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Can any one help me with this? About 8 months ago I had blood work done, it all came back good except for my iron and blood count. My Doctor prescribed me 5 months of iron tablets, I started feeling better so I didn't go in until just this week to have my iron checked again. This is my question....Is there anyone out there who has trouble breathing when their Iron level is down? If so could you tell me what it feels like for you? I would really appreciate any help at all with this. (The reason for my anemia is heavy periods)
I had a tight chest feeling that I couldn't describe other than tightness. My friend has a B-12 anemia and IDA, when she climbs stairs she has a shortness of breath, like out of breath. Her doctor (Pulmonary?) said, that it is from a low ferritin level, the iron storage.

Have you had your cardio checked out because that should always be ruled out especially with anemia. Anemia can cause heart damage over long term. FLFLOWERGIRL:)
[QUOTE=FLFLOWERGIRL;3399265]I had a tight chest feeling that I couldn't describe other than tightness. My friend has a B-12 anemia and IDA, when she climbs stairs she has a shortness of breath, like out of breath. Her doctor (Pulmonary?) said, that it is from a low ferritin level, the iron storage.

Have you had your cardio checked out because that should always be ruled out especially with anemia. Anemia can cause heart damage over long term. FLFLOWERGIRL:)[/QUOTE]
I haven't had any extensive heart tests but I haven't had any kind of trouble. My chest is not tight, just a feeling that my oxygen level is down. They have'nt called me with my results to my iron test yet, but I hope they do soon. Thanks so much for the reply:)
Anemia=smaller cells carrying less oxygen. Keep us posted when you get your results. FLFlOWERGIRL:)
When I had the actual anemia part, I would get very winded and short of breath if I had to go up stairs. One really bad time I had to take my son to the ice rink. I had to walk up a fairly steep drivewway to get the building. I was gasping for air when I got to the top, my heart was pounding and I felt AWFUL for about 2 hours after that. That scared me so bad I went to the doctor for cardiac tests. This was actually right before my anemia showed up on the CBC but I believe my ferritin was VERY low at that point.
I have had anemia for about 3 months now and i am taking ferrous sulphate 3 times a day plus a multivitamin, i'm very pale still and get breathless walking long distances and upstairs, my legs feel so tired. When i first was told by my docter he said i was very low in blood so i guess it 'll take time to get right, unfortuntely i also am suffering from panic attacks now and get scared to leave my house. I'm fed up with it.
I also had shortness of breath and heart pounding when I had anemia. After taking iron and getting out of the anemia, I felt much better.
[QUOTE=RhondaL3;3399044]Can any one help me with this? About 8 months ago I had blood work done, it all came back good except for my iron and blood count. My Doctor prescribed me 5 months of iron tablets, I started feeling better so I didn't go in until just this week to have my iron checked again. This is my question....Is there anyone out there who has trouble breathing when their Iron level is down? If so could you tell me what it feels like for you? I would really appreciate any help at all with this. (The reason for my anemia is heavy periods)[/QUOTE]

Iron carries oxygen thru your body, if you are anemic to the point of shortness of breath you need to keep your iron levels up. You might want to get a full work up by a midwife to evaluate your hormone levels and rule out other issues such as thyroid problems. Do you eat well?
[QUOTE=Scarlett732;3401064]I have had anemia for about 3 months now and i am taking ferrous sulphate 3 times a day plus a multivitamin, i'm very pale still and get breathless walking long distances and upstairs, my legs feel so tired. When i first was told by my docter he said i was very low in blood so i guess it 'll take time to get right, unfortuntely i also am suffering from panic attacks now and get scared to leave my house. I'm fed up with it.[/QUOTE]

I know what you mean by being fed up with it, When I first initially went to the Dr. I was having all these symtoms that I did not know what they were, so the Dr. ordered blood work, everything came back good except my iron level and my blood level was down. He put me on iron tablets twice a day for 5 months and I started feeling better so I didn't go back and have my iron level checked again,( which I most defianetly should have) and now 8 months later i'm afraid it is down again. I had my blood work last wed. but haven't gotten the results yet. I have also recently had to have a breast biopsy done( thankfully it came back ok) but the worry and stress from wondering if I had cancer or not for over a month was hard. Hang in there i've also been told it takes time to build your iron and blood level back up:)
I have been having problems with a rapid heartbeat beginning five years ago. My heart rate was in 130s (even at rest) and it was pounding hard. I also had trouble breathing and had chest pains. I was lightheaded, suffered head pain and was always exhausted. Even though I was tired all the time I couldn't sleep at night and could remain awake for days. I had to quit my retail job because the activity was too much for me to take.

