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To call nhs direct?

(35 Posts)
feelingawful01 Sat 07-Nov-15 08:54:48

I have another thread outlining how unwell I've been feeling and was looking for advice. After following the advice my suspicions were confirmed yesterday with a blood test and that I have low levels of haemoglobin which means I'm lacking in iron- I'm 26 weeks pregnant.

I pushed for iron supplements at my blood test yesterday morning before I got the results based on my suspicions so have been taking them however I didn't find out the blood results until after 5pm last night.

The receptionist told me that yes, my levels were low but I have no further information on this and if the tablets are enough? I presume so based on the fact a doctor never called me but the fact it was closing time on a Friday with no further info available until Monday my mind is going into overdrive wondering how low and if I'm okay to wait until Monday for more info. The receptionist advised me to call after 2pm and by then a doctor will have reviewed my results and I'll be advised of anything else, if required.

So I'm wondering if I should phone nhs direct to see if I can get more info or phone my maternity outpatients dept or just wait until Monday?

CinderellaRockefeller Sat 07-Nov-15 09:01:35

111 can't give you an explanation of your blood tests. If you are feeling unwell you can ring them and they will triage your symptoms and give you advice over the phone, or signpost you to the nearest appropriate service. Do you have an out of hours number for the midwife?

feelingawful01 Sat 07-Nov-15 09:05:03

Hmmm, sounds like I should maybe call the maternity outpatients then. They have been really helpful in the past.

Spartak Sat 07-Nov-15 09:09:33

Nhs Direct don't have access to your test results. The computer systems aren't linked up sufficiently, so they won't be able to tell you specifics about your iron levels.

QforCucumber Sat 07-Nov-15 09:12:22

Is getting some supermarket iron tablets to take an option until you can see someone?

anotherbloomingusername Sat 07-Nov-15 09:14:54

In the meantime, you can follow general anemia advice. Rest, take your tablets with a source of vitamin C (not with dairy, which can inhibit absorption), keep hydrated.

feelingawful01 Sat 07-Nov-15 09:29:18

I have iron tablets as I requested them when my blood was taken because I thought my symptoms pointed to that. I've been taking them with fresh orange juice as well as eating iron rich foods. I have plenty of rest ahead of me this weekend so will just wait until Monday for more info from the doctor.

Thank you.

acquiescence Sat 07-Nov-15 11:36:51

I don't think NHS direct will be able to help you or that there is any point in calling really/ It is not an emergency and there are things you can do in the mean time to help up your iron levels until Monday. I would suggest a trip to boots and get some spatone and/or floradix.

Anemia makes you feel terrible but it is not actually harming you unless the levels are really low, it is more about a concern of bleeding at the birth.

I have been anemic throughout my pregnancy (now 40 weeks) and found that spatone helped. I asked for liquid iron from the GP rather than tablets as this is much more easily absorbed and less likely to cause constipation. Good luck!

Ubik1 Sat 07-Nov-15 11:40:46

Working for 111 taking call after emergency call, I used to boggle at the people who would call and confidently ask me to go into their record to get test results/repeat prescription, Drs letter etc.

This is what your GP is for. 111 is an emergency appointment/triage line.

feelingawful01 Sat 07-Nov-15 12:08:40

I wasn't sure if this could be an emergency though. I have no idea how low my levels are, all I know is that I can't go to the bathroom without feeling like I'm going to keel over and I can't look after my child who is now having to stay elsewhere for the weekend. I'm concerned about the effect on my unborn baby.

I know this is common in pregnancy however if levels are really low they can affect the baby, now I have to spend the weekend worrying about how bad it is and hoping that it's only so bad that iron supplements will sort it out.

That's fine that I shouldn't be phoning 111 about this. I didn't know so thought I'd ask, I thought it was a non-emergency number for advice if need be when you couldn't speak to your GP and A&E was for emergencies.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 07-Nov-15 12:09:21

I'm in almost exactly this situation. I'm 26 weeks today and iron levels of (as of 2 weeks ago) 103 (should be no less than 105 at 37 weeks pregnant). I've been prescribed iron pills and now feel worse than I did when I was taking liquid iron supplements. My next blood test is in a week and not seeing the Dr for another 3 weeks.

In the meantime I'm having to plan my daily errands and work by making sure I have safe places to sit down before I fall down.

