Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

anemia and blood loss

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 5 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • January 23, 2009
  • 05:57 PM

This is about my mother-in law. She is 81 years old and a type II diabetic. She had open heart surgery in 2000 and has a replaced value. In the spring of 2007 she experienced, fatigue, shortness of breath. To the point of near collapse. She saw her doctor who diagnosed her as anemic. she began iron supplements and was given blood. 6 months later, the same problems reoccurred. This time they tested and found peptic ulcers(several) and gave her meds to heal those, more iron IV's, and more blood. Following that, she was receiving iron every 4-6 weeks. After the ulcer med was finished they test her again and told her the ulcers were healed. She continued to have symptoms of fatigue and several shortness of breath. Now they are telling her that maybe the ulcers are not yet healed, but they would prefer not doing surgery, so they give her iron as she needs it. She has lost weight, lose of appetite, irritable, seems to have lost her mental edge, terrible night leg pain, trouble sleeping, nose bleeds that periodically come, and bouts of diarrhea. She is going in this morning because her blood work showed she needed more blood. They will be giving her 3 units. I can't shake the nagging feeling they are missing something. And I fear they are taking precious time that may make the real diagnoses come to late.

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5 Replies:

  • I need some lab work in order to render an opinion.On her CBC what are the indices(MCV,etc)?Has she had her stools checked for blood?What medication is she on?
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 24, 2009
    • 02:50 PM
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  • Since she's elderly,we need to consider that she's not getting enough vitaminB12,so be sure she gets some daily.A deficiency can cause mental problems,not to mention the myriad other things it can do.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 24, 2009
    • 02:56 PM
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  • Blaze, she does use a cordless home phone, but no cell phone and she has lived in the same home for over 50 years. I don't believe there are any new antennas in the area. As for the blood work stats.. I wish I was near here home enough to look at those and post the findings. She is several hours away in a different city. I just know blood count is low as far as red blood cells.. and iron is very low. She never gets back into the targeted 12 count they talk about. I believe she is usually 7 or 8. Also, I know that dark stools are very common for her. An issue that we are dealing with is that she goes to the the doctors and doesn't really communicate well to us what is being said and she seems to get facts mixed up. A family friend has gone to a few of the appointments with her and hasn't mentioned being alarmed but I realize that means little. She is clearly losing blood and needing iron IV's on a monthly bases I believe. An email from her this morning said she was in the hospital for nine hours while they administered the 3 units of blood. I don't know about the B12 intake. I do know she takes coumadin and diabetic meds as well as insulin shots. They spoke to her about some type of surgery early this year for the ulcers but wanted to avoid that if possible.
    precioustime 5 Replies
    • January 24, 2009
    • 11:18 PM
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  • Do you know how well her diabetes is controlled?If her stools are black,she's bleeding, taking iron,or using Pepto-Bismol.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 24, 2009
    • 11:30 PM
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  • As I mentioned, she is bleeding I assume since they are giving her blood every 6 months or so (yesterday three units) and she does get iron from the doctors..I believe that is via I.V.s....No Pepto. as for her diabetes. She is pretty good at controlling it... she likes her sweets though, and will compensate by more insulin in her shot... her average sugar levels are in range according to the every three month test they give her to find her average for that period of time.
    precioustime 5 Replies
    • January 25, 2009
    • 00:18 AM
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