How long does it take for an iron transfusion to give you more energy? (+ vent)

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Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10094
   Posted 7/1/2010 5:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Because right about now I'm feeling about as shattered as though I'd ran 20 miles earlier on :-/

I had an iron transfusion done almost two weeks ago. The hospital were cautious and only gave me half the usual dose, and even that was touch and go because I did have a reaction to the iron. But they were able to finish the tranfusion, and I'm going in tomorrow for the second dose.

The first dose cured my restless legs instantly, so for that alone it was worth it. But apart from that I don't feel any better and in fact my tiredness has increased. The increase in tiredness seems to be related to decreasing the Entocort to 3mg a day. I hadn't thought 6mg was doing anything, but apparently it was doing something, unless it's just coincidence.

I'm certain I still have active disease going on, so I'm never going to be 100% healthy. But considering I had bad anaemia prior to the transfusion, I would've thought it would've boosted my energy levels somewhat. Is two weeks not enough time? Does it take 3, 4, etc. weeks before you notice any effect? :-/

Changing subject...

Somebody managed to make a comment about my Crohn's which upset me this morning <__<. On another forum I go to (nothing to do with Crohn's, but they know I have Crohn's there), there's a "What have you eaten today?" thread, which I've been posting in. I've been honest about my daily food intake to the point of scrupulousness. Nobody has said anything about it until today, where some guy told me that for how much I'm eating my Crohn's didn't sound that bad. He said that he thought I would "explode" with what I was eating.

Urgh. Well firstly I consume probably around 1500 calories most days. I won't bore you all with a detailed breakdown of a typical day's worth of food for me, so I hope you can take my word for it that I'm not consuming 3000 calories of junk per day. This guy seems to have absolutely no idea of how to assess calories and he eats probably about 4x what I do, but that's getting off the subject... >_>

Secondly, I've always eaten everything, because it doesn't seem to make any difference what I eat. My brother (who also has Crohn's) is the same. He eats everything too, even in a flare-up. But I have to say, that does not seem to be typical for Crohn's sufferers.

The thing which annoys me - and which I'm sure most of you can identify with - is that because you don't look (or sound) ill people don't take you seriously. You can be feeling at death's door and they'll never know it. The ones which make these assumptions are always healthy as an ox, too, which annoys me even more.

And then I start to feel a bit guilty for feeling so annoyed because in all honesty I sometimes find it hard to believe I have a serious disease, so what hope other people? Currently my symptoms are similar to what they were pre-colonoscopy, and the colonoscopy showed apparently dreadful disease. But my symptoms don't seem to match the severity of the disease, so I don't really know what to think and feel about it. Bah. As always, apologies for the length of my posts.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 7/1/2010 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm the same way in regards to diet. I can eat whatever I want in moderation. No particular food has any effect on my symptoms, not dairy, spicy food, alcohol, heavy foods, fiber...nothing. The details of Crohn's disease are different for everyone. It's true that 9 years ago when I was going through my last flare I did have a lot of food sensitivities but not this time. And I agree about how some people don't really seem to "get" that I am sick based on how I may physically look at any given time. Yes sometime I might be pale or tired looking or drop a lot of weight, but often I look pretty normal yet feel awful. I certainly can identify with what you described.

Julia Hill
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 560
   Posted 7/1/2010 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
After three bowel resections and 30 plus years of crohns everything goes through me. I do stay away from spicy food, but I eat most everything else. As for the iron infusion, I was always told it takes 2 weeks for the iron to form red blood cells.

Bottom line - no two crohn's patients are alike re foods, meds, etc.. I would try to look the other way when someone makes an assumption like that. You know your body and your limits, so carry on.

All the best,

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 8384
   Posted 7/1/2010 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   
And depending on how low your hemoglobin was and how low your iron stores, it could be quite a while before you're back to normal.

When I was anemic last year my lowest hemoglobin was 9 and my iron stores were zero. I took oral iron for 6 months. It took just a few weeks (maybe 3 or 4?) before I felt remarkably better, but at a recheck 3 months into the oral iron my hemoglobin was still below 11.

