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  • New to this whole anemia thing.

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    Old 03-23-2011, 01:03 PM   #1
    QuincysMama
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    New to this whole anemia thing.

    Here's my story:

    I am 42 years old. I went to my GP at the beginning of February this year because I was depressed (irritable, fatigued, not sleeping well, etc.) so she gave me an anti-depressant. After taking that for a few weeks, I had a follow up visit with her and I was complaining of very sore, stiff muscles. I get some bloodwork done to check muscle enzymes and they are elevated (at ~330, I'm told it should be at 20 but I'm not sure about that). She figured it was the anti-depressants so she took me off of them and ordered more bloodwork for a couple weeks later (once the meds were out of my system). She decided to order a CBC at that time also.

    Around March 10, I get the CBC done and my hemoglobin is 74. They tell me it should be ~140. So they are worried, plus my muscle enzymes have gone higher, not lower (my GP at this point is on vacation for March break for two weeks). The replacement Dr. orders B12, iron, ferritin tests. Results come back and it turns out B12 is fine, but iron is at 3 Dr. tells me it should be at ~30, ferritin is at 2, Dr. doesn't say what it should be at.

    They tell me I have to get 100mg of iron injected daily for the next 10 days: thing is though, my back is killing me, my abdomen hurts with a full feeling and I feel worse (more fatigued) when they inject the iron (deep IM). To top it off, a different stand-in Dr. tells me to get to the emergency because he thinks I'm bleeding internally - I go, the emerg folks agree that I am anemic but say I do not present with symptoms consistant with internal bleeding (can have those 5 hours back please??!!).

    Thing is, aside from the fatigue, the irritability and the pain (I attributed it to being "fat & forty"), I'm fine. Everyone looks at me and goes, you don't look sick! My diet is super rich in iron and B12 so it is most likely an absorption issue because I really doubt I'm bleeding anywhere (normal, light periods, no easy bruising no severe dizzyness, etc).

    Does anyone have a similar story and if so, what did your anemia turn out to be the result of?

     
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    Old 03-23-2011, 06:00 PM   #2
    jonnstar
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    Re: New to this whole anemia thing.

    You might do better on iral rather than parental iron, say 65mg twice per day oraly, taking some vitamin c with each dose to boost adsorbsion. This might avoid the side effects of IM iron, thought the response will be abit slower. You shouldnt take oral AND injectable iron at the same time though, go with either one or the other.

    A daily multi like Centrum with dinner is also a good idea.

    Best of luck, and make sure to keep in touch with your doctor.

    Have you had a fecal occult blood test (a simple test to see if there is bleeding into your guy)

    The other way you could be losing iron is through heave periods.
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    Old 03-24-2011, 09:18 PM   #3
    Eburt
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    Re: New to this whole anemia thing.

    Did the ER Dr say anything about the abdominal pain, other than that it isn't acute internal bleeding?

    Iron can cause constipation, especially in high doses, could that be what was causing the pain?

    I realise this is acedotal, but when my M-I-L's hemoglobin dropped to 74 she had to get a blood transfusion. Did they suggest anything of the sort to you?

    My hemoglobin was 100 at my last blood test and my DR was worried and increased my meds, so I'm surprised your DR wasn't more concerned with you being so low. I agree with johnstar about taking vitamin C with the iron as it is proven to assist with absorbtion. I would add that you shouldn't take any dairy products before or after the iron either. With an injection it may not matter, but it decreases iron absorbtion when the iron is taken orally.

    My own anemia is autoimmune hemelytic anemia, which is caused by my immune system overreacting. I have to be on drugs for my immune system to control it, rather than iron. Fatigue, irritability, insomnia are all part of the anemia and should subside once your blood gets back to normal.

    When does your GP get back from vacation? Perhaps you should see a hematologist to figure out what's causing your anemia.

     
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