I saw the cardiologist and they ran a battery of tests, all results came back normal. The only thing that the Dr. could confirm was my rapid heartbeat. Because the cardiologist couldn't find anything wrong with my overall physiology I saw a therapist. The psychologist thought I had anxiety/ panic disorder. The problem was, however, that my symptoms were 24 hours a day I felt constant fluttering in my chest. My symptoms did not last between 20 minutes to two hours as was the case for those with anxiety and panic disorder. The cardiologist recommended beta blockers for my heart rate but the side-effects would've caused other problems and I did not want to go on medication when the cardiologist could not find a "problem" with my heart. I remained in this miserable state for 5 years until June 2007 when a simple blood test diagnosed me with anemia and a low iron level store of 4. I started eating red meat and greens and took two iron pills, one vitamin pill, one ensure vitamin drink and one carnitine pill a day. After about one month I started feeling severe nausea and stomach pain. I had to lessen my vitamin intake. My iron stores went up slowly, as of March my iron stores were at 39not yet at the 50 iron level. I have just been retested but have not gotten the results back yet.

Although my symptoms have lessened greatly in intensity and I'm much better than I've been these past five years, I still feel chest pressure and it is very difficult to take full breaths. I no longer feel the constant heart fluttering in my chest as I once did. But, I still get fatigued overall and often, even if I've slept the night before. This is preventing me from having an active lifestyle.

I do not know if there is any connection between anemia/low iron levels and breathing, I will have to wait until my blood results come back. I hope that I do not have some other medical issue that has caused these problems. I wanted to share my story just to let others know that they are not alone if they have these issues. Any thoughts? comments? ideas?
Venus8--Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry that you have been dealing with this so long. To finally find out that you have low iron is just crazy after all this time. Doctors will say many different things about low ferritin and low iron symptoms. They say that low ferritin has no symptoms, merely storage, but many here are not buying that one, myself included. Shortness of breath is usually associated with a more progressed anemia and very low ferritin. I have a friend that has shortness of breath and has been to many doctors of which all tell her something different. Her Pulmonary doc said that her shortness of breath is due to her ferritin level, she was around 6'ish. She argued that her Internist said no it wasn't. His answer was that he is the specialist and he is saying it is the cause. Later on she found out that she is also Hypo-T and that doctor thinks that is the reason. Hum........Have you seem a lung specialist to rule out other things? Congrats on your 39 ferritin and keep us posted on your new results! FLFLOWERGIRL:)
i also had shortness of breath, i could hardly walk upstairs to my bedroom. It is important that the anemia and low iron are both addressed. what is your hgb now, is your anemia under control... do they know what is causing it?

my hemo doesn't know my ferritin levels yet, but is giving me Iv iron my hgb as of today is 8.3( after transfusion of two units of blood). I will get 8 treatments to help my body jump start red blood cell production.
Well, here's my bad news: I am wearing the King of Hearts monitor again for a MONTH! Sheesh! I'm so upset that my heart is behaving wonky. Ya'll might recall that taking magnesium was really working to silence the night time extrasystoles. Well, those are still fine but I am now having bad flutter. I will be really upset if I have to take anything for this. FLFLOWERGIRL, I'm like you, I HAAAAATE pharmaceuticals.


Anyway, the shortness of breath was awful when I had it, but mostly frightening time with anemia was the tachycardia. I don't think this heart business has anything to do with anemia, but maybe perhaps it's the supplementing, or even the time of day when I take my supplements. Who knows?

Maybe the anxiety is coming back. I just don't know.
ChickieLou,

I've gone through the whole monitor thing and I have palps (extrasystoles) and flutters most of the day.

There are meds to *mask* it but they won't cure it. The flutters aren't dangerous. I just choose to live with them. I don't want to take another med, especially if it is just to mask a symptom.
Hi Christine,

Yep, this is my second time around with this, and I guess we go through this exercise every time to reassure me. Every time I do this or get an echo, they say "they're benign, they won't hurt you, blah, blah". And I don't want to take meds either.

I wasn't having any for years and now I'm starting up again. It must at least be 8 years since I had them. Have yours ever gone quite for long periods and start up again? I can't figure it out.
I have never had the extrasystoles/flutters until this past January. Prior to that, it was just tachycardia due to anemia. No weird beats.

The weird beats came out of nowhere on January 8th. It was so sudden and traumatic when it happened that I remember the exact day it happened. They have really not stopped since. I was not even anemic when it happened so I can't blame that. I have lowered my thyroid medication and that has helped a LOT but they are still there and in the last few days they have been worse (probably because I lied on my lab order!!!). Anyway, I don't like the betablockers they give you for it. They make me feel very slow and dumb.
[QUOTE]Shortness of breath is usually associated with a more progressed anemia and very low ferritin. I have a friend that has shortness of breath and has been to many doctors of which all tell her something different. Her Pulmonary doc said that her shortness of breath is due to her ferritin level, she was around 6'ish. [/QUOTE]

My shortness of breath, which I've had for about a year and a half, was CONVENIENTLY attributed to asthma after lung function testing had been done. End of story. Wrong!!! A sudden onset of asthma at my age (49) is [U]very rare[/U]. Until now, I had no idea that my iron level was so low. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Though I might never be able to identify specific factors contributing to or causing my shortness of breath (too many likely causes apply), it helps to be aware of all of them. Until now, I've not come across any information relating to anemia and shortness of breath. Thank you! :)

P.S. My ferritin is also 6.0.
flowergirl
Christine, you won't be shocked when I tell you what I KNOW is causing mine.

