Hemoglobin is low 5's. I'm scared.

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bella3250
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 12/22/2010 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi.  I went to the lab today to get routine blood work b/c i am on azothioprine and alloupurinol.  My dr. called me a few hours later to tell me that the lab contacted him and my hemoglobin was in the low 5's.  He said that I needed to be admitted tomorrow into the hospital for a blood transfusion.  I've been anemic for years now and I have had a blood transfusion before when my count was low but I was already admitted into the hospital and was going to have a small bowel ressection.  For the past week now I have been having heart palpitations, fatigue, coldness, and shortness of breathe.  Anyone have this problem and could help.  Thanks a bunch :)

asdrubale
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 174
   Posted 12/22/2010 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
yes, when my hemoglobin was low (10, not 5) I had heart palpitations, shortness of breathe and fatigue.
you definitely will be very better wher your blood count will rise.

MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6923
   Posted 12/22/2010 7:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok I have to admit they transfuse me anytime I drop below 8, so I am suprised they would wait till tomorrow.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders: All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.
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Endeavor08
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 380
   Posted 12/22/2010 10:00 PM (GMT -6)   
When I was first diagnosed I think mine dropped to 3 after I had my colonoscopy so they gave me two pints of blood, and it made a world of different, I was like a new person.

Good luck hope you feel better!
Diagnosed Nov 2008
Brother also has Crohn's.
Currently on Humira and Prednisone (almost done) and LDN. Was on Remicade but it stopped working as well.
Three abscess surgeries, four hospital stays.
Finally have the right remedy and heading in a positive direction.
I'm 20 years old, and had to put college on hold multiple times, excited to start again in the fall 2011.

Rider Fan
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Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1434
   Posted 12/22/2010 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I guarantee you'll feel a million times better after the transfusion. What's the plan to treat the disease?
33 y/o male. Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: Humira 2/27/09. Proferrin iron pills.

Reduced gluten and dairy.


Go Saskatchewan Roughriders!

sudsmom
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 12/23/2010 9:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had 2 transfusions, both times I was below 10. The first time, they discovered it was 8 when I tried to donate blood - lol! The blood bank was panicking, but my GI was like... it's OK, we will schedule you for tomorrow. The second time they found it on a routine blood check when I complained about fatigue.

I can tell you the fatigue was undeniable. I literally couldn't get off the couch. Two units made a world of difference. Not sure how long my count stayed up, since I have chronic anemia, but at least my energy is a little better. I am on Iron Ferrex Forte 150, which I can't tell if it makes any difference. We've tried various doses of iron, and I see no effect.

Anyway, chin up! The transfusion will make you feel sooo much better! (Altho I agree, 3 is awfully low!).

Sudsmom

pmedic
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Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1420
   Posted 12/23/2010 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I got down to 5 and required 4 units of blood and needed 2 more a week later. Take it very easy until you get transfused as you are at increased risk of serious complications from having a count this low. No lifting or anything strenous. I would suggest simply bed rest. Let us know how you are doing after your transfusions. You will feel much better!
Dx:Ulcerative Colitis March 2008
Dx: Crohns May 2008

No surgeries yet but I am desperately trying to keep my colon.

8 blood transfusions, SVT due to low H&H, Anxiety during new medication injections due to past reactions.

Been through MANY medications with terrible results.

Currently on Cimzia, Lialda, Ambien (prn), xanax(prn), Vitamin D3, Folic acid and Biotin.

Organic diet has made a big difference for me.

Learning how to love life and relax.

Valerie3
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 529
   Posted 12/24/2010 4:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I was around that level after my surgery earlier this year - I actually didn't really notice. The hospital residents were idiots and discharged me with a hemoglobin level of around 6 (and peritonitis... I told them I didn't feel right, but they thought I was fine to go home). I ended up going to the doctor the next week for my post-op checkup with my GI, and he was SO angry when he noticed. I ended up having to be readmitted, I got 2 pints of blood and had to be there for several days because of the peritonitis. I'm not sure exactly how bad I felt due to the fact that my peritonitis was undeniably causing a lot of the symptoms I felt - apparently I was barely staying conscious though, which was probably due to a mix of the 2. Needless to say, about a week after the whole ordeal I felt a lot better, but I would advise trying to rest as much as possible until you feel better. I've had low hemoglobin for the past 8 years (Crohn's for 3...) so I'm sort of used to it, but you will feel a lot better after the transfusion.

tewcute
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 12/25/2010 6:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a question if you guys don't mind? I have anemia and have been on Chromagen Forte since May. My numbers are slowly going up but my hemoglobin at last blood work was 10. I have had no noticeable fatigue until my monthly cycle. How low do you have to go before the drs are worried? My iron saturation was also low at 8. Doctor said normal starts at 25. It seems like the iron saturation is taking the longets to recover.

