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Severe anemia and swollen neck glands- Very worried

(12 Posts)
consumersucker Wed 12-Feb-14 20:34:12


So I'm nearly 30 and have always had very heavy periods and by heavy, I mean not being able to leave the house on the heaviest days. Funnily enough though, I've only ever had anemia once, when I'd had my DD 7 years ago and I bled very heavily for a month!

About 2 months a go, I went to the doctors as I was having daily headaches, feeling faint, constantly tired and just generally feeling rubbish. She took some blood and it came back I was anemic and quite severely. I was put on iron tablets, which seemed to do the trick and after just a couple of days, I stopped getting so many headaches and generally just felt more awake.

I went to the doctors yesterday for a follow up blood test, to check that I was responding to the iron tablets and I thought I should mention these lumps which I've had in my neck for a while now. She said that my glands were up and that I needed to go back in a couple of weeks to make sure they've gone down, as I'm currently battling some nasty bug. I'm used to the gland right under my chin swelling when I'm poorly, but these are at the side of my neck, bean shaped and feel quite noticeable actually. I've noticed a couple more on the other side of my neck now too. Thinking about it though, this gland in particular has been swollen for a while now. I remember feeling it last year when I was on holiday.

I did some research when I got home and found that anemia and swollen glands like this aren't a very good and could be a sign of something sinister.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I'm so worried. I can't stop thinking about the worst possible outcome.

Thank you

Badvoc Wed 12-Feb-14 20:47:31

I can understand your worry BUT
You have been anaemic before. It has now resolved with meds.
You are fighting a bug - therefore your glands will be swollen.
I often feel lumps and bumps where my lymph nodes are and it's always when I am either coming down with, fighting or getting over an infection.
Hope you feel better soon x

consumersucker Wed 12-Feb-14 21:02:58

Badvoc, Thank you

idlevice Wed 12-Feb-14 21:47:48

Your immune system is probably run down as a result of the anaemia & it's been like for a long time as anaemia doesn't happen overnight.

As an aside, has your heavy bleeding been investigated by a gynae rather than just being fobbed off by a GP? It's unlikely to be anything worrisome if you've always had it but on the other hand if it's something that can be addressed it would be worth being informed. Also have you tried mefanamic or tranexamic acid tablets? I hope your GP would have gone through all this on learning of your anaemia though.

consumersucker Wed 12-Feb-14 22:57:01

Idle I have actually been checked for those kind of problems and a couple of years a go, I had a cervical cyst removed. That was pretty scary as they had to take a couple of biopsies and I was fearing the worst. I had part of the cervix removed (sorry for gory details) and that was supposed to help with the heavy periods and mid cycle bleeds, but it didn't unfortunately.

I had a full blood count test yesterday, but I'm not sure exactly what that could potentially show. If the test comes back clear, I'm assuming that if my glands haven't gone down, that my doctor will still want to send me for an x ray at least. I'm a little unsure as to what they're actually testing for when they say a full blood count test.

consumersucker Thu 13-Feb-14 11:13:15


Elibean Thu 13-Feb-14 12:00:35

They'll test to see if your body is fighting infection - looking for raised white blood cell counts, and/or raised CRP (reactive protein - raises with infection/inflammation). Also check platelets, and of course your anaemia to see if its getting better.

I know raised 'bean' lumps are anxiety provoking - I never normally had them either, but have had them with shingles or other bugs that really put strain on the immune system. I've even had them in my groin, and managed to freak out about those, but always been totally normal smile

Honestly, your history makes sense of the anaemia and the bug makes sense of the swollen glands. They can take weeks to go down again, once they get like that - hard as it is, I'd try not to worry and give it some time. And rest! xx

idlevice Thu 13-Feb-14 14:00:52

Also with full blood count they will check iron store levels (ferritin) rather than only circulating iron levels in the blood (haemoglobin). You can be ok in one, low in the other & vice versa, or low in both. Low ferritin is "worse" as it takes longer to get back up & may need more than just supplementation to get levels up again. And they will check thyroid function - that is quite complex but if anything is out it can make you feel really rubbish from what I gather.

consumersucker Thu 13-Feb-14 16:14:53

Thanks Elibean and idlevice

Well I rang the doctors on the off chance that they had my results back already. Luckily they did, but the receptionist seemed quite confused by the results. My haemoglobin levels are normal now, which is good, but apparently I need to re take the test in a couple of weeks. Originally she said that they'd all come back normal, but then said that actually no, my white blood cell count is a little low, so I'm assuming this is what I'm being re tested for. Not sure if that's routine. I suppose low white blood cells is better than if they were high. Is that right?

Mumof3teens Thu 13-Feb-14 16:41:06

DS3 had low white cell count with glandular fever. They just kept testing him every couple of weeks until they were back to 'normal'. Please try not to worry.

dsmama Thu 13-Feb-14 18:41:25

I had a low white blood cell count a few years ago and my doctor said it was a common consequence of recently having a virus. When I was retested all was normal. Try not to be anxious!

consumersucker Sun 16-Feb-14 18:11:44

Thank you

I've been getting really anxious the last couple of days, cos I really do feel like these lumps/glands are bigger than they were. This could be something to do with the fact that I keep feeling around for them. I have an appointment on Tuesday to discuss my results. So scared.

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