Iron deficiency ID is relatively common among the elderly population, contributing substantially to the high prevalence of anemia observed in the last decades of life, which in turn has important implications both on quality of life and on survival. In elderly subjects, ID is often multifactorial, i. Moreover, because of the typical multimorbidity of aged people, other conditions leading to anemia frequently coexist and make diagnosis of ID particularly challenging. Treatment of ID is also problematic in elderly, since response to oral iron is often slow, with a substantial fraction of patients showing refractoriness and requiring cumbersome intravenous administration. In the last decade, the discovery of the iron regulatory hormone hepcidin has revolutionized our understanding of iron pathophysiology.
The most common causes of microcytosis are iron deficiency and anemia of chronic inflammation. In late October I was diagnosed with Anaplasmosis. Does that mean I had fibroids at 10 years Older person taking iron too when my cycle began and my flow was just as heavy? He is hypertensive and also has angina. Hepcidin, a putative mediator of anemia of Older person taking iron, is a type II acute-phase protein. Fairweather-Tait, S. Hepcidin and ferroportin: the new players in iron metabolism. Do you know of tqking good functional medicine doctors in the US that i can reach out to that can lerson. Smith Abortion article ebony magazine a medical degree from the University of Illinois Medical School, Chicago, and completed a residency in family medicine at the Eau Claire Wisc.
Penis foreskin discoloration symtoms of. Anemia of Chronic Disease
A very common diagnosis in older adults is iron-deficiency anemia. In cases where aspirin-based drugs are taken several times a day, a person can lose up to a half-cup or more of blood per month. Older takong cannot increase heart rate and cardiac output as readily as younger persons, with dyspnea, fatigue, and confusion becoming more common as anemia worsens. A month later she was Erections amp impotence to the hospital with a 2. If you are told that you or your older relative has anemia, be sure you understand how severe it seems to be, and what the doctors think might be causing it. Therefore, she has to take omeprazole pills, about 2 Busty large tit 3 times per day for few years since New treatment options for immune-mediated hematological disorders. Older person taking iron terms of keeping your father comfortable, we are often able to buy time and help someone feel better in the short-term by transfusing them with red blood takkng. Would Older person taking iron my other CBC results be normal if there was an issue? This is a follow-up query on the case referred Older person taking iron Ms. Many physicians recommend that patients take one baby aspirin per day as a preventive measure against heart disease. A ferritin of 6 sounds quite low and concerning for iron-deficiency. I would recommend that you ask her doctors to explain what they think is kron her anemia. Has she been evaluated for causes that could perhaps be corrected or addressed, such as medication side-effects or low leg strength? And anemia becomes even more common as people get older.
Iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world.
- Have you ever been told that an older relative has anemia?
- All of your cells contain some iron, but most of the iron in your body is in your red blood cells.
- The mineral iron , found in a variety of foods, is important for good health.
- A more recent article on anemia in older adults is available.
- Even though anemia is fairly prevalent among elderly persons, the underlying cause is not so easily defined.
- Iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world.
The mineral iron , found in a variety of foods, is important for good health. Though senior citizens elderly generally consume enough iron in their diet to meet the Recommended Dietary Allowances for iron, there are other factors that may contribute to iron deficiency anemia in this population. Every person needs iron throughout the stages of our lives to make hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to tissues in the body.
Iron also plays a role as a part of other proteins within the body. Though we store some iron in our body, a low dietary iron intake over time can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include feeling tired, weak and cold, decreased energy levels, shortness of breath, irritability, dizziness, impaired immune system functioning and slowed mental functioning.
In addition to the typical symptoms associated with iron deficiency , the elderly may also experience more severe complications from anemia including decreases in strength and an increased risk for falls. Though some research suggests that the elderly have a low prevalence of iron deficiency, it is still important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of low iron. The most common cause of iron deficiency in seniors is blood loss in the stomach and intestines.
Polyps, cancer of the stomach and or colon, peptic ulcer, hiatal hernia, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin which is sometimes prescribed to those with cardiovascular disease and frequent blood drawings can all contribute to iron losses in seniors. Iron is important for seniors. If you feel like you have some of the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, talk to your physician.
Mild iron depletion, without anemia, may lead to noticeable symptoms. However, it is important to discuss any health concerns with your physician prior to taking dietary supplements or making changes to your diet. All Rights Reserved. Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately. Statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. About Who Needs Iron? Who Needs Iron? Iron for Seniors. Why do seniors need iron? High intake of calcium. Low intake of heme iron the kind that is absorbed better and found in animal foods including meat, poultry and fish.
Certain chronic diseases and other conditions can affect iron status. Iron nutriture in elderly individuals. Iron in Diet. Medline Plus, NIH. Aspirin as a therapeutic agent in cardiovascular disease. Circulation ; Iron status of the free-living, elderly Framingham Heart Study cohort: an iron-replete population with a high prevalence of elevated iron stores.
Am J Clin Nutr ; Anemia — Complications. University of Maryland Medical Center. Click Here. You are about to enter a restricted area for healthcare professionals If you are a healthcare professional, please click on the Continue button. If you are not, click Cancel.
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Talk with as I live alone no family now yourhelp would be appreciated Ruby. High-dose oral vitamin B 12 replacement for vitamin B 12 deficiency is effective and well tolerated. Thanks for your input Dr. Note: Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name. Whether a test is likely to help depends on what else is already known about the patient, and what the clinicians are now trying to figure out. I mentioned this to my Dr. Every person needs iron throughout the stages of our lives to make hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to tissues in the body.
Older person taking iron. Clinical Diagnosis
Statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. About Who Needs Iron? Who Needs Iron? Iron for Seniors. Why do seniors need iron? High intake of calcium. Low intake of heme iron the kind that is absorbed better and found in animal foods including meat, poultry and fish.
