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  • Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

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    Old 12-03-2009, 12:52 PM   #1
    Kathy444
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    Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    I am new here, and also newly diagnosed with iron deficiency. My hemoglobin is a 10 and my ferritin a 6, B12 434 which my doctor said is within range, thyroid 1.43 also normal. I feel exhausted all the time, have a rapid pulse rate, fuzzy thinking, a dull headache most days...I barely have enough energy to cook, and some days I don't. I also have an anxiety disorder, panic attacks and agoraphobia which make getting to the doctor a challenge to say the least. I was anemic in my early 20's but being in my 20's I didn't follow through very long with taking my iron pills. Never really ever felt up to par...The anxiety started in my teens went away for years and came back in my early 30's which lead me to become disabled. I am 47 now and feeling worse than ever. I have always had a heavy and long menstrual cycle, so I believe that is what is causing the anemia.

    Okay, now to some questions; how long will it take to feel better? I only started taking Ferrous Sulfate 2 weeks ago, two days later I started my menstrual cycle it was typical 4 or 5 days pretty heavy and gone in 7.....but now I feel even more tired than before I started taking the iron, my guess is my menstrual cycle further depleted the iron. I take 65 mg twice a day.....should I be taking more? I need to get some energy back as my husband is also disabled from a terrible car accident and it's just me trying to take care of everything. He has some good days where he actually goes out and picks up some groceries (I don't leave the house (agoraphobic) so everything is quite challenging now. I also have been taking a PPI for GERD for over 12 years now, but as I said the doctor said my B12 is within normal range. Any input would be so appreciated. sorry so long....

     
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    Old 12-06-2009, 06:59 AM   #2
    cjduel
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    Sometimes oral iron supplements are not effective in bringing your serum ferritin back into normal range. Iron IVs are an option if the oral iron is not helping.

     
    Old 12-06-2009, 08:24 AM   #3
    neffie663
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    65mg 2x a day dont seem like enough to raise your ferritin.I ended up with iron ivs because I couldnt do it on my own I also take ppis for my stomach.Im not afraid to leave my house but I am mostly bedbound because I cant sit in a chair more than 10min without bad pain and can only stand up to a 1/2 hr at a time So getting to the Dr and hospital is a challange for me as well.My periods were heavy but I got an ablation done over a year ago to lighten my period.I just turned 40yrs old and feel like im 90yrs old.Try and look up some older post to see what others were taking I think Ive seen people as much as 325mg 2x a day.You should maybe call the Drs and she what they say. Good luck

     
    Old 12-07-2009, 06:15 AM   #4
    Kathy444
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    Thank you both for answering my post. Charlene are iron iv's safe? If you don't mind me asking is there other things going on with you or is it all from anemia?
    I am not sure I want to call my doctor, he wanted to blame how I was feeling on my anxiety....I had to really push for him to check my iron and he started with a finger ***** test which showed that I was anemic...then he did the blood tests. Has anyone took more iron than what the doctor has said?...and would it hurt to do so seeing my ferritin is pretty low? Thank you
    Kathy

     
    Old 12-07-2009, 12:05 PM   #5
    moommin
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    hi ,i was in the same boat as you,it took me over 2 years to get my ferretin from 12 to 56,i had heavy periods,thought it was normal,found out i had fibroid,to cut a long story short you need to find out why you have heavy periods,i was taking 600mg ferrous sulfate aday,but after my period i would feel so ill,i ended up having hysterectomy in july,its only now five months later and still on iron that i dont feel so tired,good luck shirley

     
    Old 12-08-2009, 08:44 AM   #6
    cjduel
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    Red blood cells have an average lifespan of about 120 days, though new red cells go into the circulation daily, as old cells die. I don't know that the effect of even 600 milligrams of iron daily would be noticable until a couple of months. IV iron treatment is supposed to work more quickly, I believe because the absorption level would be quicker than with an oral supplement. In any case, the iron stores in your bone marrow and other storage components in your body, have to be replenished in order to get new, healthy red blood cells into circulation.

    Just as an aside: The serum ferritin level blood test reflects your body's iron storages. Your hemoglobin will be decreased due to ongoing low levels of that iron: iron deficicency anemia is also in the class of anemias knows as "Hypochromic, Microcytic Anemias"-- this reflects the decreased amount of hemoglobin in each cell (hypochromic) and the smaller than normal size of the red cells (microcytic) that results again from ongoing low levels of iron.

    In any case, the IV iron should allow for earlier, though still not immediate, relief from the fatigue, lethargy, lack of energy, etc. But the reason for the iron deficiency still needs to be identified. In premenopausal women, heavy menstrual bleeding the most common cause of anemia.

