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    Old 11-09-2008, 09:23 PM   #1
    Rhiannon68
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    Unhappy Hello, new here

    Hi
    Glad I found these boards. I have been suffering from some odd symptoms for about 3 yrs and discovered that I have a iron count of 2.
    My symptoms seemed to come around a time that I was under a great deal of stress and I had suffered a kidney stone and had sepsis after my surgery. So I thought it was anxiety.
    I noticed that I had become so tired, I mean TIRED. I just felt so drained. I felt tired mentally and physically. Dr said it was anxiety which I do have a history of.
    I started having heart palpitations and felt short of breath, like my heart could not catch up to my breathing. I had strange sensations in my legs and feet. I also was dizzy and off balanced a lot and had pressure in my head. I was afraid I had MS. I knew something was not right and did not want to take all these antidepressants they kept pushing at me and found out that my iron was this low.. I had also found out from my Dr that I had Pica, I chewed and swallowed 4 packs a gum a day for 3 yrs.

    I craved that gum so bad, that my mouth would water at the thought of it.
    But the thing that I found most scarey was this weird brain, head sensation that would get. I felt spaced out, dream like and just unable to think, etc.
    Do you all think this was from my iron being so low?? At this point, I don't have it, it would come and go. I felt lack of mental clarity, just strange and it scared me to death!
    I am on iron meds and feel a bit better, no more Pica and discovered my periods are the culprit. I have been on iron for 4 months now.
    Can anyone relate to these odd symptoms?
    Thank you!!!!!!!
    Please reply I am so afraid!

     
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    Old 11-10-2008, 04:24 AM   #2
    bethsheba
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    Re: Hello, new here

    Welcome to the boards!!!

    Lots of things can cause the symptoms (and yes, iron deficiency is a symptom) you describe. I'm assuming your doctor has ruled out many conditions as you mention MS.

    Since you mention MS, I will say that many people with MS and with MS symptoms like yours have been misdiagnosed...sometimes these people actually have Lyme Disease. If you and your doctors don't find anything you might want to consider this possibility keeping in mind that tests for Lyme are inconclusive, and that a Lyme Literate Doctor would be recommended for diagnosis.

    But again, just one possibility of many!

    Bethsheba

    Last edited by bethsheba; 11-10-2008 at 04:25 AM.

     
    Old 11-10-2008, 10:14 AM   #3
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    Re: Hello, new here

    I have all these symptoms as well...except for the pica...but when I was pregnant...I craved the white part of oranges. I would barely get the orange peel off of them so I could chew on the white...it was weird...I would eat ten of them a day and would crave them like a drug.

    I have had the weird brain thing for four years. It would come and go as well. I even went to the er for it where they told me i had an anxiety attack because my hemoglobin was normal. I would continue to get it and now I have it all the time. Looking back on it, I think it was about a week after my period ended that I would get it the worst.

    Stick to the iron, I bet this is your prob if the docs have ruled everything else out. Good luck, and be well.

     
    Old 11-10-2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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    Re: Hello, new here

    hi rhiannon-

    i've also experienced a lot of your symptoms with my only finding after a million blood tests being low iron.


    "I started having heart palpitations and felt short of breath, like my heart could not catch up to my breathing. I had strange sensations in my legs and feet. I also was dizzy and off balanced a lot and had pressure in my head. I was afraid I had MS."

    i could have written that myself if it makes you feel any better. i went to the neurologist and got checked for MS to rule it out. i've been having the weird pressure in my head along with vertigo. the vertigo is like a rocking or like things are moving around me when they're really not sometimes when someone asks me something i feel like it takes me ten times longer to process the information and answer it. brain fog. you'll notice a lot of people on this board have it.
    have any of your symptoms resolved completely? what about the pressure in your head?
    i've been on iron for about six or seven weeks and i haven't seen much of an improvement so i'm always curious to see how other people respond to the iron.
    i hope you feel better.

