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  • common symptoms of anemia- what are yours?

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    Old 07-15-2003, 12:28 PM   #1
    dorri
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    Post common symptoms of anemia- what are yours?

    As some of these symptoms may also be indicative of other medical conditions, please check with your physician for the appropiate testing of Anemia.

    Common Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia

    Extreme weakness and tiredness
    Confusion or loss of concentration
    Shortness of breath especially on exertion
    Rapid heartbeat, palpitations
    Chest pain
    Possible hairloss
    Headache
    Wounds that heal slowly
    Dizziness or fainting
    Difficulty sleeping
    Pale skin colour
    Pale fingernails (often with vertical lines)
    Pale lips, ear lobes and mucous membrane
    (draw down your lower eyelid, if you are anemic
    the mucous membrane will often appear whitish
    pink instead of a vibrant healthy colour)

    Some Symptoms of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

    Fatigue
    Loss of appetite
    Weight loss
    Constipation
    Flatulence (gas)
    Depression
    Confusion
    Poor memory
    Burning of mouth and tongue
    Menstrual disturbances
    Nervous system problems such as numbness,
    tingling, needles and pins feeling in hands
    and feet
    Neuritis
    Pain and stiffness in spine
    Difficulty walking and maintaining
    balance after prolonged deficiency
    Psychological symptoms.


    [This message has been edited by dorri (edited 07-17-2003).]

     
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    Old 07-15-2003, 12:56 PM   #2
    dorri
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    Before I was diagnosed with anemia my hair started to fall out. It became dry and brittle and the colour faded.. I lost close to half of my hair. The other thing that happened to me was the brown spots on my face were more pronouced. I'm not saying that anemia causes brown spots but I figure if your complextion has normal colouring then these spots aren't all that noticable, but when your anemic and your complexion looks like you've crawled out of a barrel of flour then the brown spots look darker in contrast to the whitish complexion.

     
    Old 07-23-2003, 04:12 PM   #3
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    Okay lets see here, am I the only one with anemia symptoms? It would be interesting to know your symptoms. I know that I am not the only one with these symptoms and it would be helpful to me to know that others feel blah just like I do. Thanks!

     
    Old 08-03-2003, 10:15 AM   #4
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    Hi brenrasc, thank you for your reply. First of all I would like to tell you that I feel somewhat relieved that I am not the only one with spots showing up more with anemia. It does make a lot of sense that when your red blood cells or hemoglobin are low (as in anemia), there is less oxygen carried through out the body. As a result , your body's organs and tissues (including your scalp) do not get enough oxygen to do their work. My hair fall-out has slowed somewhat but is still falling. I received intervenous Iron last week but apparently it takes 4-6 weeks to build red blood cells. I still feel tired and dizzy and my skin still looks on the pale ashy side.
    Are you able to tolerate iron pills? I couldn't! From what I heard it takes about 3 weeks of iron pills, depending on the dose of course before you should notice a difference in how you feel. To stop your hair from falling it may take longer, I honestly don't know. Let me know what your doctor says. Take care.

     
    Old 08-04-2003, 07:42 AM   #5
    PaNik5717
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    Hey Dorri, I have a range of symptoms that may not make doctor's lists, but I think they are valid, too. Fortunately, my hair stayed fairly healthy, but I have always had a tendency towards shedding. My nails did get very brittle, though.

    The one symptom that made me ask my doc to check my blood was that I was craving ice like a drug fiend. I was even taking it with me to lunch so that I would have it to chew on.

    I have also had these near-fainting sensations. Often, when I stand up, I will get part way across the room and I will get a starburst in the center of my field of vision. I have to stop myself, close my eyes and take a deep breath before I can continue.

    And there are the other ones: abnormal uterine bleeding that my doc thinks is actually caused by the anemia, shortness of breath with only mild exertion, sleeping 9-12 hours a night, pretty severe symptoms of depression.

