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  • Still exhausted after iron/B-12 levels increase to almost normal.

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    Old 01-22-2008, 05:34 AM   #1
    BELLA97
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    Still exhausted after iron/B-12 levels increase to almost normal.

    I was recently diagnosed with low iron and B-12 about 3 months ago. I was feeling absolutely awful - exhaustion, muscle aches, chest pains, shortness of breath, severe dizziness, all the typical symptoms. I started oral iron and B-12 supplements and had B-12 injections and my levels of each are almost normal (by my doctor's standards, they are at a level where I shouldn't be feeling ill). Most of the symptoms have disappeared but I still feel incredibly exhausted and have bouts of dizziness randomly throughout the day. My doctor told me I was not getting enough sleep, but I just don't buy this. This exhaustion is totally overwhelming, so much so that I can't even speak and practically pass out. I was just wondering if this is normal after anemia, even though my levels are "almost normal," and if so, how long should I expect it to last? I just want to get back to my normal life and my friends and family are starting to get annoyed with me. Any advice would be tremendously appreciated. Thanks.

     
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    Old 01-22-2008, 07:03 AM   #2
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    Re: Still exhausted after iron/B-12 levels increase to almost normal.

    BELLA97--What is your ferritin number? I still had this type of symptom from a low ferritin after the anemia was resolved. It took me months longer with chronic fatigue. It also takes time for your cells to return to normal size if the anemia went on long. That is my experience, it is different for all. FLFLOWERGIRL

    Last edited by FLFLOWERGIRL; 01-22-2008 at 07:04 AM.

     
    Old 01-22-2008, 09:05 AM   #3
    BELLA97
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    Re: Still exhausted after iron/B-12 levels increase to almost normal.

    FLFLOWERGIRL,
    Thanks so much for the quick reply. As of October, my Ferritin level was 1. While I don't know my exact level today, I was told by my hematologist that all my levels were within normal range, or almost so. As for your other suggestion about cell size, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that even if the anemia is resolved, my red blood cells may be smaller than normal, due to the past anemia, and that could be making me feel symptoms despite being medically "better?" Thanks so much for all of your advice - this is all pretty new to me and it's great to have someone to help me navigate it all. Bella

     
    Old 01-22-2008, 10:16 AM   #4
    FLFLOWERGIRL
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    Re: Still exhausted after iron/B-12 levels increase to almost normal.

    Yes, because of the fact that they last for 120 days, it only makes sense and my labs reflected that in the CBC. Until the cells are full size and carrying the right amount of oxygen your body is going to feel it.

    On the other hand it may be due to the low ferritin. It's really hard to tell. These are the things you see from a lab test and I think they correspond with the symptoms. You should find out what your actual ferritin number is, you may be surprised. I was a 2 and a year later 35. Although it is within range, it doesn't mean that it is optimal or even close and I'm just now beginning to feel better. If you were a 10 they would say that it is in range but not enough to feel well by any means.

    I think from what you are saying that it is your ferritin number causing your symptoms. FLFLOWERGIRL

    Last edited by FLFLOWERGIRL; 01-22-2008 at 04:44 PM.

     
    Old 01-22-2008, 11:35 AM   #5
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    Re: Still exhausted after iron/B-12 levels increase to almost normal.

    I too am suffering fatigue and dizziness. My ferritin was 12 and I have been taking high doses of iron. I also have tinnitus, RLS and random muscle twitches.

    My neurologist told me that the iron would help with the RLS (it has) and the muscle twitches (again it has) but did not link it to the dizziness. This thread gives me hope that the dizziness will eventually fade out if I continue with the iron.

    Just out of curiosity, where is iron absorbed in the body? (stomach, small intestine, large intestine?)

    Last edited by Khadaji; 01-22-2008 at 11:36 AM.

     
    Old 01-22-2008, 12:07 PM   #6
    BELLA97
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    Re: Still exhausted after iron/B-12 levels increase to almost normal.

    Hey Khadaji,
    I know how you feel, the dizziness is unbearable, and it does seem like it will never end. For me, 3 months on the iron and B-12 and the dizziness is slowly but surely disappearing, and I'm just starting to feel like a normal person again. How long have you been taking the iron? BTW, iron is absorbed by the small intestine. I'm hopeful that after some time, with the proper dosage, we'll both be getting back to our normal selves again. Good luck!
    FLFLOWER, thanks so much. I'm feeling a little less crazy already. When the doctor tells you everything is fine and you still feel sick you inevitably start to think that it's all in your head. Your advice is really helping put things into perspective and giving me hope that eventually I'll feel better. THANK YOU!

     
    Old 01-22-2008, 04:25 PM   #7
    Khadaji
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    Re: Still exhausted after iron/B-12 levels increase to almost normal.

    BELLA97, thanks for the info. I started taking iron just before Christmas. It has done wonders for my RLS and my muscle twitches.

    The curious thing is men should rarely be low on iron. But my internal plumbing is a little odd - I don't have a stomach (my esophagus goes straight into my small intestine.) I thought that might be why I am iron ferritin deficient.

    Anyway, I am now very hopeful that my dizziness will fade. I had honestly thought I might just have to live with it.

     
    Old 01-27-2008, 11:24 AM   #8
    heather82
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    Re: Still exhausted after iron/B-12 levels increase to almost normal.

    bella, this is exactly how i feel! i was diagnosed with a severe iron defiency (not B12 though) and took iron for three months. i was re-tested and told my iron levels were fine and not to take the iron anymore. when i told my doctor that my symptoms (exhaustion, dizziness, irregular rapid heatbeat, etc.) were not gone, she told me it was depression and wanted me to see a psychiatrist! i don't know what else to do either...

     
    Old 01-27-2008, 02:12 PM   #9
    BELLA97
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    Re: Still exhausted after iron/B-12 levels increase to almost normal.

    I know exactly how you feel. People are starting to suggest that it's all in my head, and at this point, it's ahrd not to believe them. I don't think I'm depressed or anything like that-this just feels different, ya know- but what am I supposed to think when the doctor doesn't even know what's going on. I guess it takes longer to get better after anemia then we think, or maybe recovery for everyone is different. I don't know. What next steps are you taking? I'm thinking of checking my thyroid to make sure all is well there as the symptoms are similar. Good luck and write with updates, it's just so wonderful to know that I'm not alone in all this. Bella

     
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