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    Old 04-19-2004, 12:19 AM   #16
    dagmarharris
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Thisby
    In my case I'd had no symptoms actually. My anemia just showed up during my annual physical so my doc ordered some more blood tests (I forget all the numbers).

    In the mean time, I'm bleeding like you wouldn't believe and taking iron suppliments...
    Be careful. If I were you I would have another blood work done. You could have gone even lower.
    I also had a friend who bleed very heavy and it ended up she had a uterus that had problems. She ended up having to have a hysterectomy.
    How old are you, and have you had children yet?
    ~dagmar

     
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    Old 04-19-2004, 05:37 AM   #17
    Thisby
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    Hi Dagmar, thanks for your concern. We've already determined the cause of my problem and know what the potential solutions are, I just didn't want to get into them with the original poster, no need to scare her unnecessarily. In fact my doc was excellent in assessing my symptoms and getting the right tests done right away (compared to what robste seems to have had to go through, sheesh!). My only problem now is waiting for a gyno, who is is supposed to be better able to assess my particular situation and help me make an 'informed decision' about treatment. In the mean time, all I can do is keep taking iron supplements (and eating my spinach )... keeps me in a holding pattern, I guess...

     
    Old 04-19-2004, 11:03 AM   #18
    robste
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dagmarharris
    Hi I still have the record from 6/24/98.
    It says Hemoglobin 5.3 L
    and Hematocrit 17.3L
    I was very weak and had to stop working. I almost had to have a hysterectomy.
    ~dagmar
    Dagmar, I thought my hemoglobin was low (9.1) and that my Hematocrit was really low (28.0), but your's seems to be even lower than mine. I had absolutely no idea I was anemic & found out when the Red Cross rejected me when I went to donate blood because of low iron. I had no symptoms, so I never would have known if I had not gone to donate.

    I started taking iron supplements, in addition to trying to eat more foods with iron in them like almonds, spinach, etc. I also went on birth controls, but they didn't help my periods like they were supposed to.

    Did the birth control pills help your anemia to improve or get rid of it? I'm having a hysterectomy in a little over a week...all of the other options would only be temporary for me.

     
    Old 04-19-2004, 11:15 AM   #19
    Thisby
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    robste, so you're having a hysterectomy because you have a fibroid which is causing you to be anemic? I take it then that the fibroid itself is not removable? Is it that big? (or whatever would make it inoperable)

    Also, I know that all other measures are 'temporary' but so is menstruation, and eventually you will go into menopause so the bleeding will no longer be an issue. Is it really necessary to get rid of your uterus? And why have you rejected the other options?

    Do you have a thread about this somewhere else? I dont like hijacking fairchild's thread and I'm pretty sure you posted about this somewhere else...

     
    Old 04-23-2004, 12:47 AM   #20
    dagmarharris
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robste
    Dagmar, I thought my hemoglobin was low (9.1) and that my Hematocrit was really low (28.0), but your's seems to be even lower than mine. I had absolutely no idea I was anemic & found out when the Red Cross rejected me when I went to donate blood because of low iron. I had no symptoms, so I never would have known if I had not gone to donate.

    I started taking iron supplements, in addition to trying to eat more foods with iron in them like almonds, spinach, etc. I also went on birth controls, but they didn't help my periods like they were supposed to.

    Did the birth control pills help your anemia to improve or get rid of it? I'm having a hysterectomy in a little over a week...all of the other options would only be temporary for me.
    I also wish you would think of some other options! if there still might be.
    I was so much lower in all my readings and the dr. being conservative, thank goodness, didn't say the "H" word.
    I am 48, and this all happened 6 years ago. I just took the birth control and I started to have lighter periods. I am on Loestrin FE 1/20.

    I am sure you have thought this thru, but having a Hysterectomy has the whole hormonal component, with more problems, etc.
    Your blood work is rather good, in my opinion. I did eat--- red meat and Kale, spinach etc... and take iron pills to get my iron back up to your number. Then the birth control helped stop the horrible bleeding!!
    Thus, I was able to keep my iron level at a good level--- ever since!

    I never even wear a tampax, only a pad, during my time of the month. This truly is like a different person! I use to go thru tampons with a pad, and then my clothes would get stained, etc!
    When I hear others at work talking about how bad their period is,--- I think of myself back then,--- and feel like I am a different person!!

