Anemia in the elderly

Posted by JohnWBurns @johnwburns, Aug 20, 2016

Like a lot of other things it has a bigger impact on older folks. Any condition where cardiac function is compromised, heart failure for example, will likely be made worse by anemia.
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1339998-overview
Heart failure example:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3569049/
If you have iron deficiency anemia for example, get it treated, but don’t assume that you have it and treat it yourself. The reasons for it can be complex and self treating can be worse than the condition.

Jim

Timely information for me, Jim. Thanks. I found this statement in the first article disheartening “For unexplained anemia, no treatment has been well studied.” There are so many multifactorial causes to anemia and often it remains unexplained.

Good warning about self treating.

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@colleenyoung

Timely information for me, Jim. Thanks. I found this statement in the first article disheartening “For unexplained anemia, no treatment has been well studied.” There are so many multifactorial causes to anemia and often it remains unexplained.

Good warning about self treating.

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I’ve have a normocytic anemia for as long as I’ve had blood tests and nobody can explain it. Ferritin can go low normal but the anemia doesn’t respond to iron. I put this out there because factors like anemia amplify a lot of the troubles of old age. including things like falling and cognitive decline. True it is disheartening if a root cause is never found and addressed but, If it turns out to be an easy fix, like iron or b12, somebody can feel a lot better with a low investment. Good bang for the buck.

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@colleenyoung

Timely information for me, Jim. Thanks. I found this statement in the first article disheartening “For unexplained anemia, no treatment has been well studied.” There are so many multifactorial causes to anemia and often it remains unexplained.

Good warning about self treating.

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Interesting brief report with a table on Wikipedia, Jim. Pretty superficial and perhaps obsolete in your terms, but it lists some causes it speculates to be worth considering. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normocytic_anemia.

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@colleenyoung

Timely information for me, Jim. Thanks. I found this statement in the first article disheartening “For unexplained anemia, no treatment has been well studied.” There are so many multifactorial causes to anemia and often it remains unexplained.

Good warning about self treating.

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Thanks Martin. Been down all of this rabbit holes. For this discussion I wanted to make older folks more aware of the potential for mischief the usual anemias have. My impression is that a lot of the time people will look at the big picture, their primary disease or condition, and tend to ignore things they may consider of less consequence. Their doctors might too.
Jim

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@colleenyoung

Timely information for me, Jim. Thanks. I found this statement in the first article disheartening “For unexplained anemia, no treatment has been well studied.” There are so many multifactorial causes to anemia and often it remains unexplained.

Good warning about self treating.

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@johnwburns, I’ve been seeing low hemoglobin in a string of blood draws over the past year, and low protein. In 2015, the hemoglobin was high. This week, a draw indicated low iron. Endoscopy and colonoscopy show no abnormalities. It’s been 7 years since I had peptic ulcers removed, and had to stop taking NSAIDS. I have idiopathic peripheral neuropathy, and recently had a spinal cord stimulator implant, which is making a big difference in the burning pain in my feet. I’m a couple of weeks from being 67, and I take meds for neuropathy, depression, anxiety, other pain. I’m trying to figure out what’s causing the anemia. Maybe there’s another discussion on the subject that has informative conversation.

Jim

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@colleenyoung

Timely information for me, Jim. Thanks. I found this statement in the first article disheartening “For unexplained anemia, no treatment has been well studied.” There are so many multifactorial causes to anemia and often it remains unexplained.

Good warning about self treating.

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I’m 76, female, had hip replacement surgery years ago, surgeon damaged nerve, thus neuropathy. My blessed family doctor came across info that this very old drug called imipramine in low dosage helps tremendously with the burning of the feet. Been on it for years, together with 100 mg of gabapentin a night. Have no burning anymore. Ck with ur doc, see what he says.

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thank you for being here for us. i have many health issues. taking 14 prescription medications can give you some what of an understanding. one of the issues is chronic b12 deficiency. now am 80 years. have had this anemia for over 35 years. only treatment given is monthly b12 shot for 3 months othen to stoand then to stop. and 6000 mgs of sublingual pill daily. it was so bad this last time that the md said it was off the chart and how is it i am still walking! i was pretty bad and felt as though i would faint. anyway, i am quite active and will not stop doing everything by myself. keeping as busy as i can. question: i have 2 or 3 auto immune diseases. can these be affecting the anemia? or, i think it is mostly part of the aging process.

