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How long to beat anemia? How long to beat anemia?

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Unread 12-24-2002, 08:31 AM
How long to beat anemia?

I have been bleeding for 17 weeks with three weeks off here and there. I finally had a CBC come back anemic and was just put on iron pills. My question is - how long will it take for them to make the anemia go away? I am bleeding now, pretty heaviliy, and my hemoglobin was 10, the red blood cells was 3.52. I am dizzy all the time now and have fainted a few times, my resting heart rate is between 100 and 120. I'm finally getting some attention from the Docs, but I'm going on a trip on the 3rd of Jan and wonder if I'll be feeling ok by then.
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Unread 12-24-2002, 10:32 AM
Re: How long to beat anemia?

Hi Steph :hiya:

I'm so sorry you've been having such a hard time.

I must admit that I'm a little puzzled here: you had a bso in August and you are still bleeding almost continuously??? Did you you also have a hysterectomy? I had a TVH, kept my ovaries, 2 years ago and only spotted for several weeks.. didn't actually bleed. Is your doctor aware that you are still bleeding? If yes, what is his diagnosis? Is it because your blood is too thin?

As far as anemia is concerned, once I stopped bleeding on a continuous basis (bled for 8 straight weeks, right up until I went to the OR) my levels were restored within a month or so. However, while you're still bleeding, I don't know how long it will take for your levels to be restored Your best option would be to ask your doctor what the prognosis is like.

Sending lots of s your way. Please keep us posted.
Unread 12-24-2002, 11:12 AM
How long to beat anemia?


I'm scratching my head a bit at this...your blood counts are low, yes, but shouldn't be low enough to cause you to be feeling that bad! I've been anemic on and off for most of the last 8 years, and I don't seem to get symptomatic until the Hgb drops to about 9 or so...often, in fact, many women walk around at about a 10 and don't notice it. Have they checked your electrolytes?

Also, when they did the oophorectomy, did they do an endometrial biopsy at the same time? If you had such severe endo, you could have adenomyosis, and it could continue to bleed under the influence of whatever HRT you're taking. Adeno is just endometrium infiltrating the muscular uterine wall and is very difficult to diagnose with normal, non-invasive means. I'm with Dany, this has been going on too long, and whatever treatment you do for the anemia will only resolve the immediate symptoms without "fixing" the problem that causes them!

As far as being able to travel, will you be flying? Whatever form of travel you do, make sure that you stay well-hydrated, avoiding alcohol and sodas. And do be careful, this time of year, about being around sick people...your immunity is compromised with the ongoing anemia and some stupid virus is the last thing you need .

Steph, when this holiday is over, you need to start asking some hard questions of your doctors. I know you've brought this up before, and I keep thinking that you've been able to find some resolution of your symptoms. The fact that you haven't tells me that maybe it's time to do something else, rather than just trying to "chase" the anemia.

Take care of yourself on this trip with extra rest, the "right" foods, etc. Have a good time!

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Unread 12-25-2002, 02:24 PM
How long to beat anemia?

my dd had anemia a few years was a 9. we didn't know until she started passing out (sigh). she took big time doses of iron and it took about a year for her to get the levels up but about a month for her to start feeling a little better. another one of my dd's had an 11 and she felt awful, so symptoms must differ from person to person.
Unread 12-26-2002, 12:09 PM
Don't know why bleeding, they are working on it

Had an ultrasound to check it out and results aren't in yet. And yes, I still have my uterus. As for feeling so bad at hemoglobin 10, Doc says everyone's "breaking point" is different and I just happen to be at the high end of the bell curve. Had an EKG on Friday and my heart is really working double time to make up for the low iron/oxygen. My bleeding has not been continuous, I didn't bleed at all the first month post. Now I bleed 14 days, then nothing for 7 days, then bleed 14 days etc etc. It's a very clear pattern but we don't know why yet. I may look for a hormone specialist after the holidays because I'm fed up with the wait and see approach!