    I honestly think the birth control healed me. I didn't have any fibroids like you, just a very thick Uterine lining and my hormones didn't seem to kick in to stop my cycle, and it would go on for sometimes two weeks.
    Now it is so light, with the birth control, and when I do have a little more bleeding it doesn't even compare to my old periods, not AT ALL!!
    ~dagmar

    Last edited by dagmarharris; 04-23-2004 at 01:07 AM.

     
    Old 04-23-2004, 03:09 AM   #21
    ChestOut
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    Just listing possiblities to check out, endometriosis and sickle cell anemia.
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    Old 04-23-2004, 12:18 PM   #22
    robste
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    Thisby and Dagmar, thanks for your concern about my upcoming Hysterectomy. Yes, I did think this choice through very thoroughly. My gyn. is very, very conservative, and believe me, he did not just say "you need to have a Hysterectomy", in fact, in his practice, a Hysterectomy is really a last resort. I've been going to him for almost nine years, he has a great reputation, and I really trust him. This all began when I was diagnosed with anemia (iron-deficiency anemia). I had all the standard tests to determine that I was not bleeding internally, and they were all normal. Next I went to my gyn., who thought he felt a fibroid & ordered an ultrasound...it showed 4 small (3-4cm) fibroids. I asked him if I could just have the fibroids removed somehow, but he said a myoectomy (I'm not sure if that's exactly what it's called, but it's where just the fibroids are burned or removed) was not an option for me, because it would be much too risky in my case, and I would bleed too much. My periods have always been heavy, so I thought that was rather normal, but he said they were probably really too heavy...so, he put me on a low dose birth control pill, which I took for almost six months. He put me on the pill to try to lessen my periods, thus get rid of my anemia, hopefully. The pill lessened my periods (the flow in half each day), however, it caused my period to last 10-13 days each month! After six months of taking the b/c pills, we decided that obviously the b/c pills weren't working for me. Next, I decided to have a uterine ablation & D&C. I thought the uterine ablation would be the answer to everything! I had heard great things about the uterine ablation, and thought it would be the answer to greatly reducing or even eliminating my periods, so I would no longer be anemic. So, I had the D&C, and while the dr. was doing the hysteroscopy, he determined that I unfortunately could not have the uterine ablation...only one fibroid showed up during the hysteroscopy, however, it was imbedded in the uterine wall & in the way, so he couldn't perform the ablation. The D&C really didn't help much at all. During my follow-up visit to all this, we discussed my options. I realize that fibroids do not "have" to be removed, that I could just live with them, but they are probably causing my periods to be heavier than they should. I could be five or six years away from menopause (I'm 44), when fibroids tend to shrink and go away...if I knew I was just a year away from menopause or something, then I would have just taken the "wait & see" attitude. Because the birth control pills did not work for me, I felt I needed to find another option. Next we discussed taking Lupron to help shrink the fibroids. Because Lupron is so powerful & sends you into immediate menopause, it can cause bone-loss, etc. & when you stop taking it, the fibroids can grow back, etc., I felt that it would not be the solution for me...I didn't want to take powerful drugs/hormones, and I felt it would just be temporary. Other than a uterine embolization, which doctor's in my area don't perform (& I've heard they often don't work), the only choice left was a hysterectomy. I'm almost 45 years old, I'm not planning on having children, so that wasn't an issue. Also, I am planning on keeping my ovaries, so that I won't go into early menopause, and I shouldn't have to take hormones if I keep my ovaries. Of course, the dr. won't know that my ovaries are fine, until he begins surgery...but he knows my wishes to keep them. So...that's my whole explaination as to why I'm having a Hysterectomy. I explored all the other options, believe me, I never thought I'd be having a Hysterectomy, but I feel that it is the best decision for me considering everything I've gone through.

     
    Old 04-24-2004, 01:27 AM   #23
    dagmarharris
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    [QUOTE=robste]Thisby and Dagmar, thanks for your concern about my upcoming Hysterectomy. Yes, I did think this choice through very thoroughly. My gyn. is very, very conservative, and believe me, he did not just say "you need to have a Hysterectomy", in fact, in his practice, a Hysterectomy is really a last resort. I've been going to him for almost nine years, he has a great reputation, and I really trust him....

