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Iron Infusion
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Iron Infusion

I have a friend who has had bariatric surgery.  She is 4 yrs out and is now having problems with iron retention.  she is going to have iron repletion therapy.  she has had all the tests to rule out bleeding.  Question is  what is iron repletion therapy and what side effects does this have.
         valley jan
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Avatar_n_tn
I dont know what it is ,however my aunt also had the surgery a few years ago and has been having the same problem, Not only with iron but with other things.She has been recently been given Iron potassium ect.. and almost lost her life due to these deficiencys
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Avatar_n_tn
I had gastric by-pass surgery in 1995.  Since that time, I have had anemia several times.  About 7 years ago, I had my first iron infusion.  I was told gastirc by-pass patients often do not absorb iron.  I also am B-12 deficient.  I had 2 additional infusions within the next few years.  In March 2008 my doctor said I was anemic and I went back to the same hematologist.  He said I was not anemic and could not help me. In March 2009, I was told my hemoglobin was 10 (not too low), but my ferritin level was 4.  I went to a differnt hematologist and she said I would have to get iron infusions the rest of my life. I have had no energy for years, and thought this was how my life would be forever.  I have had 2 infusions and will have 4 more in the next 4 weeks, and am getting weekly B-12 injections.  The doctor 7 years ago should have told me this would be a continous, on-going thing.  I do feel much better.  Hope this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am having much the same as port123. Had bariatric surgery in 2005, felt like $1mil for the first 12-18 months. Then I hit a brick wall. Since surgery I had always taken B12 injections with anticipation that this was going to be a life-long commitment, as well as multivitamins and Slow-Fe (chelated iron pills which don't constipate you). It took a couple years for anyone to figure this out; thought it was all autoimmune (I have thyroiditis). Well, my blood counts all dropped WBC was down to 3.2 (normal 4.5-9.5), and hemoglobin (Hgb) went to 9.2. At 8 they give you a blood transfusion. Finally I was given Iron dextran by IV, a one-time dose outpatient at the hospital, and everything got better.

Now I am not happy that this WILL BE LIFELONG. I cannot absorb any iron through the intestines. It's $2,000 per infusion, and needs to be given 1-2 times per year. My problem now is that I have NO iron in my body right now (ferritin is 4, normal range is 100-800). BUT my Hgb is within the normal range, albeit low. I real literature about how low iron is bad for your muscles, heart, nervous system, brain neurotransmitters, etc. I am VERY symtomatic as well. There is NO published literature on how to replace iron for this population prophetically (bariatric Iron Deficiency Anemia).

If any of you are lucky enough to find one please post it here. I need to tactically ask for another hematologist in the group. I am having trouble being assertive enough with my current physician.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too am post bariatric surgery patient.  I also have issues with my iron.  The way it was explained to me by my gastrointerologist (not my bariatric surgeon) is when they did the RnY surgery, they took out the part that absorbs the iron. So long story short, I can take all the supplements in the world but I won't absorb the iron.  My last ferritin count was at 6.  I am now under the care of a hemotologist who told me that I will need to get iron infusions.  Not that scary.  My first one was two weeks ago and you sit hooked up to an IV for about four hours and afterwards, you're on your merry way.  I'm not a doctor and am not pretending to give medical advice--just letting you know what *I've* been through.  Hope this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
I too have had gastric bypass 7 years ago and now have iron problems. My hematologist is being a butt head about too. I am on a 5 week coarse of iron infusions. My hematologist seems to not want to have me as a patient. When I had my blood work come back you came in while I was having an infusion and said my labs look bad. I asked him what does he think is going on and he said, "Don't know, Bye." I wanted to cry. I saw this forum and now everything makes sense. I have turned this doctor in to Tricare and sais he was a bad doctor. I guess Tricare has asked for my records because 20 minutes later the doctors office called and said the doctor would like to go over my blood work now. Bad that a doctor has to be threatened for him to want to go over my blood work with me.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had gastric bypass in 2009. I had low iron for awhile and my doctor said to take iron three times a day. It made me constipated so bad. I started MiraLAX too and it just made my stomach hurt worse. That was a couple years ago and I just ended up stopping iron all together. I ended up in the ER last weekend thinking I was having a heart attack, my chest hurt and it was hard to breathe. Prior to the visit for a few weeks before I was having short of breathe problems. The visits results were come to find out my iron level was 8.8 when he said it should be 14.5 for being a woman. He sent me home and told me to eat lots of dark green veggies. My follow up with the doctors office told me to take Ferrous Gluconate instead of the Ferrous Sulfate which would be better on my stomach. Since I didnt see my normal physcian at the follow up (she was out), she had her nurse call me and said she reviewed the ER notes and the doctor visit notes and would like me to be closely monitored for gastric bypass anemia and would like me to get hemoglobin infusions. I am scared. And do not want any blood. Is there any other way around this? I suppose she feels that even with the supplements I am not absorbing it. I wish I hadnt had the surgery after all.
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