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Hi guys...I have now been on iron supplements for three weeks. In Jan I had a ferritin of 6 and a haemoglobin of 114. When I had the test repeated two weeks ago my haem was 117 but they didn't check my ferritin.

This morning I went for a walk with a friend (a very short walk - only 20 minutes) and when I got in the car afterwards I felt awful - faint and my heart suddenly started beating really fast like a panic attack). I went to the doctors and the doctor felt my pulse and ordered an ECG. He said that I had something like superventricular tachycardia but when I asked about my iron levels and whether the palpitations could be related he said they were fine.

So I guess what I'm saying is - they don't seem to count the ferritin level as long as the haemoglobin level is around the right range. And I need to look at a different cause for my tiredness and palpitations - which is much more scary. I am totally confused and a little bit depressed. I have had panic attacks and palpitations for the last fifteen years. I'm so tired of feeling like crap and going to the doctor and having them think I'm a neurotic basket case!
Well, the "anemic me" agrees completely with your presumption that your iron levels are causing your tachycardia. I had the very same thing happen to me in February when I was at my lowest iron levels and had an episode of tachycardia in a parking garage after walking up a few flights of stairs and had to call an ambulance.

The "anxious me" who herself is prone to anxiety thinks it could be anxiety. The knowledge that I was pretty ill with anemia by itself caused anxiety and I knew it would probably not be smart to walk up 7 flights of stairs. Maybe I even caused it subliminally.

But reading that so many people here on this board have experienced tachycardia with very low ferritin counts made me feel a bit vindicated. My doctor was dismissive to me when I told her I felt it was my low ferritin. She just stared at me. Deep, deep down I do think what I experienced was caused by low ferritin and I think you know the difference between your own usual anxiety/palpitations and what you experienced today.

I am wearing a King of Hearts Monitor right now because I am experiencing a bout of extrasystoles (arrhythmia) and what I felt in the parking garage was NOTHING like what I am having now, which is more like a fluttering bird in my chest. It's random and it's quickly over. What I had in the parking garage was a heartbeat SO FAST and constant that I thought I was going to die up there on the 7th floor.

I don't know if you are open to alternative treatments, but acupuncture really helped get rid of the adrenalin bursts/panic attacks when I was first diagnosed with anemia. My panic attacks would knock me awake as I was trying to falling asleep at night. Very upsetting! It took a couple of treatments and on the night of the treatments I would usually have an episode, but it did stop and I am much more relaxed at night.

I hope you don't become afraid to walk. Walking on flat short walks really helped me as I was going through this and gentle oxygenating walks are good for you. Also, make sure you are not a shallow chest-breather. I had to learn how to take deeper belly breaths, because I suspected that I was hyperventilating at times without knowing. It's very common in women. There are DVDs and podcasts that help with relaxation and breathing.

Hope you feel better soon, Trixibel

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