     
    Old 11-10-2008, 03:28 PM   #5
    Rhiannon68
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    Re: Hello, new here

    Hi
    I noticed I felt a bit better after about 8 weeks, I am still not all the way there. The Pica went away after a few weeks on the iron. It was so weird.
    I hated the brain fog the most. I am so afraid of it coming back. I felt that I could not function. I know I am nervous, but feeling like your not in the world would make anyone panic.
    i felt like there was a cloud over my brain, just weird.
    I just hope that my iron level was the culprit.
    I still can't believe my iron was that low. Now wonder I felt like walking death.
    So you had the same symptoms? I just started reading all these med books and tried to figure out myself what was wrong, and then I started to freak. I just thought oh my I have MS. It just would come and go, but I always felt tired and had the palps.
    Let me know how you are doing?
    Dr said around 8 weeks, It would start kicking in. I go back Wed for labs, can't wait to see if its up any??

     
    Old 11-10-2008, 05:03 PM   #6
    Juliet75
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    Re: Hello, new here

    Your body needs iron to create hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is what distributes oxygen to your organs. If you take too much iron, that can cause severe problems too. The best thing to do is to get a blood test that checks both hemoglobin and iron levels. Like me, my iron is low, but as long as I have no bleeding, the hemoglobin levels are normal. So I have to be careful not to take too much iron. Low iron levels can cause multi organ failure, heart problems, fainting, and an abnormal craving for unhealthy things (like salt, dirt, etc.) I have found that Slow FE (an over the counter drug) is the best if you have had problems with iron bothering your stomach. Worse case, you may need blood transfusions or IV therapy to increase your levels - but that is worse case and not the norm. Other medical problems that you may have could affect the treatment plan your doctor may have. Best this is to check with your doctor before taking any iron meds.

     
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    Old 11-10-2008, 08:03 PM   #7
    Rhiannon68
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    Re: Hello, new here

    Do any of you who see a hematologist agree that these strange symptoms are from low iron?

     
    Old 11-10-2008, 08:50 PM   #8
    Rhiannon68
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    Re: Hello, new here

    I have one more question, did any of you with low iron ever feel like your symptoms improved and then got worse? The only thing I can think of is my periods, losing so much blood and maybe my poor body was trying to make iron and I would feel a little better?
    I am sitting here in tears as I read thru these posts thinking my God, has this been what's wrong with me all this time? I can recall going up the stairs so slow b/c I felt short of breath and never knew that it could have been my iron? I went to the Mts this summer for vacation, another place that probably added to my low iron, affecting my o2 being in such high elevation and recall being so winded.
    I can't wait to see what my levels are on Wed. I guess it will take a long time to get from a 2 to a decent level. I take 2 iron tabs a day with Vit C......
    Thanks

     
    Old 11-11-2008, 02:34 AM   #9
    moommin
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    Re: Hello, new here

    hi rhiannon i have been on iron for 2 years,becouse of heavey bleeding and dread the last day of my periods i get this overwhelming tiredness and fatigue this will last for maybe a week,then i will start to feel better until my next cycle ,my ferretin last time i had it checked was 39 ,i have and had a lot of symptoms like you, mine started 5 years ago i ,was also told anxiety for the first three years, i still have a lot of the strange symptoms i put them down to low normal b12(advice from good people on this board ) what i want to say is you are not alone ,shirley

     
    Old 11-11-2008, 03:55 AM   #10
    Bluze
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    Re: Hello, new here

    Rhiannon68: FWIW, I had a lot of neurological symptoms like numbness and tingling, blurred vision, and brain fog, which I agree is quite disturbing. I also got quite depressed to the point of where I didn't want to do anything but lie on the couch. My doc mentioned MS as being the worst outcome and I was convinced I had it.

    He did a blood test and my iron was fine, but I was B12 deficient, and that, apparently, is the root of all my problems.

