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  • Newbie here with bad labs.

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    Old 04-11-2008, 06:30 AM   #1
    BabyCatcher101
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    Unhappy Newbie here with bad labs.

    Here are the lab results and ranges:

    Ferritin, Serum 2 ng.mL (10- 291)
    Iron, serum 15 ug/dL (35-155)

    CBCs of import:
    RBC 4.11 x10E6/uL (3.80-5.10)
    HGB 9.5 g/dL (11.5-15.0)
    Hct 29.5 % (34.0-44.0)
    MCV 72 fL (80-98)
    MCH 23.1 pg (27.0-34.0)
    MCHC 32.2 g/dL (32.0-36.0)
    RDW 17.0 % (11.7-15.0)
    ____________________
    I know the reason why (malabsorption due to intestinal bypass) so discovering why is not the issue here.

    My questions are:

    1. How dangerous is this level of anemia and low iron/ferritin... I mean, am I in danger of my heart stopping right this very minute?

    2. Would these results merit IV iron infusions or blood transfusions? (I'm hoping so because I don't think I want to wait the weeks it could take to raise these levels via supplementation - also EVERY oral iron supplement I have tried causes me so much pain that it literally puts me out of commission.)

    (Just FYI: All of my B vitamin levels are fantastic. Thyroid is good. I am deficient in D and so my PTH is high, therefore I am supplementing with 100,000K of dry D daily and will retest in 6 weeks.)

    Thank you to anyone who could shed some light and perspective on this for me.

     
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    Old 04-11-2008, 07:12 AM   #2
    FLFLOWERGIRL
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    Re: Newbie here with bad labs.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BabyCatcher101 View Post
    My questions are:

    1. How dangerous is this level of anemia and low iron/ferritin... I mean, am I in danger of my heart stopping right this very minute?

    The level/stage of your anemia is considered to be moderate, not serious/severe and not life threatening. This is according to what they say at each stage. On the other hand my sister had this surgery and when she became anemic with a 9 ferritin her bariatric SP? specialist told her (maybe to scare her, I don't know) that he has seen a 22 year old have a heart attack and die from this. I guess it depends on your condition and if you already have any problems that might put you at further risk during this period. You should ask your doc that question. I had palps very badly with tachycardia and didn't die, with a ferritin of 2, which is very low.

    2. Would these results merit IV iron infusions or blood transfusions? (I'm hoping so because I don't think I want to wait the weeks it could take to raise these levels via supplementation - also EVERY oral iron supplement I have tried causes me so much pain that it literally puts me out of commission.)
    Even if you have IV I think that it takes weeks to show improvement. This is also not without risk. Perhaps they would prescribe IV because of your malabsorption, but not always. It really depends on the doctor. I hope you are seeing the right type of doc for your condition. Regarding blood transfusion, my doc told me around 7 hgb that might be appropriate. What types of oral iron have you tried that were not successful for you? FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 04-11-2008, 08:34 AM   #3
    BabyCatcher101
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    Re: Newbie here with bad labs.

    "The level/stage of your anemia is considered to be moderate, not serious/severe and not life threatening. This is according to what they say at each stage. On the other hand my sister had this surgery and when she became anemic with a 9 ferritin her bariatric SP? specialist told her (maybe to scare her, I don't know) that he has seen a 22 year old have a heart attack and die from this. I guess it depends on your condition and if you already have any problems that might put you at further risk during this period. You should ask your doc that question. I had palps very badly with tachycardia and didn't die, with a ferritin of 2, which is very low."

    I am going to guess that your sister had a RNY Gastric Bypass. My surgery was very, different from that. Of course I am working with my PCP who is in close (sometimes several times a day) contact with my surgeon.
    My Ferritin level IS 2, and yes, that is vcey low, and I AM having palpitations and orthostatic hypotension and orthostatic tachycardia - continual feleling of lightheadedness merging into dizziness periodically. Docs are aware, and I am waiting on their advice as my fingers speakj to you.

