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Anyone else have trouble getting blood drawn (won't flow)?

Discussion in 'General Symptoms' started by Ravn, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Ravn

    Ravn Senior Member

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    Nurses have always told me I have big, juicy veins and in the past there's never been any problem with getting blood drawn from them.

    However, since falling ill the nurses increasingly struggle to get enough blood out of my veins for blood tests. That's bad enough but I also have haemochromatosis (iron overload) and regularly have to get rid of a full unit of blood to keep this under control. Last time they only managed to get a quarter unit out of each arm and then the blood just refused to flow any more. BP was good and I was super-hydrated.

    Any ideas what could be causing this? Low blood volume or some sort of autonomic neuropathy? Sticky blood (that's probably not a medical term)? Something else?

    More importantly, any ideas how to overcome this?
     
  2. ChrisD

    ChrisD Senior Member

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    Dr. Ron Davis has observed in their latest research that ME/cfs patient blood has a thicker consistency than controls.
     
  3. themjay

    themjay

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    Yes, just had exactly the same problem the other week. Five separate (painful) attempts to get enough blood.
    Of course the results come back normal, but no note taken of the difficulty in collecting the sample.
     
  4. Moof

    Moof Senior Member

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    I refuse to part with it, too! Prior to lunchtime, no-one can get a drop out of me. Seems to be a bit better later in the day, so I try to get my tests done as near to the clinic closing time as possible. My blood's so sticky that I never bleed afterwards.

    Years ago, there was some research that showed ME patients' blood cells tended to stack up like piles of coins, but I'm not sure whether any further work was done to confirm why...
     
  5. lior

    lior Senior Member

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    So interesting. I assumed it was hard to get blood out of me because I was dehydrated. I'm always thirsty, no matter how much I drink, so I just put it down to that. Maybe it's not that.

    Not sure how to overcome it, but maybe ask for the most experienced phlebotomist they have. Two or three times, I've had nurses have to call in a more experienced person because they've had no luck. That might make the whole process a bit faster, at least.

    I'm going to try and have a blood test in the afternoon rather than the morning anyway (this week or next week) - if it's better like @Moof says, I'll try to report back.
     
  6. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Here is what I do that has helped with blood draws. About an hour before the draw I drink a full litre of water.

    I have also gone from easy to draw blood to where the heck is my vein. This method has worked so far.
     
  7. Bead Dog

    Bead Dog

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    I have this problem when getting blood drawn too. It’s also hard to find my veins and my veins tend to roll away from the needle. I try to super hydrate before getting blood drawn.

    I’ve had techs cause me lots of pain and even had one recently who was squeezing my arm while the needle was in trying to make the blood flow. I give them one chance. If they can’t get it, I ask for the most skilled tech to try.

    Now, I travel to a lab across town in hopes of requesting a specific technician who I’ve had very good luck with getting my veins on the first try.

    I really dislike getting any blood draws now.
     
  8. Ravn

    Ravn Senior Member

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    Looks like I'm not the only one with this problem. Hope the researchers do look more into the "sticky" or "funny" blood angle.
    Will try to get an afternoon appointment next time and see if that helps.
    As for hydration, I'd had 1.5l of water, half of that with electrolytes, so I don't think I can up that much more.

    Random free association : today @aquariusgirl posted in another thread about "rs13266634 is a SNP in the zinc transporter protein member 8 SLC30A8 gene that has primarily been associated with type-2 diabetes in several studies".
    A quick search showed I, too, have the risky version (C/C) - I'm not a diabetic though.
    Also, this risky version is associated with something called glycated hemoglobin levels (related to too much glucose in blood).
    Plus blood high in glycated hemoglobin is described as "sticky".
    Any connection here?
     
  9. RWP (Rest without Peace)

    RWP (Rest without Peace) Senior Member

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    I posted this on the Dr. Ron Davis video thread as well, but this has been an extreme problem for my wife, @PWR (Peace without Rest). When she was having the nuclear RBC mass test done in 2002, the tech could barely get the test done due to this. Shortly afterward, she was tested for hypercoagulation through David Berg's lab at the time, Hemex. The heparin and other therapies made a massive difference, especially with her walking. Now, she continues with OTC enzymes to keep the proper level of thinness. You can search this site for more info on Berg's publications about ME/CFS and coag.

    There is something known as "Sticky blood syndrome" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiphospholipid_syndrome.
    However, we have found it difficult to get adequate care in this area due to the scarcity of knowledge among doctors. This has required much research time and leg work on our part, but it is well worth it.

