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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Anemia
Anemia Caused by Chemotherapy [posted
Answer: Shouldn't be a problem and is done all the time in this scenario. Getting his blood count too high is about the only risk and this can be avoided with monitoring of his Hct.
Aplastic Anemia Treatments [posted
Answer: No natural remedy that I am aware of - you might check with a herbalist. But, traditionally, there are very few effective treatments for your disorder.
Finding Anemia Cause [posted
Answer: When one is anemic there are basically two mechanisms. First, one loses blood faster than one is making blood. Second, one is not making enough blood to replace normal losses. Ensure that his blood studies are consistent with blood loss. For example, is there documentation of blood in his stool? This is the usual place where blood is lost. Second, have the doctors checked on how well he is making blood? This is done by checking a reticulocyte count and occasionally a B12 and thyroid level. The treatment is markedly different. If they continue to be stumped, have them check with a hemotologist.
Anemia and Swelling [posted
Answer: Pica is the urge to eat different substances. It is common to have the urge to eat ice with iron deficiency anemia. This is not the cause of the anemia, but a symptom seen in some patients. Something is causing your blood loss and this needs to be investigated. Your doctor has the problem backwards. Secondly, sushi does not cause swelling or anemia. See another doctor who understands anemia and pica.
Sickle Cell Anemia
Answer: Sickle cell anemia is used to cover multiple hematologic problems in general called sickle cell syndromes. These are a group of inherited blood disorders that lead to excess fragility upon transferring oxygen from the red blood cell, leading to deformities called sickle cells. About 5-9% of African Americans inherit this gene and the deformity does not occur unless a child inherits one gene from each parent, leading to sickle cell anemia. This leads to repeated spells of loss of blood integrity, usually triggered by small infections, etc. The outlook for these children was historically poor. However, there have been recent advances in ability to stabilize the red blood cells and the current outlook is much different than 4-5 years ago. New treatment methods may really change this disease. Also, genetic substitution techniques may really change this disease, which is currently on the horizon as a treatment modality. There are at least 20 different types of hemoglobin that can be involved with sickle other than the traditional SS gene. Currently prenatal diagnosis is possible looking at the beta 6 valine mutation present in these children.
Answer: First, I need to know the type of anemia. For example, congenital anemias(Thalessemia-or Italian anemia) is inherited and has no treatment. Iron deficiency anemia(common in menstruating women) is treated by iron replacement. Other anemias require more extensive testing to determine the cause and treatment. If you are having periods, take Iron Sulfate or Gluconate(available over the counter) with Vitamin C 500 mg(improves absorption) on an empty stomach. This will be limited by constipation(Milk of Magnesia will correct), nausea and dyspepsia. Three a day of the 325 mg would be the maximum to take. Sometimes the iron in a daily vitamin will suffice.
Answer: Low blood iron anemia is causes by blood loss. If you have not recently
lost blood through trauma or blood letting(donation etc.) the only source is your
gastrointestinal tract. There are unusual cases of blood loss through the urine; but,
you'll usually see the color as opposed to the GI tract where it is easily hidden. Given
your heartburn, the money is on the upper GI as the source of your bleeding. I really
don't understand the colonoscopy as a start with your symptoms unless the GI doctor has
braces to pay for. How about an endoscopy, or an upper GI or just treat the heartburn and
see if it resolves. Any of these options would answer your question faster than the
colonoscopy. If your doctor can't explain why he/she is doing something , be wary.
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