Certain chronic diseases and other conditions can affect iron status. Iron nutriture in elderly individuals. Iron in Diet. Medline Plus, NIH. Aspirin as a therapeutic agent in cardiovascular disease. Circulation ; Iron status of the free-living, elderly Framingham Heart Study cohort: an iron-replete population with a high prevalence of elevated iron stores. Am J Clin Nutr ; Anemia — Complications. University of Maryland Medical Center.
Click Here. Often they will first check the stool for signs of microscopic blood loss. A colonoscopy is generally more invasive and burdensome than a CAT scan, but a colonoscopy offers the option of taking biopsies or sometimes removing polyps. If you are trying to decide what to do next, ask the doctors about the risks and potential benefits of each option.
Also ask how the procedure is likely to benefit your mother. My husband is 76 and was just diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia.
All things that cause this loss of red blood cells, all of the digestive and intestinal scans have found nothing wrong. What else can cause this inability to absorb iron. He has to have infusions. Cannot handle any of the pills. A true inability to absorb iron is usually related to problems with the bowel lining; there are several conditions that can cause this.
A doctor specialized in gastroenterology or hematology will be able to provide you with more details. Here is an interesting article which seems relevant: Outcome of endoscopy-negative iron deficiency anemia in patients above My dad is 77 years old, had an angioplasty 5 years back, he is diabetic more than 3 decades, but always control.
Iron tablets are prescribed by the doctor along with all other medicine. What has led the doctor to conclude that your father needs iron tablets? Was a ferritin level checked? You can also ask the doctor to explain if anything other than iron deficiency might be contributing to the anemia.
For instance, after decades of diabetes, many older people have developed some chronic kidney disease. This can cause some mild anemia. Lastly, if your father has been treated for anemia but his anemia has not improved, then you can ask the doctor to discuss this and explain this to you.
Good luck. My mom is Significant blood loss has her in hospital her hemaglobin was 5. Still saying her iron is low. Hemaglobin at 7. Still trying to figure out blood loss and iron deficiency. She is diabetic and has Afib. Yes she was taken off blood thinner.
I would recommend you ask the doctors to talk to you about what they think has caused her blood loss. Make sure you are clear on what their plan is for evaluation, and for monitoring to make sure the problem is improving.
Should I ask for more testing? If you still have doubts after that, you can either try a trial of iron supplementation and see if it improves your anemia you should see improvement within months , or try getting a second opinion, perhaps from a hematologist. Thank you for this very concise and informative posting on elder anemia.
I am an almost 67 year old male Caucasian in reasonably good health. I have felt daily fatigue for over a decade. Is this likely multi-causal or even idiopathic? Should I be concerned about such a reading?
The most common causes of microcytosis are iron deficiency and anemia of chronic inflammation. However there are some genetic conditions that can cause chronic small red blood cells, and there are many other less common causes for smaller red cells.
You can learn more about the evaluation of low MCV here: Evaluation of microcytosis. My vagus nerve severed 9 years ago during surgery at Mayo Clinic for stomach being in chest and choking. Have had constant diarrhea leading to 3rd stage kidney failure. Now have trouble bing so tired and blood tests show ferritin level , iron 25, hemoglbin 10, but raised within 1 month to TMy nephrologist said I have iron anemia and is giving me mg iron daily.
Still very tired. Name of surgery was Paraesophageal. Please help. Grandmother had pernacious anemia. I also experience numbness in feet and my gait is off. I would like help with all that I described. I would really appreciate what u would do. You are so nice and extremely knowledgeable. Thank you. Bettie Anton. At age 83 and with the health problems you describe, there are many reasons why you might be very tired.
There are also many reasons why someone your age might feel their gait was off. For numbness in the feet, we usually check for common causes of peripheral neuropathy, including checking vitamin B12 levels. I would encourage you to talk to your primary care doctor and your nephrologist about your fatigue and other symptoms.
Ask them to help evaluate you for other potential causes, or consider a second opinion from a hematologist or neurologist. My father is 87 and in a nursing home for over a year. His arthritis is severe. He is treated primarily with scheduled tylenol.
Narcotics seem to cause hallucination. His hemoglobin has been low since his admission — around 10 — but has been dropping slowly since.
He has been given iron daily. More recently, he was sleeping more, eating less, and seemed more confused. He was diagnosed with a bladder infection, a first for my father. He is taking antibiotics. His hemoglobin is just above 7 now. What tests should I insist upon? What you probably want to insist on is an explanation, rather than a particular test. A hemoglobin sliding down from 10 to 7 is not trivial.
What do his doctors think is going on? If they have a theory, what is their plan for treating or managing this? The article lists common follow-up tests used to evaluate anemia, so you could certainly ask if those have been done. Good luck, I hope that you get some answers soon, and also that your father starts feeling better. My 94 year old father is a nursing home resident with not much quality of life left.
He has advance directives in place to prevent unnecessary procedures to prolong his life. I was told today by one of his nurses that they did some blood work and detected a hemoglobin level of 5.
He has been tired and not eating well. What can I expect as his levels continue to drop without treatment? Currently he has no pain. Will this change? A hemoglobin of 5. I would expect him to get increasingly tired, and also perhaps start experiencing some shortness of breath.
A low hemoglobin level also puts some strain on the heart and other organs. He could start experiencing some angina, and he could at some point experience a cardiac arrest. With low oxygen levels in the brain, he might also be drowsy or confused.
If he is 94 and the goal is to keep him comfortable and not prolong his life, then you may want to consider hospice care. A hospice team may be better able to manage any symptoms, and will also be equipped to answer your questions and provide you with support, as you help your father navigate this last stage of life. My aunt will 88 next month. Over the past year she has had episode of blacking out and falling. The latest incident happened at the top of her basement stairs.
