Symptomatic Anemia! Anyone else?

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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 4/6/2009 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I have end stage renal disease which affects a persons ability to produce red blood cells. (the kidneys produce a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells)  I also have bone marrow suppression from years of immunosuppressive meds.  My doc took me off of Imuran a few weeks ago when I was constantly having to be transfused.  Well, I begged her to put me back on it because I was having to take such high doses of prednisone to keep flares at bay without the imuran.  So, she relented. 
I had blood work Friday and i'm severely anemic.  I'm short of breath on exertion.  My resting pulse is 96 and goes up on exertion.  I'm so tired I can't hardly wiggle.  I was wondering if any of you get symptomatic with anemia...and if anyone has had this problem with meds being so suppressive.  Thanx, Judy

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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 4/6/2009 10:53 PM (GMT -6)   
((((((((( Judy )))))))))

Yes. I had extremely low ferritin levels at one point (doctor could not figure out the cause - but I think it was super heavy periods). I was breathless just from talking, my lips were numb or tingly, and walking up steps was exhausting. After several months of taking megga doses of iron, it resolved . . . but I also had a uterine ablation and my periods were much lighter after that.

That fast pulse you mentioned is also indicative of anemia. I haven't needed the strong meds that you take so I don't know anything about that . . . but it sounds like you are in such a pickle.

Will keep you in my prayers.


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UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 4/6/2009 11:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Have had mild anemia and low platelets for at least 15 years before becoming symptomatic.  Imuran hit my blood after 18 months and lowered my RBC, WBC, and platelet counts so it was reduced from 150mg to only 50.  Numbers have been stable for the past 18 months and eventually I will stop taking imuran but probably not for another year.
Imuran is a cytotoxin, a poisin and can be a problem for some.  However, most tolerate it well for indefinite use.  All the immuno suppressants are powerful meds that can cause serious problems with some individuals.
MCTD (lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis).  Diagnosed 2005.  Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, Barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005.  Recovered and now active in skiing, tai, chi, hiking, golf.  Meds: prednisone 2.5mg, imuran 50mg, amlodipine, benazapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide and various supplements and vitamins.
Remain optimistic and you can overcome the odds.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 4/7/2009 4:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanx everyone for your replies! I have been on Imuran for several years. Now that i'm end stage renal disease I guess that complicates my situation. I am also reduced to 50mg a day, but still can't maintain my counts. I was so hoping to be able to continue taking it. I know that it is a derivative of 6 mercaptopurine which is a potent chemo drug and actually has similiar mechanism of action only to a lesser degree. Judy
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