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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » severe anemia...no energy to even fill medication thing

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Author Topic: severe anemia...no energy to even fill medication thing
knshore
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I have been going through a lot lately, but I am very anemic and we can't treat the anemia for at least 6 weeks.

It's a long story, but the bottom line is, I'm exhausted. I'm sleeping 14+ hours a day and have no energy to do anything.

How do you keep up with meds and supplements when you're asleep most of the day? I'm sleeping through alarms which are supposed to wake me up to eat (at least 3 times a day) and to take meds.

Does anyone have any ideas?

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Brussels
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Get your iron shots, that is what will help you again to stand up. Supplements will take ages to fill in your ferritin reserves, in case that's your problem...

It could be babesia, for me I always fought low ferritin when my babesia was active. If you don't treat what's causing the iron deficiency, it will be coming back. I had to take iron injections every 3 months, until my babesia went dormant.

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tick battler
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My first thought was babesia as well. Are you treating it?

tickbattler

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kitty9309
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quote:
Originally posted by knshore:
I have been going through a lot lately, but I am very anemic and we can't treat the anemia for at least 6 weeks.

It's a long story, but the bottom line is, I'm exhausted. I'm sleeping 14+ hours a day and have no energy to do anything.

How do you keep up with meds and supplements when you're asleep most of the day? I'm sleeping through alarms which are supposed to wake me up to eat (at least 3 times a day) and to take meds.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Why can't you treat the anemia now?
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kitty9309
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quote:
Originally posted by Brussels:
Get your iron shots, that is what will help you again to stand up. Supplements will take ages to fill in your ferritin reserves, in case that's your problem...

It could be babesia, for me I always fought low ferritin when my babesia was active. If you don't treat what's causing the iron deficiency, it will be coming back. I had to take iron injections every 3 months, until my babesia went dormant.

The problem is how to find a doc willing to rx iron shots or infusion.

My ferritin is 5, iron only 45 (though less reliable test) and CBC is ok, but heading south.

I am taking a good iron supp on my own (iron bisglycinate), but wonder how long it will take to increase? Months?

Are there any reliable sources that mention Babesia and iron/ferritin? I have looked and looked...

Thanks- sorry for butting in.

~Kitty

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knshore
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The problem with treating the anemia now is that I have had 2 near fatal reactions to the iron IV's they have given me.

They gave me ferrlecit which is nearly unheard of as far as causing allergic reactions. I have been given the choice of going into the ICU, being pre-medicated 6 times before each IV with tons of steroids, antihistamines, etc. then administering a different type of iron than I had.

The other 2 types of iron are much more dangerous as far as reactions go.

My other option is getting a blood transfusion. That makes me REALLY nervous because once I have someone else's blood in me, there's no turning back.

Plus, I hit my insurance yearly max as of mid October, so I'm trying to wait until Jauary 1st to do anything major.

Oh, and, I was hospitalized in early October for a ruptured and herniated disc, so in order to get me walking again, they gave me a nerve block which had steroids in it.

My LLMD wanted to wait as long as possible to give me more steroids because I go downhill really fast whenever I am given any.

Not to mention, my Dr's are worried my body wouldn't be able to fight anaphylaxis if that were to happen.

It's a decision I've been avoiding making for a long time, but I need to make it pretty soon.

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knshore
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Kitty-
Most hematologists will rx iron shots or IV's. Your numbers have to be low enough and they do it in their office, or send you to a hospital, but I haven't heard of a hematologist unwilling to rx them.

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kitty9309
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knshore-

Thanks for explaining. How scary for you. I can see why you aren't going for it now.

Are you doing any oral iron in the meantime? Oral iron gets the anemia fixed quicker up front, but I know it doesn't help the ferritin for a long time.

I assume a hematologist would only order shots or IV w/ frank anemia, not just low ferritin/iron?

I wish you luck. Do you have many rx's to take? Is there anything you can combine so you don't have to swallow pills so often?

Sleeping so much must be very frightening.

~Kitty

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knshore
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Kitty:

Yes...that's a little bit why I don't want to treat right now. I'm a nervous wreck about both options.

Some hematologists would order shots or IV's with "just" low iron. You can be iron deficient, but not be anemic.

I had "just" iron deficiency and it now has turned into anemia...really fast.

I'm not taking any oral iron because I don't tolerate them. There is one I do tolerate and I was taking 8 pills a day of it (8 times the normal dose) and my numbers still dropped. So, we have all agreed there is no point in wasting money on pills that aren't being absorbed.

I am going to call my LLMD to just ask him what his thoughts are. This sudden sleeping might be related to a treatment I'm doing...a STRONG anti-parasitic medication.

As for the pills, I am going to try and figure out a way to combine things otherwise it's just not possible.

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kitty9309
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Wow- Do you know why you became anemic so quickly? Were they worried about "just" the iron deficiency?

