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Unexplained Anemia
Apr 10, 2003

Ten months ago, I started getting very tired, dizzy, tingly and shaky in my arms and legs, my eyesight was blurry, and I had no energy. I went to the doctor, and my blood tests showed I was severely, severely anemic to the extreme that I could seizure at any moment. Due to HIV awareness, they gave me high potency iron pills instead of a blood transfusion. They figured at first, that my anemia was from my menstrual cycle. Later, they decided that no woman could lose that much blood from just their cycles. A month later, my anemia was improving, but I was feeling worse, and my symptoms were getting worse. Then, on the first day of cross-country. I passed out. My coach said I was complaining I couldn't hear anyone, then I sat down, drank some water, and fell over. I woke up ten minutes later very dizzy and tired. not remembering a thing I had done or said within the past hour and a half. The next week, this same occurrence happened at soccer practice, but I randomly fell over on the field. When I woke up, I coughed up quite a bit of blood along with a clot, and I was incessantly shaking. I also woke up with vertigo and a fever. My doctors did an EEG, EKG, Echo cardio gram, gave me an event monitor for two months, a fecal blood test, urine test, more blood tests on adrenal glands, b-12, fibromalygia, a TB test, an asthma test, allergies tests, a tilt-table test, chest x-rays, a chest and head cat-scan, and a mental health examination. All came out normal other then there being extra white blood cells in my urine, which my doctors say is minor and is probably due to the "curse of my human anatomy." My doctors said I should be able to go back to sports. Once I started working out again, the shakiness, tingliness, dizziness, fatigue, and blurred vision got worse, and I started getting back pain, bad headaches, and coughing up blood regularly (seemingly any time I exerted my lungs). My doctors did more of the same blood tests, and tested pretty much everything else they could test blood for, and found nothing wrong with me. By now, five months after my initial diagnosis, my anemia was gone. It's been ten months now, I'm still coughing up blood, shaky, dizzy, tired, tingly, have headaches, have severe back pain, blurred vision to the point where I need glasses because my eyes especially in my left eye have astigmatism for some reason, I have no energy to the point where I have to go to sleep at 8:30 some nights because I'm so beat, and I have an incessant cough. My house has been checked for any weird chemicals that might be lingering as well as my blood, and there is no answers there either. I don't live around any kind of radiation. I am a sixteen year old female, with no family history of anything but migraines and arthritis: not even bad eyes. My medical history is that I have broken my left radius and ulna, torn a tendon in my knee due to running into a carpet razor blade, about two bad concushions, about 8 total cuncushions, and broken fingers. I've never drank any alcohol other then what my mom gives me, I have never done any drugs, and I've never smoked. It's been a few months since I've been off the iron pills now, and i've recently discovered that my blood is becoming anemic again. I feel worse every day, and I've been getting random fevers, a stuffy nose and sinuses, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes. My sides right underneath my ribs have started hurting, and my chest aches sudden and randomly as well, especially when I'm lying down. PLEASE!!!! I'm am worried this could cause quite a bit of damage in the future and I feel it could be prevented if I were lead in the right path. Thanks! Daisies

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Daisies,

This is an HIV information site, so I will not be able to go into great detail, other than to say that if indeed you are continuing to have "coughing up blood regularly," this should be reevaluated. If your anemia is not due to menstrual blood flow and/or iron deficiency, then an evaluation by a blood specialist (hematologist) might shed some light on the situation. A second opinion from an adolescent medicine specialist may also be worthwhile. A second look at all the results of the extensive workup youve had to date might reveal something that was previously missed. Without actually seeing those tests myself, thats as much direction as I can offer. I hope it helps.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

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