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Unread 09-21-2007, 08:54 AM

When I went into surgery my blood iron was at 9. When I came out it was at 7.1. But they didn't want to give me a transfusion, so I have a prescription for iron pills. The nurse told me to wait for 5 days after surgery until my bowels were getting back to normal and then to start taking the iron pills with a vitamin C tablet daily.

I'm definitely feeling the anemia. Taking a shower is enough to wear me out. I can walk through our house twice, but then I have to sit down.

How long does it take for blood levels to come back to normal?? Am I going to be tired like this for a long time? Do I need to go into my regular doctor after awhile and have a test done to check if it's going up or not??

Just wondering what other people's experiences with this are....

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Unread 09-21-2007, 09:40 AM

I'd call and ask to have it rechecked.
In July I was down to 7.5 and having heart palpitations. I ended up having a transfusion and felt better within a few days.When discharged after transfusion I was at 9. I was back to 11 last Friday, surgery day.

I was told to take iron for atleast 6 months so it would build back up in the bone marrow.

On a friends reccomendation, I switched from iron pills to Floradix, a liquid iron with herbs and b vitamins. I felt much better on it than the pill and didn't have constipation to go with it.

Hope you feel better soon!
Unread 09-21-2007, 10:53 PM

Hi Juli
I was anemic for a long time before my surgery and it took a while for my blood levels to build back up. I'm not sure about the answer to your question because I wonder if your iron levels were good before you went into surgery if this won't be quicker to fix. There are different causes for anemia and I believe some are quicker to fix.
Make sure you are eating foods that are high in fiber. Red meat, spinach and Total Cereal are all high in iron. I also cooked in my cast iron skillet whenever possible, it adds iron to the food prepared in it.

The iron pills can sure cause problems with constipation and that's not a good thing when you're trying to get to your system to move after surgery. I took Slow Fe time released iron and it didn't cause me any problems in that area. It's much gentler to your system than the others and it's a nice high dose. Maybe you could call and ask your dr if it would be ok to try it.

I hope you'll get to feeling better soon. Drinking lots of water will also help your body replace that blood. Let us know how you do.
's, Rita
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Unread 09-22-2007, 06:16 AM

Thanks so much for the replies. I'm sure the medical staff meant well when they kept saying "Recovery time varies with every patient.'' But, for me it was frustrating. The info I've gotten here about people's personal experiences going through the same thing has helped me enormously!

The dr. gave me a prescription for iron pills that are supposed to be too bad on the body...I'm going to start taking them today, along with stool softener capsules.

Does taking iron pills change the test results for blood iron tests? I need to go see my GP soon, and thought I'd have her just test my blood iron, but if the pills make the test come out wonky, it would just be a waste of time. Do you just not take the pills for a couple days before the test??

Hugs! Juli
Unread 09-22-2007, 06:37 AM

i had to take two iron pills a day for a couple of months. that seemed to get my counts up quite quickly. when i went in i as at around 8 and my ferritin level was 6. speak to your dr about taking more than one supplement (dont ever do this on your own as too much iron can cause damage..i was monitored) and eat a lot of iron rich food. good luck...i hope you feel better really soon.
Unread 09-22-2007, 08:32 AM

Everytime I went in my dr would have the nurse do the prick-the-finger test to see where my iron levels were. He didn't ever tell me I shouldn't take my iron on that day. I haven't ever seen anyone else mention that either so I think it's ok for you to continue to take your pills. Maybe just mention it to your dr when you're in to make sure we haven't missed something.
's, Rita
Unread 09-22-2007, 08:42 AM

I went into surgery at 8 and came out of surgery at 7. I was prescribed iron pills (can't remember the name but I was told they were gentler on the stomach and I never had any problems taking them) My doc took a blood test at the 2 week check up and my iron level was climbing. At 6 weeks he took more blood and I was at 12.5. At that time he told me that i could stop taking the pills and I did. I have been feeling fine and have my energy back.

Right after surgery I wore out very fast. Had to take a nap after showering. It gets better so just give it time and rest.
Remember that you are probably also feeling the effects of the anastesia and pain meds you are taking. All of it makes you tired so rest, rest and rest some more.

TAH-kept ovaries
Unread 09-22-2007, 11:53 PM

I have struggled with the anemia for a very long time. I am now going to a terrific doctor who gave me a hint.

He said there is something in grapefruit (not just any vitamin c, not orange or tomato juice, only grapefruit) that causes the body to absorb the iron more optimally. So he told me to drink a glass of grapefruit juice or eat half a grapefruit along with my iron pill.

He also told me calcium interferes with iron absorption so take any calcium spplement or dairy products at least 2 hours apart from the iron.

I had my op 3 weeks ago and I lost a lot of blood and am completely exhausted as well but hopefully it's going to pick up soon. Time to be good to ourselves, rest & be patient.

Big hugs!
Unread 09-23-2007, 07:35 AM

My dr told me the same thing....when he prescribed iron pills he also prescribed taking a vitamin C tablet with it, and told me to be sure to get in my fruit servings every day. I'd never heard that before, but anything that helps things recover faster, I'm all in favor of it!Hugs! Juli
Unread 09-23-2007, 08:02 AM

I was just wondering if you ladies were talking about your actual iron levels or your hemoglobin when stating were your levels were at.

I too was very anemic pre-op and post-op. Still waiting for my levels to return to normal.

I think this is also why the dr.s say that it takes 6 months to a year to feel like yourself. I think it takes a while for the body to build the iron stores back up. Especially if you were anemic for a long time.

You are very early post op so give yourself some time to feel better.
Wishing you a smooth recovery!

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