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I am a female and I was diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia last week (hgb 9.4, hct 30.0) and was put on iron 2x/day. They suspect I might have an ulcer or something because I eat well and my periods are very light. I took the iron for about 4 days but it was bugging my stomach so I stopped, and I am going to be put on a prescription iron that is apparently more gentle. For the past week, though, I have had fairly persistent heart palpitations. Driving me nuts, but I don't feel dizzy or anything so I think it's not serious. Is this a common symptom? Any way to fix it besides time? Thanks for any help!

I had a long time problem with severe anemia. My ferritin count was also very low. I definitely had a great deal of palpitations with this. Although I have other heart problems (leaking valves) my cardiologist said that my palpitations were coming from my anemia. I finally was given an iron transfusion that brought all my counts back to normal and my palpitations went away.

Just so you know - I took 2 iron pills a day for 7 month before I had the transfusion and they did not help at all. I also had normal periods and had all the tests to check for bleeding - colonoscopy, upper GI, endoscopy - all came out okay. My counts have all been good since the IV iron.
Iron transfusion?? I think I need one of those. I was diagn w/ iron deficiency at about 9 count and I feel like DEATH. I've been taking blood builder and it seemed to be helping but now I feel terrible again. I may need a hysterectomy, but won't I need normal blood to have major surgery?? Help.
When anemia is classified as "severe"? Some references say that you don't even have symptoms until your hemoglobin is at about 8. That makes me wonder how much of what I feel is in my head...
I definitely can't exercise anymore. I used to be able to run 5 miles easily, and now I can't even run a mile even though I've been pushing myself. I just hope that I've actually found the cause for my symptoms. Does anyone know what level of hemoglobin is generally accepted as the point where you start to feel the effects?
My ferritin count was 10 and hemo was 9. I was very pale, tired all the time and cold. It was in the 90's and I was wearing a sweater lol. Also-I craved ice all the time. It was so bad that my hubby literally had to buy bags of ice-couldnt keep enough in the house. I also had a colonscopy due to blood in the hemocult test. My periods were very heavy and lasted sometimes over a month. (Going through the change) I was prescribed iron pills and took them 2x day for about 5 months before I started feeling better. Since I havent had a period for almost a year-my last blood work was normal-so i assume my periods were causing the anemia. I have heard when you have anemia cravings for ice is very common.
Let me say, I know how you feel. I too had no energy and was always cold. It was so bad that sometimes just getting out of bed took so much energy that I was exhausted after that. My Iron was 53, TIBC was 517....which suggested the iron defficiency anemia. Not to mention my Ferritin level was "Less than 5" I didn't even get an exact number on the lab result it was so low. I took iron twice a day for several months and I'm starting to feel a lot better. I have a little bit more energy, but still don't feel "great". I have also had the heart palpitations, but I am not sure if that is a part of it or not. Hope you feel better soon.

The intravenous iron that I had was called Infed - it was done in the office of my hematologist and it took about 6 hours. You can have an allergic reaction to it so they give you a test dose first and then they give you the IV very slowly and watch you closely. My ferritin was 3 when they did this, my hemoglobin was 8 My hematologist said my iron stores were so low that the iron pills were not enough to get it back to where it needed to be. I feel so much better since I had it and now only take 1 iron pill a day and my numbers have stayed great after 3 years of being very low. Ask you Dr. about it. Good luck.
I just received almost the same numbers as you did-my Hct is 31 and my Hgb is 9.2. My periods are only heavy once in awhile and they don't think that's what's cauing the anemia so they are talking about putting me through the big GI work-up-endoscopy,colonoscopy,etc. They have me taking iron 2x/day which I don't tolerate well(makes me have alot of GI symptoms). I'm hoping that they'll give me a prescripption iron that may have less side effects. As far as the palpitations go,yes,I definitely get them,especially if I exercise. My doctor says it can go along with the anemia. Good Luck!
Wow - it does sound like we're in the same boat. I was put on a prescription called Niferex - it's iron and Vitamin C. It is slightly less rough on my stomach, but I still have to eat a little something with it. The palps finally went away, so I think the massive irritation on my GI tract was causing the problem.
You mentioned exercise - any clue as to how long with iron supplements it will take to feel better when exercising? I discovered this whole anemia thing because I was having trouble breathing and losing stamina while running. I am anxious to get back to training but there's no point in doing so while my body is starved for oxygen!
This is so interesting! I started having major heart palps about 6 weeks ago (right after a death in the family) and have been to a cardio (my heart is fine but we found a congenital defect that's not the cause) and other test for possible tumors, etc. all negative. I've had other symptoms that have been associated to anxiety (pressure headaches, adrenalin rush feeling in head, chills, etc.) most have subsided to minor levels, but am still getting the heart palps - mainly at night. I've also noticed that if I have a glass of wine they are worse and hour or two later than if I don't drink. Most of the time, the palps are okay during the day. My GP finally tested me for anemia saying it could case heart palps and am now waiting for the results. It's interesting no one thought of this earlier. I've always been borderline anemic since I was a child and probably really haven't had it checked in many years (I'm 46).

