Cognitive problems following acute blood loss from GI bleed

Patient : I am a 25 year old female, and was in great health until 2.5 months ago, when I had a GI bleed as a result of a stomach ulcer (that I was unaware of having - I previously had no symptoms) that resulted in acute blood loss. The blood loss occurred while I was sleeping, and when I awoke, I stood up and promptly fell unconscious for approximately 3 hours. Every subsequent attempt for me to stand up and reach help resulted in my falling unconscious. From this, I received multiple bruises on my body and a gash on the back of my head - I cannot remember what I hit or how these injuries occurred though. At the hospital, I was told that my blood count levels were at 60% where they should be (some kind of blood level was 6.something), but I was not given a blood transfusion because they said that I was healthy enough to regrow my own blood. I was in the hospital overnight, and the next day upon returning home and showering, I discovered that the back of my head was bleeding and returned to the hospital (my head was not examined at all during my time at the hospital - my hair was coated in blood from my stomach so the blood coming from my head was hard to see until I washed my hair). They put 5 staples in my head to close up a wound, and did a neuro exam that consisted of following the dr's finger with my eyes, etc. They told me that I did not have a concussion, and sent me on my way. At NO time was I given any sort of brain scan or MRI or anything like that. The only test, other than bloodwork, was a scope put into my stomach. A biopsy was conducted on my stomach lining and stomach ulcer. The results showed nothing - no h.pilori was present. I was prescribed a medication for my stomach ulcer, which I took, and have also been taking OTC iron pills as suggested by a few different doctors. About 2 weeks ago I got my blood count rechecked, and was told that I am now "mildly anemic," as my blood levels are now 11.something (as opposed to the former 6.something). The doctor also checked my thyroid levels, which were normal. The one problem that I have continuously had since this event has been a noticeable decrease in my cognitive function, ability, and memory. I am experiencing panic attacks, cannot think properly, and can barely learn anything in school. 3 months ago, I was attending a top 50 law school on a merit scholarship, and have since had to leave law school and am now barely passing an intro level class at a community college. My memory is seriously impaired, and I have trouble remembering conversations that I had with people, such as what was said and who I was talking to. I have never had these problems before, and cannot help but think that they are in some way related to the blood loss event. I feel constantly in a fog. Although I am experiencing panic attacks quite often (which usually have to do with me being terrified of sudden, unexpected blood loss or ulcer problems once again), I do not feel a consistent anxiety. I have finished taking the ulcer medication, and am not currently taking any other prescriptions. I take a daily multivitamin as well as iron supplements. I do not smoke or use drugs or alcohol. I am healthy and active, being an avid runner and conscious of my diet and nutrition. My stomach issues, as well as physical symptoms of anemia (shortness of breath, general weak feeling, etc.) seem to have cleared up, but my cognitive symptoms have not changed. I am not experiencing any pain or sleeping problems. Are my cognitive problems something that I should be concerned about? Will this clear up? Should I see a doctor, or wait a bit longer to see what happened? Could I have experienced some sort of brain damage from the blood loss or falling unconscious, or am I overreacting?
Doctor :   This question is currently in queue and will be answered shortly by one of our doctors. In the meantime you may browse our library of answered questions by clicking here.

Related Q&A

Q: Hi I just had a benign tubulovillous adenoma (over 1 cm ) in my rectum removed.It was recommended that I get another ...

Q: Hi, I am a woman of 60 and I suffer from Ringworm of the scalp caused by Microsporum Canis. I live in the country wh...

Q: I have seen two general practitioners asking them about ED which I have noticed since about 8 months ago.38 yr old ma...

Q: I’m a 57 y/o reasonable fit female who has Bradyarrhythmia (heartbeat less than 40bpm. Should I be exercising?

Q: I am worried I have symptoms of pancreatic cancer. I had an episode of severe upper abdominal pain last year unde...


Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon