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  • Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

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    Old 07-25-2008, 12:14 PM   #1
    KrissyMae18
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    Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    Hi everyone,
    I have been posting on this board a lot recently in the Thyroid sector, due to the fact that I had a biopsy come back suspicious and I just found out I have Hashimoto's disease which is why I have the goiter on one side. I was due to have a total thyroidectomy last Tuesday and was all set in the hospital with an IV and everything. 20 minutes before my surgery, my bloodwork came back that I was too anemic to have the surgery and they sent me home. Now I have to deal with trying to get my iron level up and anemia under control, before I can get the surgery which scares me because the thyroid issue may or may not be cancer, but until it's out, I won't know for sure. I don't want to put this surgery off any longer then I have to, so I was hoping I might be able to get some feedback on the best and fastest way to get my anemia under conrol so I can move forward? My iron level was at 13 and my hemoglobin was 9.1 in the hospital.... I'm sure that my anemia is due to heavy periods (they've been terrible the last 2 years or so) and my Mom had the same problem and ended up having a hysterectomy due to the anemia around the same age I am now. I don't know if something like this is hereditary or not. My doctor is sending me to a Gastro specialist who will probably want to do a colonoscopy to "rule anything out". I'm less then thrilled with everything else I've been through this last month and a half. Any ideas on how to get my iron up? Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

     
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    Old 07-25-2008, 12:45 PM   #2
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    Your hemoglobin shows that you are moderately anemic. It's not the worst I've heard of but you are fairly anemic.

    The first thing you need to do (after your GI consult probably) is to take iron supplementation. A doctor can either tell you the dosage or they can give you prescription iron.

    If you really want to have the thyroid surgery (I understand--I had thyroid cancer back in 1995), then you could take birth control pills or get a Mirena IUD put in so that the bleeding will be lessened. Doctors don't necessarily rush to do the hysterectomy anymore. Later on down the road, after your thyroid surgery, you can revisit the "heavy period" issue again by having an endometrial ablation (which is usually what is done if there are no large fibroids).

    You definitely need to get the iron levels up because the thyroid surgery is a rather "bloody" one (or so my surgeon told me).

     
    Old 07-25-2008, 01:00 PM   #3
    KrissyMae18
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    Well, I did buy an iron supplement today...Feosol, and the bottle says to take 1 pill a day, but the pharmacist said to take it 3 times a day so I don't know what to do. My Doctor said it was okay (over the phone) to take a supplement, but didn't say how much. Do I listen to the pharmacist or the instructions on the bottle? Also, what is this "ablation" procedure that you spoke of? I've never heard of it. I don't necessarily want a hysterectomy, but my doctor won't put me on birth control because of my age I guess. I'm 44. Do you know if Anemia is hereditary?

     
    Old 07-25-2008, 01:30 PM   #4
    neffie663
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    you can get iron ivs done i had 3 of them to get my levels up when i went for my ablation my hemoglobin was 8.5 it im sure you can take the iron 3x a day most women do if you dont have stomach issues

     
    Old 07-25-2008, 04:37 PM   #5
    FLFLOWERGIRL
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KrissyMae18 View Post
    Well, I did buy an iron supplement today...Feosol, and the bottle says to take 1 pill a day, but the pharmacist said to take it 3 times a day so I don't know what to do. My Doctor said it was okay (over the phone) to take a supplement, but didn't say how much. Do I listen to the pharmacist or the instructions on the bottle? Also, what is this "ablation" procedure that you spoke of? I've never heard of it. I don't necessarily want a hysterectomy, but my doctor won't put me on birth control because of my age I guess. I'm 44. Do you know if Anemia is hereditary?
    KrissyMae18--I'm sorry you are going through all this. It's good to clear up the anemia, you will feel so much better.

    You should begin your iron over the weekend at the lower dose to get your body acclimated to the iron, then call on Monday and see what your doctor recommends. It's always good to break in slow or you can get really ill from it. I would however, ask for a script iron that is GI friendly and a higher dose. The OTC doses are not so strong and have more S/E's and you take more of them.