Be patient, you'll get there.

Sorry about the dufus on the other board. Men are just sometimes complete idiots about caloric content of food. Sorry any men readers on this board!!

about your illness and your eating - I agree, I don't avoid anything in particular (except lactose). But I do find that now, 10 years into this illness, I'm much less tolerant of overeating to any degree. High salt & fat meals, like from a restaurant, make me miserable. If I want to eat legumes, I have to make them myself because I know how to make them so I won't float away with gas (no, I haven't ever tried beano, maybe one day). I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with you, it is completely ok to eat whatever you want, even if you have Crohn's.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 681
   Posted 7/2/2010 1:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Remember 50% of the people on the internet are the 50% of the dumbest people on the internet. Men and Women! lol
Male, 55 years old with Crohn's since 15 years old, diagnosed at age 46. Terminal ileum resected 2002. 5 months of remission. Crohn's has now been active since May, 2003. Had a gall bladder removed Nov. of 2009. Currently on Remicade every 8 weeks, Nexium, Iron, B-12 injection every 4 weeks, Morphine Sulfate as needed for pain. Cymbalta for long term pain control. In the past, 5-asa Salofalk, Asacol, Entocort,  Imuran and Prednisone.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 7/2/2010 1:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I wish I knew more about the iron intake alot of you seem to be talking about. Alot of meds you discuss are not given to alot of us in Canada. I have never taken most of them.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 7/2/2010 5:18 AM (GMT -7)   
I had an Infed iron infusion aver 8 hours and it did nothing at, my counts actually dropped after and I paid cash for it with hopes of feeling better. But every one is different. Hope it will work for you. KayC
 RIP my beloved Chihuahua: Roxy
DX with CD of the TI in 2004 by colonoscpy biopsy, with partical obstructions x 3. Anemic, constant elevated ESR & WBC. Constant abd. pain and fatique.    
Meds: Vit B-12 shots monthly, zinc, multi vit, Vit E, Pentasa.    

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10094
   Posted 7/2/2010 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
The iron transfusion is over! \o/ :p No problems this time. The nurse set the rate lower than last time and that seemed to do the trick. I was so bored with hanging around waiting for the infusion to begin that I drank 3 cups of tea before it even began and was desperate to go the toilet halfway through the infusion >_>. So I had to wheel the entire apparatus into the toilet with me.

Hopefully that will bosh the anaemia on the head for a while. Thanks kazbern, for the answer. The haematologist did warn me that my haemoglobin might not get above 10 or 11 (it was 7), due to chronic disease / inflammation. But that's still a lot better than no effect at all. Sorry to hear about that, Not2Spunky - that's pretty unlucky :-/

I agree 100% with this sentence:

I agree, I don't avoid anything in particular (except lactose). But I do find that now, 10 years into this illness, I'm much less tolerant of overeating to any degree. High salt & fat meals, like from a restaurant, make me miserable.

Except for the lactose bit (as far as I know, I'm not lactose intolerant either), I am exactly the same. I've had Crohn's for 11 years and cannot tolerate big meals anymore, whereas I used to be quite tolerant to them. Now they exhaust me. Everybody else around me perks up after a restaurant meal and pours themselves more wine, but I usually tire as soon as I've finished eating. Even if I'm careful it's almost impossible not to eat more in a restaurant than I would at home.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 7/2/2010 7:19 AM (GMT -7)   
(((NCOT))) When I had my infusion it took about 3-4 weeks for me to start feeling the effects. So do be patient things will improve soon.

As for the jerk on the other board, just ignore him, some people just have the know it all complex. I am a very light eater myself. I can't eat too much food at one time. In fact my husband is a light eater himself, and most times we just share a plate. I don't follow any of the specialized diets, but find a modified low residue diet works best for me. Modified for me means I eat a few items that aren't low residue. And diet is so individual to each of us. So each of us really just have to find what works for "us". Hugs!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10094
   Posted 7/2/2010 5:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Nanners!

