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Iron levels dropped again after TAH Iron levels dropped again after TAH

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Unread 02-23-2008, 03:33 PM
Iron levels dropped again after TAH

Hi friends,
I went into surgery with an iron level (hemoglobin) of 12. After surgery it dropped to 9, and now 3 months later it is at 7. I have been anemic since my teenage years. One time, several years ago (I am 48 now), I got down as low as a 4. It was brought back up by iron pills. But I usually get off the iron pills when I feel better, and of course get anemic again. I guess I know the answer to this: that I will be on iron the rest of my life. Just wondering if anyone else is having this problem. I had thought the TAH would take care of it.
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Unread 02-23-2008, 03:39 PM
Iron levels dropped again after TAH

Did I mention how tired I am? Is it due to the anemia? I teach 3rd grade, and I am busy all week long, then I crash on the weekends.
Unread 02-23-2008, 04:13 PM
Iron levels dropped again after TAH

I know how discouraged you must feel and how tired. Before my TAH my level dropped down to 4.9. I ended up needing 4 pints of blood and 5 months of Lupron injections before they could do my surgery. I also stayed on iron pills the whole time. I hope you get to feeling better soon. Even though my levels are staying normal now I know I would get so discouraged if they started dropping again. I know I can't do much for you but I will keep you in my prayers and hope it clears up soon.
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Unread 02-23-2008, 05:52 PM
Iron levels dropped again after TAH

Thank you, Faith! Through all of this God has kept me going. I would just like to have some strength back. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Unread 02-23-2008, 06:00 PM
Iron levels dropped again after TAH

Grace - You probably lost a lot of blood during your surgery which could have caused your hemoglobin levels to drop. Hemoglobin is what carries the oxygen into our blood stream and the carbondioxide out. That's why (one reason) you are feeling so tired. Your body is working on less oxygen. If your levels are still dropping then I would talk to your doctor about it. Generally it means you are losing blood somewhere. But there can be other reasons, too. Do you know what caused your anemia as a teenager?

I had a drop in ferritin (iron) and low hemoglobin last year and it was due to ulcerations in my colon. Most likely caused by using to much ibuprophen. I eased up on the motrin and it cleared up. I was concerned about that after surgery but so far everything is okay. My hemoglobin is normal and my ferritin levels are higher than they have been in years mainly because I had my last heavy period 4 months before my surgery. It takes awhile for it to build up again to normal sometimes. It will help to take a good multivitamin. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron.
I know this because my body stores TOO much iron. I have to have it checked regularly to make sure it stays below a certain level or it can cause damage to all of my major organs. If my levels get too high then I have to GIVE blood!

I would definitely discuss this with your doctor if you are worried about it.
Unread 02-23-2008, 06:21 PM
Iron levels dropped again after TAH

I agree with purplefreak that you should talk to your dr. Your hgb should be going up now and not down. Usually they want to make sure that you are not bleeding from the GI tract somewhere or anywhere else. If everything is good and no signs of bleeding then I would suggest seeing a good hematologist to find the cause of your anemia. There can be many causes, some serious, some not. But I think that you should have this checked out. Good luck.
Unread 02-24-2008, 05:53 AM
Iron levels dropped again after TAH

werent you scheduled for a colonoscopy? did you have it?
Unread 02-24-2008, 09:45 AM
Iron levels dropped again after TAH

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. My GP did not think we needed to rush into the EDP/colonoscopy test. he wants to see how I do after using the iron pills he gave me. If I am still sluggish in a few weeks, I will give him a call. I never knew what caused my anemia as a teenager....
Unread 02-24-2008, 11:31 AM
Iron levels dropped again after TAH

I dont mean to sound pesimistic but I dont agree with your dr. If you have stopped the source of heavy bleeding and your hgb is still dropping, then I think that the source of your anemia needs to be found. Weather it be bleeding somewhere else or seeing a hematologist that can officially diagnose you with a certain type of anemia. The body starts to compensate in many ways for you being anemic and the longer you are anemic the more your body compensates. 7 is a pretty low hgb. I would think that you would rather be on the safe side and at least know what the cause is.
Unread 02-24-2008, 11:40 AM
Iron levels dropped again after TAH

Have you become more anemic since the initial drop due to surgery? If so, I agree with everyone who says it needs to be checked out, as it can be a sign of pretty serious health problems and also create serious health problems. On the other hand, if it goes up and stays up even when you are off iron then its probably just a very slow recovery from the surgery. But its definitely something to take seriously. WHen is he taking your blood count again? If its not scheduled I would ask him to schedule it...just my two cents

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