Re: allergy to iron supplements
I had a bad reaction to iron supplements too, like you describe with feeling like I couldn't breathe once I took them.
I don't have asthma, but I also experienced dry cracked red skin and felt way worse after the iron than before. I told my doctor and he hadn't heard of anyone having this before. It was exactly the same . . like I couldn't breathe.
It wasn't an allergic reaction. It turned out to be a biochemical problem. I was also low on Vitamin B2- Ribovflavin (like severely low) which is needed to process the iron. I originally reduced the dosage of iron (before I found a doctor who found the B2 problem) and found that the iron reaction was better, but not cured.
Then, I finally went to a gastro and said "I think something is really wrong with my gut because I'm having problems with iron, my tongue is WORSE after the iron tablets and I can't breathe when I take them."
At that point, the gastro did a lot of tests on my overall mineral and vitamin serum levels and I was very low in magnesium (which you need to make Coenzyme Q10, which is used for energy and iron metabolism) and also on B2 ---used for iron metabolism.
Basically, once I started taking B2, I could take iron with it and breathe. My skin is still a little dry even with that, but my tongue is generally better when I take both of them together. Do NOT try this without going to your doctor first and maybe finding a good gastro. If you do have a B2 problem, there is probably something else behind that (in my case, it was a combination of things, like an amoebic parasite I picked up in China that was supposed to be "harmless", food allergies affecting the gut, and my grandpa had coeliac which predisoposed me to a sensitive gut lining).
I hope this helps. You're not going crazy and I had it too, although it is essential you get completely checked out for biochemistry workup ---essential vitamins and minerals. Another problem was, most specialists all checked for B12 and it was always fine, after which point they would stop testing for anything else. It took about 8 doctors before I found one whree I said "Please, I know B12 is fine, so let's skip that and find out what's wrong, ok?" That one found the problem.
i'm also on CoQ10 now, but iron interferes with the absorption of a whole LOT Of other minerals (zinc, calcium, magnesium and that's just a start) so you really need to make sure that you find out how it is affecting you personally. In my case, I was low on B2 to start and so what little B2 I had was suddenly being used up on metabolising much larger than normal doses of iron. That brought on the "I can't breathe" thing".
I hope it helps. Please send me a PM if I can be of further help.
All the best
Last edited by selma67; 03-04-2009 at 10:37 AM.