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    Old 09-21-2011, 10:27 PM   #1
    LilacGardenia
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    New Member -- Anemia?

    I'm a college freshman in my second semester and I'm really concerned about everything. Sure, it's new and stressful for everyone, but I'm having an awful time with issues that seem to have tagged along from my high school years, and I feel like they're getting worse. I'm a little burnt out as I went from a busy senior year of high school, to a full summer semester course load, and now I'm at a full fall semester course load and have a lot of high expectations and required grades in order to get into my program. I got a B- in one my summer public speaking class (and am bummed) purely due to the fact that why I was cut short was because of these issues that I should probably get to instead of yammering about school. LOL

    I've been sooo tired I am gasping for air and ready for a nap after climbing 2 flights of stairs, even when I get enough sleep I am ready for nap and have a difficult time staying awake and alert. Even things I love (my studies, spending time with friends, hobbies, etc.) I have absolutely no desire for because I am soooo exhausted. I'll have these restless moments were I don't feel like doing anything and just feel really depressed and alone (hence joining this message board). One day my friends invited me to lunch, and while I wanted to go, I had to turn the offer down because just the thought of walking there had me cringing (I ended up sleeping the afternoon away).

    Anyways, I have always been a really dedicated student, but my performance has basically been destroyed because of this -- the cognitive decline has really shattered my math grade (I'll even make mistakes like writing the answer by the wrong question, adding/forgetting numbers and symbols not included in the equation, etc.) and my parents are really disappointed with me about my math performance (so am I). I try, and have a hard enough time remembering what I just read or saw in my textbook, or what my professor just said. I feel like I'm missing out on so much and am being physically restrained from doing what I love. As I said about my B- in Public Speaking (something I've done and am very good with) I would be so out of it and dizzy for speeches I'd barely make it (even had to reschedule one day because I felt so bad). I couldn't focus on my assignments (even when they interested me).

    Not only am I tired, I bruise so easily, am sooo pale (I've always been pale, but now my typical makeup shade makes me look like I got a tan), and I'm really dizzy, yet at the same time numb and tingly in the limbs. I get this sudden sharp prickle in my toes and fingers that feels like itty bitty pins are poking me, and the very tips of my fingers and toes are purple-white colored. Also, just recently (yesterday) I found 3 sores in my mouth and my throat and tongue are so sore it hurts to eat. I've had anemic blood tests results before (all throughout middle and high school, and even in elementary school) but it's gotten a lot worse and I'm obviously concerned and not sure what to do about it. I feel really uncomfortable just taking iron supplements without conforming that it is anemia, and even if it is -- I'm wondering if it's not iron-loss related.

    The continuation of anemic test results even after taking iron, changing my diet, etc. makes me wonder if it's not aplastic anemia or something of one of those sorts. The hard part is, I'm under my parent's health insurance (and living with them), but I feel so weird and unsure about mentioning this? I feel like they'd think I'm making excuses, when in reality I am (and have been) facing this and just coincidentally am a life science major with the knowledge to put a name to what I've been experiencing... or at least my prediction of what it could be.

    Wow that was long... thanks for reading my post, I didn't expect to write that much.

     
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    Old 10-20-2011, 07:09 PM   #2
    LilacGardenia
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    Went to the doctor...

    So I went to the doctor and he ended up ordering A LOT of lab work because my symptoms are "worrisome". Hopefully we can get this all worked out so I can get better. I'm still a little worried, there's like an entire list of possibilities (hence the comprehensive tests to rule out some of them and some measurable data to get a feel for what might actually be going on). I'm sort of at a tough spot since I have to continue with school at such an intense point in the semester, while going through all of this testing and waiting for results... it's really bad timing for me. My grades are going down, as I'm physically unable to keep up with all that's required of me. I'm falling asleep while studying, and getting awful pains in the middle of lectures, but at least we're making progress at identifying what might be causing all this, with the tests, and that's making me feel a little more confident.

     
    Old 10-23-2011, 09:16 PM   #3
    aileb
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    Re: New Member -- Anemia?

    HI,

    I don't have any answers, but I am going through testing and i'm in college too. I hope you post an update.

     
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    Old 10-25-2011, 09:29 PM   #4
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    Re: New Member -- Anemia?

    aileb- Thank you! It's rough, no doubt about it; I hope things get better for you!

     
    Old 10-25-2011, 09:55 PM   #5
    LilacGardenia
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    Updates!

    So I got the test results back (or my parents did) -- they said one thing was low, but there's no sign of anemia. I found this surprising as I'm usually anemic (referencing past test results) and the symptoms (hair loss, difficulty concentrating, blue-purple nail beds, extreme fatigue) indicated otherwise. They also checked me for Lyme's disease (it came back negative), and they tested my thyroid hormone levels (which were normal, so no thyroid issues). I'm wondering if the time lapse between my symptoms at their worst, the time I went to the doctor (a few weeks), and the time I got my test -- it could have changed? I'm not sure if that time frame is realistic, but I do know that the spleen aids in red blood cell production when one is anemic as sort of a backup, so maybe it can happen within 3 weeks? I'm not that sure... still a little fuzzy on all of the technical aspects of it. I did start taking a daily vitamin with iron and drank my coffee and tea hours from mealtime (since to my faint knowledge; the tannin binds with the iron, and so the small intestine can't absorb the iron). I'm still pretty tired and well... blue and pale. my blood pressure was really low (like 92/50 or something like that), so maybe that's why? My doctor prescribed me ADHD/ADD medication for my attention issues since he thinks it might be something like that. We're giving it a try for a month (the time frame he asked for), then we'll see how I feel. So far, it hasn't done much but make me really jittery and restless, and I'm not a fan of these treatments to begin with. I really want to evaluate this further as I'm concerned (I've never felt worse than I am now) and I don't believe it's ADHD/ADD or just that, I'm worried we're looking over things as my other symptoms difficulty swallowing, fatigue, hair loss, fullness in my stomach, weight loss, etc. aren't part of ADHD/ADD. I suppose I'll just have to wait 'til November when we see how the medication goes.