    Can you refer me to a site that explains the "level/stage"s of anemia and iron/ferritin levels?

    "Even if you have IV I think that it takes weeks to show improvement. This is also not without risk. Perhaps they would prescribe IV because of your malabsorption, but not always. It really depends on the doctor. I hope you are seeing the right type of doc for your condition. Regarding blood transfusion, my doc told me around 7 hgb that might be appropriate. What types of oral iron have you tried that were not successful for you? FLFLOWERGIRL"

    I agree that a 7 hgb or less would certainly merit transfusion - however, the hgb can't (or at least shouldn't, in my mind) be taken as a stand alone result and should be interpreted in consideration of the extremely low iron and ferritin results. Therefore a higher hgb becomes more ominous with the extremely low ferritin and iron, does it not?

    I have never heard that it still takes weeks to show improvement after infusions. It was my understanding that infusions could get you back up to speed, so to speak, rather immediately, and then supplementation could possibly maintain that level - IF you are able to absorb the supplements. Absorption is my downfall.

    I have tried every OTC iron supplement available in brick and mortar pharmacies and I think every kind available online, too. I have been through several different RXs, up to and including Repliva. I have always had a cast iron stomach that could handle anything and never ever had any bad side effects or ever any allergic or adverse reactions to any medications whatsoever - so I have been really surprised that I can not tolerate iron supplements of any kind (so far).

    So, getting back to my question... do you (or does anyone) have any references or citations for the levels of anemia (mild,moderate, severe, for example) and the clinical manifestations of low iron and low ferritin levels?) (A friend who is a nurse practitioner was very alarmed at my low iron and ferritin levels and wanted to know if I was bed bound or having trouble breathing and was worried my heart would stop.)

     
    Old 04-11-2008, 11:35 AM   #4
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    Re: Newbie here with bad labs.

    The information I have is from my own life experience, doctors and internet research. I don't know of any sites off hand, I just ****** search and there really is a lot of information out there.

    Also, you can use the search box at the top of this page and search IV Infusions and see what others in the past have said about their experience. I have never had IV so I can only relay to you what I have read about. Good luck to you. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 04-11-2008, 08:54 PM   #5
    japlopper
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    Re: Newbie here with bad labs.

    Are you thinking about transfusions - like blood transfusions? I don't know if those work immediately - maybe that's what you're thinking.

    Some people have posted here about being transfused I think that's different from iron infusions. Flowergirl, do you know?

    Jill

     
    Old 04-12-2008, 04:03 AM   #6
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Newbie here with bad labs.

    I have read many of the postings on iron transfusions and, overall, I don't think I have read that anyone felt immediately better. I think there was ONE person that felt super after having them and didn't have any side effects. Most others still felt bad for several weeks after the infusion, plus had to deal with side effects that they sometimes cause depending on the type of infusion.

    Anyway, certainly, infusions (if they work for you) are going to make you feel better faster than taking something orally. I just haven't read any evidence that you get them done and you're feeling like a new person within the week. I'm sure that this may happen but I haven't seen evidence of it here on this board.

    Also, to the OP, I know you asked for some websites where people get info from. The board rules here do not allow us to post direct quotes from any other sources nor can we post any other websites.

     
    Old 04-12-2008, 04:36 AM   #7
    BabyCatcher101
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    Re: Newbie here with bad labs.

    Yeah, I probably need to watch my terminology more closely. Iron INFUSIONS is what I meant - although blood TRANSFUSIONS may become important if my Hgb/Hct drops anymore. Thanks for pointing that out.

     
    Old 04-14-2008, 12:28 PM   #8
    japlopper
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    Re: Newbie here with bad labs.

    Yes, I've read about people who had their hemoglobin drop to 4 and had to be transfused, because at that level, it becomes serious, especially for your heart. But I don't know how long those transfusions last or how much that brings up someone's hemoglobin.

    Are you having dizziness or other debillitating symptoms - anything below 10 for me makes it hard to function.

    Jill

     
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