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  • common symptoms of anemia- what are yours?

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    Old 08-31-2003, 01:56 PM   #31
    StacieLee2000
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by dorri:
    As some of these symptoms may also be indicative of other medical conditions, please check with your physician for the appropiate testing of Anemia.

    Common Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia

    Extreme weakness and tiredness
    Confusion or loss of concentration
    Shortness of breath especially on exertion
    Rapid heartbeat, palpitations
    Chest pain
    Possible hairloss
    Headache
    Wounds that heal slowly
    Dizziness or fainting
    Difficulty sleeping
    Pale skin colour
    Pale fingernails (often with vertical lines)
    Pale lips, ear lobes and mucous membrane
    (draw down your lower eyelid, if you are anemic
    the mucous membrane will often appear whitish
    pink instead of a vibrant healthy colour)

    Some Symptoms of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

    Fatigue
    Loss of appetite
    Weight loss
    Constipation
    Flatulence (gas)
    Depression
    Confusion
    Poor memory
    Burning of mouth and tongue
    Menstrual disturbances
    Nervous system problems such as numbness,
    tingling, needles and pins feeling in hands
    and feet
    Neuritis
    Pain and stiffness in spine
    Difficulty walking and maintaining
    balance after prolonged deficiency
    Psychological symptoms.


    [This message has been edited by dorri (edited 07-17-2003).]
    Hi Dorri,
    I was recently diagnosed with anemia and a B-12 deficiency. I have SO many of the symptoms which you listed. I have lost some weight, and I can't gain it back!! I have always been on the small side, but..I am 5'7" and have a smaller waist size than my daughter has. She is 13 and weighs 100 lbs. I could eat blizzards and snicker bars all day, but I am having a hard time gaining weight. And as for psychological problems, do you know to what extent these are? I know I feel sometimes like I'm losing my mind trying to figure out if my symptoms are typical for these two deficiencies. The doctors have run about every blood test known to man,and have tested my thyroid- everything continues to come back "normal." Any info you have regarding this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot.
    Take care,
    Stacie

     
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    Old 09-01-2003, 12:59 PM   #32
    Aviva
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    Wow - I'm so interested that craving ice has been mentioned! I crunch ice cubes all day for no apparant reason and I was told once that it was common amongst anemics. I wonder why? Can anyone else relate to that?

    Anyway, due to having heavy periods, I've been very anemic for a couple of years now. Homeopathic remedies have kept my fibroids from growing but I've found anemia to be a very difficult condition to recover from.

    My symptoms are tiredness, fatigue on exertion, shortness of breath, mental fogginess, inability to concentrate, poor appetite and a racing heartbeat. At my lowest point I also suffered with dizziness, insomnia, depression and nausea and got horribly pale.


     
    Old 09-01-2003, 06:11 PM   #33
    QuietStorm4000
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    OK, I can't stand to be left out!
    I think the fatigue is the worst as it affects EVERYTHING! It gets really hard to exercise. Just donning my work-out wear can be exhausting. I also find it hard to concentrate. Usually I read a lot but when my blood levels are low I find it hard to follow the stories. My immune system will also crash when it gets bad. I ended up with pneumonia for 5 solid months before I finally turned myself in to the dr. And, this one is really annoying but I've read that it is common--the corners of my lips will split. Anyone else get that? The top lip and bottom lip don't nor do they usually get chapped, just the corners--ouch! I'm often pretty pale so my hubby will affectionately refer to me as "The Great White."
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    Old 09-01-2003, 09:23 PM   #34
    dorri
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    Hi Stacie, how are your blood levels of iron and B-12 now? I've read that B-12 is necessary for proper digestion and absorption of foods and for normal metabolism of carbohydrates and fat. Of course your inability to gain weight may be caused from something else, but it can also be caused by a B-12 deficiency. If you don't absorb it, then it's hard to put on weight. Diarreha and lack of appetite may also be a symptom of B-12 deficiency.
    As for your question about psychological problems connected to B-12 anemia, which may be irritability, nervousness, depression, memory loss, paranoia, mood fluctuations and disorientation. Of course these symptoms may also be indicative of other medical conditions. Anyone having these symptoms should have a doctor do a blood test for B-12 deficiency and also rule out other condtions which may be related to these symptoms. Good luck, I hope you feel better soon and I hope this little bit of info helped.