She blavked out and tumbled to the bottom. She then made her way upstairs. Het son took her to emergency. They said her blood level was low and 2 liters. It is still low. We need help. They also diagnosed a bladder infection. Yes, I agree that you need more help. You will need to keep asking a lot of questions of the doctors. How low is her red blood cell level?
How fast did it drop? What do they think caused it? What are they planning to do to investigate further, or to treat this?
However there are many other problems that can lead to this. So, you may want to ask more questions to make sure those symptoms have been properly investigated. In particular, low blood pressure can also cause blacking out and falling. My mother is 90 yrs old, she lives in a residential care home. She neglected her diabetes for many years without dealing with it, eating and drinking anything she liked.
Now she is on insulin and has chronic kidney disease, She has had many blood transfusions and still the blood is very low — 5. She has been in hospital every month for transfusions after blood analysis showed it low can you tell me why the blood is so low and for a long period of time now.
Kind regards Laraine White. You will need to keep asking her doctors questions. What is their plan for figuring out the cause, or at least helping her sustain a better hemoglobin level? What do they think you and your mother should expect over the next few months?
He just had a heart attack and a bad stroke in June His hemoglobin levels dropped from 10 to 7 about 2 weeks ago. They did a cult and found small amounts of blood. I called today his levels were He has an appointment tomorrow to see if he need a colonoscopy. He is very weak, not eating a lot, he has a knots popping up in his head and in his lower back. In May he just had a cyst that kept filling up with fluid removed off his back in which it healed slowly.
My dad is getting light in skin color or a pale look, he is also somewhat disoriented. I am very concerned. Such medications do reduce the risk of another cardiovascular event, but they also come with a risk of bleeding; that type of medicine could contribute to or cause a bleeding episode such as what you describe.
I would encourage you to keep asking a lot of questions, as his situation does sound concerning. You may want to ask what is his hemoglobin level now; normally someone would not look very pale with a hemoglobin of My 97 year old Mother was just hospitalized this past weekend with a hemoglobin count of 6.
The proton pump inhibitor Protonix is routinely used to reduce the chance of rebleeding, but that only works if the bleeding is coming from the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract e.
A PPI does not help if one suspects bleeding from the colon. Normally the doctors have some idea of whether the bleeding is more likely to be from the upper part of the GI tract versus the lower part.
I would encourage you to ask them which one they suspect. It should also be possible to check her blood pressure at least every few days in the beginning, to make sure she is not too high or too low with the current dose of BP meds.
Hi My mother in law who is 79 years old was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation 4 months ago. Since then her iron levels have dropped and she is anemic. Atrial fibrillation on its own does not cause anemia.
To reduce this risk of stroke, most people with atrial fibrillation are put on a blood thinning medication. Those ARE associated with a risk of internal bleeding, which can cause anemia. Her Hematologist has said she is iron deficient her level was 10 and has given her an iron infusion, but has also referred her to a Gastroenterologist. She has had 2 ct scans and an ultrasound and aside from a Splenomegaly,they were clear.
My concerns are for colorectal cancer, although she feels fine ,has no blood in her faeces or stomach pains etc. My mother has also been on Warfarn for 30 years and self tests her own inr. Could the warfarin be responsible for a slow bleed that she would be unaware of?
Thanks in advance:. Your mother is currently seeing the right specialists to address your concerns. I would encourage you to ask them to clarify why they think she is anemic and iron-deficient.
The gastroenterologist should also be able to address your concern about whether she might have colo-rectal cancer, despite her so-far reassuring test results. It has been as high as 6, but mostly around the 4 range. Her inr has become more unstable this year and she seen an increase in bleeds into her eye and bruising. Thank you for your help. An unstable or frequently high INR sounds concerning.
I would encourage you to bring it up with her doctors, especially the one who prescribes her warfarin or who initially recommended she be on it. Many people take warfarin related to a heart condition, but the prescription is often written by the PCP. Warfarin is one of the top drugs for causing ER visits, hospitalizations, and complications, mainly because it can be a challenge to keep people within the safe range.
You might want to ask whether it might be possible to switch her to one of the newer blood thinning agents, such as dabigatran or apixaban Pradaxa or Eliquis. These newer medications do not fluctuate in the body the way warfarin can, so these can be a safer choice for some older people.
It should be possible to reduce her bleeding risk, either by helping her better manage her INR levels or by switching to a different anticoagulant. Your website very helpful. Score was I am 72 and in good health otherwise. He started me on iron — 2 per day. This past week has been very very difficult. I have weakness and fatigue. I have 2 questions. First, how long does it take to start feeling better after taking iron.
Thank you for your kind help. I would encourage you to contact your doctors as soon as possible, and let them know you are feeling weak and doing worse than before. Also be sure that your doctors explain to you why they think you have lost blood or otherwise become iron deficient.
Once the cause of blood loss has been fixed, then if anemia is due to iron-deficiency, the blood count should improve within months.
My father is He has hemoglobin level of His RBC count is a bit higher than normal range. Doctor gave him mg iron drip 2 weeks back. His Hemoglobin level is still We often give a fixed dose of approximately mg, which is generally sufficient to treat anemia typical red blood cell iron deficit between and mg and provide additional storage iron without causing iron overload. Also, apparently IV iron interferes with most tests related to iron studies, so iron levels are not repeated during the month after administration of IV iron.
Usually, the hemoglobin level starts to slowly improve after weeks, and one should see substantial improvement after one month. What medicine should I prefer? Is it danger to eat plenty? Eating slate pencils sounds like a condition called pica, which means craving and consuming non-food items. Pica is associated with iron-deficiency anemia and other micronutrient deficiencies.