    Even though I already have a diet rich in iron, my body absorbs my iron pills really well without any bothersome side effects.
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    Old 08-04-2003, 10:13 AM   #6
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    Hi PaNik, ice cravings could mean you're dehydrated or it could mean a mineral or iron deficiency. You say you are taking iron supplements, are you still anemic? Many of the symptoms that you describe are typical of iron deficiency. I also get the starburst you describe along with dizziness. Have the doctor's been able to get your uterine bleeding under control? You are so very lucky that you can tolerate iron pills. Which one do you take? Take care and I hope you feel better soon.

     
    Old 08-10-2003, 04:42 PM   #7
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    WOW!!!!!!!!!!
    I am so happy I found this website! I was diagnosed 5 years ago after the birth of my second daughter. I knew through out the pregnancy something was wrong (it was my second pregnancy after all) but my OB/GYN kept telling me it was normal pregnancy side effects. Finally, after a really heavy period and, a fainting spell shortly after her birth, I went to an ER. I was terrrified that I was losing my sanity! The doctor examined my eyelids, nailbeds etc. in a physical exam that lasted about 5 seconds. He told me I was anemeic and that I should take iron vitamins. I had alot of difficulties taking them though and kept going off and on them. Finally I asked my family doctor about it and they blew me off!!!! I went to the library and educated myself right away. I learned how to control my symptoms with balanced meals. Then disaster struck, I gave birth to my son and shortly there after was diagnosed with dysplasia CIII/CIV (cervical cancer), after 4 seperate procedures, I received the all clear. But the past year has been the worst year of my life!!! I am ALWAYS tired. I have never been able to really talk to anyone else about this and I am so happy that I finally can!
    On a lighter note, I have a friend who moved out of state for six mos. to take care of an ailing family member....she had cravings for ice and asked her doctor about it. She told my friend that alot of women experience that feeling when they are seperated from their husbands for an extended period of time. When she returned it became a big joke with us, until...we found out that other women have been told the same thing! Shortly after she (my friend) returned home though, she stopped craving ice! Please take that info. with a grain of salt but, maybe (lol) it can help you.

    crb

     
    Old 08-10-2003, 07:45 PM   #8
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    Hi crb, I'm sorry to hear that you went through so much. I'm happy to hear that you're in the clear now. It's not unusual to feel tired for quite some time after an illness. You don't mention what procedures you had done, but at a guess I can only assume that they too would affect your energy levels. It takes time to get back to normal. How is your iron and hemoglobin now? Sometimes when the levels are too low, it can't be replenished with diet. Supplementation or other form of treatment is often needed to get your stores back to normal levels. I hope that you feel better soon. Take care.

     
    Old 08-11-2003, 09:36 AM   #9
    PaNik5717
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    Hi Ladies,

    Just a couple of notes: I was on iron pills and have been trying to take myself off of them (I was taking Bronson Iron with C). I eat red meat or pinto beans at least once, if not twice, a day and I eat a lot of other iron rich or iron-fortified foods. My hemoglobin was at 13.7 the last time I had a finger *****. I live at a really high altitude so it should be between 14 and 16, but it seemed close enough not to need the iron pills. I am sure it is lower now, though, because of the return of some of the symptoms and because of my bleeding. I have also become extremely short of breath een on short walks or hikes. My lungs becaome painful, my heart races, and I just can't get enough air.

    My bleeding has been slowing down,but I would still like to find a doc who can figure out why I am bleeding as I see the bleeding as a symptom of something else and I don't believe in treating symptoms instead of causes. I was trying to tkae myself off of some of my meds so my new doc could have an accurate view of what my body does without the pills, but I guess I am not getting a new doc for now.

    I also had a precancerous cervix this year, had the colpo, and had the LEEP. My first follow-up pap is in a few weeks, but the lab said the margins were clear. No one has said that there is a conncetion between my anemia and my cervical health, although I have had the feeling that healing may be slower with anemia. I know I had a broken leg this year and the recovery was excruciating. If I had known that I was anemic at the time (hgb of 8) I am sure I would have been able to heal faster by supplementing my diet.
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    Old 08-12-2003, 06:47 AM   #10
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    Hello everybody,

    I just had a blood test done and the doctor told me to take a multivitamin, make sure I had a good diet and to come back in another month for another test because my red blood count was a little low. The reason I had the test done is because of the posts on this web site and everything I have been learning. My hair is dry, brittle, falling out and premature gray. I am also always cold and sad. Has getting more iron into your system changed anyones hair? She did a complete blood count and a sedimentation rate test does this show ferritin level too?

