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  • Has this been the root of Anxiety?

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    Old 04-30-2007, 02:56 PM   #1
    ElleDi
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    Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    I had blood work done 15 years ago because I felt weak, anxious, woosey, racing heart. I remember my iron level being around 11 and the doctor gave me injections (B12 I imagine). I went back for a few months, felt great. That doctor retired and the new doctor didn't continue. I ended up seeing 5 different doctors to find out why I was so fatigued, nervous, etc. No one every checked my blood or even mentioned iron issues. I became fearful of certain situations and places because I was often feeling faint, weak and unable to "stand". Eventually, the popular antidepressants came on the market and I was given them.

    Now here I am, 15 years later, off the antidepressants, and feeling exactly the same as I did when I was 27 years old.

    Is it possible I just needed some iron way back then? My mom and 3 aunts have had huge problems with iron/anemia. I'm a little gobsmacked to think what could have or should have been.
    I guess I'm venting a little.
    Does anyone else know what I mean about the anxiety and feeling fearful of feeling weak or fatigued so wanting to stay home?

     
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    Old 04-30-2007, 03:34 PM   #2
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    I think I know what your saying.

    I have been having anxiety issues for many years now. I've always said that it is worse when I get very tired. Most of the times I have had it, my CBC numbers were in the normal range. No one ever checked my ferritin until I became anemic. I am no longer anemic but my ferritin is still at 5. I can say that I do feel less anxious because I don't feel so tired now. But I wonder how great I might feel if I could get my ferritin up.

     
    Old 04-30-2007, 04:24 PM   #3
    sparkles916
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    I have had anxiety, panic attacks (and later depression) for years. It cleared up to a great extent after I started treatment for hypothyroidism. Unfortunately dim drs overlooked it.

    I just have "regular" anxiety, which means it is managable, no more panic attacks. I also have crushing fatigue and mental slooooowness.

    As you probalby saw from other posts of mine, I have low ferritin and a b12 problem.

    On the ferritin front, as far as anxiety goes, I have seen refs to it, but none of the articles I found on the web are available without subscrbing. However, I did see that there can be behavioural and neuropsychiatric (anxiety etc) manifestations due to iron deficiency.

    Of course, it is well-established that b12 deficiency/anemia can cause profound neuropsychiatric symptoms, including psychosis.

    I did see a few refs to nutritional deficiencies, including minerals, that related to mental impairment. Finally, iron deficiency/anemia can increase your heart rate and mimic anxiety, or make you feel anxious.

    You are working on your ferrtin, so that is a start. Have you tried to get b12 shots again? I would definiately. It is safe and the body excrete the excess. So, it is not like od-ing on a prescription drug or something. But some drs are fussy about the "you are not anemic" line, so no shots.

    Also, have you checked your thyroid function? TSH, free T3 and free T4 are all you need. And go early in the morning, rather than afternoon cause your results will not be accurate.

    I am working on geting b12 shots, but can't find a responsive provider as yet. Fingers crossed!

     
    Old 04-30-2007, 11:45 PM   #4
    moommin
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    hi my ferretin is going up slowley,but anxiaty is taking over my life,i cant walk far,i panic,i panic with my driving,will only drive sertain routes,panic if a lot of people are around,i need to drive with my job but constantly trying to get out of it,i dont know if its the blood thing or my age 47,shirley

     
    Old 05-01-2007, 07:32 AM   #5
    sparkles916
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    Hi Shirley:

    after reading your post, I immediately wondered if you had had any thyroid or b12 tests done.

    I went to look at your earlier posts, but only got to scan the titles. I did see that you have heavy periods and fibroids? My mother's friends' daughter had fibroids and also Graves disease. It is well known that thyroid issues can cause reproductive endocrinology issues, like heavy periods, poly cystic ovaries, fibroids, etc.

    In addition, thyroid imbalance is definately and very strongly connected to psychiatric features, such as depression, anxiety, panic, bipolar.

    Have you had a thyroid panel done? Have you had a serum b12 done?

    B12 deficiency or anemia is well-known to cause similar psychiatric features. Another B12 sign is tingling in extremties (neuropathy), dizziness, weakness, fatigue. Very similar to iron deficient anemia - though the anxiety, depression etc are very strongly correlated with B12 deficiency/anemia.

    I think that iron deficiency can play a role in anxiety, but the thyroid and b12 are much more likely to be causing the extreme anxiety. I know this, because I have lived through it.