    Robste,
    I get it now. I am glad you have thought this thru alot. My best friend had a Hysterectomy a couple of years ago, they kept her ovaries and she is fine. She looks great, etc.
    I also know another woman who is much younger than you in her 30's. She had one last year, they had to take everything and she too is looking and doing great!
    Both of them don't regret it. So when is the date of the surgery?
    I remember visiting my friend here in town afterwards...
    keep us posted.
    dagmar

    Last edited by dagmarharris; 04-24-2004 at 01:29 AM.

     
    Old 04-24-2004, 04:57 AM   #24
    robste
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    Dag, surgery is next Wednesday. I'm so glad to hear that both of your friends who had hysterectomies are doing fine. I met with a nurse at the hospital yesterday to ask questions of, and it comforted me somewhat. I'm sure I probably still won't get any sleep next Tuesday night...but I'll be okay! Thanks again.

     
    Old 04-24-2004, 10:23 AM   #25
    dagmarharris
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robste
    Dag, surgery is next Wednesday. I'm so glad to hear that both of your friends who had hysterectomies are doing fine. I met with a nurse at the hospital yesterday to ask questions of, and it comforted me somewhat. I'm sure I probably still won't get any sleep next Tuesday night...but I'll be okay! Thanks again.
    I actually talked to both my friends the night before. Of course, they were alittle nervous but just glad to be getting it over with!
    I hope you will post to us how you are doing...
    and feel free to post here, too, the night before. I will be here to listen!
    Do you have friends or family to help you get to the hospital...and recouperate...afterwards?
    ~dagmar

    Last edited by dagmarharris; 04-24-2004 at 10:24 AM.

     
    Old 04-24-2004, 10:40 AM   #26
    robste
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dagmarharris
    I actually talked to both my friends the night before. Of course, they were alittle nervous but just glad to be getting it over with!
    I hope you will post to us how you are doing...
    and feel free to post here, too, the night before. I will be here to listen!
    Do you have friends or family to help you get to the hospital...and recouperate...afterwards?
    ~dagmar
    Dagmar, I will post to let everyone know how I'm doing after my surgery...that is, when I'll be able to sit in a chair & type! Yes, I too, will be glad to get the surgery over with...the waiting 1-1/2 months after I knew my surgery date has been the worst. Thanks for listening! My husband will be at the hospital with me the day of surgery & afterwards. He has to go back to work the next day (while I'm still in the hospital), but then he'll be taking two more days off after that to stay home with me. I'll be on my own during the day after that, until one of my friends comes to stay with me for 2 days...then on my own again...I should hopefully be okay to stay by myself by then. Thanks again for your kind & uplifting posts! -Robin

     
    Old 04-25-2004, 05:44 AM   #27
    dd50
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    Hi Robin,

    I've just been reading these posts, and noticed that you had a colonoscopy, and endoscopy. I'm scheduled to have both of those also, and am VERY nervous about them! Please .. tell me, did you feel anything? Were you given a sedative, and did the drugs block most pain out? The one I'm most concerned about is 'going down my throat' .. YUCK! Did you feel that, or feel any 'gagging' sensation at all? Please fill me in!

    I'm not exactly positive of which levels I'm going to quote are from what, but my doctor just found me to be: 8 and 26. I think that's hemocrit and hemoglobin, but don't quote me.

    I DO know that he was very concerned, because HE called me personally on my cell phone and said I was EXTREMELY anemic!

    Anyway, I'm 52 years old, and have been having HEAVY periods for years now, and have several fibroids ... a couple which are on the outside of my uterus. .. so most of the procedures most likely wouldn't work for me. I have 2 choices, wait it out ... since I'm most likely close to or "IN" menopause, or have a hysterectomy.

    I'm SO confused as to what to do!!!

    I could care less if I lose my uterus .. but would prefer not to have surgery if I can avoid it, since I have Lupus, cfs, fibro, hypertension, and mvps. There's so much going on, that I'm truly concerned about having surgery!

    By the way, I did bring my levels up ... the doctor who is doing the colonoscopy, took another blood test, a week after the original ... and the 26 is up to 26.7, so guess I did good by taking a regimine of vitamins and minerals, eating spinach, black strap molasses, and brewers yeast. But, I just started another heavy period a week ago, first 5 days were fair, now it's heavy again .. and I'm sure it's making my count go down again. UGH!