I'm particularly annoyed because I knew my iron levels were falling months ago and they wouldn't intervene until I reached this level (which is why I was self medicating with the liquid supplements). I'd really recommend the Spatone sachets (with a glass of orange juice and a splash of oil olive - sounds gross but you don't really taste it) which you can get from Holland and Barretts. Good luck sad

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 07-Nov-15 12:10:09

X-post - your baby will be fine, they take all the iron they need, which is why you feel like crap. Baby is draining your supply, but he / she is doing just fine.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 07-Nov-15 12:13:25

Excuse the barrage of posts, but you could try your maternity outpatients, they might have your results (although they may not have been entered into the system yet).

feelingawful01 Sat 07-Nov-15 12:35:46

Thanks goodnight. I'm not sure what to do. I'm presuming that if my levels were dangerously low I would've been informed yesterday when my results came back.

Hoping the supplements help and might need to take some time off work if I don't improve.

I'm sorry you're suffering too! It's so debilitating.

Ubik1 Sat 07-Nov-15 13:41:21

You should phone 111 if you are concerned about your symptoms. If you need some advice and want to see a doctor. Are you feeling worse?

All I'm saying is that they will not be able to give you test results.

Ubik1 Sat 07-Nov-15 13:47:11

I know some of the devices have midwives working with them - you might be able to some advice it at least some reassurance.

nameinlights Sat 07-Nov-15 14:20:25

I would suggest calling your local maternity unit. They will be able to advise.

PiccalilliSandwiches Sat 07-Nov-15 14:30:13

If your local maternity unit is the same hospital as your GP sends blood tests to, then they will have your results available on computer. You can phone if you're worried.
But, in truth, nothing will change. If you were ill enough to need admission to hospital and blood transfusions, your GP would have had this flagged by the labs. You're anaemic, but extremely unlikely to be dangerously so. You have the right treatment which will take several weeks to make you feel better. Your baby will be fine.

I know how rubbish it is to be anaemic, my Hb dropped to 6.9 after DD was born and I felt awful for about a week or two before my body caught up. Sympathy, but YWBVU to use 111 for this.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 07-Nov-15 14:34:01

feelingawful Although I would love to be to reassure you, I wasn't called about my results - I had to chase a week later (twice). This was after 2 repeated blood tests as they were concerned that my results showed an infection present, as well as low iron.

I've had 2 days off work this week, so don't for one second feel guilty about sick time. Low iron symptoms are very hard to ignore and just get on with. When do you start mat leave?

Do call your maternity unit and see if they can advise. In the meantime take the pills or the liquid sachets, add more food iron to your diet (do you have a DP who can go to the supermarket for you?), and rest this weekend.

Jeffreythegiraffe Sat 07-Nov-15 14:34:46

111 won't have blood results.

Anaemia in pregnancy is quite common, if your results were very low they would have told you. It's more to prevent problems if you bleed after you give birth. My iron was low in both pregnancies, I just took the tablets. Bled both times so kept taking them afterwards. They can make you constipated so you might need something to help you go. To be honest unless you're ill I would just ring the GP Monday.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 07-Nov-15 14:35:40

I felt awful for about a week or two

Try 2 months. envy

SummerNights1986 Sat 07-Nov-15 14:37:44

I wouldn't be too worried op. IME, if your iron was 'dangerously' low, you'd be unable to stand without keeling over, let alone make it to the bathroom. I was in that situation - literally couldn't stand - and even then I waited a couple of days before it was decided that I needed a blood transfusion.

Iron tablets, Vitamin C, Iron rich foods and rest is probably all that is needed, and a check up with your GP when they're open.

SweepTheHalls Sat 07-Nov-15 14:37:51

They will just tell you to take the tablets and take it easy. My levels are in the 90's and have been since week 28. Its shit, but unless you drop into the 80's, they don't offer an alternative treatment (iron transfusion) . You have my sympathy though, I'm on week 5 of feeling this way!

Jeffreythegiraffe Sat 07-Nov-15 14:38:34

Agree, took me months too. My ferritin levels were in my boots. Nothing is going change between now and Monday when you can speak to your GP surgery. Take them with orange juice.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 07-Nov-15 14:43:12

And a drop of olive oil (so my midwife advised)!

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