     
    Old 05-01-2007, 01:21 PM   #6
    ElleDi
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    I have 4 pages of blood test results, including a full hormone panel. My thyroid was within normal range. The T4 was optimal, TSH was moderate but well within normal range, and T3 was in range but just slightly high. The Levoxyl I was given for this "problem" (?) took about 6 weeks to make me sick to the point of calling 911 and going to the ER. The only 2 things flagged LOW were ferritin. (My carbon dioxide levels were flagged low, too, though I don't know if the 2 are related-- might explain why I often felt faint)
    .
    Feeling weak/fainty would scare me, and trigger anxiety attacks. I'm wondering if I stopped feeling weak/fainty, would I panic? I don't think so.

    The next time I see the doctor (a different one this time) I will ask about b12 testing.

     
    Old 05-02-2007, 07:06 AM   #7
    sparkles916
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ElleDi View Post
    I have 4 pages of blood test results, including a full hormone panel. My thyroid was within normal range. The T4 was optimal, TSH was moderate but well within normal range, and T3 was in range but just slightly high. The Levoxyl I was given for this "problem" (?) took about 6 weeks to make me sick to the point of calling 911 and going to the ER. The only 2 things flagged LOW were ferritin. (My carbon dioxide levels were flagged low, too, though I don't know if the 2 are related-- might explain why I often felt faint)
    What did the ER people say? I wonder why the dr gave you the levoxyl in the first place. Was your TSH above 3.0? That is the new standard. Was that free T3? If so, I would think that the levoxyl would produce more t3 and maybe put you out of range...too high. Were you feeling hyper symptoms?


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ElleDi View Post
    The next time I see the doctor (a different one this time) I will ask about b12 testing.
    Since you are going to see a new dr, you will likely need "proof" that you need b12 shots. In this case, it is best not to supplement before you have the labs. You need a serum b12, and MMA for absolute diagnosis (check on the web)) it is the standard in the b12 literature. An elevated MMA will show b12 deficiency.

    If you are going to an "alternative medicine" kinda dr, then just ask for b12 shots, after describing your symptoms (can't remember if you have neuropathy too).

    If you have already been supplementing, your results will be skewed. You may have lots of b12 in your blood, raising the serum b12 and negative the MMA test. However, as I have read elsewhere, some people even if they have high blood serum b12, are not actually utilizing the b12, and do better with shots. In which case, most conservative practitioners will not treat you. I am having the same trouble. Then make sure you pick the right kind of dr who will give you a trial of b12 shots. I am still working on finding one

     
    Old 05-02-2007, 07:59 AM   #8
    moommin
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    hi i asked the doctor for a thyroid test as im getting a lot of neck pressure and the same at the side of my head and face its there every day,he said that i had thyroid test year ago and it was ok,doc diddnt mention b12, i dont think they like it when you ask for tests,(i live in the uk) doc said head pressure sounds like anxiety,iv come to the stage where im scared to ask,i just live with it every day ,its great to speak to people on this board,that understands shirley

     
    Old 05-02-2007, 09:58 AM   #9
    sparkles916
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    Hi shirley:

    I understand how the NHS is...I lived in England for a number of years, and on the thyroid board, we have plenty of posters from the UK, with the same problem as you. Our HMOs here work similarly, the dr tries to save money by restricting tests and undertreating just to get you out the door.

    When you get your thyroid results, let me know or post them on the thyroid board. Definately ask for your results with the ranges too. If you have a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) of 3 it is definiately within the new guidelines to treat. Anything over a 2.0 is suspect too, for hypothyroidism. On the hyper side, which can also cause anxiety, I think it is anything below a .5 TSH (have to check on that). There is also a diagnositc route though the presence of anti thyroid anti bodies, but your dr probably won't do that. So, in the event a TSH is ambiguous, anti bodies can confirm autoimmune thyroiditis. But, just so you know. I am glad people are here to help too!

     
    Old 05-02-2007, 12:32 PM   #10
    moommin
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    thanks sperkelsi will ask for my results,i have also posted on the menopause site couse thats going on as well, thanks again shirley.

     
    Old 05-03-2007, 04:47 AM   #11
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ElleDi View Post
    Sparkles-
    I went to the ER in Los Angeles on a Saturday night with a full moon. Not the place you want to be, I tell ya! I waited for hours and hours and didn't get seen. The agitation and anxiety was too much so I just left.
    I was beyond hyper- my blood pressure was double what it normally was, and so was my pulse (my doctor didn't react to that either!) I kept saying, I know I'm a nervous-type person, but I'm getting too freaked out to open the window! I had visions of straight jackets. After the fact, when I told my doctor about the ER incident, he said to quit taking the Levoxyl for 5-6 days then take half. I refused.
    My TSH says 5.11 (range 4.5-5.50) T3 was 381 (range 230-420). T4 free and T4 total were optimal.

    The kicker is, this doctor was at a special wellness center- not part of my insurance group- so I paid a lot of money out of pocket to basically become worse off than before. The "new" doctor is an insurance-plan doctor- though I haven't seen him yet because I'm a bit fed up at the moment.