I can't get anyone too interested in mine...

Do you have Babesia? Great call to ask the LLMD. Maybe the LLMD can help you to combine things?

I think Flagyl can really do a number, if that is what you are on.

Sre you dizzy w/ the anemia?

Keep us posted.

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joalo
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I wonder if it would help if you cooked your meals in a cast iron pot? I use one and never have low iron levels. [Cool]

Just a thought....

--------------------
Sick since January 1985. Misdiagnosed for 20 years. Tested CDC positive October 2005. Treating since April 2006.

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sixgoofykids
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I use a cast iron skillet, too, but still have to supplement iron. I LOVE my skillet though!

--------------------
sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

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knshore
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We use all cast iron skillets and have for years. Unfortunately that's not enough to bump my iron.

I also tried eating red meat 2-3 times a day with vitamin C, folic acid, etc. and it did nothing. My numbers still dropped. (I did it for 6 weeks..yuck!)

We think the reason my numbers have suddenly dropped is because my periods (I lose a huge amount of blood) and I have a stomach ulcer (which was bleeding) and gastritis.

Add that all on top of major babesia and this is what you get! [Smile]

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knshore
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Kitty-
I am incredibly dizzy. To the point where people ask me what I'm on because I can't walk straight!

The room also spins when I stand up, or God forbid get out of bed!!! That has gotten way worse the worse my anemia has gotten.

As for whether or not they worry with iron deficiency, the thing is, that's what I had for a while and then that, if not treated, or at least slowed down, turns into anemia.

It's something that I used to get iron IV's for (I had ferritin of zero at times, but normal-ish hemoglobin). But, once I developed the allergy, I obviously had to stop which is why we're now in the position we're in.

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sixgoofykids
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Kn, I had that. I was so dizzy that I looked like I was severely intoxicated when I walked. I had to hold onto someone. I also had a big umbrella I used as a cane if I was alone.

You've seen my house, everything is close together, so I could hold onto things at home, and did.

It could be babesia.

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sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

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tick battler
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Here is a good article that discusses anemia from babesiosis.

http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010515/1969.html

tickbattler

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kitty9309
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Thanks, tick battler.

knshore-

Do you feel the dizziness is due to the anemia or the Babesia? Or are they so intertwined you can't tell?

I am serioiusly wondering if my residual dizziness/dysequalibrium is either an un-dx'd Babesia infection or the Iron Deficiency.

This stinks!

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O2Btickfree2
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I have anemia to have had it for a year and there just now doing something about it. B-12 every month. Which seems mighty slow to me.
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knshore
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O2-
I'm not quite sure what B12 shots will do for anemia??? I do B12 shots 3-5times a week and it isn't meant to help the anemia, unless you have pernicious (spelling?) anemia.

Kitty-
I know that lately the dizziness has gotten much worse, but I am always dizzy. Even when I wasn't anemic, so you might want to get tested for babs.

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Brussels
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KNshore, sorry to hear about all your troubles. It looks pretty serious.

What I would try is Iron homeopathic. There is no actual iron in it (possibly just in very minor amounts). I don't know which dilution, but I would try X dilutions, anything you find, at first.

There are other remedies that seem to help anemia, here is a link:
http://www.hpathy.com/diseases/anemia-symptoms-treatment-cure.asp

Another link:
http://www.drpradhan.com/home/content/view/11/5/

No idea if this works, but just found it googling:
http://www.nativeremedies.com/products/anemicare-normal-iron-hemoglobin-levels.html

Click on ingredients, it has a mix of homeopathic dilutions. I don't think it's dangerous in any way, but, I think it would be better to find an homeopath to prescribe you anything after talking to you.

I would do by myself first as your situation seems urgent, while I wait to see some specialist.

Homeopathy does not carry the side effects from actual substances, but in your case, if you iron allergy is big, you got to be careful, I suppose. I wonder if your allergy is to iron or to adjuvants in the IV shots....

Do you think there's transdermal iron? I wonder... I know there is transdermal magnesium, for example, that bypass all the digestive problems and seems to be one of the best absorbable magnesium found (dr. K. talks about it, there may be something googling Institute of Neurobiology and dr. K's name). Maybe you could search on that sense too...

--------------
A few food tips from:
http://www.ehow.com/how_2192514_treat-iron-deficiency-anemia-naturally.html

1.
Step 1

In treating iron deficiency anemia, most doctors prescribe their patients patented medicines containing iron and other vitamins which tend to be worthless in treating anemia. These pills may contain small amounts of iron or if high in iron the body will not absorb it correctly, making the pills useless.
2.
Step 2

Most often an adequate diet and plenty of rest will do more to restore a person to a normal, healthy condition than any combination of pills designed to treat anemia. An adequate diet for those with iron deficiency anemia will be a diet rich in foods high in iron. Some of the natural foods with the highest content of iron are listed below:
3.
Step 3

Apricots: This fruit ranks immediately behind liver as a source of iron. Apricots should be a regular item on your shopping list because they can do much to build and replenish your blood supply.

