Pregnant, iron dropping - help!

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Pregnant, iron dropping - help!
« on: September 13, 2007, 12:35:00 AM »
Hello. I'm 17 weeks pregnant and my hemoglobin levels have been steadily declining. I was diagnosed with thalassemia minor years ago after continually feeling dizzy when my period would arrive. Since then, I've taken folic acid supplements.

Before getting pregnant, my hemoglobin was 10.3. It dropped a few weeks later in the 9s, and by 13 weeks was down to 8.6. Yesterday, I experienced a bad dizzy spell, and I've also had tingling in my hands. I've felt progressively weaker and fatigued as well.

Naturally, I've been taking prenatal vitamins, as well as folic acid.

Anyone know if this is just normal - meaning I should "suck it up," or is there anything else that should/can be done? Many thanks to anyone with helpful knowledge.

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Offline §ãJ¡Ð ساجد

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Re: Pregnant, iron dropping - help!
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2007, 06:07:01 AM »
Hello,

:welcome to the site.

First of all, there is a difference between iron level and hemoglobin. Some Thals. (Mostly Majors) have high Iron level but low Hb. It is possible for some minors too. In this case taking Iron supplements won't increase Hb.

However, if you are really sure that your Iron is also low (determined by serum ferritin test). Then it is most likely that you are suffering from Iron deficiency Anemia which is causing your low Hb. In this case you will need Iron supplements or Iron rich diet.

Please consult your Heamo for the Serum Ferritin Test along with Hb.
اَسّلامُ علیکم Peace be Upon you
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Re: Pregnant, iron dropping - help!
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2007, 11:50:22 AM »
Hi,

Our first hand experience was to use slow release FE tablets prescribed by our doctor. Knowing that my wife is thal minor, pregnant and suffering from low hemoglobin, the doctor decided to aid her with this supplement. It worked for her.
Regards.

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Offline Courtenay1826

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Re: Pregnant, iron dropping - help!
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2007, 05:19:12 PM »
Hi there!

I had a similar issue with my pregnancy, but my Hb dropped in the 8's at my worst, and my hematocrit around a 35, I think. Please see a hematologist who specializes in thalassemia - you need to get this on track. I don't mean to frighten, but we almost lost my baby boy because my body was shutting down due to the low blood levels. They almost lost me too...Please see a hemo asap. Andy might have the link to the thread about my pregnancy troubles. If you want to talk about specifics, please feel free to PM me. Good luck!




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Offline Andy Battaglia

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Re: Pregnant, iron dropping - help!
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2007, 06:08:27 PM »
Courtenay's original thread is at

http://www.thalassemiapatientsandfriends.com/index.php?topic=549.msg4100#msg4100


You may need iron supplements. This can be determined by iron studies. It is also possible that you may need transfusions during the pregnancy and delivery. Your doctors need to be aware of the possibilities. I totally agree with Courtenay. You need to be seeing a thal familiar hematologist. I don't want to scare you but your current low Hb may endanger your pregnancy and you should address the low Hb as soon as possible. Courtenay's life was saved because her doctors knew the possibilities and took action. Her situation is complicated because of the co-existence of the HbC gene, but even without any other contributing factors, thal minors sometimes have difficult pregnancies and sometimes miscarry. My own anecdotal evidence from talking to thal minor moms says that they miscarry far more often than non thals. I do believe that an adequate Hb is a major factor in preventing miscarriage.
Andy

All we are saying is give thals a chance.

Re: Pregnant, iron dropping - help!
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2007, 09:06:59 PM »
Many thanks for everyone with their perspective and advice!!!

My hematologist was able to work me into his schedule right away. He has given me iron supplements as a starting point right now.

The bad news is that my HGB has continued to decline. It's 7.1 today - I've gone down an average of a point per month. Red blood count is down to 3.72, and the HCT is down to 24.6%. And I don't feel well.

The doc said he didn't want to transfuse unless I was experiencing heart failure. I really hope these new supplements work, and work fast. I'm feeling uneasy and uncomfortable.

Please let me know if people think I should seek a second opinion. I really like my hematologist, but I have heard criticism of him for not being proactive enough at times with patients.

Again, I very much appreciate people that have taken time to read and respond...and actually know what thal is!

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Offline KHALIFA

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Re: Pregnant, iron dropping - help!
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2007, 02:14:40 AM »
Dear
       my wife also thalass. minor also me and she got pregnant 5 times what do you need is just good fresh food also some kind of food containing protines like chickin and also 300 Grams of steak everyday and fresh fruit like appel and oranges and don't forget the fresh vegetable like parslys and spinage don't forget the milk evry day three times ...
           that what normally i did for my wife also here Hb go down like what you said but don't be a fraid ..     drink water much as u can.... relax  don't think too much .. that all
                    khalifa
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                                            ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE
RED_PILOT

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Offline Gabri

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Re: Pregnant, iron dropping - help!
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2007, 09:09:05 PM »
Congratulation, I hope you will give birth to a healthy sweety child.
 
Your Hb is pretty low. In know many people having problems with iron supplements with there stomac and intestinal system. A realy good supplement is Floradix Liquid iron. Also you need Vit B complex and folic acid do help your erythropoiesis.

To rise up your iron absorbtion you have to observe some rules.
Evoid to drink black tea and coffee during your meals . This means 30 minutes befor eating until 2 hours after eating, because this will inhibit enteral iron absorbtion. Try to eat red meat or fish. Vit. C increase iron absorbtion.
 
Hope this advices will help you.

God bless you and the littel one

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Offline Zaini

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Re: Pregnant, iron dropping - help!
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2007, 08:32:24 PM »
Hi,

I just wanted to ask that have you had your serum ferritin checked,thal minors are usually advised to avoid iron medication unless it is determined that their iron is low,low hb does not always indicate low iron,so please get it checked first,then start iron medication,if your iron is low then you may be iron deficient anemic,and iron medication will help you,otherwise i doubt it.

Good luck with your pragnancy,thal minors do tend to have difficult pragnancies, i've had two so i know about it,but my hb dropped till 9.4 in my second pragnancy and was 8.6 after delievery,though after my first daughter was born my hb went as low as 7.3 and i was transfused with iron  :-\ i didn't know about my thal minor at that time,neither did my doc,you have the previlige of knowing about your problem so you can be more careful about the intake of iron.

Good luck again.

ZAINI.
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