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Hello Everyone

I too am new to this board. I have been anemic since I was a child. Doctor use to say it was because I drank to much milk and the iron nutrients could not take to my system. Now Im 53 went for my yearly physical and my primary doc is telling me that my hemoglobin in 7.3 and iron is very low. He has me going for a colonoscopy and then I have an appointment to meet with a hematogoist. My pcp said that I may need a Iron Transfusion. This sounds pretty scarry. I have read some people who have had this done, that it is not very pleasant after the treatment. Has anyone here had it done? I read that they need a bag of benedryl with the iron and they feel beat up afterwards.
Needless to say I am scared. I have started taking Iron pills and feel an improvement in my energy level. I asked the doctor if I could wait until my next blood work with him to see if my levels have gone up with just the suppliments. He still wants me to go to the hematologist. Im thinking they may even want to do a endoscopy on me which Im not looking forward to either. If anyone can tell me if the endoscopy is not painful and if anyone as had a Iron Transfusion, How they did with this. Thank you so much. THis seem like a great support board.

I think I agree with FLFG and would ask for the GI testing and additional bloodwork now before you start the supplements. In my case I tried to donate blood on July 2 and was turned away because of my blood levels and was given a note to bring to my PCP. Saw the PCP last week in July and he sent me to the GI who ordered the celiac blood test, had me do stool samples, did the c'scope and even a capsule endoscopy (I had to swallow a pill that had a camera in it which transmitted pictures for 8 hours to show what my small bowel looked like - it is not seen in the upper endoscopy or c'scope). Since they were all negative for bleeding and I am postmenopausal with no more periods and no bleeding of any kind, I was sent to a hematologist who drew lots of blood and then finally put me on the iron supplements on November 18 which I took until April because my ferritin increased.
I was lucky that I didn't have any really bad symptoms but can say that I did experience some minor ones - fatigue, some leg cramps more like a charleyhorse in my calves, a little hair loss but I have very thick hair so it is not noticeable to anyone only to me when I look at my hairbrush or the bathroom floor. Ironically I think I did feel better back in the spring and lately have been thinking that I was experiencing some return but I don't really know for sure.
So I guess I would urge you to follow up with your doctor.

Don't be frightened about seeing the hematologist or having an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. You need answers to what is causing your blood to be so low. The only thing I would warn you about is that often the hematologist is also considered an oncologist and sees patients with cancer. Mine does and it was a little scary at the first visit because I didn't realize that. Not everyone with a blood disorder has a blood cancer so don't let your mind play tricks on you. You can scare yourself silly.
As for the scopes, within the last 5 years I have had 3 colonoscopies and 4 upper endoscopies. Neither is painful - you will be sedated for both and usually will not feel anything. For one of my endoscopies I was not totally out of it when they started and I remember feeling like I was gagging but that only happened once.
I can't help you about the transfusion but there have been a number of threads about them. try to do a search on this board.
Keep us posted on how everything goes.

of course I will post my test results! you can count on it. October 14 is my appointment and I am going to call the week before to ask if I can go in the day before to have my blood drawn so my results are there when I'm talking with the doctor. Makes no sense to me the way they do it - see the doctor w/o the results.

Best wishes to all!
Thank you Susieq and everyone for your support. I guess I will keep my appointment with hematologist and hopefully with the suppliment I been taking and my diet change in eating alot of foods with iron it will be ok. I have seen a big change in my energy level already. I no longer get headaches or migranes, where I use to get at least 3 or 4 a week. I have not had one in 7 days now.
I m excited about that but wondering is someting wrong with me because Im so use to having them often. The only thing is I dont know is if it is because of the iron pill or the new Cholestrol pill or new Femhrt hormone pill. Im assuming it is because of the iron pill. Not getting migranes a big plus.
I just hope they dont suggest iron transfusion, I think I would have to really think about that one. Meeting with coloscopy doctor on 9/22 and hematogist on the 30th of Sept. I will keep you guys informed. Thanks again.

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