It is unclear how often pica might cause deficiencies versus it being more a symptom caused the deficiencies. You can learn more here: A meta-analysis of pica and micronutrient status. If you have anemia or blood loss, you need a thorough evaluation as described in the article, to determine what is the most likely cause of your low red blood cell count. It is impossible to know which medication or treatment is suitable until the underlying problem has been correctly diagnosed.
Be sure to mention to your doctors that you have been eating slate pencils. The doctor told us she has severe Anemia. She refuses to eat anything. Also she caughs a lot nowadays. She has lost all of her weight and is always exhausted. Is that normal? It sounds like your mother has lost her appetite for some reason. If someone has such symptoms plus coughing, normally we would investigate for serious underlying illnesses, especially those in the chest or lungs. Usually the first step is a chest xray, and then possibly a CT.
This can help rule out problems such as tuberculosis and certain cancers. Please note that I am not saying that she has a serious condition such as this, only that the symptoms you describe usually warrant some preliminary testing to check for such serious conditions.
Be sure to ask your doctor what tests were done and which findings, other than low hemoglobin, were abnormal. In order to help your mother get better, you will first need to learn more about what is causing her symptoms. Generally the best way to do this is to ask her doctors lots of questions and also keep doing your own research.
I do have an article on unintentional weight loss in older adults, see here: What to Do About Unintentional Weight Loss. My mom is 94 and in a nursing home. She was recently diagnosed with pneumonia. They are also treating her with antibiotics for the pneumonia.
She has vomited several times after taking meds. When she is not sleeping, she is often agitated and confused. I want her to be comfortable but do not want to prolong her life. Is there a reason I should continue the iron supplements? Yikes, that is pretty severe anemia. In my experience, if anemia is that profound and the goal is to try to extend life, then one needs to pursue a transfusion in the short-term.
And that would be assuming that iron-deficiency is the main cause of the anemia and that the blood loss has stopped, which is often NOT the case for people like your mom. However, if the goal for your mother is to keep her comfortable, then all that iron supplementation is unlikely to do that; it may well be contributing to her vomiting. Given her age and profound anemia, she is probably eligible for hospice care, and that is an excellent way to get medical care that focuses on comfort and managing symptoms, rather than trying against the odds to keep a person alive.
You are absolutely doing the right thing in questioning what they are doing and researching other options. Keep going and good luck! Hello mam I have haemogolobin 5. I gone through blood transfusion and then my haemogolobin is 9. I start to take iron pills on recommendation of doctor and eating more fruits and green vegetables. Now my haemogolobin 4 days ago is I have bad habit of not eating…..
Sorry that you have been having these health difficulties, but good that your hemoglobin is much improved. If your doctor is unable to find a reason, you may want to get a second opinion.
My mom is 72 years old and has been receiving blood transfusion on a monthly basis since May due to anemia. On top of this, she receives weekly injection of epokine units. It is exhausting for her; she is experiencing shortness of breath and fatigue. Her doctor has been recommending bone marrow test but my mom is so weak to undergo such invasive procedure.
Just recently, we had her examine by a new doctor; stool exam was done and results show:. I hate to think that we will result in getting her undergo a bone marrow test; is there any other tests we can do first? What we notice too that in the last two months, we needed to have her blood transfusion done earlier less than one month interval.
A bone marrow biopsy is an important test, because it will provide a lot of information on what might be going wrong. A bone marrow biopsy is usually recommended after a peripheral smear suggests that there is a bone marrow problem. Your mother sounds like she is experiencing a lot of symptoms from her anemia.
She just had another blood transfusion and we requested to get her ferritin test done early this week. We got an approval for this test but we are wondering if the recent blood transfusion may interfere with result of the ferritin test. More power to you and thank you very much for running this website. It is indeed an excellent website.
According to this study, transfusion does not quickly change levels of ferritin, vitamin B12, or folate: The effects of blood transfusion on serum ferritin, folic acid, and cobalamin levels. My friend,60 year old female was treated for severe anemia for over 18 months during which time they tried iron suppliments,checked for bleeding and gave her monthly infusions because the hemoglobin was usually down to There had been times when she passed out and had to be transported by ambulance to the ER where they gave her blood and discharged her.
Finally she changed doctors. A month later she was admitted to the hospital with a 2. The AML was resistant to chemo because of an invered 3 chromsone. She is now receiving alternate less strength chemo. Should not a bone marrow biopsy or reticulocyte count have been down at the very beginning? Why go almost 2 years with infusions instead of determining the reason for the low hemoglobin levels? And to top it off the original treatment was with another cancer center.
My mum diagnosed with myeloma last November. She has had two bone marrow biopsies and skelaton xray. No chemo as mum still able to do homebaking herself but had first blood transfusion when her reading dropped to 8. She is fine but they seem to be pushing her to go unto Aranesp mg injections which we as family after researching think is not great option. She has had Mini stroke shortness of breath clots etc in past and think tranfusions would be safer option. It sounds like you are researching options, which is exactly the right thing to do.
I would recommend searching very high-quality sources of information on myeloma treatment, such as review articles in reputable journals. A second opinion from a doctor specialized in blood cell cancers may also help. In , I came down with a crash! After that, a long painful uptake with a strict diet and spirullin kept me fatigued, depressed with skin outbreaks, hair loss, and general weakness for over two years.
In , I started slowly to get better, with 20 ferritin, 24 iron but only An anemic person should give up coffee, black tea, alcohol, and preferably stick to a dissociated diet. And outdoor activities pumps the lungs and strengthens mind and body. Dietary changes to treat anemia really depend on what caused the anemia in the first place.
I am not aware of any studies indicating that people with anemia should give up caffeine or alcohol. Per the Mayo Clinic website , iron supplements are best absorbed on an empty stomach but may be taken with food in order to reduce stomach upset.