Beet greens: A very valuable food! Beet greens are an extraordinary source of vitamins A and B-2. Beet greens are also of great value in enriching your blood with iron and manganese.

Chard: This too little used vegetable is an excellent source of Vitamin A and iron.

Corn: Rich in iron and copper, it is a good source of vitamins A and C.

Eggs: Its protein content equals that of organ meats. Eggs are rich in all minerals, including iron, and B vitamins. Eggs are good breakfast food, containing stable amounts of energy. Hard boiled eggs are easily digested. One egg a day is a minimal amount of this precious food.

Figs: Good laxative quality, rich in iron and B Vitamins. Figs are excellent substitutes for unnatural sweets.

Kale: Is and excellent source of Vitamin A and provides a good supply of vitamins B and C. Kale contains high amounts of iron, calcium and potassium. Eat kale twice a week at the very least.

Molasses: Provide and excellent source of iron and therefore are a must food in the diet of anyone with iron deficiency anemia. Molasses should be substituted for sugar and candy.

Raisins: Another excellent food for those suffering from anemia, raisins are very high in iron. Raisins are also highly alkaline foods, making them helpful in overcoming acid conditions.

Spinach: This super food is an excellent source of Vitamin A and iron. Spinach should be a regular part of everyone's diet and may be served lightly steamed as a vegetable, raw in salads or mixed with other cooked vegetables or eggs.
4.
Step 4

Try this Recipe for ``Blood Building Salad'':
Spinach
Raisins
Prunes
Avocado
Carrot
Hard boiled eggs
---------
Good luck. I hope you find a fast solution.
Selma

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Brussels
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By the TCM (traditional chinese medicine) approach, you'll probably find some more help:

http://www.itmonline.org/arts/iron.htm

I hope it can help you with excessive bleeding and iron absorption too. I don't think that both homeopathy, allopathy and TCM are antagonists, but I use them all parallel and I think they support each other.

I'm pretty sure you can get some help for iron absorption through acupuncture too, as it can help making your body processing foods better. It's not a fast solution like the IV injections, but it will probably help you treat the origin of the problem.

See this site too:
http://www.altmd.com/Articles/TCM-for-Anemia

It talks about acupuncture points and certain herbs used to correct meridians.

For me, babesia caused the low ferritin problem and killing babesia as fast as possible was a must. There was not physical time to fill in iron reserves with ingesting iron, therefore the need for fast iron injections.

I took about 6 or 9 injections, I can't remember, each in a course of 3 injections. Then spaced a couple of months. While babesia was active, that kept on repeating. When babesia finally died, I never anymore took any iron supplement, nor IV, everything went back to normal.

Good luck.

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Rumigirl
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knshore,

Selma has great suggestions there. A couple of thoughts:

Are you doing Coartem/Riamet? Is that the anti-parasitic you're on (actually it's antimalarial)? if so, that's REALLY heavy duty. I have a thread about it. I had the symptoms you are describing on it and am still recovering.

Have you had your progesterone levels checked? If you are bleeding so heavily with your period, you may be very low, and that could help a lot.

You can make a tea out of blackstrap molasses and drink that, it's high in iron and other minerals, you can use from 1 tsp to a Tbs per cup of warm water.

I hope you can get rid of the horrible Babs soon, plus all the rest. It sounds way too scary and difficult.

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Brussels
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Rumigirl, my babesia is in remission for quite a long time. I only took Riamet once. Possibly twice, but I can't remember anymore. I got 2 babesial infections, and in BOTH times, I got the low ferritin problem COINCIDENTALLY.

that is why I'm convinced MY low ferritin issue came from babesia.

Riamet hit babesia hard but I relapsed after. About 2 weeks after Riamet, my babs symptoms returned. Never so bad as before though, but different.

My babs went dormant twice with herbal and homeopathic treatment. Intense treatment. I had a thread here called Babesia Alternative Protocol or Herbs, I can't remember, done with my old screen name called hardynaka.

Since these multiple herbs, babesia never returned. I've been free from it for years now (just check the date of my thread, that was the last time I got babesiosis).

The heavy bleeding can be linked to toxins, according to my naturopath. She said, the more toxic we are, the body tries to get rid of toxins the best it can, and heavy bleeding is one way. I remember I had the impression my periods were more intense during my babs and lyme.

Now that I'm lyme free for 8 months, I see that my bleeding is smaller (possibly because I'm 43 years old?).

The low ferritin issue never repeated again since babesia went dormant (sometime in 2007?).

I hope KNshore will find a solution because her situation looks pretty bad.... If I were her, while trying to correct the low ferritin problem, I would also address babesia (in case she has that) as fast as possible.

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