Anemia/Hypokalemia questions!

on 6/16/12 12:48 pm - Virginia Beach, VA
Hey everyone!  My name is Dawn and I just hit my FIVE year surgiversary yesterday! I used to frequent this board more when I first had my surgery but I have some questions that I am wondering if anyone has answers to, or maybe some advice.  Since March of this year I have been hospitalized six times for hypokalemia (low potassium) the last time I was hopitalized the dr.s told me that my iron was extremeley low as well, so I was given two bags of iron during that stay.  The follow up bllodwork showed that both the iron and the potassuim dropped.  Now, I knew from experience that the potassium would drop, basically as soon as the IV would be ripped from my arm it would drop, but I was surprised about the iron.  During my hospital stay-it was a week, I was given every test under the sun (endoscopy, colonoscopy, extensive bloodwork, utrasounds,etc) there was talk of a bone marrow biopsy but that has not happened as of yet.  So I am wondering if anyoe out there who has had the surgery, specifically roux en y has had problems with potassium and iron to the point where they have been hopspitalized for it.  Did dr's come up with a diaginosis?  I feel so alone, I have taken a lot of flack for having the surgery in the first place, but I have never regretted my decision.  These problems started shortly after my son was born last August and I am curious to know if my pregnancy "tripped" something.  (I ws high risk as I had gestational diabetes)  I'm trying my best to eat the right foods and I take all my supplements and prescriptions religiously!  If you can offer and advice I'd really appreciate it.  I'm so down to the point where someone else has to pick me up.  Dawn
Natasha B.
on 6/16/12 6:45 pm - North Bay, Canada
Hi Dawn!

I am currently 4 years post open and a. Now suffering from iron deficiency anemia. I was sent to the ER Friday by my GP to receive a blood transfusion. I called Dr.L my surgeon and he said to just have the iron iv, which I received. They said it will take about a week or so and a few treatments to get back to normal. I increased my iron consumption for 5 weeks along with a iron supplement only to have my numbers drop 10 pts. I hope this work because I am so tired! I hope we both get this figured out asap. Good luck.
on 6/16/12 9:28 pm
Since I had my VSG, I have had low potassium.  When I became ill (I only knew something was wrong, I was falling, didn't have the strength to walk 6 feet),my level was 1.9; I have been on a liquid for more than a year now and it never gets above 2.8.  There was never a problem prior to my surgery.
(deactivated member)
on 6/16/12 11:06 pm - Califreakinfornia , CA
Post this on the DS forum.
Amy R.
on 6/17/12 2:23 am


1) Yes I have had both - and got a low potassium induced cardiac arrest in the bargain.  They are just now (I am 3 1/2_years out) starting to really get to the bottom of this.  The pernicious anemia is related to a lack of intrinsic factor.  And on top of that my body basically just decided it wasn't gonna make blood anymore sometime late last year.  The treatments so far have been iron infusions, blood transfusions,  massive doses of B12 and vitamin D.  Next week we are going to start Epogyn (sp?) injections.  I'm not quite sure what that is (I know, I need to research but I am just so damn tired I can hardly sit up for an hour at a time right now), but it appears to be some kind of hormone that is supposed to jump start your iron and/or red blood cell production.  Sorry, you should probably google it.  So you are not alone. 

(I don't have a blind stomach  - my RnY was kind of mutated, so you would think they would have been watching this whole intrinsic factor production from the beginning since it is produced by your stomach lining but no.)

2) Pump is right.  You'll get a lot more info on the DS forum, so you really do want to cross post, even though you are an RnY.

Best of luck to you.  Wish I could help somehow.  For the record, I too do not regret having the surgery one bit.=)


on 6/17/12 9:24 am - Virginia Beach, VA
Thanks everyone.  I am going to repost this over at the DS forum and the RNY forum as well!
Nancy B.
on 6/18/12 4:55 am

About a year and a half ago I had anemia problems. I ended up in the hospital twice and had several blood transfusions and iron infusions from Nov. 10 to April 11. I had a lot a test also. They knew I was loosing blood through my stool but couldn't find the the bleed through the test that I had. So the last time I wend to the hospital, my Doctor decided to do exploritory surgery and found an interal herina. Since he fixed that I have had no problems.  Best of luck to you and I hope you feel better soon.