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Old 07-16-2008, 05:26 AM   #16
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

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.

 
Old 07-16-2008, 07:29 AM   #17
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

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.
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 very rare. 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

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 07-16-2008 at 07:30 AM. Reason: Adding P.S.

 
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:19 PM   #18
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

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!

 
Old 07-16-2008, 07:57 PM   #19
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

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

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 07-16-2008 at 08:02 PM.

 
Old 07-16-2008, 09:02 PM   #20
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

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

 
Old 07-16-2008, 09:07 PM   #21
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

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

Last edited by ChickieLou; 07-16-2008 at 09:09 PM.

 
Old 07-16-2008, 11:18 PM   #22
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

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

 
Old 07-16-2008, 11:26 PM   #23
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

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