     
    Old 11-11-2008, 07:55 AM   #11
    StephRabin
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    Re: Hello, new here

    bECAUSE THE LAST TIME i GOT MY PERIOD, IT PUT ME RIGHT BACK TO WHERE i WAS FEELING, I strted taking birth control without the plecebo week. You wont have a period and you wont lose any blood. I will 'give' myself a period when the stores are back up.

     
    Old 11-11-2008, 08:47 AM   #12
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    Re: Hello, new here

    [QUOTE=Rhiannon68;3788320]
    have been suffering from some odd symptoms for about 3 yrs and discovered that I have a iron count of 2.
    Rhiannon68, welcome to the boards!

    It takes years to deplete the ferritin levels if it is due to heavy periods. This is a definite culprit for blood loss which ends sometimes in iron deficiency anemia. There are symptoms (I believe) with a low ferritin, mainly fatigue, but many doctors do not believe or know this.


    Dr said it was anxiety which I do have a history of.
    A health history helps with a diagnosis, sometimes it is not ~always~ related. Anemia can cause depression and anxiety for many. I had to take an evaluation to prove to my Neuro and other doctors that it was not depression. It came back as anxiety, which I knew it would because of the way I answered the questions. However, my anxiety/concern was why I had all these symptoms and the doctors don't know what to say about it, because apparently they don't know all. They are unfamiliar with many of the symptoms. The doctors weren't helping me so I became anxious, but only at the time of doctor's appointments. I too did the whole MS route 2 MRI's and nerve conduction testing all was normal, thank goodness!

    I had also found out from my Dr that I had Pica, I chewed and swallowed 4 packs a gum a day for 3 yrs.
    My first symptom was PICA for ice. I was like you exactly, but with ice, which is a know symptom of anemia. I had already been chewing ice for months before I realized that it was a BIG problem after researching the net. As a child I was always told that I was anemic so I thought nothing of it when I read about it and really didn't take it too seriously. I had no idea what anemia meant! I have now been on iron for 2 years.

    But the thing that I found most scarey was this weird brain, head sensation that would get. I felt spaced out, dream like and just unable to think, etc.
    Do you all think this was from my iron being so low??
    I do think this is a symptom of anemia. Every time I had my period I was very ill. I got to the point that I was scared to have my next period. Now I hardly have one and I'm so pleased, it was the best thing that I have ever done for myself.

    I am on iron meds and feel a bit better, no more Pica and discovered my periods are the culprit. I have been on iron for 4 months now.
    You won't be able to fill the ferritin very well until you stop the blood loss. I don't know what your H & H values are, but in my case my doc said that it would be blood transfusion or ablation, I had an ablation. This still didn't resolve the low ferritin only the anemia portion. I take PPI's that cause malabsorption of iron. Anyway, I thought that I could go on taking iron until my periods stopped with menopause and the doctors didn't say otherwise. Then one doctor put it to me as transfusion or ablation, and it was then that I actually "got it" and did something about it.

    Can anyone relate to these odd symptoms?
    I think that most people here can relate as you can see from their posts.

    Please reply I am so afraid!
    From my experience I can tell you that as your iron and ferritin levels go up to normal range you will begin to respond by some if not all symptoms resolving. IF you are left with any then you can address those at that time, but try not to worry because that is added stress and you need rest to help repair your body and make new iron loaded RBC's. I had to quit working which is huge for me. My husband had to take care of me for the first year. It was really bad, I had a 2 ferritin and 8.5 Hgb, but didn't stop the blood loss for something like 6 months and was unable at times to take iron. Therefore, my Hgb had a hard time building back up to non anemic levels. You really might want to start checking out your options as a resolution to blood loss. See your OBGYN. Good luck to you and know that you have the support of this board. FLFLOWERGIRL

    Rhiannon68--Regarding your next post and questions. My symptoms got worse with every period then better so I think this is a normal thing. The more of a drain that you put on your system the more symptoms. For example; when I ate a meal I would have palps. When I tried to work around the house I got dizzy and more.