     
    Old 09-02-2003, 07:19 AM   #35
    PaNik5717
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    Hi Stacie,

    Another thing to think about with your diet, if your B-12 is OK, is your sugar intake. If you eat sugary foods all day without gaining weight, you could be creating a state of reactive hypoglycemia. I ate fruits all day during college and grad school and basically starved myself. I could eat more and more and would end up even hungrier. I added protein to every meal and snack and now I am a lot less hungry and have gained about 15 pounds - a little more than I wanted, but I think it will go away as soon as my health gets in line.

    It's so tough to balance all of the health issues witht he right nutrition. Ugh!

    I did not have a b-12 deficiency, but I was severely depressed when I was more anemic. I was battling PTSD and my doc tried to put me on an anti-depressant before he tested my blood, but I knew that there was something else wrong. Turned out to be anemia and the drugs were not necessary.
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    Old 09-02-2003, 03:05 PM   #36
    dorri
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    Hi Panik, it's great that the protein helped you in your weight gain. If I should be so lucky. I have a chronic condition which affects my absorption. The iron and B-12 anemia doesn't help any, probably a result of mal-absorption. I recently started taking a whey protein supplement to gain some muscle back and to help stop wasting of the muscles. I also bought some liver today, ugh! don't know if I will be able to tolerate it. I also tried downing some omega-3 oils. It would be nice if something kicked in and started to work for me. I hope that Your doctor finds the cause of your bleeding. Good luck on your new job. Take care.

     
    Old 09-04-2003, 04:14 PM   #37
    PaNik5717
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    Hi Dorri,

    The protein helped me so much. I used to think I had some kidn of parasite or absorption problem, but I didn't know what to call it and I couldn't get any doctors to take me seriously. They see so many people who are overweight that gaining weight doesn't seem to be an issue they can handle. They would just tell me to eat more - more fruits, more bagels...I would make myself go to the store hungry so that I would bring home enough food. I felt like a forager - like one of our ancestors always in search of more food. Then, I added cheese and peanut butter to everything and it was a miracle. I always thought those would be too fattening so I stuck with apples and other fruits and I basically starved myself with food. My family even thought I was anorexic. Once I added the protein, I think I may have contributed to my anemia because I was so focused on protein I didn't focus on iron as much.

    Wow, am I chatty today.

    How was the liver? I have never eaten it and I can't stand onions! Just the thought of liver is kinda creepy since it is the part of the body that helps to cleanse the body. Sorry, I hope you already ate it and it wasn't recently! I am interested in trying more of the seafoods listed earlier, but I live in the desert and it's tough to get anything fresh here. I saw some salmon in the store today - not sure how much iron is in that - but it said it had color added. I wonder if that is common.

    The first job interview went well and I got a second one. It was a lot harder. I had to talk a lot about conflict resolution and I just haven't had that much conflict in my life! She said I should know in about a week if I get to move to the next stage of the hiring process. I sure hope I am strong enough for the work I want to do. Desk jobs are too easy for me because I am such an intellectual. I find outdoor jobs far more challenging.
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    Old 09-04-2003, 08:41 PM   #38
    dorri
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    Hi PaNik, if you don't mind me asking, how much weight did you gain after adding protein to your diet? From what I read protein puts on solid weight (not flabby) so I like the sound of that. So does lifting weights but it can take up to a year to see a big difference on the scale.
    As for your salmon question, I don't think it's a good source of iron with 3 oz's of canned salmon /or fresh salmon providing only about .7mg's. As for the color added, that doesn't sound right, atleast I never heard of them adding color. Must have been an anemic salmon so they had to add color, LoL. However salmon is an excellent source of omega 3's.
    Wishing you luck with your interviews, hope you get the position that you want.