I received iron transfusion not blood transfusion. A transfusion will raise the hemoglobin quickly, whereas treating iron-deficiency or other underlying causes of anemia often takes weeks.
A transfusion is only a temporary fix, however. My haemogolobin was 5. And used to eat fried and spicy foods?????
Can nutritional deficiency can be a reason????? You should ask your doctors to clarify why they think you became anemic, so that you can avoid recurrence of your anemia. Meat does contain iron and also vitamin B Both of these are necessary to make red blood cells.
If you plan to remain vegetarian, be sure to ask your doctors to help you identify other ways to get these nutrients. You may need to take iron supplementation indefinitely, if you have no dietary source of iron. I became anemic twice when I was a vegetarian, although with a better diet than Rajat. The first time my mother was overdosing us on zinc supplements, which binds with all heavy metals including iron.
Learned about zinc issue from reading further than Prevention magazine. The second time was in Germany after a winter of drinking retsina in Greece in The naturopathic doctor in Germany recommended steamed stinging nettles, richest plant source of iron. Pick them with gloves, from an isolated location, or buy dried. Rapid improvement. Thanks for sharing your story. In most people, oral iron supplements are an effective way to treat iron deficiency.
However, certain foods interfere with iron absorption and medications that interfere with stomach acidity may also reduce absorption. It is also very common for people to experience unpleasant gastrointestinal side-effects from iron supplements. Generally, the higher the dose of elemental iron in the supplement, the more likely people are to experience side-effects. Plants do contain iron but it is non-heme iron, which is actually less well absorbed by the body than the heme iron which is in meat.
A key to treating any type of iron deficiency is to check on how well the treatment is working, within a few weeks. If a person is able to raise or maintain their iron levels with a certain dietary approach, then additional iron supplementation may not be necessary. This is a follow-up query on the case referred by Ms. Elaisa Tubana I am her aunt about my mother, 72 yrs old, who is suffering from anemia, and requires blood transfusion almost twice a month recently and a weekly injection of epokine.
We would like to know if its a must to have eight common follow-up test you mentioned above prior to bone marrow test.
Accordingly, my mother do not have ferritin test yet. She only have so far the CBC which yield result on reticulocyte. Is it similar to peripheral smear.
My mother will be having another blood transfusion this coming October 7 , including epokine injection. Likewise, the doctor is advising her to have the bone marrow test after the blood transfusion. Kindly enlighten us on this. We need direction of whether we will proceed with the bone marrow test or have these 8 common follow-up tests first.
Thank you and God bless. I will say that in the U. A bone marrow biopsy is usually done after other tests have suggested a problem in the bone marrow. The purpose of this site is to provide information and education only, to help people ask better questions of their health providers. Otherwise, for more specific direction, you would need to get a second opinion from a doctor who can work with your family in person, to examine your mother and review her test results so far.
My mother is 83 years old. She was dignosed with urinary tract infection. Her HGB level was 7. Does She need to improve HGB with injecting venofer? A urinary tract infection, in of itself, does not generally cause anemia, and usually treating a UTI does not, in of itself, cure anemia or raise the hemoglobin level. Venofer is an iron infusion. Similarly, whether the hemoglobin will improve on its own depends on why it went down in the first place. If the problem was a bleed and the bleeding is stopped and the person has a well-functioning bone marrow and adequate iron stores, the body will eventually correct the anemia on its own.
Last stage of Alzheimer, confined to wheelchair. Has had CLL for over 30 years, but no tx, just monitoring. Three days ago, severe bruising appeared between morning and bedtime. Her right shoulder and chest were purple and the bruising progressed down her arm. CBC done….. WBC Can bruises appear spontaneously? Your article is very informative and I have copied the questions to ask about her anemia with the facility doctor. Yes, it is possible for bruises to appear spontaneously.
One potential cause is developing a low platelet count, which can happen with certain illnesses or serious conditions. The Mayo Clinic has a good article on bruising in late life here: Easy bruising: Why does it happen. They will also provide some support for you. My mother age 64 years has HB level 8. Now we are worried whether we should go ahead with this injection or not with the 2nd doctor telling this is a risky injection.
I googled up what cause of anemia is treated using this injection and it looks like this is when kidney is not producing some required hormone related to red cell production, when person has some kidney related disease. My mother never had any kidney disease and I suspect the doctor just prescribed the drugs based on 2 most common causes of anemia in elderly people.
My mother is a diabetes patient and takes medicines for diabetes, blood pressure and thyroid in routine. Doctor 1 who prescribed her medications is aware of her medical history and all the earlier medicines for these things have also been prescribed by him.
Can sometime tell me about the potential risks of this this injection Vintor IU and how risky it can be in worst case? Can my mother try some other things or tests to treat her low HB levels and get rid of the fatigue and tiredness she experiences daily? Is is possible to get the HB level improved or back to normal through natural things like diet and may be mild and relatively harmless supplements only?
The brand names you describe are not used in the US. It looks like Pevesca is alpha-linoic acid, which is an antioxidant sometimes used to treat diabetic neuropathy.
You can ask the prescribing doctor if this is meant to treat anemia or some other problem your mother may be experiencing. As for Vintor, seems this is erythropoietin. People who develop chronic kidney disease may have lower than normal epo levels, which can cause or worsen anemia.
In the US, epo is mainly used to treat anemia that is associated with chronic kidney disease, or otherwise seems to be related to low levels of epo. It is possible to test blood levels of epo, but usually this is only considered if the person already shows signs of a condition associated with low epo.