The 'jerk' on the other board isn't really a jerk. He's just irritating <_<. Mostly he is okay and I know his intention wasn't malicious. His comments did bug me, but I have never liked people making personal comments about what I eat :-/

One of these months I will try a low(er) residue diet for a few days to see if it really makes a difference. I do think things like red meat, salad, etc. are quite hard to digest and I wonder if I would feel better overall if I ate 1500 calories worth of Cheerios, say. I'd certainly be bored, but it'd be interesting to see. Meh, that's for another time, though. Not going to do it in the next few days...

*returns hugs* :p

Rider Fan
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1445
   Posted 7/3/2010 12:02 PM (GMT -7)   
A blood transfusion will make you feel better more quickly.
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!

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 7/4/2010 10:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I know what you mean about commentgs about food. Years ago when I did weight watchers to lose weight (the oh so wonderful years I was pre-crohns) I was dligent about food. I brought lunch every day and ate filling healthful foods. So of course by comparison it did not seem like I was eating much. If I so much participated in a birthday celebration at work and had a small slice of cake everyone was like..OMG she is eating cake!!! I just want to tell them to shut it. OF COURSE I eat cake. I just eat it in moderation..I have no patience with people doling out food advice while they are stuffing their face with gummy bears and telling me it is ok because there is no fat in it. OY! I also got the comment after going back in the building to a attend a meeting after being sick for three months how great I looked because I had lost weight. I told this person what was going on and she an easy way to lose it! no exercise or dieting required. Excuse my language but some poeple are just idiots.
Dx with crohns February 25, 2010. But suspect I had it since 2002 with very mild symptoms.
4 lialda a day.
3 entocort daily for the next few months
hyosamine for daytime
Bentyl for evening

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 266
   Posted 7/4/2010 5:26 PM (GMT -7)   
NCOT:  Wow, I'm really impressed that Iron could make your legs better so fast.  Awesome!  Maybe you will be able to sleep better now and that will help you also feel less tired.  Don't know were the hemoglobin levels have to be to help one feel perkier but seems that you are headed in the right direction!  Maybe next time your doc won't let you get so low. . . tell him to pay attention! 
As for a man and food . . . my spouse has long since learned to not say a word . . .no matter what I say . . .he somehow knows just to smile and nod.  It took many years of hands on training to accomplish this . .. is there a right answer to "does this make me look fat?" So the dude that was discussing diet dosen't get "woman" talk yet . . .and remains ignorant and thereby underschooled in the finer things in life.  He needs someone to open a can of whoop ass on 'im!
best, barb

Symptoms since Jan 2009, Dx UC vs crohns May 2010 but probably small bowel Crohn's dz, biopsies all "normal"

Meds: Celebrex, Omeprazole, Liadla, Entocort EC 9mg/day, Vit D, Mulitvit, Omega 3's, Ambian, Neurontin

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. Thomas Jefferson

Kim Woodbury
New Member

Date Joined May 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/1/2015 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
You do know if you drink a lot of tea especially green tea, it is not good for someone prone to anemia. The tannins in the tea surround your red blood cells and the iron cannot get to them. All irons that are not heme irons will not go through.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 302
   Posted 5/2/2015 3:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I share your irritation with the other poster. I too have had someone suggest they knew better than I did about a personal point I made. I 'was like' (to quote the youngsters of today 😉) *** you don't even know me how can you have the audacity to tell me I have my past wrong. But I didn't rise to it... Like you irritated. In that case they weren't a jerk either ... Just a little too self opinionated. Well intentioned but so missed the mark.

When we all comment we give our opinion from our perspective. And respect the views that others express (whether we agree or not). Unfortunately some don't realise that simply having an opinion doesn't always make it worthy or sharing. Ho hum I thought ... Downed another cocktail and moved on with my life (after a rant to my other half).

Stick in there - after all I'm waiting for the book on your diet to come out. 😊
Diagnosed: January 2000
Drugs: currently Azathioprine 150mg (Imuran) [14yrs], prednisone, Humira, B12, Clexane, vitamin D.
Previous drugs: been through the sweet shop
Bonus probs thanks to Crohns: osteoporosis and blood clots
Age: 49 (but feel over 80 when ill)
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