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Hi everyone,

Two months ago I started to experience constant pressure and heaviness in the head. For a few years I had always felt lethargic and sensitive to the cold and suspected I was iron deficient, however, just recently my symptoms worsened and went for a blood test to find that my serum iron was a 2 when the normal level is about 20..the doctor said I was iron deficient anemic.
So I had iron injections every week for 6-7 weeks and I although I do feel 'slightly' better I still have the odd constant heaviness in the head and on top of that new symptoms such as numbness and tingling of my cheeks, muscle spasms in the rest of my body, shaking, rapid irregular heartbeat, breathlessness.
I live in state of brain fog and feel disconnected from the rest of the world.
Even though my iron levels have increased 3 fold I still feel like this and apparently my levels are now borderline and although I'm not considered anemic I'm still iron deficient. I've also had extremely painful and long periods (7 days) in these past two months and I've had about 4 blood tests, I wonder if the loss of blood is preventing me from getting better.
I'm considering having an iron infussion to see if it will alleviate my symptoms.
I'm a 20 year old, once healthy and energetic female and I feel as if I've aged 40 years...
I'm extremely worried...
I wonder if anyone else has felt these symptoms, heaviness in head and numbess? I wonder it's due to restricted blood flow to the head?
Hi there, just to say that your symptoms are very similar to mine. My iron levels just over a couple of months ago were a bit low with a ferritin of 4. I have been on iron tablets 3 x daily going on 11 weeks with no improvement. I am due to see a neurologist. I experience pain throughout my body (muscles and skin) every day. Don't give up, it takes time to find the answer. Clare x
Hi Clare, it's comforting to know that there are others who share similar symptoms with me.
I also have an appointment to see a neurologist, as well as an ENT specialist in a few weeks time.
At one stage I thought my symptoms were due to some sort of sinus inflammation, but then I thought maybe it is the iron deficiency..
I wish you all the best.
I just thought I'd do an update.

I saw the neurologist this week and he says that it could be a form of migraine, that could very well be related to the iron deficiency.

He's referring me to an eye specialist to rule out idiopathic intercranial hypertension (pressure around the brain). The main symptoms for this are headache, nausea and vomiting, as well as pulsatile tinnitus . This is a condition that is linked to iron deficiency anemia, and usually resolves when the deficiency has been treated.

If anyone is experiencing this pressure-heaviness-like feeling, they should perhaps consider whether it may be intercranial hypertension.
Please read "Could it be B12?" and get proper testing done for possible Pernicious Anemia, including UMMA and anti-Intrinsic factor antibodies. B12 serum level tests are CRAP. Doctors are NOT aware enough about this problem, I've lost 10+ important years of my life and want others not to do the same...
I feel for you. I guess everone describes things differently. I have perceptual 'distortions'. The easiest to describe is plain tinnitus. However, I also have visual disturbances, am sensitive to light, and virtually feel pain with fluorescent lights (not to mention way out of it). This could well be like the brain fog you describe, but I don't know.

And the cold! I live in a warm climate, although it's winter. I'm so cold all the time, especially in the extremities. This in itself makes me feel awful. Get warm. Get under a rug for a while. It can really help!

I was very anemic 8 years ago and had two iron infusions. I thought once my hemoglobin came into the normal range, things should be OK. That was not the case. It took me 4-5 months to feel better again.

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My ferritin levels were extremely low, and only came up to 30 after 4 months. The above explains why. I looked back at my records and now see that although my hemoglobin came up, the mean cell volume took a long time to come up and I continued to have microcytic anemia for quite some time.

Also, I think it is absolute nonsense to look at population ranges for blood parameters. My hemoglobin is normally about 15. It is now about 12.5. That is very low for me. It's a fallacy to think that just because Hb is within population normal range, it's OK. It's a form of ecological fallacy: basically, incorrectly reasoning that anywhere in a large range is 'normal' because people in the population are in that range, and therefore anywhere in this range is normal for a particular individual. Rubbish.

So my experience has been that it can take a long time to get back to genuinely normal *for me*. The ranges on lab tests don't tell any of us what is normal for us as individuals. I'm sure some people feel just fine with Hb of 12. I don't!!

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