This will help you understand whether treatment with epo is likely to help, and you can ask about the associated risks at that time. Many people with diabetes do develop some chronic kidney disease, so you should confirm your mother shows no signs of that on her labs. Chronic kidney disease is usually associated with higher than normal creatinine and blood urea nitrogen, and also lower than normal glomerular filtration rates.
My mother has today taken 3rd of the 4 weekly injections prescribed. She is complaining that she is feeling even more tiredness than earlier after taking these injections so far. So tomorrow we will get her HP count checked from lab. The doctor prescribing her erythropoietin would be better qualified to answer your question.
The bone marrow usually takes about a week to create new blood cells, so presumably one should see some effect of this type of medication within a few weeks. Absolutely, by far, you are the best!! Thank you for this comment. So glad you are finding this helpful. Can you review the bed bug article s and comment?
A third unexplained in wake of current epidemic is outrageous, the insects have the ability to impact platelet count. Would you support an evidenced based policy for reporting? I think this is an exception, privacy rights need strengthening and subsidy for poor is sufficient incentive for self reporting, if privacy is respected!
State medicaid could save so much if they intervened early. I have met a lady who broke her back fallijg out of bed, and believe it was bugs that had her dauhter witlessly spend ten grand on lawyer to liquidate and sti ck her into semiprivate hell forever. The daughter confessed infestation etc. If excessive lab draws can effect CBC then thousands of animals sure can, and maybe costing golden decades.
Although it is still within the healthy range as told by my doctor, which is , I am a bit worried. My doctor said there is no need to worry because the overall index is still within the healthy range. As I grow older, does that mean my overall white blood cells will decline?
What are the food to take fo increase my white blood cells, in pariicular Neutropjils and Lymphocytes? Presumably this is because higher WBC counts can correspond to inflammation. Causes, consequences, and reversal of immune system aging. Presumably exercise, enough sleep, a healthy diet, social relationships, and all the other things we know are good for older people can help maintain the immune system. Regarding vitamin B12, if you have concerns about deficiency then I recommend talking to your doctor about whether it might be possible to have your level checked.
I will continue to monitor closely my TWC and the proportion of each different type of white blood cells in the sample for the coming years. Haemoglobin 3. I will say that a hemoglobin of 4 is very very low, and in most cases such a low level prompts immediate transfusion. Therefore, she has to take omeprazole pills, about 2 or 3 times per day for few years since Once she stop taking or skip the pills for few days, she will develop symptoms like heartburn and her heart beat very fast.
This article is about anemia, not GERD. Some people do need to take proton-pump inhibitors PPIs such as omeprazole indefinitely but some patients are able to taper off of them. Hi, I recently had blood tests for symptoms of thrush and frozen shoulder and rang up for the results. The receptionist told me that all was normal but my ferritin level was 10 and the doctor hadn,t reported on it yet. What does that mean. I have been told to ring back in a few days.
I am a 66 year old female. A ferritin of 10 is pretty low, and is most commonly caused by iron deficiency. Good luck and I hope your doctor is able to answer your questions and pursue further evaluation as needed. Can aspirin in general, and when taken at 3,mg daily for 2 weeks, cause anemia? Can any of the following meds they were taken at the same time as the 2 wk aspirin regimen cause anemia? Maybe the med combos can cause anemia…?
Many thanks for this column and for offering interaction. It gives so many of us knowledge, empowerment and hope! Taking that much aspirin every day sounds quite concerning to me. People can develop very serious acute aspirin toxicity by taking 10g of aspirin, so if a person were taking every day, I would be quite concerned about the possibility of chronic toxicity.
I have to urge you to contact your doctors right away to review your aspirin use. You may want to ask whether checking a blood salicylate level might be indicated. Otherwise, aspirin can cause anemia, usually by provoking bleeding. Good luck, take care, and be sure to discuss your aspirin use with a doctor or pharmacist before continuing to take this much daily aspirin. I would just like some insight about my father. He went to the doctor a few months ago, was diagnosed with anemia.
Well this week he went to the doctor because he was sick it was just a cold. They did blood work on him again. It came back that he is still anemic. They are sending him to a hematologist oncologist immediately. I do not have the numbers or any other specifics. My dad is diabetic and has been for 25 or more years. My question is, just because they want to send him to an oncologist does that mean he might have cancer?
I know a year or so ago he had a lower gi done and they put him on a watch. I appreciate your time. Hematology is the specialty related to blood cells and oncology is the specialty related to cancers. They have a lot of overlap, and there are some cancers of blood cells, such as leukemia. Historically hematology and oncology have been combined in a joint subspecialty internal medicine fellowship, so doctors will initially receive training in both specialties and then will take both the hematology board exam and the medical oncology board exam, so that they are board-certified in both specialties.
In practice, some doctors will do both hematology and oncology cases, but many end up focusing and re-certifying their boards in one or the other. So they are probably referring him to hematology, so that an expert in blood cell abnormalities can evaluate him. I will say that sometimes such blood cell abnormalities are related to some form of blood cell cancer, but there are other reasons for the various blood cells to look unusual.
I would recommend that you and your parents try to always ask extra questions when you are told something is going on, or is abnormal. This can be hard for older adults to do, so often adult children take on this role. It sounds low but not very low. That is assuming a woman is not pregnant. Pregnancy causes some anemia.
My mom has had smoldering myeloma for approximately 7 years now. Recently, she had a bone marrow aspiration because of a large drop in her hemoglobin, from She was rechecked two weeks later and it dropped to 9. The bone marrow did not show evidence of Myeloma at this point.
She was also tested for myodyplastic syndrome and this was negative as well. Doctor is stumped at this point. I believe blood loss is the most common cause of a sudden drop in hematocrit. If a person has normally functioning bone marrow, within a few days this should cause an increase in reticulocytes immature red blood cells , because the bone marrow will crank up red blood cell production in an attempt to compensate for the anemia.
