Anemia?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2009
Anemia?
22
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 9:37am

So Tee mentioned something to me this morning that got my wheels turning.

For a long time DH and I have suspected that I am anemic as I have many of the symptoms.

- I am always cold, particularly my hands, feet and face.

- You look at me sideways and I will bruise. Big ugly nasty ones too.

- I have these teeny tiny red speckles all over my upper arms. I have wondered about them for a long time only to find out just now that this is a sign of low iron anemia – particularly low blood platelets.

- I sometimes have bleeding with BM (sorry for the tmi) :)

Most of these symptoms can be attributed to lots of other things but the tiny red dots are very compelling to me. I have them everywhere and I have often thought them strange and wondered what they are. I had no idea it was a symptom of anemia. I have always suspected I might have it just because of how cold I always am and how easily I bruise. It really is amazing, I have bruises all over and I never know where they come from. The slightest bump leaves bruising. Strip me naked and I probably look abused!

Anyway, even thought I have always kind of suspected I have anemia, it never really cause a huge problem in my day to day life so I just kind of lived with it but I had no idea it might have some effect on fertility. I don’t think I have ever had my levels checks.

Turns out that there is also a link between anemia and infertility.

Do I think this is my golden ticket to baby? Nope not all, but I would like to stop looking like I live in a battered woman’s shelter and to not have to walk around dressed like we live in the arctic so I don’t freeze to death. It’s a simple blood draw and a CBC. Won’t take 30 minutes so it’s worth looking into.

I’ve made an appt for Monday at my PCP so the results will be back in 2014 sometime :)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2010
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 9:54am

Oh, Michelle, I hope you get some answers if even just to help you out in other areas: bruising, being cold, etc.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2010
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 10:02am
lol @ 2014 - aim't that the truth!!

Now you got me wondering... I'm always cold too, especially hands, feet and face. I too bruise for no reason - I have always had bruises that I had no idea where they come from. And I too have little red dots on my upper arms. hmmm I wonder - now I gotta go consult with Dr. Google.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 10:15am
Michelle - If you only have the red spots during the winter, that could just be because of cold and dry air . . . less humidity could account for that. If you're that easy of a bruiser, yeah, definitely get your levels checked! It can't hurt. You probably are either borderline or pretty anemic if you're cold all the time and look like a battered wife. Good call on making the appointment.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2009
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 10:27am
I don't check on them regularly because I am so used to them being there but I can say for sure that I have never NOT seen them there KWIM? Everytime I have ever looked, they were there.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 10:40am
Hmmmmm, well I'm hoping against hope that these test results will turn out to be an important piece of the fertility puzzle for you. How crazy would it be to find out that all you need help with is anemia?!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2007
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 10:49am
Michelle, that actually sounds a lot more like ITP (Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura). I was diagnosed with it in August last year. After my m/c in April, I noticed that I would bleed for a long time if I got knicked and that I bruised easily. I went to the ER for a burst cyst and they said my platelets were low on the CBC (normal range is 150-400 and mine were about 110). Went for a follow-up with the primary care doc 10 days later and platelets were still low on CBC. Sent to a hematologist who has the ability to do the CBC and specialized blood tests right in the office while you wait (much more accurate than sending away) and it was still low. They didn't find any bleeding disorders in my b/w so they diagnosed me with ITP, which is basically a fancy way of saying "Your platelets are typically low but we don't know why." The hematologist said it shouldn't hinder my ability to get pregnant (as I was seeing him 3 months into our TTC journey for #3) but I was skeptical. However, my numbers were never low enough to require a transfusion or steroid treatment.

If you want any more info on that whole process or what they're doing now for me, let me know! I know that no one wants to hear there's something wrong with them, but at this point, if you have something that is fixable, it might help you feel better, right?

~Katie
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2009
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 11:24am
Thanks, Kate. I am going to have my PCP do the CBC. When the results come back I am going to request a copy of the labwork and thanks to Google I will know what the normal ranges are for hemoglobin, rbc, wbc, platelet count etc and if anything doesn't look totally normal I am going right to a Hematologist.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2005
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 1:01pm

No need to consult Dr. Google. I have in my very hands a brand spanking new NCLEX study guide with lab values. I know you won't get your labs until 2014 but, at least you'll have the normal values handy.

Normal Female Values are -

Hemoglobin - 12-15g/dL (main component of RBCs, carry oxygen/carbon dioxide, important in identifying anemia)

Hematocrit - 35%-47% (should be about triple hemoglobin levels, "packed" red blood cells, important in identifying anemia)

RBC - 4.0-5.5 million cells/ ul

Platelet - 150,000-400,000 cells/ul (clotting)

WBC - 4500-11,000 cells/mm3

Every lab has different values but, these are about the average. On the lab report they should put their range and whether it is high or low.

And the fancy name for your spots is petechiae. If what you are describing is what I am imagining. So now you can go around being all fancy-schmancy. (Tiny, pinpoint spots right?) Purpura are the same but on a large size scale.

                                     &nb
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2009
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 1:19pm

Yes! Petechiae is exactly what they are. They are small like pin pricks. I was going to say that's what they were but I know I have a tendency to get crazy with the medical jargon sometimes so I stopped myself.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2010
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 4:40pm
Another trick is to look in a mirror and pull your lower eyelid down. If its nice and red/pink probably not anemic. If its pale you're probably a little low. GL with the blood work. KUP!
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