     
    Old 11-02-2011, 06:59 AM   #6
    Alehan
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    Re: New Member -- Anemia?

    I just wondered how things are going for you because I have the same symptoms and was recently told I have very low iron stores and am not anemic.

    Hope you're doing well!

     
    Old 12-26-2011, 09:34 PM   #7
    LilacGardenia
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    Re: New Member -- Anemia?

    Personally, I still get easily fatigued and can't seem to make it through an entire day getting all the things done I'd like. It's especially difficult being a student and working here and there.

    I've noticed there are many people with the symptoms of severe Anemia, but they aren't anemic. I find this odd and I believe there is something behind it, what exactly is the culprit still eludes science. I've been learning a lot about CFS/ME and how certain retroviruses may play a role (like XMRV) -- I find it very interesting and definitely agree that it's a plausible cause. The only problem now is the race against time, as it's going to take scientists time to find the exact cause of this (or any mysterious condition/set of symptom(s)) and develop/find a solution. It annoys me how many medical doctors just shrug their shoulders, or even say that it's 'all in the patient's mind'... I beg to differ, and I even question whether there's a faulty gene, infection aftermath, etc. to blame for many conditions now simply marked 'Psychiatric'. There is so much research to support some of these potential causes; these conditions didn't just appear out of the blue. I know I'm getting off on a rant, but science and medicine is definitely lagging on a lot of these mysterious ailments (if it is CFS/ME that's causing these symptoms) and I'd like to see some more viable treatments and a better understanding of this condition.

    Best of luck to you; how are you doing?

     
    Old 01-16-2012, 07:00 PM   #8
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    Re: New Member -- Anemia?

    Hey everyone,

    I just wanted to update that I went back and my doctor agreed that it could be ME/CFS since we ruled out other things like Anemia, Leukemia (and other cancers), and thyroid conditions. He suggested trying Cerefolin-NAC (it's a new formulated vitamin that's supposed to allow my brain to get the folic acid it needs since it's been recently discovered how big of a role the brain has in metabolism, but certain things can go wrong where you can't metabolize those nutrients (a metabolic abnormality). It was just used in a clinical trial for memory loss, but we both agreed it's worth a try. My physician is always staying up to date with these cutting edge treatments and science in medicine which is great. I thought the science behind it was really neat and he suggested some resource to learn more about it.

    I've been taking it for a little over 2 weeks now -- I'm supposed to see results after about two weeks -- I'm trying to find a measurable way to evaluate myself to see if it's working instead of a subjective way (obviously the desire to want it to work can create a placebo). I decided to measure how often my symptoms are and how much they interfere with me getting my readings, papers, and such done for class. I've found that while it doesn't completely 'cure' me pur se, it does give me more endurance (I can get out of bed at 6 AM after a full night of rest and actively process information and get things done without tiring out until about 3:00 PM (with about a 40 minute break mid-day) while fall semester I'd get a full night of sleep, wake up at 6 AM and tire out at 11:00 AM and literally be so groggy everything was fuzzy.

    Now I'm trying to decide whether or not I'll continue since it is VERY expensive and I don't believe insurance covers such a new experimental treatment. It's a tough decision and I can't just get folic acid supplements since Cerefolin-NAC has been specially formulated for the brain to metabolize.

    While I'm thankful for this, it's still frustrating (as many of you probably know) to literally be a mystery. It's almost as if I have a lock to my life that I have to find the key to just so I can experience it. At the same time, I feel as if finding this key is part of my life. If any of you have ever seen Lorenzo's Oil I can compare this to the feelings Lorenzo's parent's had when they had to find the treatment for Lorenzo and in the dream he used the paper clips to show the big secret. I've recently then started to philosophize on if I do something great I my life, is this really a hindrance? While I understand that my case is probably on the moderate side and that there are people worse off than me (some people with ME are bed ridden and in extreme pain), I feel like if I can lead a productive life as a moderate case, is it necessary for people like me to have a cure or is this intended? Or maybe it is intended and I'm just really thankful and appreciative for what I've accomplished, but could do so much more if I never had this? It's something I think about every day...

     
    Old 01-17-2013, 01:33 PM   #9
    angel2062
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    Re: Updates!

    hi, just wondering what your ferritin levels were? Mine were not flagged on bloodwork but from what i'm told your ferritin should be 70 to feel better also did you have your b12 checked? that can cause symptoms too! my ferritin was at 16 and the dr said thats normal but i beg to differ because of the symptoms i'm having(soo tired,restless legs,tight muscles neck/shoulders,heart pounding,feel like i'm on a boat etc) i went to a naturopath instead because the dr's are not listening and she said my ferritin should be at least 50 and above so she gave me ferrabsorb (natural iron) and b12 even though my b12 was 620 she said it should be higher. hope you get some answers soon and i hope this helps.

     
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