ZocdocAnswersCan constant low hemoglobin levels for years have long term effects?

Question

Can constant low hemoglobin levels for years have long term effects?

I had appendicitis and my appendix actually ended up rupturing in late 2008. I had to have emergency surgery and had an infection afterwards because there were fluids left after the surgery. I was going to have another surgery to drain out the fluids but was told it was not neccesary because the antibiotics had helped get rid of the fluids. I was in the hospital for over a month. After this incident my hemoglobin levels have never been up to normal. It is always low and I am anemic a lot because of it. Is this normal??? Can this lead to any more serious complications??

Answer

This is an issue that I would definitely recommend talking to your primary care doctor or your hematologist about. Anemia is generally a symptom of another condition. For example, it could be caused by blood loss, or by poor nutrition, or by limited stores of iron in the body. All of these different forms of anemia, if significant enough, can cause symptoms such as fatigue, low energy levels, shortness of breath, dizziness, etc. The treatment for anemia is different, depending on what the exact cause is. For example, if you have a chronic source of bleeding, then finding and stopping it might be the answer. If you have low iron levels, then taking an iron supplement or increasing the amount of iron in your diet might be the answer. Therefore, the first step is talking with your doctor directly about the issue. They will be able to help you decide what testing (blood tests, for example) might be needed to help identify the cause of your anemia. Once the cause is identified, they can also help you decide what the most appropriate treatment will be. Start by contacting your doctor as soon as you can. I hope you are feeling better soon!

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