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If your iron levels don't improve after IV iron infusions...

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Old 01-19-2011, 11:04 AM   #1
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If your iron levels don't improve after IV iron infusions...

Last year, I had a total of 8 IV iron infusions to deal with my iron deficiency anemia. I think more is going on than just anemia here and have not gone back to the hematologist simply because after all of the infusions, nothing improved. I've had my regular doctor do bloodwork on me every 4-5 months and things are still looking rough with my levels. I don't know what to do or who to see.

So, about 1 year ago from this point, I went through 8 weekly IV iron infusions of Venofer. They made me feel really sick, as if I had the flu. My levels were approximately this throughout:

Hemogl: 9-10 (after 8 infusions, it got up to 11)
MCH: Is always low and stayed low even after 8 infusions
MCHC: Always low
RDW: Always High
Platelet Count: Always HIGH
B-12 level: Always low
Ferritin, after 8 infusions had dropped DOWN to 18 from 23 or so. He wanted it up to at least 100.
Iron storage rate is 3% and never went up or down.

TODAY, I just got bloodwork results from my regular doctor and here are the results:

Hemoglobin: 10.3 L (norm is 11.7-15.5)
Hematocrib: 32.2 L (norm is 35-45%)
MCV: 74.7 L ( norm is 80-100)
MCH: 23.9 L (norm is 27-33)
MCHC: 32 (borderline because normal is 32-36)
RDW: 15.5 H (11-15)
Platelet count: 508 H (norm 140-400)
White blood cell count: 8.5 (norm 3.8-10.8)
Red blood cell count: 4.3 (norm is 3.8-5.10)

B12 is low at 327 even though I take B12 injections, so I'll have to take shots more frequently.

Folate was okay

My T4, Free came back borderline LOW at 0.9 (norm is 0.8-1.8)

Bilirubin came back borderline low at 0.3 (norm 0.2-1.2)

Carbon Dioxide came back borderline low at 21 (norm is 21-33)

Calcium came back close to borderline low at 8.8 (norm is 8.6-10.2)

Anyway, I had gastric bypass surgery 6 yrs ago and dealing with a bunch of issues that worry me as far as the anemia. I don't think it's a simple iron deficiency anemia issue. I'm always dizzy and scatterbrained. Tired all the time. Short attention span. I still have periods but they aren't very heavy or anything. They are about 5 wks apart. I've had a lot of surgeries, but things have not been improving even over the course of the last year that I haven't had any major surgeries or complications. I've always had anemia issues, even as a baby, so it's not gastric bypass related. If the infusions didn't help, is it possible there is something else going on? Who can help me? Who can I see or who should I call? I need to make phone calls today because my doctor now feels it's time for someone else to take this on. Thanks!

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