bella3250
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 12/26/2010 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone.  Thank you for all your responses.  I went to my primary care doctor who is a cardiologist and he drew my blood in his office and ran it in his lab and my count came back at 5.9 and my hemocrit was 17.  He immediately sent me to the er for a blood transfusion.  He said my body was toxic due to my medications.  He said the allopurinol was making the azathioprine absord more which was suppressing my bone marrow.  I ended up being admitted onto the telemety floor b/c I was having tachacardia and heart palpitations.  I was started in the er on 2 units of blood then i received two more once i got into my room for a total of 4 pints.  The next day my blood count was at 9.2   I was sent home on christmas eve which is my birthday :)   I was to follow up with my primary care doc, my hematologist, and my gi doc.  I'm just afraid that's going to happen again.  I was taken off the allopurinol and just continuing with the azathioprine.  Idk anyone have any thoughts?  Thank you guys and hope everyone had a happy holiday.

pmedic
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1420
   Posted 12/26/2010 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Happy belated birthday! I am happy that you are doing better. I was concerned because I was in the same boat at one time. My GI told me when I required 4 units of blood that she thought it was anemia of chronic disease although I disagree because at that time I was bleeding excessively and was losing so much blood that the toilet was dark red every bathroom trip and I went at least 25 times a day. I simply wasn't being heard at the time. There are many reasons you could have needed that much blood and suppression of the bone marrow is one of them, although it could be from simply being sick, or medication induced. Are you bleeding excessively? Are you on iron supplementation? I am curious, are you still having tachycardia and palpitations? I find that it took me over a year for my heart settle down. Now I do not let my Hemoglobin fall below 8 without getting a transfusion. I learned quickly to be my own advocate since I know my body better than any Dr. can.`
Dx:Ulcerative Colitis March 2008
Dx: Crohns May 2008

No surgeries yet but I am desperately trying to keep my colon.

8 blood transfusions, SVT due to low H&H, Anxiety during new medication injections due to past reactions.

Been through MANY medications with terrible results.

Currently on Cimzia, Lialda, Ambien (prn), xanax(prn), Vitamin D3, Folic acid and Biotin.

Organic diet has made a big difference for me.

Learning how to love life and relax.

bella3250
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 12/26/2010 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
pmedic...I am bleeding a little bit during bm's but not all the time.  I am in a lot of pain but not really any blood.  I am currently not on any iron supplements b/c I had a small bowel ressection at the terminal ileum in '08 and I do not absorb the iron pills.  I was doing iron infusions for about 8 months.  My blood count went up to 11.  It was steady there for a long time.  I had my blood work done prior to this abnormal count three weeks before and my hemoglobin was 9.2  So I don't know why the drastic drop.  I get blood work done once a month and everything has been ok.  I am not having anymore rapid heartbeats or flutters.  It seems to have helped a great deal.

pmedic
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1420
   Posted 12/26/2010 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I am glad that you are feeling better! That was a pretty fast drop in three weeks and since you are not excessively bleeding , I would have to agree with your Dr. about bone marrow suppression and that the medication was a problem. You will know for sure soon enough, if it happens again. If your levels drop again, it may be anemia from chronic disease. When that happened to me, I insisted on labs being drawn every two weeks, just so I could catch a drop in my hemoglobin before it got below eight, since my cardiovacular system had so many issues the first time, I didn't want a repeat. I did that for about two months. Just a thought. Keep us posted on how you are doing!!
Dx:Ulcerative Colitis March 2008
Dx: Crohns May 2008

No surgeries yet but I am desperately trying to keep my colon.

8 blood transfusions, SVT due to low H&H, Anxiety during new medication injections due to past reactions.

Been through MANY medications with terrible results.

Currently on Cimzia, Lialda, Ambien (prn), xanax(prn), Vitamin D3, Folic acid and Biotin.

Organic diet has made a big difference for me.

Learning how to love life and relax.

njmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1883
   Posted 12/27/2010 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   
bella, thank goodness they caught it in time. What I fear most about 6mp and azathioprine (Imuran) is their potential for bone marrow suppression, which can be fatal. 

Roni
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 12/27/2010 2:02 PM (GMT -6)   
bella, iron gets absorbed in the upper GI, not in the terminal ileum, that's B12.
Are you doing b12 shots?

Glad you were sent home in time for Christmas and your B-day.
Hope you will do better now.

bella3250
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 12/27/2010 10:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Ronni for clearing that up, I actually didn't know that.  When i was seeing my hematologist he told me that my iron was probably not being absorbed due to chronic inflammation of the gi tract.  I do not get B12 shots b/c as far as I know i'm actually good on that.  Thank you for the happy birthday.  I also poop out the pills when i take them and I also get a horrible stomach ache after taking iron pills.  plus my hemoglobin is usually so low that taking the pills would just be pointless.  I will keep you guys updated. Thanks and everyone have a safe and happy nye.  :)
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