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  • Anemia is Scaring Me

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    Old 09-02-2012, 03:49 PM   #1
    wersthebeef
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    Anemia is Scaring Me

    Last night I went to the ER cause my heart was pounding against my ribs when I stood up, and later I had chills and shakes and was extremely nervous. I didn't know what was happening to me, I thought I was dying or having a heart attack or something.

    Hours later I found out I have anemia. They said I had a hemoglobin count of 9. Dr said to get iron pills and eat lots of green vegetables and red meat and vitamin C. The symptoms were scaring me so much I didn't really sleep until I felt better. I got the iron pills and took 3 between 7am and 5pm. (Dr said I needed 3 per day). But they don't seem to be helping my symptoms at all.

    I am really scared because of the rapid heart beating and chest tightness and shortness of breath. I think I must have had some symptoms for many many years, because I have always had abysmally low energy and felt like exercise was torture, and I have always got short of breath easily.

    But these new symptoms are scaring me. It's why I ended up in the ER and how I discovered I was anemic. My heart beats too fast when I start to exercise, I get winded just from climbing stairs to my apartment, and my mental state is very poor, I'm very anxious and nervous. I started taking my iron today, is it normal to feel this way? I'm afraid of fainting though it has not happened yet. Has anyone on this board fainted before? What is the lowest hemo count here? Am I just being a baby and my symptoms aren't so bad?

    Last edited by wersthebeef; 09-02-2012 at 03:55 PM.

     
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    Old 09-02-2012, 05:51 PM   #2
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    First of all welcome to the boards and I'm sorry to meet you like this!

    I remember sitting at my computer one night about 4 months ago. Everything was fine and then all the sudden I felt this rush come over me. I felt so strange and my heart was betting really really fast. I was having a full blown panic attack. I went on like this for days. I thought my body was just reacting to stress and what not. I had such severe anxiety I went to a psychologist first. On Mother's Day I was to the point of blacking out (fainting) and ended up going to a regular Dr. who did labs and put me on some anti-depressant stuff. The very next day he called me back and said your anemic, lets trade the anti-depressant for iron. Hmmmkay.

    So to answer your questions, yes I feel that way and I'm almost positive most of the people who visit these boards feel the exact same way you do. My mental state is very poor and was not like this prior to the anemia. I am depressed, have severe anxiety, and even get panic attacks.

    My hemoglobin in March was, 8.6. I begin taking 2 iron pills a day up to the end of July, then dropped down to 1. My last lab was August 1st and my globin is now 14.0. I am doing labs again on Tuesday so we will see. Truth be told I have laid off the iron for a few days and don't plan on taking them again till I get my labs.

    Anemia (I believe) is related to all sorts of mental issues as well. Anemia is a blood disorder of the red blood cells, red blood cells carry oxygen to our organs, when our organs aren't getting the oxygen they need naturally they are going to be effected and make you feel all sorts of funny. What you are experiencing is normal, your organs aren't getting the oxygen they need to properly function (hence the winded climbing stairs etc). You are most definitely not being a baby and in all honesty you need to baby yourself right now.

    I imagine taking that much iron you should start to feel better within a couple of weeks but be prepared because it's not something that is going to go away really fast. Anemia takes a while to treat. I'm sure the Dr's made you aware that anemia is just a symptom of a larger issue, from heavy periods to Celiac's Disease or even an ulcer. You need to find and treat the cause as well.

    Everything you are feeling is normal in the Anemia world.

     
    Old 09-02-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    Thanks for responding! 'Panic attack' is a good way to describe the anemia episodes, when my heart beats really really fast and hard for no reason. Except that I know it's not in my mind... the two or three times this has happened to me I was not doing anything particularly stressful or even worrying or stressing. It's very scary.

    I keep thinking maybe I am bleeding profusely inside me somewhere, but I don't think they would have discharged me if I was, and I think it would be painful or noticeable. I just start panicing and dream up all these crazy ideas about what is happening to my blood...

     
    Old 09-02-2012, 06:51 PM   #4
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    Oh I hear you. It's really easy to get carried away with the thoughts. Mine spun out of control. I also became a hypochondriac through all of this. I was never like this before. Your heart is beating hard and fast for a reason, it's working overtime because your blood is funky right now, that will be one of the first thing you notice subsiding. I was so glad when the elephant finally got off my chest!

    Now that you are more aware you will notice everything, that is another thing that drove me crazy. Omg a bruise, my hair is falling out, my eyes are really dry, I'm pale, etc etc. I never noticed those things before.