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@peach414144

thank you for being here for us. i have many health issues. taking 14 prescription medications can give you some what of an understanding. one of the issues is chronic b12 deficiency. now am 80 years. have had this anemia for over 35 years. only treatment given is monthly b12 shot for 3 months othen to stoand then to stop. and 6000 mgs of sublingual pill daily. it was so bad this last time that the md said it was off the chart and how is it i am still walking! i was pretty bad and felt as though i would faint. anyway, i am quite active and will not stop doing everything by myself. keeping as busy as i can. question: i have 2 or 3 auto immune diseases. can these be affecting the anemia? or, i think it is mostly part of the aging process.

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Hi, @peach414144 You sure we are not closely related somehow? Anyway, I have also been trying to fight a low-grade anemia for at least 60 years. A few years ago a medico in a hospital someplace (kiddingly, I thought) asked if I thought I might have “a plastic anemia”. Knowing that he was something of a clown, I just laughed it off. I did not know what he was talking about, but he was certainly telling a joke….I thought. Only recently I have begun to realize that “aplastic anemia” is not a joke, but a serious medical problem which often comes as part of some autoimmune disorder, such as mis-folded protein deposit disease, etc. Like rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Anyway, I have low levels of red blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin. So yes, for you and me both, I would suspect that anemia would be part of our packages. Mayo says that a “strong suspicion” that the villain is such a critter as “a(-)plastic anemia!” is a pre-requisite for diagnosis and treatment. The strong suspicion seems to be, in itself, a bit of a symptom. Sounds to me that you are there already.

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Hi, @peach414144 You sure we are not closely related somehow? Anyway, I have also been trying to fight a low-grade anemia for at least 60 years. A few years ago a medico in a hospital someplace (kiddingly, I thought) asked if I thought I might have “a plastic anemia”. Knowing that he was something of a clown, I just laughed it off. I did not know what he was talking about, but he was certainly telling a joke….I thought. Only recently I have begun to realize that “aplastic anemia” is not a joke, but a serious medical problem which often comes as part of some autoimmune disorder, such as mis-folded protein deposit disease, etc. Like rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Anyway, I have low levels of red blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin. So yes, for you and me both, I would suspect that anemia would be part of our packages. Mayo says that a “strong suspicion” that the villain is such a critter as “a(-)plastic anemia!” is a pre-requisite for diagnosis and treatment. The strong suspicion seems to be, in itself, a bit of a symptom. Sounds to me that you are there already.

REPLY
@peach414144

thank you for being here for us. i have many health issues. taking 14 prescription medications can give you some what of an understanding. one of the issues is chronic b12 deficiency. now am 80 years. have had this anemia for over 35 years. only treatment given is monthly b12 shot for 3 months othen to stoand then to stop. and 6000 mgs of sublingual pill daily. it was so bad this last time that the md said it was off the chart and how is it i am still walking! i was pretty bad and felt as though i would faint. anyway, i am quite active and will not stop doing everything by myself. keeping as busy as i can. question: i have 2 or 3 auto immune diseases. can these be affecting the anemia? or, i think it is mostly part of the aging process.

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@dear oldkarl thank you for your input. i really appreciate. how can an md from the oncology group where i live, whom i have been seeing for over 7 years, knowing i have both rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis (among many other ailments) not know what you do? is this a game with them? they should only suffer as we do then maybe the light will come on in their brains. i have never had a depression that has lasted for any length of time. now i do and i am pretty sure it is because of the worsening of the b12 count. i am sure you have helped me to understand myself and this condition in a better light. thank you and i wonder if i should look for another opinion. (yes i will)

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@oldkarl

Hi, @peach414144 You sure we are not closely related somehow? Anyway, I have also been trying to fight a low-grade anemia for at least 60 years. A few years ago a medico in a hospital someplace (kiddingly, I thought) asked if I thought I might have “a plastic anemia”. Knowing that he was something of a clown, I just laughed it off. I did not know what he was talking about, but he was certainly telling a joke….I thought. Only recently I have begun to realize that “aplastic anemia” is not a joke, but a serious medical problem which often comes as part of some autoimmune disorder, such as mis-folded protein deposit disease, etc. Like rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Anyway, I have low levels of red blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin. So yes, for you and me both, I would suspect that anemia would be part of our packages. Mayo says that a “strong suspicion” that the villain is such a critter as “a(-)plastic anemia!” is a pre-requisite for diagnosis and treatment. The strong suspicion seems to be, in itself, a bit of a symptom. Sounds to me that you are there already.

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@p.s. yes, we might be related knowing this information. (eastern european)?

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Eastern European, Viking, Portuguese

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