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Hi all,

I have been reading so many threads here and learned a lot from you all but also wanted to post just to get into the conversation.

I was dx'd anemic when I was pregnant in 2007 (they thought it was thalassemia (sp?) initially because of low hemoglobin.) I took iron as much as I could (constipation, anyone?) but didn't keep up with it. Fast forward to jan 2010 and my ferritin is at 5.

Iron supps again, and so on. I get up to 8, 9, 10 you know how it goes. Last one was some months back and 12.6 (I gotta double check with the doc that he gave me the number for ferritin as I know he also looked at my hemoglobin).

Just did another iron test on Friday and get the results tomorrow.

I'm not even sure what symptoms I have because I have them so often. (brain fog, confusion, hair issues, lacking energy are some of my minor ones, plus anxiety/panic attacks and dry eye syndrome, restless leg and so on.)

The symptoms that REALLY BOTHER ME are:

getting breathless doing little things like picking stuff up off the floor or going up stairs
Heart pounding on little exertion
Discomfort/tight feeling in chest when I exert myself and get out of breath (this doesn't last long, just a few seconds until I get enough air.)
burning or aching muscles when showering, brushing hair, getting dressed etc.

I am a cardio phobe and regularly see a cardiologist so I have had lots of heart tests over the past 4 years: countless EKG's, a few echos, some Holters, couple of cardiac memos for my extrasystoles, 4 stress tests in the past 2 years (last one was 9 weeks ago and was 40 seconds BETTER than the previous one). I bug my cardio doctor a lot because I have generalized anxiety disorder plus health anxiety focused on my heart.

I also tend to hyperventilate and feel like I'm being choked/smothered and I take xanax regularly. I went on Zoloft for a year which helped with my chest pains (from GERD mostly -- did I mention my stomach is a mess? I have had an EGD and showed mild hiatial hernia and stomach and eso were all red and sore. Have taken PPI's a lot in the past -- could that be cause for anemia?). Had to stop Zoloft because it made me want to eat everything and I gained 35 lbs.

I have been having my heart poundy/chest tightey/muscle achy/breathless stuff for the past few days. I am coming off the flu and in the past 2 weeks I hardly ate anything and lost 10 lbs (probably why I am feeling anemic now as I wasn't this bad before.)

I'm looking into Ferra Max -- anyone heard of it? Also is it possible to raise iron through stuff besides meat -- like kale, spinach, molasses etc.? I am supplementing now but my cardio guy was saying that 12.6 was borderline normal and while he told me initially last year to take 325 mgs of ferrous sulfate 3x a day for 3 months, he knows I am crap at taking it and now says that I can take it a couple of times a week. I will see what he says tomorrow, but my SIL has anemia and her doc wants her up to 50. (I hope and dream about 50, it's sooo far away.) We're just fighting to get to 15 over here.

I don't have pica I don't think but I have had weird urges to eat things that are not edible. I don't actually do it and I don't eat ice though I have always enjoyed chewing on crushed ice -- i just don't go out of my way to do it.

I do have insomnia, grind my teeth constantly, pick at my hair and scalp all day, and have all kinds of aches and pains.

Hope to chat with you all more. I don't even know if what I feel is a symptom because I've become so used to it all.

Finally, I am female and don't really get chronically heavy periods but I have had ones where it was worse than usual and the last one I had lasted an extra day than normal. I also had some mid cycle spotting a couple of times and here comes some TMI -- I have an internal hemorrhoid that DOES bleed when I strain/get constipated. I had a sigmoidoscopy back around 2003 or 2004 which found that. And IBS. So no scopes since the EGD maybe 4 years ago. Not sure where my anemia comes from exactly but my mom has always had it since her teens as well. Does it run in families? Maybe I just don't absorb iron well?


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