopy, colon clear and healthy. Breast screen, clear. Gastroscopy, clear. Another pelvic scan, bingo, fibroids advanced, right ovary enlarged [100mm]. left ovary normal. I booked total-hysterectomy for following week. Outcome stage 1B ovarian cancer which was contained to ovaries. No further sign of cancer, 16 days after surgery I am feeling on top of the world, I have energy again for the first time in years. Dont dispair anemia does not only mean ovarian cancer and having babies is not the only reason for anemia, but don't let your Dr fob you off with iron supplements or injections. Find the cause of your anemia and fix that problem. PS I will now have regular pelvic scans and ca-125 blood tests to catch cancer early if it returns.

     
    Old 09-05-2007, 10:47 AM   #7
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    Re: Newbie- So frustrated with doctors!

    Tropical Girl--What an interesting story. I went to my PCP with labs from another doc that showed anemia. He said just start on OTC iron supplements. Wrong, I went on the net read like you. It says everywhere to check for internal bleeding. My husband faxed my labs to his Gi doc and they got me in in 3 days. All was normal. I then went to the GYN all showed normal but was not. I had an ablation for heavy bleeding they found 7 polyps that were normal. If I didn't try to stop the heavy bleeding the polyps could have turned into CA because they did not see them on the Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound. This was my anemia problem they believe, I sure do hope so. All of my doctors agree.

    Thank you for sharing here on the boards. It really does help others. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 04:35 PM   #8
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    Re: Newbie- So frustrated with doctors!

    I agree, that is a very interesting story Tropical Girl. The problem is, dr's hate it when we turn up at the surgery and ask for certain tests or procedures and mentioning the word "internet" is like waving a red flag at a bull. At the end of the day it does seem as though we do have to do the hard work and research ourselves and then present it on a platter for dr's.

    It's good to read that your situation had a good outcome and i hope your health keeps improving

     
    Old 09-11-2007, 08:57 AM   #9
    juice82
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    Re: Newbie- So frustrated with doctors!

    Be sure to have your iron levels checked before taking iron supplements - even when doctor prescribed. Thalassemia can look like anemia from a simple blood test, and docs sometimes put their patients on iron supps, but in reality, there is already too much iron in the blood, but the red blood cells aren't being assembled properly. Too much iron is not a good thing.

     
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