     
    Old 09-05-2003, 08:07 AM   #39
    PaNik5717
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    Hi Dorri,

    I was probably thinking of salmon for the Omega-3's. I think those are supposed to help a lot with my cervical health to help fight the abnormal cells. Salmon is the first "fresh" fish I have seen in my grocery store, but I am guessing it's probably not so fresh and that's why they need the added color. I can't get mussels or oysters anywhere near here, so I guess I will stick with beef and chicken combined with non-heme sources.

    As for my weight gain, I had probably gained ten pounds before my broken leg and my bleeding kept me in bed for the better part of the last year. I think I went from about 102-104lbs to about 110-112lbs. Now I am stuck at 116. I added a lot of protein, including nuts, cheese, pinto beans, and eggs, and some complex carbs like brown rice and whole wheat flour. The complex carbs are tougher to come by than the proteins. Last night I made my first whole wheat tortillas. I thought the family would really protest, but they actually liked them. The weight gain has been nice, but not feeling hungry/grouchy all the time has been the best part.

    I think I would be pretty solid if I could maintain my normal level of activity, but it is so tough when my lungs burn and I start to bleed every time I try to leave the house. Lifting weights would be my last choice. I live in such a beautiful place that I prefer to get my workouts outdoors! If I am indoors, I will do yoga and I have some great video apes. Yoga got tough when I was really anemic, though, because I would get so dizzy bending over.

    Did you eat the liver? You know, we talk a lot about trying to include iron in my diet, but my doctors both told me that it wouldn't help much. I'm still on iron pills. Aren't you getting IV iron? I think the diet sources of iron are probably more for prevention adn maintenance than for correction of anemia.
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    Old 09-05-2003, 06:56 PM   #40
    MarianJ
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    Hello Everyone,

    I am a member of the back pain boards. I am copying and pasting a post that I just made on those boards. It looks like I may start posting here as well. So I wanted to share my story and then start reading hundred's more posts.

    Recently, my doctor's office called me concerning results of my blood work testing. I was so worried because they are worried about me developing Type ll Diabetes as I already have been diagnosed with high glucose. Well, my blood sugars came back OK but they found that I have anemia. This has really worried me. Prior to surgery my surgeon had almost canceled it because of a low blood count. He asked me if I had anemia and I said no. He then thought that my count was low because of donating my blood only 8 days ago. Then on top of that I had started menstruating during pre op testing. My surgeon did not have to use my donation during surgery. But after I still had a low blood count. Then four days after surgery would you believe that I started to menstruate again. I called my surgeon at 5 days post op and he told me to start taking iron tablets. I did purchase iron tablets and took them for about 4 weeks. My primary doctor's office told me not to take anything until they do more blood work on me. I have an appointment on Tuesday.

    As most of you know since I have been doing so much complaining, I have very swollen feet. It has now traveled completely up both my legs to my knees. The stiffness is unbearable and my legs feel like rubber bands. I have so much pain in them. I haven't called my surgeon's office because I thought things would get better. However, they did call me to cancel my appointment on the 12 and reschedule to the 16. What's four more days at this point? I was starting to wonder if my swellings are related to anemia. So I called my sister who is a MA and works in a doctor's office. She talked to her doctor's and they told her that indeed these are symptoms of iron deficiency anemia. He then asked her if I had a pica. She told him OMG yes. I have been eating at least 10 cups of crushed ice a day since my surgery. I thought it was a very unusual craving. I actually craved ice over my coffee. Also my daughter had noticed a few days ago that I started to get these white spots on my neck. My sister checked me and found they are also starting on my arm. She told her boss this and he said this is also from the anemia and that I better get to my doctor soon. I have been very tired but I thought that was because of all these pain meds and I really don't get much sleep with these painful nights. I am told this is another symptom of iron deficiency anemia.

    Yes, I realize this is the back boards, but I had to post this in case some of my symptoms may not be from my fusion surgery. Although it all began close to surgery date. Looks as if I have to start researching anemia as I know very little about this. Sorry so long....