In her case, the recheck was in the same range 9. Hi Doctor, In my hb was around 10 and I have diagnosed with ITP later in the month of April hb becomes 9 and in June July it got down into 8 and in the month of November it further reduced to 7. I have done endoscopy and colonoscopy where they have found helicobacter pylori like Bacteria.
Now I have pain and cramps in stomach also I have hemorrhoids internal and external which is bleeding for last 6 years. Now I am really worried please reply me. Sorry that you are having these symptoms and low red blood cell counts, it certainly does sound worrisome. I am 77 years I have been getting procript injection for about 2 years every month then ever other month.
I went and had a knee replacement and hemogloblin went from Then I had a blood transfusion which got it up to My iron is good. I can not receive any more procript as insurance won. My kidneys are at 40 percent. He says I am good but I still am concerned.
Do you have any opinion? Procrit is epoetin, an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent. It seems that their target is based on their expert opinion and clinical experience, rather than on definitive randomized trials. You should discuss your concerns with your usual healthcare providers, as they know you and will also have relevant experience managing anemia in people with CKD. If you are concerned about your hemoglobin dropping while you wait for your insurance to resume covering Procrit, I recommend letting your doctors know, and asking what would be a reasonable way to monitor for any worsening of anemia.
My mom aged 46 is suffering from anemia 6. To increase blood levels. So I would recommend asking for more information on how they plan to do that. Usually to reduce her bleeding, they would need to first determine what is causing such heavy uterine bleeding. For those who cannot tolerate oral iron, IV iron is sometimes required. Hello, and thank you for this useful information!
I am a 66 year old woman and as a result of routine blood work done at my yearly physical, I found out that I have severe anemia.
The original HGB level was 7. Shortly after this diagnosis, I went to the hospital with a bowel obstruction my third , where I was given an infusion of iron. I am currently taking ferrex and have had an EGD and colonoscopy, both of which were normal.
My RDW is high at My B12 and folate are normal. Your thoughts, please. Thank you so much. Please see this comment and the article below, regarding iron deficiency anemia when endoscopy is negative. It is not terribly rare, and you may eventually need additional evaluation. Outcome of endoscopy-negative iron deficiency anemia in patients above I would basically recommend you keep asking your doctors lots of questions as to what they think is going on, and what they plan to do next.
You may also want to consider a second opinion with either a hematologist or gastroenterologist. Shortness breath they say probably loss blood. I check motion. Can I take alternative like iron iamgood ateating food with iron just needed some one to. Talk with as I live alone no family now yourhelp would be appreciated Ruby. For people with blood loss, iron is mainly helpful if they appear to be low on iron levels.
If they tell you that you might benefit, but you might also be ok continuing as you are now, then you might feel better about what you are doing. Whereas if they strongly urge you to get further evaluation, you should take that under careful consideration. Especially if you have no family to help you think through this situation, you may want to see if you can find an online or in-person support group to help you.
You can connect with others who have a similar health condition at SmartPatients. Or a local center for older adults might have a group in which people can discuss health concerns and support each other.
My 92 year old father has had a decrease in hemoglobin. I have limited information. I believe his baseline is 9. He complained of itching and the doctor where he lives in senior living ordered blood tests. His hemoglobin came back 7. Apparently it was retested several days later and came back 6. The doctor wants to hospitalize him in order to do invasive tests to figure this out and after consulting with him and the rest of the family we have declined hospitalization.
What steps can we ask the doctor to take within his current living environment to diagnose what is wrong and keep him comfortable? We are not going to put him through anything invasive. I should mention he is in palliative care currently. Any information you could pass along would be greatly appreciated.
It is often reasonable to decline hospitalization or try to avoid it if at all possible, for people in their 90s who live in a facility. In terms of what can be done at his residence, it depends on whether the doctor can come see him at his facility, to ask more questions about his symptoms and to examine him. It would also be common, for someone with a dropping hemoglobin, for a clinician to check the stool for signs of microscopic blood.
In terms of keeping your father comfortable, we are often able to buy time and help someone feel better in the short-term by transfusing them with red blood cells. This is sometimes done in an infusion center or even in an emergency room, but might be hard to arrange at the residential facility itself.
In terms of whether this is an end-of-life situation: if his hemoglobin keeps dropping, then yes, this is a life-threatening situation. If he is palliative care right now, perhaps you can find someone to help your family better understand what is going on? If he is not on hospice yet, you might want to consider it, because a good hospice team should be able to tell you what to expect, how he would be likely to die, and perhaps provide you with more support and guidance.
Good luck and take care. Hi, my dad recently was diagnosed with anemia caused by iron deficiency, He is on baby aspirin and plavix. He was alos taking Amitiza for good 10 years. For some reason his total cholesterol dropped down too. Are there any relationship between total cholesterol and iron deficiency?
Two month ago he had abdominal cat scan and it was perfectly normal. An abdominal CT can show some abnormalities and occasionally masses in the colon, but is not usually considered the best way to evaluate for bleeding in the intestinal tract. For instance, dual antiplatelet therapy is beneficial to people who have had recent coronary stents, but most of the benefit is during the first months; after that the risk of bleeding may outweigh the likelihood of benefit.
Dual antiplatelet used to be commonly used after strokes, but research indicates that this increases bleeding risk without usually reducing stroke risk compared to being on only Plavix. My father had hemoglobin 5. Iron normal, no bleeds found. Told it is likely medications causing red blood cell destruction and bone marrow suppression.
Iron for Seniors - Feosol
Have you ever been told that an older relative has anemia? And anemia becomes even more common as people get older. Misunderstanding anemia can also lead to unnecessary worrying, or perhaps even inappropriate treatment with iron supplements.