    RWP + PWR
     
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  10. aquariusgirl

    aquariusgirl Senior Member

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    Berg told me I had a huge problem.....a practitioner said I needed enzymes not heparin
     
  11. Ravn

    Ravn Senior Member

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  12. RWP (Rest without Peace)

    RWP (Rest without Peace) Senior Member

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    @Ravn

    We use Enzymedica Digest Gold Plus Probiotics. They have numerous similar products, so make sure to match it exactly. The synergy between the enz + probio makes it more powerful. Taken between meals, it helps with clotting; with meals, with digestion. It's expensive but effective.

    RWP
     
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  13. Sushi

    Sushi Moderation Resource Albuquerque

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    Dr. David Berg found that hypercoagulation was a problem in many/most ME/CFS patients. I've been treated for it too. Hypercoagulation.
     
  14. aquariusgirl

    aquariusgirl Senior Member

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    See I don’t think I had true hyper coagulation. I had a fibrin issue I guess. I dont understand the distinction.
     
  15. JeanneD

    JeanneD Senior Member

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    Same for me. If I need a blood draw (and they're usually many vials) or an infusion, I super-hydrate for 24hrs. I drink a LOT of water, plus I take a 20+ minute soak in the bath as close to stick time as I can. It's made a big difference in the difficulty of the draw. They no longer have trouble getting a "good vein" or getting enough blood when they do get a good stick.
     
  16. Ravn

    Ravn Senior Member

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    Thread summary

    I threw the same question about trouble with blood draws into a few other forums as well; below is a summary of responses from all of them.

    Interesting aside: I asked in haemochromatosis, dysautonomia and ME forums. There was one notable difference in the responses received:

    Haemochromatosis - Almost everybody with blood draw difficulties reported that they'd always had those difficulties, been born that way. The main reason for (rare) later aquired difficulties was scarring from too many needles.

    ME & dysautonomia (mainly POTS) - Most reported they only had developed blood draw difficulties after falling ill.
    It seems unlikely that ME & dysautonomia patients should develop more scarring than haemochromatosis patients, so something else appears to be going on with our blood and/or veins.

    Summary of suggestions for making blood draws easier

    Please note that these are not recommendations. In fact, some of the suggestions look potentially dangerous to me - but useful as starting points for your own research and to help you formulate questions for your own doctor.
    • Hydration ideas: start extra hydration 2-3 days before the blood draw, electrolytes, guzzle 2-4 cups of water just before the draw, extreme hydration with 7-8l of water on day of draw.
    • Increase blood volume, blood flow and blood pressure with medications like Florinef.
    • Blood thinners (controversial, some doctors recommend this and others strongly advise against) including OTC medications such as aspirin, prescription medications such as heparin, supplements such as fish oil, gingko biloba, licorice, ginger, turmeric, digestive enzymes, bromelain (there are many more).
    • Dilate veins: warm clothes, heat pad applied to arm, warm bath just before draw, exercise.
    • Blood draw technique: experiment with body position (seated, reclining, lying flat, arm hanging down low), experiment with different needles (smaller gauge, butterfly, vacuum vs manual draw).
    Possible causes of difficult blood draws (all speculative)
    • Problems with veins: collapsed or scarred veins from too many needles; veins contracting excessively due to some sort of autonomic neuropathy, possibly in reaction to needle trauma
    • Low blood volume, low blood flow, low blood pressure.
    • Problems with blood consistency: co-morbidities causing hypercoagulation like antiphosphilid syndrome, hypercoagulation caused by ME/dysautonomia (scroll down to the subheader “The Weird Blood Project” www.healthrising.org/blog/2017/12/21/urgency-ron-davis-chronic-fatigue-research-center/)
     
  17. matt321

    matt321

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    At my worst I had difficult draws. Blood sugar testing was all but impossible. It did recover though.
     
  18. lior

    lior Senior Member

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    @Lassesen left a comment on my blog:

     
  19. lior

    lior Senior Member

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    Still haven't managed to get to the blood test place. The only place that is open in the afternoon is a 20 min bus ride away and I have to be careful when/how much I travel.
    Will report back when I do.
     
  20. lior

    lior Senior Member

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    I went to the phlebotomist and got my blood test - and there were no problems at all :) :)
    So maybe it does make a difference to go in the afternoon. I'll keep trying this.
     

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