    I would break out in nausea and sweats sometimes or feeling off for several years (always related to exercise), before I was diagnosed. Now, I have none of this, only fatigue (some thyroid symtoms, I have that too) with a 41 ferritin last time checked.

    How much iron are you taking 2X daily? Do you know what your H & H were when checked? If you haven't already, you should get a hard copy of your test results for future reference. You can post your labs if you like. Hope you get good results this time. Hopefully you are only dealing (which is a lot) with a low ferritin at this point. Were ever anemic? FLFLOWERGIRL

     
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    Old 11-12-2008, 07:13 PM   #13
    Rhiannon68
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    Re: Hello, new here

    Hi
    Went to the doc today for more bloodwork, but I did get a copy of my last results, so here we go....
    MVC 77.2 L (80.0-1.0 fl)
    MCH 25.2 L ( 27.0-33.0 pg)
    RDW 18.5 H (11.0-15.0% )
    Ferritin 2 L (10-232ng/ml
    I don't know what any of these mean except for the Fe

    My Hemoglobin was 11.8 out of 11.7-15.5 g/dl
    Hematocrit was 36.2 out of 35.0-45.0 %

    So anyone that can advise, let me know.....
    He also mentioned I should see my GYN about some prodedure to reduce my periods, which I need to do.
    Thanks

     
    Old 11-12-2008, 08:45 PM   #14
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    Re: Hello, new here

    Rhiannon68--Your labs/MCV basically mean that you have smaller RBC's in size and shape, less oxygen. Your H & H are were L/N (14 to be optimal) and you were not considered anemic (IF your RBC was normal also) at the time of blood draw according to your labs. But........the ferritin of 2 means you have no iron left in storage to hold your Hgb up to the normal range. However, you have fixed this by now if you have been on a good dose of iron for 4 months as you said. The Ferritin (you already know this) can take up to a year to fill for a healthy normal person, some people are lucky and fill at a faster rate. Your new blood work should look pretty good compared to these labs.

    All your symptoms point to anemia and low/no ferritin. I do find it a little unusual that you had PICA (a symptoms of anemia) with a low normal H & H, perhaps you were mildly anemic (I didn't see your RBC count), and it didn't show on the labs yet??? You were very borderline for mild anemia. What did your doctor say?

    I had an endometrial ablation to slow/stop my periods. I am still amazed a year later that there is hardly any blood loss, one day of spotting. If it were not for good hygiene I wouldn't need to use anything. Sorry if that was TMI. It's well worth having a procedure of whatever form that is right for you, if it will stop your bleeding problems. You will not fix your problems until you stop the loss. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
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    Old 11-12-2008, 09:36 PM   #15
    Rhiannon68
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    Re: Hello, new here

    Hey
    Thanks for your reply. My RBC Count was 4.69 normal range of 3.80-5.10.
    Yes, the PICA was weird. I feel so embarressed about it. My husband used to chew this gum Polar Ice and I hated the smell of it, then all of a sudden, I started chewing it like a mad person. Packs and packs a day. This went on for 3 yrs. I craved that gum so much. I would go to the store and buy like 15 packs a time. The store down from me even ordered it. I also craved the smell of Pine Sol. But after being on iron a few weeks, its all left, I can't stand the gum or the pine sol smell.
    I really do hope my levels have went up. Do you think its unusual for someone to have all of the symptoms I have even though I was not anaemic?
    My doc said a lot of women have anxiety with the low FE. I am so hoping that this has been what was wrong with me, the brain fog, etc and that is why I felt so so bad.
    Tell me about this procedure, was in painful? Was it something they coud do in the office or was it in the OR?
    I read about some procedure they used a balllon thingy.
    My periods are so bad. I use a box of Super Plus Tampons and pads in 2 days. No joke.
    I think I probably was anemic at some point in the past few yrs. Sometimes my periods were not as bad and maybe my body had some time to build up a little iron.
    Would I feel any difference if my iron say was 2 and went to 6 or so, would I feel better with that small of a change?
    Thanks and so glad to have your help.
    Rhi

     
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