     
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    Old 09-02-2012, 06:57 PM   #5
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    I think I have become a hypochondriac too. This disease effects my mind too much. The one thing I want back more than anything is my ability to think rationally about my decisions and my health. Anemia takes away your reason.

     
    Old 09-02-2012, 07:05 PM   #6
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wersthebeef View Post
    I think I have become a hypochondriac too. This disease effects my mind too much. The one thing I want back more than anything is my ability to think rationally about my decisions and my health. Anemia takes away your reason.
    I think for me it's the constant disconnected feeling that I have from myself and the dizzyness. I just don't feel like me if that makes sense and feel like I'm drunk everyday. I can't read nor comprehend and writing that bigger post above to you was a chore for me. I find myself re-reading a lot to make sure that it's not babble. I am not willing to accept this is the way I will be for the rest of my life, I feel like crap!

     
    Old 09-02-2012, 07:09 PM   #7
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    Also meant to ask, did you get your B12/folate/D levels checked?

     
    Old 09-02-2012, 07:22 PM   #8
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    I assume so but I didn't get to read the results or see them. This was in the ER, and he just told me the hemo count and what it was relative to a normal woman's. I got to make an appointment for my regular Dr. now.

    I think I understand that disconnected feeling. It's like "well I feel like I'm dying but I'm not sure if anything can be done about it." It's such a weird mix of anxiety and hopelessness and despair and apathy.

     
    Old 09-02-2012, 08:02 PM   #9
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wersthebeef View Post
    I assume so but I didn't get to read the results or see them. This was in the ER, and he just told me the hemo count and what it was relative to a normal woman's. I got to make an appointment for my regular Dr. now.

    I think I understand that disconnected feeling. It's like "well I feel like I'm dying but I'm not sure if anything can be done about it." It's such a weird mix of anxiety and hopelessness and despair and apathy.
    Yes it is. When you go into your Dr. have him check those things!

     
    Old 09-02-2012, 11:08 PM   #10
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    I am having trouble sleeping. I went to bed at 10:40 or so and woke up at 1am. I just rolled around in my bed for an hour... I wish I could sleep. I know I need sleep but I just feel restless.

     
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    Old 09-03-2012, 02:57 AM   #11
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    I'm very scared of what's going to happen when I get my next period. I'm not totally sure when it's coming, I think either this week or next. My periods are heavy and I'm afraid of what's going to happen when I lose all that blood. Should I be worried about that?

    Last edited by wersthebeef; 09-03-2012 at 03:00 AM.

     
    Old 09-03-2012, 03:49 AM   #12
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    I know how you feel on the sleep thing too. It's almost 5 am and I still haven't slept. Being exhausted all the time doesn't help and sleeping at odd hours, I gave up on the sleep thing long ago. Another fun part of being anemic for me, insomnia. I just sleep when I can and figure when I feel better I will get it all worked out.

    As far as your period goes, your probably going to feel like crap but your taking enough iron now that it shouldn't be to bad, if you have a heavy period it could very well be because of the period that you are anemic. You are taking in wayyyyyy more iron then you will be losing so don't fret to much on it. That iron is going to jump start your system.

    How old are you if you don't mind my asking?

    Last edited by Heatherx5; 09-03-2012 at 03:59 AM.

     
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    Old 09-03-2012, 09:28 AM   #13
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    I'm 26.

    I think maybe my insomnia is related to how I basically haven't moved since I found out I was anemic. I'm usually very active and nothing puts you to sleep better than exercise.

    How long does it take the iron to help you start feeling better?

    Thanks for talking to me about this it's really helpful. I haven't gotten to talk to anyone who knows anything about anemia since I left the hospital a few days ago.

     
    Old 09-03-2012, 01:44 PM   #14
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wersthebeef View Post
    I'm 26.

    I think maybe my insomnia is related to how I basically haven't moved since I found out I was anemic. I'm usually very active and nothing puts you to sleep better than exercise.

    How long does it take the iron to help you start feeling better?

    Thanks for talking to me about this it's really helpful. I haven't gotten to talk to anyone who knows anything about anemia since I left the hospital a few days ago.
    No problem. It's always nice to know there are other people out there going through the same thing and have someone to talk to! You may start to notice a difference in a couple days it may take a couple weeks. I wouldn't think it would be to long as you are taking a good amount of iron.

     
    Old 09-08-2012, 05:24 AM   #15
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    Re: Anemia is Scaring Me

    I feel alot better than when I made this thread. Yesterday I had so much more energy... and it felt weird to be so hot and have my feet feel so warm. The best thing is that my mood has improved alot and I don't have the panic attacks anymore.

     
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