    Also, a craving for nonfood substances like ice, clay and paper is called Pica. This is seen in people with an iron dificiency. I just finished a class called the Fundamentals of Nutrition which was a biology, chemistry and anatomy class about nutrition. My teached actually knew a young boy who ate paper.

    [This message has been edited by sheisherself (edited 08-12-2003).]
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    Old 08-14-2003, 08:57 AM   #11
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    after reading all these symptoms, i think i'm deficient in both iron and b-12...i've also got acne and possibly hyperthyroidism. could acne be somehow related to the facial brown spots you're experiencing?
    maybe i could kill 2 birds with one stone, so to speak, ha...

    jug

     
    Old 08-14-2003, 06:02 PM   #12
    dorri
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    Jug I don't think acne is related to anemia, although I'm not entirely sure. The best way to find out if you are iron or B-12 deficient is to have your doctor run a simple blood test, tell him/her to include a thyroid test also. Acne can be caused by many things including a family history of it, hormone imbalances, certain medications, cosmetics, stress etc... Take care.

     
    Old 08-14-2003, 06:13 PM   #13
    dorri
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by sheisherself:
    Hello everybody,

    I just had a blood test done and the doctor told me to take a multivitamin, make sure I had a good diet and to come back in another month for another test because my red blood count was a little low. The reason I had the test done is because of the posts on this web site and everything I have been learning. My hair is dry, brittle, falling out and premature gray. I am also always cold and sad. Has getting more iron into your system changed anyones hair? She did a complete blood count and a sedimentation rate test does this show ferritin level too?

    Also, a craving for nonfood substances like ice, clay and paper is called Pica. This is seen in people with an iron dificiency. I just finished a class called the Fundamentals of Nutrition which was a biology, chemistry and anatomy class about nutrition. My teached actually knew a young boy who ate paper.

    [This message has been edited by sheisherself (edited 08-12-2003).]
    Hi, It stands to reason when you have higher blood levels of iron, you have more oxygen and nutrients being carried to your scalp which means more hair and healthier hair. It may take a few months after treatment of anemia to bring your hair back to healthy levels. My iron levels are still low so my hair still hasn't returned to what it should be. Hopefully soon It will. Hope you feel better soon.

     
    Old 08-15-2003, 04:08 PM   #14
    sheisherself
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    Thanks Dorri,

    I have also been thinking about my asthma. I got pluresy last year which made it hurt to breath no matter what i did or didn't do. It wouldn't go away and then the doctor said i had asthma caused by alleries. Before i got sick i would exercise at least 2-3 hours a day and i felt good but now i find going up a flight of stairs and exercise make me breathe harder. i wonder if this is related to my low red blood count. Anyway thanks for listening, I hope you feel better too and I am happy i have my power now.

    [This message has been edited by sheisherself (edited 08-15-2003).]
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    Old 08-15-2003, 09:08 PM   #15
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    Hi she, and thank you. Anemia definitely shows itself when you try to exert yourself. When it's really bad you may feel like that most of the time. However it's also not uncommon to get an asthma attack after exercise. Maybe in Your case it's a combination of both. I also have allergy induced asthma. One way I can tell the difference is to use the asthma puffer, one to work immediately and the other that is used as a preventative, if they don't work after a week, then I take it that the anemia is to blame. This is my case but asthma should not be taken lightly. It's best to check with your doctor if the problem becomes worse.
    Sometimes if your iron levels are very low, diet is not enough to restore them to normal levels (unless maybe your downing liver 3-4xs a day) ugh! If diet doesn't help, you may need other forms of treatment to bring them back up.
    A month ago I had a bag of iron through intervenous and I still feel dizzy and my complextion still isn't as pink as it should be. Hopefully those red blood cells will kick in and start working for me very soon.. Let me know how it goes when you go for your follow-up blood test. Take care.

     
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