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Old 03-30-2012, 12:28 PM
 
509 posts, read 1,574,864 times
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My husband recently got his blood work done and found he was extremely low on iron. What was more concerning however, is that he was about 5 pints low on blood. The doctors say there is some sort of internal blood loss—but he hasn’t seen any.

He’s going in for a colonoscopy and endoscopy next week, but has been very concerned about this. The doctor mentioned one of the causes may be stomach cancer, and he’s losing a lot of sleep over this. Has anyone experienced anything like this? I know we will have our answers in a week, but just to ease some concerns it would be great to hear similar situations.

If it matters—he’s 28 years old. They say once they find the cause they will need to do a blood transfusion.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:21 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,613,675 times
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The 5 pints low on blood thing - eh. I'm not buying it. If he was missing that much blood, he'd be in the emergency room having an emergency and immediate transfusion. Or he'd be dead.

The average adult human has around 1.3 gallons of blood, total. It varies, but that's average. There are 8 pints in 1 gallon. That's 12 pints for 1.5 gallon, so the average 1.3 gallons would mean just a smidge above 10 pints total.

If he's 5 pints low, that means he has around HALF the blood in his veins that he should have. Without enough blood, his heart can't pump efficiently, because the heart requires some pressure (blood pressure) in order to work as a pump.

Either your doctor is wrong, or you're not understanding the problem correctly, or you're exaggerating. Or, your husband is a LOT sicker than you are indicating in your post.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:48 PM
 
509 posts, read 1,574,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
The 5 pints low on blood thing - eh. I'm not buying it. If he was missing that much blood, he'd be in the emergency room having an emergency and immediate transfusion. Or he'd be dead.

The average adult human has around 1.3 gallons of blood, total. It varies, but that's average. There are 8 pints in 1 gallon. That's 12 pints for 1.5 gallon, so the average 1.3 gallons would mean just a smidge above 10 pints total.

If he's 5 pints low, that means he has around HALF the blood in his veins that he should have. Without enough blood, his heart can't pump efficiently, because the heart requires some pressure (blood pressure) in order to work as a pump.

Either your doctor is wrong, or you're not understanding the problem correctly, or you're exaggerating. Or, your husband is a LOT sicker than you are indicating in your post.
Hmm.. I wasn't exxagerating, but I wasn't at the doctor's-- my husband gave me the information, so maybe he's mistaken. I will reconfirm.

Nonetheless-- let's say his blood is low and his iron count is very low. He has blood loss somewhere internally, but hasn't seen any signs of this.

Any experience with this?
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:22 PM
 
3,517 posts, read 5,441,583 times
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Maybe his hematocrit (red blood cell) level was low? That can indicate bleeding.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:30 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,613,675 times
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My best friend had internal bleeding. He died. That's the only experience I have with it, sorry. I'm borderline anemic, but I've always been borderline anemic. Since it's only borderline, I don't have to "do" anything about it. If I'm feeling especially lethargic or weak, I add a little peanutbutter to my day's meals, or I'll grab a spinach salad to go with my supper that day.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:38 PM
 
509 posts, read 1,574,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnexpectedError View Post
Maybe his hematocrit (red blood cell) level was low? That can indicate bleeding.
He said something was 9/14, and he assumed pints of blood. I told (sternly) him that he needs to know specifics. Sorry for the confusion there. If anyone knows what this could be, do let me know!

We'll check the papers when we get home.
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,119 posts, read 12,720,764 times
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I think the best thing is to wait until he has the tests! No since in "supposing"....the doctor would not have sent him home if he thought he was in immediate danger. Get the tests and see what it actually is....could be something as simple as an ulcer...but until he's checked out, don't try to dwell on the "what ifs"....you'll drive yourself crazy!
Good luck!
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:01 PM
 
509 posts, read 1,574,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb at sea View Post
I think the best thing is to wait until he has the tests! No since in "supposing"....the doctor would not have sent him home if he thought he was in immediate danger. Get the tests and see what it actually is....could be something as simple as an ulcer...but until he's checked out, don't try to dwell on the "what ifs"....you'll drive yourself crazy!
Good luck!
Thanks.