STRESS!!

It's been like a constant 5-alarm fire around my house and my work studio lately.

For me, it was the opposite. I was almost sort of used to the flutters and thuds and extra beats. The tachycardia got my attention pronto and I called 911. I never want to feel that again. That's when my ferritin was in the basement. But I do remember so well when I first had the flutters years ago. The doctor had to look me in the eye and say "you aren't going to die from THIS", because it just doesn't feel right to have your heart feel like a trapped bird in your chest.

Back to working on my anxiety, I guess.

Thanks!
Sorry to be asking this, but can low iron levels, besides causing breathing problems, also affect the heart function negatively? I was in the ER the other day because of the new developments in my ECG. Can anemia (or low iron levels) worsen an existing cardio problem? Just wondering. It seems that my attempts to learn more about various medical topics only make me realize just how very LITTLE I know. :)

What is the difference between anemia and low iron levels? I thought they were one and the same. Sorry if I sound ignorant. As I said, this is new to me.

flowergirl
flowergirl2day--It can be very confusing I know. Too many iron references.....

I also had Tachycardia and ended up in the ER when I was anemic with no previous heart conditions. IDA decreases the size of the red blood cells (if it goes on long enough), cells are smaller and carry less oxygen to the heart and muscles. I believe that any other health condition either presents itself or becomes worse with anemia. It is much harder on the body than people realize.

Anemia is in stages related to iron stores in the body. 1. Depletion of iron stores, means a decreased Ferritin with no anemia. 2. Increased transferrin levels with no anemia. 3. Fall in serum iron with no anemia. 4. Development of normocytic, normochromic anemia. 5. Development of microcytic (much smaller cells), hypochromic (pale) anemia. This is the one that I had with Few Micro and Few Hypo cells. So you see you can have low iron levels (iron serum or decreased/lowered ferritin) and not be anemic. Hope that helps. FLFLOWERGIRL:)
flowergirl, when I had my lowest ferritin levels and low serum iron, I had an episode of tachycardia (which is an extremely fast heart beat) after climbing a flight of stairs in a parking garage. I called 911 because my heart has NEVER gone that fast before. Anemia basically causes your heart especially to work extra hard because there isn't enough oxygen in your cells to fuel your organs. Anemia is very hard on your heart and organs which is why I mentioned to you that it (anemia) is worrisome on its own and must be treated.

Christine and I have an additional condition called extrasystoles which is a heart arrhythmia but it's benign, though very nerve racking. Anemia has nothing to do with it. I also have a murmur which could be contributing to it. Most people's are benign, but doctors like to check it out anyway in case it isn't. My cardiologist years ago told me college students (who seldom physically rest or stop moving and never sleep) and moonlighters frequently get extrasystoles.

What is your doctor's plan with regard to your EKG? I don't know if anemia (which by the way is defined as iron deficiency) is related to your EKG changes, but it certainly won't help a heart that is already working extra hard.

Not surprisingly, when I started to learn about all this, anxiety became a problem and there are others here that can tell you about anxiety with this as well. It's scary and in my case, I had anger because I felt like many doctors over many years let me walk around like this until I nearly fainted in a parking garage. I'm just telling you in case you experience anxiety, it's all part of it. I can't tell you how this board has helped me for all of this.

-Chickie
Chickie, :)

this board has been extremely helpful. How lucky we all are to be able to come here for an advice and support!

As for your question, my heart has sustained some damage. Certain agents (such as my meds) seem to make things worse sometimes. I've had many episodes of chest pain, tachycardia, bradycardia and palpitations. I also have a heart murmur..Some of these episodes arose from the interactions of my meds, or during my attempts to discontinue them. I am sure that having low iron has not helped the matters. My last ECG (done in a hospital lab) was different from the previous one, which is why I had to be re-tested in the ER. What is considered "normal" for me is abnormal for others. Any deviations from my "abnormal normal" could be worrisome. I hope there's a simple explanation for the iron loss/deficiency, such as not enough dietary iron. That would be the best case scenario and could well turn out to be the case. Admittedly, I don't eat ANY liver and only very little red meat due to my dietary restrictions. However, I eat tons of fruit & veggies. I agree with you that anxiety is not good for us and only makes everything worse. I am not going to worry about it. Thanks for your help.

flowergirl
[QUOTE]So you see you can have low iron levels (iron serum or decreased/lowered ferritin) and not be anemic. Hope that helps.[/QUOTE]

It sure does! :)

It has also left me more confused. The bottom line is that I might not have anemia, which sounds good to me! I checked some of the other lab values and though some are within normal range, a few are borderline. We'll just have to wait. Time will tell. Thank you for your help!

flowergirl





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