I started taking a small supplement, but am waiting for results and recommended treatment if I am anemic. Thanks for sharing your experience.
[QUOTE=vtgrl]When anemia is classified as "severe"? Some references say that you don't even have symptoms until your hemoglobin is at about 8. That makes me wonder how much of what I feel is in my head...
I definitely can't exercise anymore. I used to be able to run 5 miles easily, and now I can't even run a mile even though I've been pushing myself. I just hope that I've actually found the cause for my symptoms. Does anyone know what level of hemoglobin is generally accepted as the point where you start to feel the effects?[/QUOTE]

8!!!??? I've been borderline anemic (12-ish) and I felt the effects THEN. It is not in your head. Right now I am at about 9, and I'm very, very tired.
I am 34 weeks pregnant and have been diagnosed with the same thing... was in and out of ER for heart palpitations and they have linked it to the anemia... so yes.. i guess that's common with iron-deficiency... Dr. said it's your heart working harder to pump the blood because it is so thinned out do to the lack of red blood cells.... Iron bothers my stomach too.. so i tried Slow Fe.. it's over the counter and i take it twice a day... hasn't bothered my stomach at all! so if the prescription you get doesn't help either try the slow fe.....
hope you feel better soon...
It is good to hear that others are experiencing similar things - I don't feel quite so nuts! I did try the slow Fe first, but that was what did me in. I think I have a pretty sensitive GI tract, which is probably why I got into this mess in the first place.
Just out of curiosity - does anyone else have a low WBC count? I noticed that mine is pretty low (3.2 - normal is 4.5-11) but my doc didn't say anything about it. I'm not sure if he missed it or if it's common with IDA.
I'm 14 weeks pregnant and have been a serious runner for 10 years. Anyway have been running 30 miles a week until last week when heart palpitations set in and scared me--my thought is that my ferritin is very low--again. I've had such low ferritin levels that they don't register and am amazed I've somehow come to live with this. I will get back trying to do another iron supplement on top of prenatal vitamin. Always cold, somewhat depressed, ridged nails--I just generally cope.
I also had anemia that had to be treated with iron infusions. I went through a bunch of tests for heart, lung function, RA and on and on. They even found I had hepatitis c in the process and I got treated for that (it was horrible!). In the end, I had some bleeding in my colon at the site of a previous surgery. After two and a half years of feeling like crap, my GI finally cauterized the bleeding area and my GP prescribed iron pills. In the mean time I made and appt. with a hematologist. I'm so glad I did! She said the iron pills would take way too long, if they worked at all, and gave me Infed. It worked. I finally feel like I'm getting back to normal. Now I just have to lose the weight I gained from being so inactive for so long.
I just found out today that I too have iron def anemia... I can relate to the feeling of being cold all the time and the ice chewing habit is really like my nicotine...husband says he hopes we get this under control because I have to keep going to the dentist as my ferritan level is 3.64 and my hemoglobin is time for more iron and now we are doing b12 as well. This has been a frustrating process due to the fact that some of the meds you are required to take can have side effects....I am going to try to do what she ordered even if the iron makes me feel like a I have a bowling ball in my stomach :rolleyes: I wish everyone well and hope we all can get this under control....God Bless :)
I am so glad to find this thread...It seems we really all are in the same boat. I am really going to ask my Dr about the Iron with the IV. It seems that would help much faster than the pills. The pills are really harsh on your system. :p
How are all of you doing now? Curious to hear.

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