You're right... we both got a bit concerned, but at the end of the day, we hope to get answers this week. Just got the meds for his prep today-- I certainly don't envy him!
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,498 posts, read 26,089,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
The 5 pints low on blood thing - eh. I'm not buying it. If he was missing that much blood, he'd be in the emergency room having an emergency and immediate transfusion. Or he'd be dead.

The average adult human has around 1.3 gallons of blood, total. It varies, but that's average. There are 8 pints in 1 gallon. That's 12 pints for 1.5 gallon, so the average 1.3 gallons would mean just a smidge above 10 pints total.

If he's 5 pints low, that means he has around HALF the blood in his veins that he should have. Without enough blood, his heart can't pump efficiently, because the heart requires some pressure (blood pressure) in order to work as a pump.

Either your doctor is wrong, or you're not understanding the problem correctly, or you're exaggerating. Or, your husband is a LOT sicker than you are indicating in your post.
It's amazing how low a blood count can get if there is slow, steady blood loss. Someone who is injured and quickly loses a couple of pints might not be able to sit up without passing out.

Someone who who loses slowly (as might happen with bleeding into the GI tract, where it is hidden --- occult) might be pale and tired but still making it through the day. This also happens fairly commonly with women who have very heavy periods. Stopping the heavy flow and taking iron and vitamins can fix the problem with the low blood count extremely fast, without the need for transfusion.

It is actually possible for someone to have half --- or even less --- of the normal number of red blood cells and still be walking and talking.

LaFemme ~

Why was the blood count done? If DH is not tired and pale, repeat the blood count before he has anything else done. He can also have a stool sample tested for blood, if that has not already been done.

Presuming he is tired and pale and the stool test is positive for blood, once your DH has a diagnosis and knows what needs to be done to fix the problem, he might want to ask whether the transfusion could be postponed until he tries the iron and vitamins. If he has something that will need surgery or if it will take time to correct the underlying problem, that might not be an option.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:44 AM
 
509 posts, read 1,574,864 times
Reputation: 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
It's amazing how low a blood count can get if there is slow, steady blood loss. Someone who is injured and quickly loses a couple of pints might not be able to sit up without passing out.

Someone who who loses slowly (as might happen with bleeding into the GI tract, where it is hidden --- occult) might be pale and tired but still making it through the day. This also happens fairly commonly with women who have very heavy periods. Stopping the heavy flow and taking iron and vitamins can fix the problem with the low blood count extremely fast, without the need for transfusion.

It is actually possible for someone to have half --- or even less --- of the normal number of red blood cells and still be walking and talking.

LaFemme ~

Why was the blood count done? If DH is not tired and pale, repeat the blood count before he has anything else done. He can also have a stool sample tested for blood, if that has not already been done.

Presuming he is tired and pale and the stool test is positive for blood, once your DH has a diagnosis and knows what needs to be done to fix the problem, he might want to ask whether the transfusion could be postponed until he tries the iron and vitamins. If he has something that will need surgery or if it will take time to correct the underlying problem, that might not be an option.
Thanks Suzy-- you're always a big help. Tried to rep you-- but I've apparently done too much of that lately!

He did have a follow up blood test, but they did not ask for a stool test. His colonoscopy and endoscopy are both scheduled for this week. He has had annual physicals but hasn't done a blood test in the last 3 years (we were living abroad and apparently these tests weren't part of the annual physical procedure-- and to be honest, we didn't think twice about it!)-- so it's very likely this has been a blood loss occuring for a few years now.

He definitely is tired. He chews ice (apparently a sign of iron deficiency). He was taking iron supplements for a couple months, but the doctor now has asks him to stop, as it can interfere with the test results.

Hopefully Wednesday we will have more solid answers. I am just hoping it's not the worst case scenario. Doctor's say it may very well be something small, like an ulcer, that they can fix on the spot.
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