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Desperate for any help or advice - anaemia getting worse!!

(9 Posts)
MrsHelenBee Wed 19-Feb-14 22:12:21

Wonder if anyone on here can help me or shed some light on why I seem to be getting more anaemic, rather than better.
In my first pregnancy, I was anaemic and took iron supplements but still only had an iron count of just over 5 when my DS was born, which resulted in PPH, several transfusions and a stay in HDU.
After being concerned this pregnancy was going the same way - all the same symptoms as before: extreme tiredness and fatigue, feeling weak and often passing out - I asked to have my blood checked more regularly. 4 weeks ago, my iron was 10 and the dcotor put on supplements - 3-6 tablets per day. I expressed concern that, still being sick every day, like with DS1, I keep very little down, so how will supplements be effective? I was told they would be, even if I was brining them up again, but it would take 3 weeks before I felt better. After just a week, I felt a lot worse and approached my midwife but was told all I could do was rest - not easy when I'm running around after a 2 year old - as my iron wasn't low enough for any other form of treatment.
I've just had my blooks tested again after insisting that I feel worse than I did before I started on the supplements, and my iron is now 3.4. My surgey contacted me and the receptionist asked (on behalf of the doctor) why I had stopped taking the supplements. I said I hadn't, I've been taking them every day, to which I was told the supplements will be effective, even if I am being sick all the time, and that I should carry on taking them.
I've never suggested I wouldn't take them but am worried that 3 weeks of taking them has still seen my iron drop, and I feel dreadful. Why is my iron still falling, and when will things get better? I can't bear to go through the same horrendous birth experience I had last time. Has anyone else had this experience?

Writerwannabe83 Wed 19-Feb-14 22:29:46

How can they still be effective when you are vomiting them back up??

That is a huge drop and a really low level - I'm surprised they aren't taking it more seriously.

I had my levels checked about a month ago and they were 9.5 so was prescribed 2 iron tablets a day. I recently had bloods to re-check my levels and am just waiting to hear back from my midwife what the results are.

I have heard people on here say they have been to hospital to have an iron infusion via a cannula when oral tablets were making no difference, and that it worked fantastically. Maybe this is something you could discuss with your midwife or GP?

MrsHelenBee Wed 19-Feb-14 22:38:03

Same thought as me then Writerwannabe83 - I don't get how anything can be effective when it may only be in my body for as little as 10 minutes!
My new count of 3.4 was given to me today when I phoned up but I've been getting worried that it wasn't getting better as I've been feeling worse. I asked my midwife a week ago and she said a count of 10 was too high for any treatment other than the supplements - which was partly why I asked to have my bllodschecked again as I was convenced from the way I was feeling that it wasn't at 10 any more.
I've only had today's results since tea time and my midwife doesn't work until Friday, so I haven't even attempted to contact her yet, but I am worried. And it feels like no one is listening to me.
I don't like the idea of a tansfusion but my tablets haven't made a shred of difference (other than really bad constipation!)

slightlyinsane Wed 19-Feb-14 22:41:18

Hi, I have had a telling off from my midwife today because unlike you I haven't been taking my tablets. Not sure how the figures compare to yours as they are in different units but mine have gone from 112 (borderline low for twin pregnancy) to 89. I have been told if I can't get them up then I will have to have an iron infusion. As pp said speak to mw or gp about getting yourself one. You may find once your levels are up you manage to keep things down. Keep an eye on how your feeling. I know it's hard with other children to look after. I have 3 little darlings that keep me going which is probably why I missed all the signs until yesterday when I couldn't stand up properly.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 19-Feb-14 22:48:53

Could you see your GP and get some anti sickness tablets??

It was to my knowledge that once an iron level drops below 8 then it means the person requires a blood transfusion, never mind just an iron infusion. If I were you I'd go and see your GP tomorrow because something needs to be done. Leaving it until Friday to speak to the MW is a bit risky in case she can't call you until the end of the day, and then it's the weekend etc etc and before you know it a another week has passed of nothing being done....

MrsHelenBee Wed 19-Feb-14 22:54:12

Oh dear, getting told off couldn't be nice. I'd imagine it's pretty easy to forget your tablets when you've got 3 to care for and another two on the way!!! You must be exhausted!!
I'll speak to my midfwife as soon as she's back to work. I've had to push for regular blood tests this time, and the nurse rolls her eyes every time she sees me, but I only asked as I wasn't given anything when I was pregnant was DS1 and was so depressed after he was born, I just couldn't cope. I couldn't bear the thought of going though it all again, and I feel exactly the same as I did last time, so it's worrying me.
I pass out every day, sometimes 3 times, so I'm pretty sore and bruised, and I stopped driving last week as I was having faint spells behind the wheel.
I'm desperate to feel better - another 13 weeks like this is a horrible thought!
I hope your supplements work for you, it sounds like you need a real boost. Hats off to you! :-)

MrsHelenBee Wed 19-Feb-14 23:04:13

The surgery said to me I could have a telephone consultation tomorrow if I phoned mid morning, but I'm due in hospital for my GTT tomorrow and there's never a signal there. I asked if I could get an appointment and wasn't entirely surprised to be told there wan't anything left for tomorrow (I've never been able to get an on the day or day before appointment).
Thanks for the advice though, I'll call one of the other midwife numbers I've got and see if Ican see someone. My husband's getting really stressed - I can't blame him as he's spenind an inceasing amount of time picking me up off the floor, driving me around and trying to work and look after our son at the same time. I desperately want to feel better, and totally get your point about the Friday/weekend wait.

idlevice Wed 19-Feb-14 23:07:37

I had the same as you with DS1 so for second pregnancy was under the care of a teaching hospital with the main aim of not having a repeat. Somehow, despite the so-called extra care & me protesting that I felt really awful, I still ended up severely anaemic. It was only found out by a fluke at 38wks & I needed an IV iron transfusion. I did have a PPH at delivery, "only" 1 litre & still needed blood transfusions afterwards.

What iron level are they quoting - ferritin or haemoglobin levels? The former is stored iron levels & is worse if low. The other is circulating & is more likely to be helped by oral supplements in the short term. Try taking a liquid iron supplement if you can ( as well as still badgering the drs) as it's more easily absorbed but it's unlikely to make a difference if you have low ferritin. If you have to have an iron IV it is fine, nothing to worry about.

MrsHelenBee Wed 19-Feb-14 23:21:59

Hi Idlevice - sorry to hear what a rough time you had too. And how soul-destroying to be told you're getting extra care when it doesn't amount to much at all.
My anaemia wasn't found out first time around until my PPH and their tests of my blood count to establish if I needed a transfusion. All the way through, I was telling the midwife and dcotors that I felt awful - tired, exhuasted, dizzy and fainting that time too as well. But I was told in as many words to just get on with it, that was what being pregnant was like, I was bound to feel tired. My ignorance meant I just went with what they said, I didn't know to ask for my bloods to be checked. My mum kept saying it sounded like severe anaemia but every time I asked, I was told not to worry. I wish I'd known better and pushed for more help.
My score from today is ferritin - my haemaglobin is 102. I'll admit I still don't know much about it all but I have heard of oral iron supplements, like Floradix (I think), as they're supposed to be more easily absorbed. I'm vegetarian, which doesn't help much either in terms of food sources.

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