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Old 01-19-2008, 05:02 AM   #1
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Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

Can any one help me with this? About 8 months ago I had blood work done, it all came back good except for my iron and blood count. My Doctor prescribed me 5 months of iron tablets, I started feeling better so I didn't go in until just this week to have my iron checked again. This is my question....Is there anyone out there who has trouble breathing when their Iron level is down? If so could you tell me what it feels like for you? I would really appreciate any help at all with this. (The reason for my anemia is heavy periods)

 
Old 01-19-2008, 08:24 AM   #2
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

I had a tight chest feeling that I couldn't describe other than tightness. My friend has a B-12 anemia and IDA, when she climbs stairs she has a shortness of breath, like out of breath. Her doctor (Pulmonary?) said, that it is from a low ferritin level, the iron storage.

Have you had your cardio checked out because that should always be ruled out especially with anemia. Anemia can cause heart damage over long term. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

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I had a tight chest feeling that I couldn't describe other than tightness. My friend has a B-12 anemia and IDA, when she climbs stairs she has a shortness of breath, like out of breath. Her doctor (Pulmonary?) said, that it is from a low ferritin level, the iron storage.

Have you had your cardio checked out because that should always be ruled out especially with anemia. Anemia can cause heart damage over long term. FLFLOWERGIRL
I haven't had any extensive heart tests but I haven't had any kind of trouble. My chest is not tight, just a feeling that my oxygen level is down. They have'nt called me with my results to my iron test yet, but I hope they do soon. Thanks so much for the reply

 
Old 01-19-2008, 08:45 AM   #4
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

Anemia=smaller cells carrying less oxygen. Keep us posted when you get your results. FLFlOWERGIRL

 
Old 01-19-2008, 11:25 AM   #5
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

When I had the actual anemia part, I would get very winded and short of breath if I had to go up stairs. One really bad time I had to take my son to the ice rink. I had to walk up a fairly steep drivewway to get the building. I was gasping for air when I got to the top, my heart was pounding and I felt AWFUL for about 2 hours after that. That scared me so bad I went to the doctor for cardiac tests. This was actually right before my anemia showed up on the CBC but I believe my ferritin was VERY low at that point.

 
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Old 01-20-2008, 03:04 PM   #6
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

I have had anemia for about 3 months now and i am taking ferrous sulphate 3 times a day plus a multivitamin, i'm very pale still and get breathless walking long distances and upstairs, my legs feel so tired. When i first was told by my docter he said i was very low in blood so i guess it 'll take time to get right, unfortuntely i also am suffering from panic attacks now and get scared to leave my house. I'm fed up with it.

 
Old 01-20-2008, 05:10 PM   #7
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

I also had shortness of breath and heart pounding when I had anemia. After taking iron and getting out of the anemia, I felt much better.

 
Old 01-20-2008, 05:42 PM   #8
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RhondaL3 View Post
Can any one help me with this? About 8 months ago I had blood work done, it all came back good except for my iron and blood count. My Doctor prescribed me 5 months of iron tablets, I started feeling better so I didn't go in until just this week to have my iron checked again. This is my question....Is there anyone out there who has trouble breathing when their Iron level is down? If so could you tell me what it feels like for you? I would really appreciate any help at all with this. (The reason for my anemia is heavy periods)
Iron carries oxygen thru your body, if you are anemic to the point of shortness of breath you need to keep your iron levels up. You might want to get a full work up by a midwife to evaluate your hormone levels and rule out other issues such as thyroid problems. Do you eat well?

 
Old 01-20-2008, 08:45 PM   #9
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I have had anemia for about 3 months now and i am taking ferrous sulphate 3 times a day plus a multivitamin, i'm very pale still and get breathless walking long distances and upstairs, my legs feel so tired. When i first was told by my docter he said i was very low in blood so i guess it 'll take time to get right, unfortuntely i also am suffering from panic attacks now and get scared to leave my house. I'm fed up with it.
I know what you mean by being fed up with it, When I first initially went to the Dr. I was having all these symtoms that I did not know what they were, so the Dr. ordered blood work, everything came back good except my iron level and my blood level was down. He put me on iron tablets twice a day for 5 months and I started feeling better so I didn't go back and have my iron level checked again,( which I most defianetly should have) and now 8 months later i'm afraid it is down again. I had my blood work last wed. but haven't gotten the results yet. I have also recently had to have a breast biopsy done( thankfully it came back ok) but the worry and stress from wondering if I had cancer or not for over a month was hard. Hang in there i've also been told it takes time to build your iron and blood level back up

 
Old 07-14-2008, 05:55 PM   #10
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

I have been having problems with a rapid heartbeat beginning five years ago. My heart rate was in 130s (even at rest) and it was pounding hard. I also had trouble breathing and had chest pains. I was lightheaded, suffered head pain and was always exhausted. Even though I was tired all the time I couldn't sleep at night and could remain awake for days. I had to quit my retail job because the activity was too much for me to take.

