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  • So how low is low?

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    Old 01-23-2008, 06:17 PM   #1
    terry102276
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    Unhappy So how low is low?

    Back story: I'm 8 years post gastric bypass, and have had iron infusions in the past, about 2 years ago. Since then, I've had docs tell me I should take iron pills...that I shouldn't take iron because I'm "not that anemic and you can't absorb it anyway"...that I don't need infusions and I should get all I need from food.

    Over the summer, I was told I was "slightly anemic" and needed to come back in a couple of weeks for another CBC. Due to personality issues with said MD (long story), I switched and got the second CBC - came back with an HCT of 33.2. I was told they'd recheck in six months and those results have just come back. The ferritin is 2 (normal value 10-200), iron is 7 (normal value 37-170) and HCT is down to 31.3.

    So now, I have been waking up daily with headaches in the front of my head and right behind my eyes, feeling very breathless, fatigued, short-tempered, and the sides of my mouth are cracking. I see the hematologist tomorrow, and part of me really hopes he just sends me right away for a transfusion or infusion. Anyone have any advice?

     
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    Old 01-23-2008, 07:11 PM   #2
    FLFLOWERGIRL
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    Re: So how low is low?

    I would always try iron supplements first, I know you don't want to hear that. They make a special supplement for GB patients so that it has a chance to be absorbed. This would be my first course of action, then I would opt for the IV therapy.

    I'm curious what your HGB and RBC's look like. If your HGB is 7 or above he probably won't send you for transfusion.

    I'm sorry you are feeling so poorly, it's because your ferritin is so low and you have depleted iron stores.

    In your case I would only see specialists that are familiar with bypass patients. A Hematologist is a good start. Keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 01-23-2008, 07:21 PM   #3
    terry102276
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    Unhappy Re: So how low is low?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FLFLOWERGIRL View Post
    I would always try iron supplements first, I know you don't want to hear that. They make a special supplement for GB patients so that it has a chance to be absorbed. This would be my first course of action, then I would opt for the IV therapy.

    I'm curious what your HGB and RBC's look like. If your HGB is 7 or above he probably won't send you for transfusion.

    I'm sorry you are feeling so poorly, it's because your ferritin is so low and you have depleted iron stores.

    In your case I would only see specialists that are familiar with bypass patients. A Hematologist is a good start. Keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL
    Been there done that with the special supplements. I was doing that before transfusions the first time, and was told to discontinue because I was on the infusions. I would much rather take pills (can't much afford time out of work if I can avoid it)! The RBC is 4.02 currently and the HGB is 9.2. Not sure what the exact significance of this is, but the TIBCM is 486, and % iron sat is 1.

     
    Old 01-23-2008, 07:27 PM   #4
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    Re: So how low is low?

    Also, the UIBC is 479

     
    Old 01-24-2008, 08:06 AM   #5
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    Re: So how low is low?

    That is correct you can't take iron supplements at the same time as IV iron. I was wanting to know your Hgb to see how anemic you are, 12 Hgb is anemic and you are 9.2which is moderately anemic. Hct is at 35%-36% depending on your range. Either way you are low and it is obvious that you are not absorbing supplements or enough from diet so your only choice would most likely be to continue with the infusions. At least you don't need a transfusion. I would always seek the advice from a specialist that is familiar with GB because they will be more incline to treat you at a certain number so that you don't have to go through this stage over and over. Good luck. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 02-17-2008, 08:06 PM   #6
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    Re: So how low is low?

    I have been having problems with being exhausted and chest pain and other things for the past 4 years, I recently switched PCP's and he sent me right to a hemotologist because my Ferritin had fallen from 24 to 4. She is staring me on iron infusions this week. I am so nervous and dont know what to expect. I HATE IV's and have had some bad experiences with them. Can someone tell me what to expect. I would probably do anything not to feel like crap right now but also do not want to do the infusion thing. I also am scheduled for the ablation surgery in April. I have been told by my GYNO that because I have had multiple C-sections that there is a 20% failure rate. Has anyone had the ablation surgery after c-sections and had it work?

     
    Old 03-05-2008, 01:29 PM   #7
    ChickyChat
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    Re: So how low is low?

    I had 2 c-sections and in June I had the hydrothermal Ablation with no troubles at all.
    I'm a gastric bypass patient, 6 years post op, and also pernicious anemia challenged. My hemoglobin was 6.4 when it was discovered, and my B12 was 24.
    I had two pints of blood in December and a total dextron iron infusion last March and have taken B12 shots weekly for a year. My b12 level now is 740.
    My hematologist is checking my blood every 4 months now and so far I'm ok. We'll see how it goes.

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 05:29 AM   #8
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    Re: So how low is low?

    dldunphy, don't be afraid of the iron infusions. They aren't too bad and they will help you feel so much better. I have had about 5 and will be getting my 6th soon. I am at the point now where I need it about twice a year.

    I am slightly allergic to the form of iron used in the IV. I get hives, so they give me a corticosteroid and an anhistamine prior to getting the iron. Sometimes the steriod/benadryl IV will burn a little and make my hand feel numb, but this doesn't happen each time and it stops as soon as they stop the drip, so I think it must depend on the nurse administering the IV. The benadryl makes me very drowsy, so even though I bring a book, my portable DVD player to watch a movie, or computer to do some work, I end up spending most of the 4 hrs napping. After it is over, it seems that the steroid kicks in and I feel really really good that evening. Then it takes about 2 weeks for me to feel better from the iron.

    I guess the worst part of the whole ordeal is that my iron infusion is adminstered in the same room where cancer patients are receiving their chemotherapy. This is always so sad.

     
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