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Old 12-09-2014, 09:23 AM   #1
sherlock holmes
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Chronic (mild) anaemia

Does anyone else here seem to always be mildly anaemic?

I saw my GP yesterday for the results of blood tests. Everything was fine until he laughed and said he'd never known anyone to have exactly the same haemoglobin levels year after year (seriously they've been the same every time I've had a blood test apart from one that was half the level it is now due to severe self harm).

He explained that they're always borderline anaemic- I looked the level up that he told me I had and basically if I were about 0.1 lower I'd be in the anaemic range, but he also said that for some patients they are anaemic at slightly different levels as obviously the average ranges are not true for everyone.

He's given me more iron to take and said that if it makes me feel better (ie takes away my tiredness, slight dizziness, headaches) then it might be something I'd have to take long term. I've had iron prescribed lots of times and it does help when I take it, but when I stop my levels return back to their usual.

I put this in GSA and not first aid because I don't really have a medical question (and I'm being treated by my GP) but I wanted to know if anyone else here has long term anaemia and how it affects you and what you do to help yourself?

I don't think I'll be looking at needing transfusions or anything, it's not that severe.

Thanks.



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Old 12-09-2014, 11:09 AM   #2
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I do, I also have high platelets (usually around double what they should be) & high wbc too, I was supposed to get referred to haematology because of the general state of my bloods but I don't know what happened as I never heard anything. not helpful I just wanted to put out there that you're not alone with it.

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Old 12-09-2014, 11:11 AM   #3
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just properly read it (was eating when I replied before.) my counts tend to be just under what's considered to be anaemic & I'm usually really cold all the time (only time I'm warm really is when its really hot outside) & tired.

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Old 12-09-2014, 05:45 PM   #4
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My iron levels are usually on the borderline anaemic too, although these days I'm not symptomatic but from the age of 18 to 23 I was back to too to the doctors with symptoms constantly, getting increasingly frustrated that they were dismissive of my symptoms due to the levels being only borderline low.

Not sure what has changed as my diet in terms of iron hasn't changed and if anything I'm getting slightly less iron due to eating less meat.

You've probably already looked into it but it is worth looking at foods and drinks that help and hinder iron absorption.



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Old 12-09-2014, 07:59 PM   #5
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I consider myself to have a fairly balanced diet, I could try and increase my intake of iron rich food! I think I read that some of my medication can hinder iron absorption but I wasn't sure if it meant iron supplements, or dietary iron.



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Old 13-09-2014, 02:21 AM   #6
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This is exactly me!!

They put me on iron as a test too, but it didn't really make any difference.
If I'm out and really exhausted I sometimes try and eat red meat like steak to boost my levels because I don't generally eat much red meat.

Oh and I make sure my multi vits are 'multivitamins + iron' to be on the safe side!



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Old 13-09-2014, 01:22 PM   #7
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I've had chronic anaemia for years too. Just keep trying to increase your iron levels by ways of means like meds and diet and such.

I'm not borderline as I am considered to be too low and transfusions in past and could be looking at more but it is indeed very annoying!



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Old 13-09-2014, 04:14 PM   #8
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Iron isn't the easiest of things for the body to absorb. It is easier when the iron is from haem (meat) sources rather than non haem (veg) not sure where the supplements are on that scale.

Vitamin C helps you absorb iron, so when I was iron tablets I was recommended to take them with a glass or orange juice and to avoid drinking tea just before and after taking the tablets as the tannins reduce the absorption of iron.

If your meds reduce your asborption of iron could you take your iron pills at a different time to your other pills?



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Old 14-09-2014, 03:59 AM   #9
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Every blood test I've had I've been anaemic. Even after a blood transfusion I was still anaemic - just less so! No doubt it is due to self-harm & lack of dietary iron.

If you eat cereal, a lot of those have added iron.

Check with your doctor about your medication decreasing iron absorption. It may mean you need more than the average daily dose of iron, or there may be something you can take to increase absorption.

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Old 14-09-2014, 08:56 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice. I saw on the info for the iron liquid I've got that proton pump inhibitors and anti-acids reduce the absorption of iron and I take both. I had been taking my PPI 60 minutes before breakfast, and I'd have the iron and pregabalin with breakfast. I don't know if the iron would be absorbed or not, but if I take it at another time I'll probably forget or be out. I could try taking it at dinner time instead, though really I should be taking my iron 2x daily so that would be morning and dinner.



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Old 14-09-2014, 10:17 PM   #11
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Another thing to consider, if your periods are on the heavy side it may be contributing to your anemia.

And it is much much easier to absorb iron from meats than from veg or (in my limited experience) pills.

I also get my iron tested regularly, like every few weeks.



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Old 15-09-2014, 10:18 AM   #12
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Thanks Ama. Is it red meat that's higher in iron? We just as a family tried to lower our consumption of red meat in favour of white meat, fish, and vegetarian dishes. I might have to rethink that!



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Old 15-09-2014, 11:43 AM   #13
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Unfortunately yes. It is red meat that's better for iron. Maybe you could make an effort to get red meat when you're not with your family?



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Old 15-09-2014, 10:59 PM   #14
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I had this problem for years and was on iron tablets for years. Then I started on the contraceptive implant. My periods stopped and i've never had a problem since.
I was told anemia can often be a problem for women because of their periods so when mine stopped it rectified the issue.
I've not had a period for 4 years and also had no problems with anemia in that time.

This may not be your issue but it's want worked for me.
I didn't go on the the contraception because of the anemia it was just a nice side effect of safe sex :)



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Old 16-09-2014, 06:08 PM   #15
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Also, if it's just below the normal range I personally wouldn't worry about it as that's what it's always been for you. The normal range just fits in where 95% of the populations red blood cells is so 2.5% will naturally be below this and this may just be where you fall.

In terms of tablets, I'd recommend you aim for at least 2hrs between the antacids and PPIs before you take the iron tablets. Do you take the antacids and PPIs at the same time? Some of these need to have at least 1hr between to make sure they work fully so it may be worth discussing this with a pharmacist who can also give you advice on the iron tabs.

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Old 16-09-2014, 09:16 PM   #16
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Yeah I know it could just be the usual for me that I'm on the borderline of anaemia, but I have had issues with tiredness, headaches and so on for quite a while so I wondered if really I have been slightly anaemic for years.

I don't take the PPIs and antacids together.



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Old 18-09-2014, 01:05 AM   #17
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Meds can cause tiredness as well. Not saying that's what it is just that meds don't help with energy levels.



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Old 18-09-2014, 08:01 AM   #18
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Also other illness can cause the signs that you mention. I also remember you saying somewhere that you have CFS/ ME, that can cause these symptoms too as well as it's other ones. Stress and depression can also cause the symptoms that you mention and they're a much more common cause of Headaches than anaemia. I'm not saying that you're not anaemic or that it's definitely not anaemia causing the problems, just that it may be a combination of things.

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