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Anemia Message Board

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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.
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).
[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?[/QUOTE]

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. [/QUOTE]

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?[/QUOTE]

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.
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:)

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