    Do a search for Endometrial Ablation and you can read all about the procedure. I had this last year and had great results. My Hgb was 8.5 with a 2 ferritin and shortly after the procedure my numbers continued to climb. Although I'm still working on the ferritin. I too have Hashi's, many people here also have this AI disease and Anemia. Good luck to you. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-25-2008, 04:37 PM   #6
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    Quote:
    Well, I did buy an iron supplement today...Feosol, and the bottle says to take 1 pill a day, but the pharmacist said to take it 3 times a day so I don't know what to do. My Doctor said it was okay (over the phone) to take a supplement, but didn't say how much. Do I listen to the pharmacist or the instructions on the bottle?
    It is fine to take 3 Feosol tablets a day. My friend has been taking 2 tablets a day and her ferritin went from 3 to 35 in 2 months. Your pharmacist is a good one to listen to.

    Quote:
    Also, what is this "ablation" procedure that you spoke of? I've never heard of it.
    Endometrial ablation is where they insert an electronic device into the uterus (you are under anesthesia) and they send electrical waves to "burn" off the endometrial lining. It is permanent and usually greatly lessens or stops bleeding altogether. But you will still ovulate and have a "cycle"--you just won't bleed. It goes by the procedure name of Novasure.

    Quote:
    I don't necessarily want a hysterectomy, but my doctor won't put me on birth control because of my age I guess. I'm 44. Do you know if Anemia is hereditary?
    I wonder why he won't try pills. I am also 44 and my doctor felt it was perfectly safe (especially certain types of pills).

    There are types of anemia that are hereditary/genetic but they would have shown up earlier in your life. Anemia, due to iron deficiency, is not hereditary. It is a symptom of the disease of iron deficiency. It seems to be a real common thing for women in their 40s to get diagnosed. It's the combination of irregular/heavy pre-menopausal bleeding with the years and years of blood loss due to menstruation. My mom spent her entire 40s and early 50s being anemic. Both my best friend and I have recently been diagnosed as anemic (we are both 44). I am hearing it all over the place.

    Last edited by ChristineVA; 07-25-2008 at 04:38 PM.

     
    Old 07-25-2008, 05:18 PM   #7
    KrissyMae18
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    Thank you all so much for your replies... I just REALLY don't want to go through a colonoscopy when I KNOW it's my periods and diet that has made me this way. I have been poked and prodded and biopsied, and IV's etc...all in the last month for the other problem, only to be sent home at the last minute because of the anemia, and I just want to get this darned thyroid out of me so we can make sure it's not cancer!!! I have to go to the gastro specialist on monday, but will explain all of this to him along with what my mom went through, etc....with any luck, he won't think a colonoscopy is necessary, but I haven't been that lucky lately But it sure makes me feel better to know that I'm not in this boat alone

     
    Old 07-25-2008, 06:50 PM   #8
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    KrissyMae, I am on the pill due to heavy periods and I am close to your age. It's true, you can't just take any random pill and you don't want to be on it forever. Also, when I was younger, doctors seemed to prescribe the pill without much fanfare. This time, because I was bleeding so heavily, my doctor wanted to do all kinds of tests like a vaginal ultrasound and a endometrial biopsy to see if taking the pill was safe for me or if something other than peri-menopausal hormones was causing the bleeding. I passed all the tests with flying colors, and I feel fairly confident that it is safe for me to take the pill. I am on Microgestin FE which supposedly is okay for women in our age bracket. You wouldn't be on it long, and I would suggest it because it will take you even longer to get over the anemia if you are still bleeding out every month, and your situation sounds time critical.

    There might be other factors that your doctor is considering, for instance do you smoke? But age alone is not a reason to rule out the pill. Believe me, I am such a coward I wouldn't be swallowing these things every day if I felt I was in danger. My plan is to take them for a year in order to get my anemia under control and then get off them and have an ablation. If your doctor won't put you on the pill, I would get a second opinion. My best friend is the same age as me and she takes the same pill and we don't even go to the same doctor.

    You might also try my kind of iron. It's chelated iron and is available in health food stores or on line. My numbers came up pretty quickly and it sounds like our situations are similar, but you really do have to get those periods under control.

    The GI tests are typical. I went through those as well, even though I knew my anemia was from years of monthly hemorrhaging.

    Best of luck to you, and do get that bleeding under control so you can schedule your surgery.

    Last edited by ChickieLou; 07-26-2008 at 11:12 AM.

     
    Old 07-26-2008, 04:23 AM   #9
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    KrissyMae--

    I know you don't want the colonoscopy but it is standard procedure in your age group when anemia shows up. I realize the normal date for colonoscopies is 50, but my doctor is always LOOKING for a reason to give people one in their 40s because he has run across "too many younger folks" (his words) having colon cancer. This is not meant to scare you, but it would be a good thing for you to have this done at age 44. My co-worker was diagnosed with fairly severe stage colon cancer at age 45 and she had NO symptoms.