    I'm continuing on my regimine, which I'm sure is helping ... especially now that I'm bleeding again .. but I sure can't decide what to do!

    Just wanted to ask about those tests .. and share my story.

    I wonder .. if I'm IN menopause .. or going into it .. or 1/2 way through .. or maybe almost over!? Ah yes .. forgot .. for the last year, I've been skipping every other month .. until the last 3 months, no such luck .. have had a period every month.

    Hugs,
    Dee

     
    Old 04-25-2004, 10:15 AM   #28
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    dd dont worry about the colonoscopy/endoscopy I have had those two done before endoscopy twice and its a breeze. You wont feel anything nor you will remember anything since you will be sedated. The thing that bothers me of colonoscopy was only preparing for it like the day before when you have to drink that saline prep (fleet) and you go a zillion times to the bathroom.

    Good luck!

     
    Old 04-25-2004, 12:09 PM   #29
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    [QUOTE=dd50]Hi Robin,

    I've just been reading these posts, and noticed that you had a colonoscopy, and endoscopy. I'm scheduled to have both of those also, and am VERY nervous about them!
    I'm not exactly positive of which levels I'm going to quote are from what, but my doctor just found me to be: 8 and 26. I think that's hemocrit and hemoglobin, but don't quote me.

    I DO know that he was very concerned, because HE called me personally on my cell phone and said I was EXTREMELY anemic!"

    Dagmar writes:
    You may have read my post from before....I was Hemoglobin 5.3 L
    and Hematocrit 17.3L
    I was very weak and had to stop working when I got that low.... Never got the call on the cell phone from my gyno like you. I went to a clinic and they put me with a shot of deprovera. It is a birth control that stopped my period.
    Why are you taking all those other tests? It is obvious it is you heavy periods!
    The other bleeding would not be it. I was heavy periods for years! And at 42 years old...got that low! I am totally cured on birth control and no hysterecotomy!
    Is your dr. a gynocologist?
    I am not a dr., but it seems like those other tests are alittle unecessary if you have heavy periods. I was way lower than you. I think I was doing well when I got to your number of 8! I was on the healing road! 9 and back to working full time.
    ~dagmar

    Last edited by dagmarharris; 04-25-2004 at 12:12 PM.

     
    Old 04-25-2004, 05:33 PM   #30
    robste
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    Re: Anemia from heavy menstrual flow

    Hi Dee...it's Robin here. I hope Dagmar won't be offended, but I disagree with Dag who feels that you don't need to have an endoscopy and colonoscopy in regards to your anemia. I'm not a doctor either, and I know it might sound obvious to some that you have heavy periods, and most people assume that is what causes the anemia...but, that is not always the case. It sounds like your doctor is following the same course of action that my doctor did. Some doctors (I hate to say), don't take the time to really find out exactly what is causing the anemia, and if you're a woman, just tell you to take iron pills and birth control pills.

    My family doctor (the first person I went to), after running bloodwork, and telling me to start taking iron pills wanted to find out exactly what was causing my anemia....the idea is to first rule out any "internal" bleeding, such as an ulcer or colon problem, before sending you to a gynecologist for period related issues.

    With a colonoscopy & endoscopy, the doctor can see if there are any polyps, remove them if so, etc. Also...the doctor will probably take a biopsy with these procedures to test whether or not you are having a problem actually absorbing iron. In my case, my biospy was normal & although I have iron-deficiency anemia, I do not have a problem actually absorbing iron.

    Don't be scared about the endoscopy....the dr. will spray a throat numbing spray in your throat before putting the tube down your throat...then, you should be under local anesthesia anyway for the colonoscopy. Both are usually done at the same time, so after the dr. sprays your throat with the numbing stuff, they give you the local anesthesia & you're out cold! Then they put the tube down your throat for the endoscopy &, well, you know where they put the other probe for the colonoscopy, lolol. Like I said, with a local anesthesia, I was out cold...felt nothing at all. After both procedures, I went home & was just pretty sleepy, so I took a nap for about four hours. I was fine afterwards....no problems, just sleepy. I know any procedure like those is scary....seriously, the worst part about the colonoscopy is the preparation you have to do for it the night before...that's definitely the worst part.

    When is your endoscopy & colonoscopy scheduled for? Hang in there, and I'll keep ya in my prayers. -Robin

     
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