    Last edited by cjduel; 12-08-2009 at 08:46 AM. Reason: additional comment

     
    Old 12-17-2009, 11:14 PM   #7
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    One thing I have been doing to lesten blood loss is to take birth control periods for extended periods of time...no plecebo week. I had a ferritin of 1 after my son was born two years ago. Took eight months to find out what was wrong and even longer to start feeling better after starting iron. the first doc said one iron a day. the next doc said I needed to take three a day. Also, you need to take on an empty stomache with a vitamin c.
    My doc wouldnt do iron iv as he said they werent safe and were saved for the worst situations like people with cancer and immune diseases. This had me feeling TERRIBLE and next to death for about six more months.,

     
    Old 12-21-2009, 11:34 PM   #8
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    I have had an iron infusion, 7 years ago now. No side effects, felt great thru whole procedure. They are safe as long as you don't have too many close together. No after effects either. Take iron supps with Vit c. Don't take with other minerals/vitamins except Vit c which helps the uptake of iron and don't have within an hour of a cup of tea. Your magnesium and other minerals may be out of whack or depleted as well. This will also stop the uptake of iron from food (I assume your diet is good??) Hope this helps.

     
    Old 01-05-2010, 02:53 PM   #9
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    I'm late to respond and haven't been on here much, but was coming to post a question of my own and saw this. For what it's worth, I have had to have iron injections (IM) instead of the IV, my doctor said it's slightly less risky. I have been having them for almost a year now, started weekly, then bi-weekly and now once a month, and *knock wood* no major side effects.

    They hurt quite a bit and I'm sore for about a day or two afterwards, and I find that if I'm under the weather it can push me a bit further (i.e. if I'm fighting off a cold, it can push me the rest of the way) but otherwise, I haven't had much trouble. My only recommendation would be to ensure you get a doctor/nurse who knows what he/she is doing. For example, at my clinic there are six nurses, and only one feels comfortable enough to give the injection. I guess it's really important they get it "just right" or it can cause problems.

    Feel free to message me if you want more info, I had a ferritin of 0 when all this started so it has been a long and SLOW process to get me back up.

     
    Old 02-06-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    What's amazing is that I also developed anemia 3 years after going on nexium. I had to take iron supplements 2 X a week for 6 months to get it back up. Now I am reducing it to 2 X a month to see if it stays up. I know it's the PPI's but try to get the medical community to accept this as a very real side effect..ha..they would rather let you think it's colon cancer first than do a malabsorption test. They make more $$ on the colonoscopies and zip on blood tests.. We have to make sure that our issues with anemia and the PPI's are documented with the FDA so that we are not ignored.

     
    Old 02-07-2010, 11:55 AM   #11
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    Painmanagment--My anemia didn't develop until 8 yrs of Nexium 40 once daily. So now I am told by the GI doc that I am married to iron supplements for the rest of my life. You are correct about the testing and malabsoprtion issues. However; so many things need to be ruled out as a cause and it's just part of the equation. FYI I have been on long term iron supplements for 3 yrs now. Take care. FLFLOWERGIRL
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    Old 02-08-2010, 08:23 AM   #12
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    Talking Re: Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    I read thru majority of the posts. I'm new to the realm also but have been struggling with anemia for some time. My doctors say its iron deficiency due to heavy or prolonged periods. I only hope they are right since a cousin same age had blood issues starting same month, year. She has since lost a few fingers to thalassemia.

    As far as the question to IV iron. I had it after I was admitted with a 7HGB. It was like rapid recovery and I felt great. A little soreness on the arm but all the same. Word of advice, take a magazine and just use that time to relax. Anyway, i was moved to the pills and my ferritin is still dropping and my HGB went from nearly 13 to only 12 now. In 2 years.

    I wanted to also comment on the prolonged periods for women. This is insane. The doctors do seem to all differ on when to panic and when not to. Some seem to toss birth control, hysterectomy (sp), or iron pills for life as the answer, but neither seem to be a great choice. Like breast cancer, this seems to be a hidden neusance, killer, or whatever for many women.

    One study found that Iron-deficiency anaemia (IDA) is one of the most frequently observed nutritional deficiencies among pregnant women
    around the world. TheWorld Health Organization (WHO)
    estimates that nearly half of all pregnant women worldwide
    suffer from anaemia. IDA is known to be an important
    factor in maternal death, the poor cognitive development
    of children and decreased work capacity of the mother. (http://journals.cambridge.org/)

    Another study in the American Family Physician journal found that IDA is 2 percent in adult men, 9 to 12 percent in non-Hispanic white women, and nearly 20 percent in black and Mexican-American women.

    Where is the justice? I do enjoy this healthboard and sharing is caring. Thanks to all.

     
    Old 02-09-2010, 04:24 AM   #13
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Iron, feeling awful.

    Hi Kathy, it looks like we're pretty much in the same boat. I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anaemia 2 weeks ago and have been taking ferrous fumerate. Don't feel brilliant to put it mildly.

    I also have an underactive thyroid which is a whole other kettle of fish!

    I have just started taking blackstrap molasses as this has a really high iron content. 2 teaspoons a day at the moment - its all natural and some people take it as an addition to their daily diet and rave about it.

     
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