Thanks for the advice, I guess I'll just have a crummy trip. I guess I should have expected that...
Unread 12-26-2002, 12:56 PM
In answer to your question . . .

I guess you know by now . . . no, Jan 3 is not going to be enough time to boost your iron levels. And since you continue to bleed, taking iron pills might not raise your levels at all. I'm sorry you're feeling so bad. When I was very anemic I had iron injections which work faster than iron pills. Maybe you could talk to your doctor about that possibility.

Hope you have a good trip anyway. Is this a trip you really need to take? Because it sounds like you should be getting lots of TLC.

Unread 12-26-2002, 05:50 PM
How long to beat anemia?


huge for you sweetie!!! I'm so sorry your having so many probs...

I sure don't have any advice on this one and it sure looks like Dany and Audrey have brought up some good points. I did want to pop into your thread tho if that's okay as I am having probs with my DD and her anemia. I found it astounding that people pass out from haveing anemia as that is what my DD did at work today!!!!!!

Nothing I have researched shows this as a symptom and I was curious to know how the others found this out...

Please forgive me for jumping in....I sure hope they figure things soon honey....have you gone for a second opinion on the bleeding? I have to agree with the others that sounds like where the anemia is coming from and would think they would want to figure that out before anything else. Please keep us posted!!!!! I'll be thinking of you...

Unread 12-27-2002, 10:32 AM
To toogirl

I don't know where the others got their info but my GP Doc asked me if I was lightheaded and that's when my fainting stories came out. He seemed to think this was common knowledge. I am seeing my Gyn next Thursday and I will either get a change in therapy or a change in Docs! As for the trip, it is a 3 day weekend in Memphis (and, no, I'm not an Elvis fan) as my DH has job offer there. I don't really want to move until I'm better. But it seems only fair to at least go and check it out.

Wish me luck.
Unread 12-27-2002, 11:12 AM
How long to beat anemia?

As for the trip, it is a 3 day weekend in Memphis
Well, can you hang out in the hotel room with good books, the local paper, and the phone handy to call around? I realize that there's probably no way you're feeling up to a lot of walking, but maybe if your DH can leave you with the map of the city, the paper from Sunday with want ads, rentals, etc. and a telephone, you could be pretty productive while laying low. I can understand your desire not to move until you have things sorted out; OTOH, perhaps a new set of doctors can help you identify the hormonal impetus to all this bleeding and help you treat it. Sometimes a fresh viewpoint makes all the difference. And Joselle has a great idea about asking for the iron injection. They're not comfortable, but they'll give you a much needed "boost".

Have you been to Memphis? I've spent a little time's a very nice city, and good medical care!

Dawn: anemia is one of the first things we look for when a girl or woman presents with a "fainting spell" or syncope, as we call it. It's just all too common. I've had a hgb as low as 5.3 -- walked around with counts of 7.5 but felt pretty crummy! I guess I just have a higher tolerance than most...or maybe it's just that I'll keep going, like the Energizer bunny, no matter what...

Steph, have a good trip. Just a hint here: when I was planning to visit a city with an eye to moving there, I went to a newsstand that carried out-of-town papers and bought the Sunday paper in the week prior to my visit, so I could "scope out" the hot neighborhoods, prices, and general tone of the city. It was always a worthwhile $3 spent (even when I couldn't really afford it) and the information was invaluable!!

Unread 12-27-2002, 05:09 PM
No laying low for me

Unfortunately, I'm going to be out with both my kids (5 and 8) and a realtor during my 3 days in Memphis. I've already done alot of research online. It's all on the company dime, so I don't have to woryy about that at least...

As for anemia, one Doc says it could be the reason for my very high heart rate (100-120 resting, and if I go up stairs it is at least 132). Another Doc says it could be the HRT. Any info here would be nice. I've already posted this at Hormone Jungle to mixed results.

Thanks all. I'll let you know how the appointment on the 2nd goes.

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