I was diagnosed with mild anemia about a week and a half ago due to blood loss caused by a very long and heavy period. Prior to that diagnosis, I had been feeling a little less spry than normal and noticing ice cravings -- but nothing more severe than that. My doctor put me on iron supplements to counteract the blood loss.
Since I started taking the iron pills, my symptoms have grown worse. I'm tired, light-headed, and dizzy all the time. Even mild exercise makes my head pound. At first I attributed this to worsening anemia, given that I'm still bleeding. But now I'm wondering if I might be having a bad reaction to the supplements. My symptoms seem to be at their worst about an hour after I take one, and then lessen about two hours later. Is it possible/heard of for iron supplements to cause this reaction? Has anyone else experienced it? :/
Last edited by Gallifrey Girl; 08-05-2011 at 03:45 PM.
I know exactly how you feel! I have been on 3x210mg Ferrous Fumarate for 2 weeks now (after Hb level of 84g/l, - up to 92 after a week). I actually started to feel a lot better after about 2 days. But since Tuesday afternoon I have felt horrendous - dizziness, unsteady on my feet (almost like getting off a fairground ride) with headaches, which start to get worse after my 2nd tablet of the day.
I had originally thought that my anaemia was worsening, but I can really see the improvements from the supplements - tachycardia has gone, and my nails and conjunctiva are pink. My suspicion is that perhaps my body isn't used to all this blood flow as my circulation seems to have increased a lot too. Is that similar to your experience? How are you feeling now... any improvement?
I plan to phone my doctor on Monday (he said that I could reduce to two tablets daily if I had stomach problems) to ask him about this... if I manage to speak with him then I will post back here. If this continues I don't think I can go to work on Monday?
Jaxstar, thanks for your reply and I'm sorry to hear you're feeling that way. It definitely sounds like we have a similar problem. I'm happy to say that now, after being on the pills for about three weeks, I'm feeling much better. What you said about circulation is interesting - maybe our bodies just weren't used to having a healthy blood flow! That makes sense to me, because even while I was feeling sick, I noticed signs that my anemia was going away. I stopped wanting to eat ice by the truckload, anyway!
Whatever really happened, I think my body just needed time to adjust to the supplements and my fluctuating blood count. Thankfully it did, since I'm going to college in a week! Hopefully you will adjust soon, too. But I would be very interested in what your doctor has to say.
Gallifrey, many thanks for getting back ... your post made me feel a lot less worried about it. I'm glad to hear you are feeling better :-). I have actually felt a lot better today too. And at least I can walk in a straight line now. Going down to 2 pills per day seems to be helping. If I manage to speak with my doc I will post back here Monday or Tuesday.
Are you on any other medication? I take iron for anemia and ran into an interaction that actually made me bleed more. Take iron a good six hours away from any other pill or suppliment. Ask you doc if you may need to increase dosage till you cathch up. Often the head pounding means blood is having trouble getting to your brain so you may well need to take higher doses at times. Never increase without asking, but ask! In a similar situation I had to take three a day for a week to catch up.. and if periods are longer or heavy I aslo have to take more, but you reeeeally need to ask, don't just pile it down.
Gallifrey Girl I think you avoid us supplement or other medicine. You can try Natural home remedies.
You may develop an iron-deficiency anemia if you don't get enough iron in your diet, or if the iron in your diet isn't absorbed properly.
A healthy diet includinig meat contains enough iron for most adults. Red meat is the richest source of iron and the iron is easily absorbed by your body. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you may not be able to get enough iron. This is because, although you can get iron from foods such as pulses, green leafy vegetables and nuts, the iron in these foods isn't absorbed so easily.