I saw the cardiologist and they ran a battery of tests, all results came back normal. The only thing that the Dr. could confirm was my rapid heartbeat. Because the cardiologist couldn't find anything wrong with my overall physiology I saw a therapist. The psychologist thought I had anxiety/ panic disorder. The problem was, however, that my symptoms were 24 hours a day I felt constant fluttering in my chest. My symptoms did not last between 20 minutes to two hours as was the case for those with anxiety and panic disorder. The cardiologist recommended beta blockers for my heart rate but the side-effects would've caused other problems and I did not want to go on medication when the cardiologist could not find a "problem" with my heart. I remained in this miserable state for 5 years until June 2007 when a simple blood test diagnosed me with anemia and a low iron level store of 4. I started eating red meat and greens and took two iron pills, one vitamin pill, one ensure vitamin drink and one carnitine pill a day. After about one month I started feeling severe nausea and stomach pain. I had to lessen my vitamin intake. My iron stores went up slowly, as of March my iron stores were at 39not yet at the 50 iron level. I have just been retested but have not gotten the results back yet.

Although my symptoms have lessened greatly in intensity and I'm much better than I've been these past five years, I still feel chest pressure and it is very difficult to take full breaths. I no longer feel the constant heart fluttering in my chest as I once did. But, I still get fatigued overall and often, even if I've slept the night before. This is preventing me from having an active lifestyle.

I do not know if there is any connection between anemia/low iron levels and breathing, I will have to wait until my blood results come back. I hope that I do not have some other medical issue that has caused these problems. I wanted to share my story just to let others know that they are not alone if they have these issues. Any thoughts? comments? ideas?

 
Old 07-14-2008, 06:19 PM   #11
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

Venus8--Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry that you have been dealing with this so long. To finally find out that you have low iron is just crazy after all this time. Doctors will say many different things about low ferritin and low iron symptoms. They say that low ferritin has no symptoms, merely storage, but many here are not buying that one, myself included. 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. She argued that her Internist said no it wasn't. His answer was that he is the specialist and he is saying it is the cause. Later on she found out that she is also Hypo-T and that doctor thinks that is the reason. Hum........Have you seem a lung specialist to rule out other things? Congrats on your 39 ferritin and keep us posted on your new results! FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 07-14-2008, 07:47 PM   #12
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

i also had shortness of breath, i could hardly walk upstairs to my bedroom. It is important that the anemia and low iron are both addressed. what is your hgb now, is your anemia under control... do they know what is causing it?

my hemo doesn't know my ferritin levels yet, but is giving me Iv iron my hgb as of today is 8.3( after transfusion of two units of blood). I will get 8 treatments to help my body jump start red blood cell production.

 
Old 07-14-2008, 08:18 PM   #13
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

Well, here's my bad news: I am wearing the King of Hearts monitor again for a MONTH! Sheesh! I'm so upset that my heart is behaving wonky. Ya'll might recall that taking magnesium was really working to silence the night time extrasystoles. Well, those are still fine but I am now having bad flutter. I will be really upset if I have to take anything for this. FLFLOWERGIRL, I'm like you, I HAAAAATE pharmaceuticals.


Anyway, the shortness of breath was awful when I had it, but mostly frightening time with anemia was the tachycardia. I don't think this heart business has anything to do with anemia, but maybe perhaps it's the supplementing, or even the time of day when I take my supplements. Who knows?

Maybe the anxiety is coming back. I just don't know.

 
Old 07-15-2008, 12:59 PM   #14
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

ChickieLou,

I've gone through the whole monitor thing and I have palps (extrasystoles) and flutters most of the day.

There are meds to *mask* it but they won't cure it. The flutters aren't dangerous. I just choose to live with them. I don't want to take another med, especially if it is just to mask a symptom.

 
Old 07-15-2008, 02:01 PM   #15
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Re: Breathing Problems with Anemia and low iron levels?

Hi Christine,

Yep, this is my second time around with this, and I guess we go through this exercise every time to reassure me. Every time I do this or get an echo, they say "they're benign, they won't hurt you, blah, blah". And I don't want to take meds either.

I wasn't having any for years and now I'm starting up again. It must at least be 8 years since I had them. Have yours ever gone quite for long periods and start up again? I can't figure it out.

Last edited by ChickieLou; 07-15-2008 at 02:01 PM.

 
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