    On the plus side-- I took 2 doses of Floradix and feel better. It might be psychosomatic but at this point, I'll take psychosomatic!
    Ellie,

    With a TSH of 5.11, you are hypothyroid. The cutoff range is now 3.0 but may labs don't show the new numbers.

     
    Old 05-03-2007, 06:01 AM   #12
    catscandance
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    Hi ElliD,

    Try to get your B12 levels checked, also your folate. Being deficient in either b12 or folate can and often does cause anxiety and panic attacks. Folate is as important as B12.

    Regards,
    cats

     
    Old 05-03-2007, 07:22 AM   #13
    sparkles916
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    I agree with ChristineVA. If your TSH was 5.11, then it is more than likely your are hypothyroid. Usually the range is .5 - 4 or 5. However, the newest guidelines state that 3.0 is a treatable level. As your TSH increases, the more hypo you are indicated. I presume the 5.11 was prior to treatment?

    I realise you had a bad time of it with the Levoxyl. I would definately revisit the thyroid issue when you are ready. This time, either try to find a dr who is versed in treatment, or a good endocrinologist. There is a wide spectrum of thyroid illness, and not everyone responds the same to treatment, nor should they have the same treatment.

    What you need to do is have your tsh measured again, this time with the free T4 and free T3, and you could also ask for the thyroid anti bodies tests (two of them) which can show if you have the autoimmune type - Hashimotos.

    Right now on the thyroid boards there is a thread talking about senstivitiy to thyroxine supplementation (levoxyl etc). Some have a hard time tolerating it and have to go really slowly. Also, there may be an underlying adrenal fatigue issue exacerbating the sensitivity. Now, when the thyroid is failing, it can vascilate in terms of TSH readings hypo, significant pyo, even hyper periods. also anti bodies can cause this and perhaps this can account for some of what you experienced.

    The usual dose is 50 mcg to start. Some start on 25mcg and go up over a period of weeks or months. I don't know what you were started on, but maybe it was too much or too quick.

    Also, when I started treatement I felt really revved the first five days, could have mistaken it for anxiety, but let it slide. It happened with each subsequent increase.

    These are all the things I can think of to explain what happened to you, given the info you provided.

    As you are aware, hypo suffers can have concomitant anemias/deficiencies and adrenal fatigue. So, some of us can have more than one issue at a time.

    If the iron and b12 don't seem to solve the problems you are experiencing, I would definately revisit the thyroid.

     
    Old 05-03-2007, 12:20 PM   #14
    ElleDi
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    Thanks for all the replies on my thyroid tests. Sorry if I'm posting things in bits and pieces and not getting the whole thing out at once.
    The doctor I saw was a specialist whose clinic focused on hormones/endocrine. He started me off with 4 different hormone treatments, 6 times a day, plus a drastic change in diet-- way to much too soon I think. I don't know why he went with such an aggressive approach. All my blood tests -excluding ferritin- were within normal range (the thyroid appeared "on paper" to be within normal for that lab's range). My complaints were basically: lack of energy, weakness, moody.

    The Levoxyl was a 125mg pill, taking half for 4 days, then a full after that. I'm not exaggerating when I say I nearly went insane. It was beyond revved up, it was manic. I didn't sleep for months- literally did not sleep, and rx sleeping pills didn't do anything. I couldn't sit still, I lost 25 pounds in a matter of weeks. My body would shake uncontrollably. I've never in my life gone to the hospital or called an ambulance, but I really thought I was going to have a stroke.

    I'm not ready to think about the thyroid right now. The doctor who started all this is quite a distance out of town-- I don't feel well enough to travel to him since it's only been about 2 weeks since those side effects have cooled down. I do appreciate all your concern and good advice.

     
    Old 05-03-2007, 05:58 PM   #15
    sparkles916
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    Re: Has this been the root of Anxiety?

    I fully understand where you are coming from....take as long as you feel you need before you deal with it again.

    I would not go to that dr again. You are right it was too much too fasat. The level of levoxyl (thyroxine) you were taking and the rapidity at which it was increased was waaaaaay off protocol. As I said in my post, it is usualy 50, wait at least 6 weeks if not months, then upped by increment of 25mcg with periods of adjustment in between. Some never get to more than 75 or maybe 88mcg, while other need much more. It must be monitored.

    From what you described, you were in some clinical hyperthyroid state if not something worse. Adding in 6 hormone treatment to the mix, must have sent you into orbit!!!

    Well, let us know how you do with the ferritin, and if and when you are ready to look into the thyroid biz, post on the thyroid board.

    You made the right decision to refuse to continue with his plan of treatment.
    Please take care, I am sure your body is still recovering, and maybe the anxiety will lessen (a bit at least) over time.

     
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