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Old 07-26-2014, 10:58 AM   #1
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Anyone have chronic anemia?

We have a friend (70) who has this. The doctors in Tulsa have no idea what it is caused by. They have done tests and tests. He needs a blood transfusion every month to keep his numbers up. He is also diabetic.

Luckily, they are going to Mayo Clinic next Thursday.. Just curious if anyone has experienced this?

The b12 didn't work either.
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:44 AM   #2
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My Mother is older than your friend (85) and she's a stomach and kidney cancer survivor. She deals with chronic anemia now and needs to get blood tests every two weeks. At first they weren't sure what was causing it; they did a test for occult bleeding in her digestive tract because that's how her stomach cancer was diagnosed. But that test was negative on two occasions. I'm not sure how, but they determined that her kidneys are not making enough of the chemical that stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. By testing her blood every two weeks, they're keeping her Hgb above 10 because if it drops below 11, they inject her with Procrit. They also monitor her iron and give her iron infusions every so often which also brings up her Hgb. I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I'm wondering if they ruled out his kidneys as the problem. I do hope the Mayo Clinic can determine what's causing his chronic anemia and treat it successfully. By the way, my brother who is 66 and diabetic also has anemia and the cause is unknown. I'm upset because his doctor isn't doing anything to address it. So far the lowest his Hbg has been is 11, but that doesn't mean it won't drop lower. Maybe it has something to do with diabetes?
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:14 AM   #3
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My dad has been fighting anemia, dehydration and an out of whack thyroid for months now. He's 86 and just a ghost of the person he was the last year. He had an endoscopy last week and the doctor cauterized a couple small bleeds, we're hoping that helps. I'm pushing for a transfusion and hydration therapy at home, but it will depend on what his blood work shows tomorrow.
My theory on what's causing some of the problems-he got dehydrated, which made his INR very low. The VA (they monitor his INR) panicked, and increased his Coumadin dose too much. This made his blood way too thin, and the small bleeds in his stomach got much worse, causing the anemia.
Not sure what caused the dehydration. He is on diuretics because he CHF, and it's a constant dance getting the dose adjusted correctly. He also wasn't drinking enough water, although he insisted he was. To him, 6ozs is a BIG glass of water.
That's interesting about the kidney test, Ronnie51. I'll have to ask Dad's doctor if that could be a factor for him.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:00 PM   #4
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Thanks! I do think it has something to do with the kidneys/diabetes. Transfusions are not the greatest things to get long term because you can get an antibody, then the next transfusion you have to find matching blood.

They are going up Thursday in hopes of an answer. Thanks!!
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:19 AM   #5
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Mike is still at Mayo's. They ran a bunch of blood work and then did an MRI on Friday. They are meeting with the doctors today.

He did say that another of his symptoms was nausea after drinking coffee..maybe it is a stomach thing.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:37 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CarolynF View Post
Mike is still at Mayo's. They ran a bunch of blood work and then did an MRI on Friday. They are meeting with the doctors today.

He did say that another of his symptoms was nausea after drinking coffee..maybe it is a stomach thing.
Do you know what the MRI was for? Thank you for the update. I hope they find out what the issue is so that they can treat it. Thankfully he's in good hands.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:55 AM   #7
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I don't know what the MRI was for..This is second hand information, but it comes
from our mutual nurse friend. Maybe to see if he had a leak anywhere in his
whole system. Keep you posted.

They have been fooling around with this for a year..He went to doctors in Tulsa and have various tests, bone marrow tests, etc...So, hopefully the Mayo doctors can solve his problem..
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:55 PM   #8
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They just found out that he has MDS, which is pre-leukemia. Blood transfusions is the treatment. At least they know what they are dealing with rather than being in the dark..
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:09 PM   #9
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They just found out that he has MDS, which is pre-leukemia. Blood transfusions is the treatment. At least they know what they are dealing with rather than being in the dark..
Is that myelodysplastic syndrome? I've read that they've actually stopped calling it pre-leukemia because a great percentage of people with this syndrome never develop leukemia. My aunt had it and they monitored her closely. She never developed leukemia, but passed away from an unrelated condition. I hope the treatment works for him.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:14 PM   #10
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Thanks. That is great news that your aunt didn't develop leukemia. I think my nurse friend interpreted the MDS diagnosis as pre-leukemia cuz it was that when she was nursing. But Mayo probably doesn't it call it that.
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