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Author Topic: should I add iron etc  (Read 16248 times)

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Offline Monkey

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
should I add iron etc
« on: March 24, 2012, 11:02:12 am »
this is the end of week 8 and my hemoglobin is down to 81, now I'm worried about heart disease which runs in the family.  I am now getting another injection weekly of eprex as well as ribavirin pills (down to 2 a day) and the injection.

I feel terrible, dizzy and am wondering if I should add iron, B-12 and folic acid supplements.

I am close to giving this up, I am a single Mom and I am dizzy, exhausted

Offline Tim Horn

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  • Posts: 51
Re: should I add iron etc
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 07:02:44 pm »
Monkey:

I'm so sorry to hear you're having such a rough go of this.

It sounds as if your doctor has followed the two most important treatment protocols for severe anemia associated with HCV treatment: ribavirin dose reduction and the use of erythropoietin (prescribed as either Procrit, Epogen or Eprex). It may take some time for the erythropoietin to work its magic, but it will help bring your hemoglobin levels back up.

You need to be very careful about iron supplementation and should first discuss this with your health care provider. The reason? If your liver has been damaged, even somewhat, by your HCV infection, it can lead to higher-than-normal levels of iron in the body. This can lead to organ damage.

As for supplementing with vitamins, you'll want to be careful of fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E and K.

Vitamin B-12 and folic acid shouldn't be a problem for you. However, it's not exactly clear how much benefit they offer. There are many different types of anemia and the one you're likely experiencing, hemolytic anemia, is different from the form that responds best to folic acid and B-12 supplementation: macrocytic anemia.

In short, it sounds as if you're already doing everything you possibly can right now. I know you're doing extremely well on therapy otherwise, so see if you can hang in there and get any additional support you need.

Tim
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 08:36:06 pm by Tim Horn »

Offline Ann

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  • Member
  • Posts: 54
Re: should I add iron etc
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 06:50:10 am »
Cathy, please don't give up! You've had a great start so far and going undetectable so quickly bodes very well for a sustained response.

I had severe anemia towards the end of my treatment, so I understand what it's like. The breathlessness, in particular, can be pretty scary.

Do your best to slow down. Take it easy going up stairs, for example. So what if it takes you five times as long to get upstairs, you'll get there. Stop and take a few slow, deep breaths every few stairs. Same goes for walking any for any length of time. Take it slow and easy and stop for breaths when you need to.

Keep telling yourself that this isn't forever. It's surprising how quickly the anemia rights itself after you finish treatment, so look forward to that day. You can do it!!!

As Tim says, your doctor is doing all the right things and hopefully you'll feel a bit better soon. And stay away from iron supplements! (unless of course your doctor says otherwise, but do not take any iron without discussing it with him first.)

I also sent you a PM.

Hang in there!

Hugs,
Ann
xxx

Offline frankfromatlanta

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  • Posts: 25
Re: should I add iron etc
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 09:29:16 am »
hang tough monkey. it will get better.

Offline bella

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  • Posts: 12
Re: should I add iron etc
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2012, 09:57:24 pm »
Hang in there, Monkey!  I know if you ask your friends for help that someone will step up - I would!  Try and go easy on yourself - the time will pass.  I hope you are feeling better soon! 

Hugs -
Bella

Offline Monkey

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
Re: should I add iron etc
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 07:59:09 pm »
OK, I am feeling better now, with the eprex, added veggies and fruits, and reduction in my ribavirn pills...............

Read my blog

I HAVE 13 WEEKS TO GO.......................

Offline Ann

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  • Member
  • Posts: 54
Re: should I add iron etc
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2012, 10:05:23 am »
OK, I am feeling better now, with the eprex, added veggies and fruits, and reduction in my ribavirn pills...............

Read my blog

I HAVE 13 WEEKS TO GO.......................

FANTASTIC!!!!

Keep taking each day as it comes and keep putting one foot in front of the other - even when you sometimes have to pause between steps lol. You'll get there! Before you know it, instead of only thirteen weeks, it will be only thirteen days. Keep marking those days off your calendar!

Please let your son know that he's not the only kid who has had to put up with a tired, grumpy mother. If you think he may benefit from hearing from another child who has been there, let me know. My daughter is now 25 and an elementary school teacher, and I'm sure she'd be more than happy to send him a few words of encouragement and advice. With her being a teacher, she'd know how to speak to him about it and of course we would go through you, so you could make the final assessment of what she's said before you show him. Let me know. (check your PMs)

Hang in there and keep on keeping on! You're doing great.

Hugs,
Ann
xxx

 


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