For more information on the CBC test, see this Medline page. By convention, to detect anemia clinicians rely on the hemoglobin level and the hematocrit, rather than on the red blood cell count. However, different laboratories may define the normal range slightly differently. A hemoglobin level below normal can be used to detect anemia. Clinicians often confirm the lower hemoglobin level by repeating the CBC test. If clinicians detect anemia, they usually will review the mean corpuscular volume measurement included in the CBC to see if the red cells are smaller or bigger than normal.
We do this because the size of the red blood cells can help point doctors towards the underlying cause of anemia. The red blood cells in your blood use hemoglobin to carry oxygen from your lungs to every cell in your body. This second factor is very important to keep in mind. Compared to most cells in the body, normal red blood cells have a short lifespan: about days.
So a healthy body must always be producing red blood cells. This is done in the bone marrow and takes about seven days, then the new red blood cells work in the blood for months. Once the red blood cell dies, the body recovers the iron and reuses it to create new red blood cells. Anemia happens when something goes wrong with these normal processes. In kids and younger adults, there is usually one cause for anemia. Problems producing red blood cells. These includes problems related to the bone marrow where red blood cells are made and deficiencies in vitamins and other substances used to make red blood cells.
Common specific causes include:. Problems losing red blood cells. Blood loss causes anemia because red blood cells are leaving the blood stream. This can happen quickly and obviously, but also can happen slowly and subtly. Slow bleeds can worsen anemia by causing an iron-deficiency, as noted above.
Some examples of how people lose blood include:. There is also a third category of anemias, related to red blood cells being abnormally destroyed in the body before they live their usual lifespan.
Understanding the timeline of the anemia — did it come on quickly or slowly? Is the red blood count stable or still trending down with time? If the anemia is bad enough, or if the person is suffering significant symptoms, doctors might also consider a blood transfusion.
This issue especially comes up when people are hospitalized or acutely ill. If you are told that you or your older relative has anemia, be sure you understand how severe it seems to be, and what the doctors think might be causing it.
This will help you understand the plan for follow-up and treatment. Be sure to request and keep copies of your lab results. It will help you and your doctors in the future to be able to review your past labs related to anemia and any related testing. A very common diagnosis in older adults is iron-deficiency anemia. If you are diagnosed with this type of anemia, be sure the doctors have checked a ferritin level or otherwise confirmed you are low on iron.
I have actually reviewed medical charts in which a patient was prescribed iron for anemia, but no actual low iron level was documented. This suggests that the clinician may have presumed the anemia was due to low iron.
If an iron deficiency is confirmed, be sure the doctors have tried to check for any causes of slow blood loss. It is common for older adults to develop microscopic bleeds in their stomach or colon, especially if they take a daily aspirin or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug NSAIDs such as ibuprofen. Bear in mind that iron supplements are often quite constipating for older adults. So you only want to take them if an iron-deficiency anemia has been confirmed, and you want to make sure any causes of ongoing blood loss which causes iron loss have been addressed.
If you are diagnosed with anemia or if you notice a lower than normal hemoglobin on your lab report, be sure to ask questions to understand your anemia. If you are diagnosed with low iron levels: could it be from a small internal bleed and could that be associated with aspirin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, or another medication? Do you have questions about anemia in older adults? Please post them below! Note: We have reached over comments on this post, so comments will now be closed.
Thank you! The best thing I did this year was sign up for your site. I question all medical treatments and drugs. I am eighty six years old and in excellent health. Your information is so intelligent and complete on every subject you cover, I am impressed.. Do I sound like a Fan? Yes I am. Thank you for all you do. Good Morning my mother was told that her hemoglobin is 9. She has always delt with anemia but her hemoglobin has never been this low. Could the chemo be a cause of her hemoglobin being so low?
She is also on blood thinners for an irregular heartbeat has has been fixed but she is still on the blood thinner. She is currently taking iron infusions. I am hoping that all of this has caused her iron levels to get worse and not something else more serious. I would like your opinion. A ferritin of 6 sounds quite low and concerning for iron-deficiency. I would recommend that you ask her doctors to explain what they think is causing her anemia.
Good luck! My mother is 61 years of age and her haemoglobin has fell from She is hypothyroid since a long time and it is controlled. She has a mild gastroenteritis and always suffers from constipation.
She got a little cold since a few days. What could be the cause of her low haemoglobin?. Also to mention her mch and mcv values are normal while hct is low. I have listed the common causes of anemia and hemoglobin drops in the article. I would recommend you ask her health providers to explain what they think are the most likely possibilities. You may also want to ask if there are any signs of iron-deficiency or bleeding, since those are not uncommon in older adults.
I have low feritan stores and take one iron tablet a day because anymore gives me tummy pain and bloating. Whats the difference between low feritan and anemia? I am permanently tired still. Anemia means low red blood cell count. The body needs iron to make red blood cells, so iron-deficiency is one of many possible causes for anemia. A low ferritin usually means abnormally low iron stores in the body. Also, after starting treatment, be sure to ask the doctor about the follow-up plan.
If you have been taking iron tablets, has your ferritin improved? Has your anemia improved? Please be sure to follow-up with your doctors soon. I recommend you ask about your latest lab results and make sure they know you are still feeling tired. I have no energy at all and I am 80 years old. Send me a message if you can on my facebook. I use to be so energetic and never stopped getting every thing done and never sat down.
Now all I do recently is sit or lay down. This is not my normal self. There are many many different health problems that can cause a person to feel they have no energy.
I would strongly recommend that you contact your usual health provider, to get evaluated. I was placed in the hospital for anemia four years ago. I was bleeding on the lining and have a hiatal hernia. For six months I was exhausted. Second day feeling more energy. Slept 12 hrs instead of I now sleep normal hours.