    When I had my GI tests, they also did an upper endoscopy to check my stomach for bleeding. I never in a million years thought they would find anything but, sure enough, my stomach was bleeding due to all the ibuprofen I took to control my heavy periods and menstrual cramps. I don't think the stomach bleeding caused the anemia but it was definitely a contributing factor. So really, you have no clue to what is going on inside your body.

    As you probably know, also, thyroid cancer is really slow growing. Most people who get diagnosed have had it for 10 years prior--that's how slow it is. Other than being on edge, waiting a few months to a year to have the surgery is not going to really make a difference (hard to believe) but not treating your anemia properly can have many health consequences.

     
    Old 07-26-2008, 08:26 AM   #10
    FLFLOWERGIRL
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    KrissyMae18--When I went to my GI doc he wanted to do the colonoscopy and endoscopy, to be sure that he didn't miss anything. He knew that my problem was due to heavy periods. Now, over a year later he says it's malabsorption, but the periods really made me a lot worse and needed corrected as well. It's too easy to have this procedure and know there is nothing else going on inside. It really is necessary to rule out other things because you may be like others, correct the periods, and I hate to say it, but still have issues with low iron. And, eventually you may have to have it anyway. It's easier to get it out of the way and have more facts to go on. Many times there can be more than one reason for anemia. In my case there were many. I do know how you feel about going through more tests, I went to 10 doctors in the last year and now have anxiety whenever I have to see a doc. I really do feel for you. Just take it one step at a time and soon you will be done before you know. Good luck to you. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 08:45 PM   #11
    KrissyMae18
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    Well I just got back from the Gastroentorologist and he definately wants to do the Colonoscopy and Endoscopy as well, but I will be put under so he will do them both at the same time. It's scheduled for August 14th. Everything seems to be hurry up and wait He is having me take the Fleet Phospho-soda for the prep. Does anyone know if this stuff is really disgusting? Lol. Is it a good one to use? ... He did say that he didn't think that I was EXTREMELY anemic, but that all my blood work was on the "low side"....So I am going to forget about everything and just take it one day at a time until the time comes. I have to stop worrying about everything and making myself sick. There might not even be any reason to be worried...thank you all for your comments and good wishes. I am so happy that I found this board

    Last edited by KrissyMae18; 07-28-2008 at 08:47 PM.

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 05:41 AM   #12
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    the colonoscopy prep that i did was good i took 2 dulcolax at 12:00pm then at 2:00 i started to drink gatorade 2 32oz bottles mixed with 238 gram bottle of miralax 8 oz every 25 min until it was almost gone (i couldnt finish it i was too full)then at night before bed 2 more dulcolax you cant use red or purple gatorade i just know this was so much better than the jug stuff

    Last edited by neffie663; 07-29-2008 at 05:42 AM.

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 06:27 AM   #13
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    KrissyMae,

    Are you on any medication? Make sure to mention it to your doctor. You should definitely read the posts mentioned below. They are by suzycat. You will find them on two different boards.

    Caution: Fleets and ACE inhibitors = acute kidney failure (at the very top of the first page on the bowel board), and

    Caution: Fleets + ACE inhibitors = kidney failure (7/17/08) on the high blood pressure board.
    Suzycat has suffered a permanent kidney damage because of the concurrent use of these two drugs.

    Fleets might be fine for some, completely wrong for others. Do your research.

    flowergirl

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 08:19 AM   #14
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    KrissyMae18--That is the only way to go to have both at the same time and get it over with. Some people don't do it that way, and have to go through it twice which I wouldn't recommend.

    The Fleet prep is the one that I had and it was really ~yuck~ to say the least. I had a hard time holding it down let along drinking it. In fact the next morning I could only drink half the rest came back up. IMO, I would suggest calling and asking for something different. There are Osmo Prep pills that you can take. There are I think 20 pills but I hear it's the only way to go. They offered it to me but made it sound bad so I said no. I didn't know what the Fleet was like at that time. My next time will be the pills. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 08:26 AM   #15
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    Re: Need Help...surgery cancelled due to Anemia

    I did the OsmoPrep tablets and they were a breeze--really--as much as it can be a breeze. I would not do the Fleets personally as I know of so many women who vomit it up. Not everyone, but women seem to have a particularly hard time with it. I think it is too strong for the size of most women. See if your doc will change to the OsmoPrep tablets. If not, then just handle it as best you can.

     
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