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I'll try to make this long story short. On my annual visit to my cardiologist (I have left bundle branch with no symptoms, but family history of heart problems) last August, everything was okay except for a complaint of extreme fatigue. Therefore, he ordered blood work. A couple of things came back a little off, so he recommend I see my family doctor.

My family doctor didn't think anything looked too out of the ordinary, but recommended that I have a colonoscopy done due to family history. It turned out fine, but the gastroenterologist ordered more bloodwork to try and figure out why the fatigue seemed to be getting worse, along with other things like extreme cold, thinning hair, and severe constipation. This bloodwork (in December) showed that my ferritin had dropped to 5 from 11 (in August). He said I had iron deficiency anemia and prescribed oral iron, but said if it didn't work, we would consider an iron infusion.

After a couple of months of feeling even worse, I returned to my family doctor who decided that the oral iron was not being absorbed and recommended the iron infusion, since my ferritin was still between 5-6. The insurance would not preapprove the iron infusion, so my family doctor referred me to a hematologist. The hematologist did not feel that I was even anemic due to my hemoglobin being in the normal range, even though it was at the very bottom of normal at 11.9. (My hematocrit is on the bottom of the normal range as well.) And he also said that my ferritin level of 5 should not cause the fatigue and other symptoms I was experiencing. Therefore, he decided I needed to go back to my cardiologists to see if my heart was the problem.

Last week, the cardiologist agreed to recheck my heart and see if there was any changes since August. The nurse called to tell me there were no significant changes. Therefore, I have gone full circle with doctors. My symptoms have gotten worse to the point that I am lightheaded and dizzy at times, and I end up in bed every 4-5 days for an entire day. I spend more time correcting myself because I am not functioning at the speed or accuracy I once did. (I teach high school/college computer courses.) I really feel that my low ferritin is causing the problem and iron infusion may be the answer for me, but I don't want to overdose on iron or make things even more complicated. I'm sooooooo tired of being tired and frustrated!!! Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated!
1busyteacher; I never take my iron without a stool softner! I have my iron in my pill separator and each iron pill (I have to take 3/day) is accompanied by a stool softener! I've also been eating a healthy salad with mixed greens and purple lettuces with either chicken, steak or salmon on top every day for lunch! I swallow my iron pills with grape juice (vitamin C), and stay away from any dairy for 3 hrs after taking the iron so that it can properly absorb.

My Ferritin level went from a 3 to a 10 in only 10 days on the iron (and a prenatal vitamin every day)! My hemoglobin levels are really low too though, that was a 6.9 and rose to an 8.4 in that 10 day period on the iron & a prenatal vitamin! I know their still low but I'm so excited that they rose so much in a short period of time.

I sound like an infomercial ... sorry!

Michelle





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