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  • Another horrible after-exercise episode!

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    Old 07-30-2008, 10:34 PM   #1
    Trixibel
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    Another horrible after-exercise episode!

    Hi guys...I have now been on iron supplements for three weeks. In Jan I had a ferritin of 6 and a haemoglobin of 114. When I had the test repeated two weeks ago my haem was 117 but they didn't check my ferritin.

    This morning I went for a walk with a friend (a very short walk - only 20 minutes) and when I got in the car afterwards I felt awful - faint and my heart suddenly started beating really fast like a panic attack). I went to the doctors and the doctor felt my pulse and ordered an ECG. He said that I had something like superventricular tachycardia but when I asked about my iron levels and whether the palpitations could be related he said they were fine.

    So I guess what I'm saying is - they don't seem to count the ferritin level as long as the haemoglobin level is around the right range. And I need to look at a different cause for my tiredness and palpitations - which is much more scary. I am totally confused and a little bit depressed. I have had panic attacks and palpitations for the last fifteen years. I'm so tired of feeling like crap and going to the doctor and having them think I'm a neurotic basket case!

     
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    Old 07-30-2008, 11:33 PM   #2
    ChickieLou
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    Re: Another horrible after-exercise episode!

    Well, the "anemic me" agrees completely with your presumption that your iron levels are causing your tachycardia. I had the very same thing happen to me in February when I was at my lowest iron levels and had an episode of tachycardia in a parking garage after walking up a few flights of stairs and had to call an ambulance.

    The "anxious me" who herself is prone to anxiety thinks it could be anxiety. The knowledge that I was pretty ill with anemia by itself caused anxiety and I knew it would probably not be smart to walk up 7 flights of stairs. Maybe I even caused it subliminally.

    But reading that so many people here on this board have experienced tachycardia with very low ferritin counts made me feel a bit vindicated. My doctor was dismissive to me when I told her I felt it was my low ferritin. She just stared at me. Deep, deep down I do think what I experienced was caused by low ferritin and I think you know the difference between your own usual anxiety/palpitations and what you experienced today.

    I am wearing a King of Hearts Monitor right now because I am experiencing a bout of extrasystoles (arrhythmia) and what I felt in the parking garage was NOTHING like what I am having now, which is more like a fluttering bird in my chest. It's random and it's quickly over. What I had in the parking garage was a heartbeat SO FAST and constant that I thought I was going to die up there on the 7th floor.

    I don't know if you are open to alternative treatments, but acupuncture really helped get rid of the adrenalin bursts/panic attacks when I was first diagnosed with anemia. My panic attacks would knock me awake as I was trying to falling asleep at night. Very upsetting! It took a couple of treatments and on the night of the treatments I would usually have an episode, but it did stop and I am much more relaxed at night.

    I hope you don't become afraid to walk. Walking on flat short walks really helped me as I was going through this and gentle oxygenating walks are good for you. Also, make sure you are not a shallow chest-breather. I had to learn how to take deeper belly breaths, because I suspected that I was hyperventilating at times without knowing. It's very common in women. There are DVDs and podcasts that help with relaxation and breathing.

    Hope you feel better soon, Trixibel

    Last edited by ChickieLou; 07-30-2008 at 11:37 PM.

     
    Old 07-31-2008, 01:21 AM   #3
    Trixibel
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    Re: Another horrible after-exercise episode!

    Thank you so much. I do feel better now. I think I am a shallow breather and another aspect of this is that my nose always feels congested so I never feel my nose is patent and this could be part of it too. I've had acupuncture as well and it made me feel so relaxed. I just feel so embarrassed now but at the time (at 11 o'clock this morning) I really felt like I was going to die. It was horrible. I kept saying to the people in the doctor's surgery 'I don't want to die. I've got kids'. I will keep walking on the flat. I think some of this is probably hormonal as well, I'm 40 and perimenopausal. I hope your heart's okay. I've had skipping beats and fluttering with mine as well. I'm going to do the holter thing next week but just wearing it and knowing what it's for is going to put my heart rate up!!

    Thanks again. You've been really helpful, and nice.

     
    Old 07-31-2008, 01:47 AM   #4
    Audrey-B
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    Re: Another horrible after-exercise episode!

    Hi Trixibel - so many people with low ferretin appear to experience what you have experienced, that's not to disclaim anything your doctors are currently saying or doing, but still it's common here, especially when some form of exertion has been involved.

    My mother once listened to a radio program where a doctor advised a lady with anemia to ease off the exercise as her body needed all the oxygen it could get due to being low in iron stores and therefore unable to send sufficient oxygen for energy. Even when your iron levels begin rising, your energy and hair/skin/nails get it last or whatever is left over after your vital ograns have taken what they need.

