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  • what will a hematologist do?

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    Old 01-24-2011, 04:48 PM   #1
    tbrunner3
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    Red face what will a hematologist do?

    I've been dealing w/ some underlying issues that led to severe anemia. I had surgery on 1-11-11 to correct the issue (which stopped the bleeding) but my iron numbers aren't increasing. My Dr. won't refer me to a hematologist as she thinks since my anemia was due to heavy monthly bleeding which she feels has hopefully been corrected, and that it's an iron deficiency not B12 or sickle cell anemia that a hematologist won't be helpful???

    Anyway I have no energy, short of breath just walking, cold all the time, picca, restless leg syndrome, and constant fatigue.

    My iron levels have consistently gone down since my doc has monitored them starting last Nov


    12/14/2010 1/8/2011 1/20/2011



    RBC 3.89 3.62 L 3.55 L
    Hemoglobin 9.1 L 8.2 L 8.0 L
    Hematocrit 30.6 L 27.7 L 27.1 L
    MCV 78.7 L 76.5 L 76.3 L
    MCH 23.4 L 22.7 L 22.5 L
    MCHC 29.7 L 29.6 L 29.5 L
    RDW, CV 19.2 H 17.5 H 17.6 H
    RDW, SD 55.1 H 49.7 48.3
    Platelet Count 272 264 372
    MPV 10.6 9.6 9.9
    WBC 5.1 4.8 12.8 H
    FERRITIN 7 3 3
    L=low for standard ranges/ H=high for standard ranges.

    I've been on ferrous sulfate 65mg twice a day w/ Vit C to aid absorbtion and have been eating as many leafy green veggies/shellfish/red meat as I possibly can.

    I have NO idea why my numbers are not increasing. Any ideas where I can go from here? Would a hematologist help? What would they do? At point will they decide to do a transfusion? I've read anything under 8 is considered severe and causes major health issues.

    Last edited by tbrunner3; 01-24-2011 at 04:50 PM.

     
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    Old 01-28-2011, 05:27 PM   #2
    Aleonka
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    Re: what will a hematologist do?

    My hemoglobin has been slowly dropping over the past few years. My doctor suspects the heavy - and now frequent - periods are the culprit. My hemoglobin was 10.6 six months ago and now it's 9.2. My doctor has referred me to a hemotologist, he considers 9.2 very concerning and warranting a specialist.

    I think you need to see the hemotologist, considering that your numbers have been steadily declining. Good luck!

     
    Old 01-29-2011, 06:11 PM   #3
    Mel52
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    Re: what will a hematologist do?

    when my husband had numbers like that he was sent to a hemotologist and was diagnosed with hemolytic anemia

     
    Old 02-11-2011, 07:57 PM   #4
    hlepforson
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    Re: what will a hematologist do?

    I have had anemia for years and was referred to a hematologist/oncologist. She tests my iron levels and treats me with iron infusions. I did have to get a colonoscopy/endoscopy because my numbers were so low, but everything turned out fine. Go see one because they will know how to treat you correctly. Iron pills did not do the trick for me.

     
    Old 03-05-2011, 11:21 PM   #5
    ZuZu1968
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    Re: what will a hematologist do?

    Hi
    How often have you had the iron infusions? I had them for the first time last fall...my ferritin went from 9 to 107 and now I'm back down to 26 and still dropping again

     
    Old 03-06-2011, 04:06 AM   #6
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    Re: what will a hematologist do?

    Hi there,
    I've been seeing my hemotologist for three years or so and get my blood tested once a year. Depending on what my levels are I get between three and five iron infusions each occuring once a week. I'd have to look up what my numbers are though because I'm not sure. When I first saw her though my numbers were really bad...so I keep going back every year.

     
    Old 03-06-2011, 01:26 PM   #7
    ZuZu1968
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    Re: what will a hematologist do?

    I had an infusion once a week for 8 weeks......I didn't think I would need it again so soon....I'd rather try to find out what is causing the anemia...I am also severely Vit D deficient and am taking 50000 units of Vit D once a week for 8 weeks

     
    Old 03-06-2011, 01:52 PM   #8
    hlepforson
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    Re: what will a hematologist do?

    I would think that a hemotologist would be very helpful to you in trying to find the cause of your iron deficiency although the reason(s) why can be complicated. I asked my hemotologist - she's very good - why I'd always been iron deficient and the medical explanation was too complicated for me to fully understand. There are a variety of explanations available but she could not give me a difinitive answer.

    The most important thing to do is rule out anything negative as much as you can and then treat the condition. I have a complicated medical history. What's helped me has been accepting that sometimes the reasons why something happened is unknowable. Being treated effectively for my symptoms by a knowledgeable medical profesional is what's given me peace of mind despite not knowing why I got sick.

    There are occasions when demanding a referral is necessary however when you know you're not getting the best advice.

     
    Old 03-06-2011, 05:05 PM   #9
    ZuZu1968
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    Re: what will a hematologist do?

    Thanks a lot - this has been a long struggle. I went to my Primary in 2007 when my ferritin was 5 and he put me on oral iron which didn't help that much...then I had a polyp removed and an iud put in and that stopped my periods but last fall, after a year and a half of no heavy bleeding and a colonoscopy that came back normal I finally made an appt with a hematologist on my own... he suggested yhe IV iron and it seemed to work well....I have to make a new appt with him..I think he'll be surpised how fast it went down....The only link I could come up with between low ferrritin and vitamin d deficiency is some sort of malsbsorption problem related to celiac disease or something like that......

     
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    Old 03-06-2011, 07:56 PM   #10
    hlepforson
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    Re: what will a hematologist do?

    Your story is similar to mine so I understand how you feel.

    As for me however I've always had issues with being anemic. Later in life I had numerous miscarriges which must have contributed to the problem.

    Back in 2007 I developed a neurological autoimmune condition and went through a battery of tests. One turned up that my ferritin was 5 as well - I do remember that. Colonoscopy, etc all turned out fine. Oral iron never worked for me or agreed with me. I need the iron infusions. I have to go every year. Why my levels decrease I do not know.

    I also don't know how any of these conditions link up or even if they do. The doctors probably don't either. I had always believed that if I asked enough questions the answers would be there. But when I started going to specialists who are experts in their field who couldn't explain why I developed a neurological disorder...why I was anemic...why I have low progesterone...I just became grateful that I can be treated and feel better. Low iron makes you feel awful. Just so tired and worn out. The same is true of my autoimmune condition. It's rare and benign so don't worry about it. You'd know if you had it.

    It's smart that you made an appt with a hemotologist on your own. Maybe he'll have an answer for you on the cause or maybe he won't. Maybe he will but it will be too difficult for the layperson to understand anyway.

    I hope some of this helps, but the main thing is to just get better and look out for your own health which you're already doing. Best of luck!

    Last edited by hlepforson; 03-06-2011 at 07:58 PM.

     
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