    A lot of doctors don't run by the 'ferretin' figure. My haemoglobin was decent but my ferretin was at an 8. I visited a Trichologist in Balmain (he has an office in sutherland too) as i was losing so much hair as well as other weird symptoms and couldn't get mainstream doctors to listen or to help. I kept being shoved from pillar to post or told there's nothing wrong. This Trichologist got my ferretin up to 61 and diagnosed my Hashimoto's thyroid, which i had had for at least 7 yrs going by previous blood tests and symptoms. I wish i'd found him sooner!! He has got loads of information on why iron stores are important plus other information on the net. If you look up his name, Tony Pearce, and you can add Trichologist after his name if you want and you can read up lots of helpful information which majority of doctors out there wont bother to tell you.

    Getting your ferretin retested every 3 months is necessary to keep tabs on how you are going. If your ferretin is not going up and you are not vegetarian, then that would mean your low ferretin is a symptom of some other illness eg: internal bleeding, thyroid, gluten intolerance.

    Hope you feel better soon

    Hope

    Last edited by Audrey-B; 07-31-2008 at 01:49 AM.

     
    Old 07-31-2008, 07:27 AM   #5
    ChickieLou
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    Re: Another horrible after-exercise episode!

    Audrey,

    Sometimes I wish I lived in Australia just so I can see your trichologist. He sounds like he's great!

    Last edited by ChickieLou; 07-31-2008 at 07:28 AM.

     
    Old 07-31-2008, 08:38 AM   #6
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    Re: Another horrible after-exercise episode!

    Trixibel--I'm glad that you went to the doctor when this happened. It helps to DX what is happening instead of calming down and never knowing what actually occurred. IMO, I would think that this would not happen with a ~low ferritin~ only. Not to the degree that happened to you. But.....I can tell you that something would happened to me all the time when my numbers were the same as yours. Stress, anxiety any of those factors can set off what happened to you. And then when the panic sets in, this is when it become worse.

    I was unable to exercise at the 11 range of Hgb. Now I know that my body runs around a 14 Hgb. When I went to the hospital with Tachy, they looked at me like I was from another planet, and said all test were normal, but my RBC's were very small and they did not provide the oxygen that was necessary. This would happen not only from exertion, and panic, but every time I ate a meal. I was scared to move at that time. They wanted to put me on Toperol for the high pulse temporarily until the anemia was resolved. I tried it for 30 days, but it hurt my stomach so I discontinued it. I think that SVT is different than Tachy. My heart rate was 133 when this happened to me. My husband had a SVT event and his heart rate was around 200'ish. We don't have a reason for his, but it never happened again and was controlled with BP meds. Do you know what your pulse rate was? I don't think that either case is anything to worry about because It's probably due to the anemia. I would have all the tests run and see that everything comes back normal. Many of us go through this. Panic can cause any type of event to happen when it comes to the heart. Even chemicals can cause this such as too much caffeine, meds and substances unknown. All of my issues such as these resolved after my Hgb levels went to the normal OPTIMAL range. I have no heart related issues that I know of. I have only suffered with ~fatigue~ after exercise with a low ferritin, this is the big symptom. We have to be careful what we blame on the ferritin, although it's a major culprit. You will feel better after the tests are performed and results are in. That is the only thing that gave me peace of mind to get through this. I hate that the doctors don't explain this to us. I had one good internist that finally did. He said, because he is a good doctor, that I should be on BP meds temporarily until the anemia is resolved. Keep us posted and best of luck to you. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-31-2008, 01:57 PM   #7
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    Re: Another horrible after-exercise episode!

    Way back before I was diagnosed with anemia and low ferritin, I was having episodes such as yours. At that time, I did not know what my ferritin was but I do have lab reports showing that my hemoglobin was at 12.0. This is/was considered normal so no one investigated further.

    I had already given up all of my walking because I could no longer do it anymore (this, again, was with normal CBC numbers). One night, I had to take my son to a school sponsored event at our local ice rink. It was very crowded and I had to park in the rink's lower lot and walk up a somewhat steep driveway. Really, it didn't look like much. I got to the top and thought I was going to die. I figured "Whew, I'm out of shape" and figured I'd recover from the tachycardia in a few seconds. Nope, this went on for an hour. I was dizzy, weak, felt panicky, and my heart rate stayed elevated.

    I went home and went to bed. No way would I go to the ER. I did make an appt. pronto with my GP, who figured it was due to "stress" and my "cosmopolitan lifestyle". No lie, he actually said that. He sent me for an enchocardiogram, which was normal and tried to put me on heart medication (which then gave me an allergic reaction). All this was due to my low ferritin, and subsequent anemia which showed up 6 months later.

     
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