    Why Me



    ------------------
    Lumbar MRI 10/02
    Lumbar Lordosis
    L5-S1 disc herniation with moderate thecal sac deformity.
    L4-5 disc desiccation with bulge which results in mild thecal sac deformity and mild bilateral foraminal stenosis.
    L2-3 disc desiccation with Schmorlís nodule of L3.
    Lumbar Epidural 1/30/03
    Lumbar Epidural 2/12/03
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    Cervical MRI 10/02
    Loss of cervical lordosis with reversal of the curvature.
    C4-5 and C6-7 disc bulges resulting in flattening of the ventral margin of the cord.
    C5-6 there is a left foraminal herniation which results in moderate foraminal stenosis In addition, there is flattening of the ventral margin of the cord due to bulging disc.
    Cervical Epidural 5/19/03

     
    Old 09-06-2003, 09:48 PM   #41
    dorri
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    Hi Tommorrow and welcome to the Anemia Board. Yes some of the symptoms you describe can be related to anemia. You say you've had surgery and that in itself causes blood loss. With your surgery and a already low blood count prior to surgery, has probably put you well into anemia. I'm glad you have an appointment and hope that your doctor will come up with proper treatment for you. Good luck and hope you are soon feeling better.

     
    Old 09-06-2003, 10:54 PM   #42
    dorri
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    Hi PaNik and yes I tried the liver the other day. I don't think that it's something I would like to eat on a regular basis but it somehow went down. Can you imagine, I've read that years ago when they still hadn't come up with a treatment for pernicious anemia, people's lives were saved by having them down liver several times a day. It was then that they discovered it was the b-12 in the liver which was the missing factor in these people. Today, they manufacter B-12 from other sources.
    True, if you are very deficient in iron, getting iron from food sources is not enough, you need help from supplementation to bring iron stores back to normal. So eating iron rich foods is more of a preventative, but I would think if you are just a little low, then iron rich foods will probably help bring stores up to normal.
    I had an iron infusion in the beginning of July. It takes 4-6 weeks for your system to start building new red blood cells. Iron levels slowly go up and continue to go up for the next 3 to 5 months or so and then may start to drop again, depending on the cause of the anemia. If the cause was succesfully treated, then levels remain normal without further treatment of infusions. However in some cases, such as internal bleeding, iron levels may remain low inspite of intervenous iron treatment.
    P.S- I wonder what other health benefits liver has? Ya, I also wondered about the liver being a storage depot for toxins, but then again cows don't eat the garbage that humans do. No offense to any one, but alot of our foods today are manmade with added vitamins and that can be a burden on the human liver. That's not saying cow's liver is perfectly safe. I don't know! I guess this is a question for a nutritionist. Take care!

     
    Old 09-07-2003, 04:41 PM   #43
    KY7U Mike
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    Hello. I had a bilio pancreatic bypass (gastric bypass)
    operation in June 86. I have experienced ongoing
    anemia which was causing my red blood count to be
    always below normal and my calcium absorption to be
    below normal. The amount of supplements directed by
    my surgeon did not alter the levels shown on my frequent blood testing. As years went by, no changes
    in supplements seemed to bring any of these below normal readings up to normal range. I was getting weaker as time went by, experience bone and muscle
    pain and in past 4 years a considerable amount of edema in both feet and both legs. I consulted with a
    blood specialist MD who decided after looking at all
    the lab tests including a bone marrow biopsy to try me oon the drug PROCRIT. 10,000 I.U. per weak initially.
    My red blood count came back up to normal and a number of my other blood chemistry readings including my calcium level. The edema in my legs after about 1 month on the PROCRIT drug went away. The doctor tried
    reducing the PROCRIT to 10,000 i.u eery OTHER weak and
    the red blood count started dropping and the edema
    started coming back. He put me back on original level
    and blood count started rising again but the edema this time did not totally go away. I am scheduled for
    another blood test tomorrow 9/8/03 to determine current blood count and anticipate the MD raising the amount of the PROCRIT above the 10,000 i.u. per weak.
    I am considering a consultation with a surgeon who is
    currently performing WLS to see if they have any suggestions for a possible revision. I was diabetic preop in June 86 and have been totall free of diabetes
    ever since the 86 surgery. I need to take some permanent action to resolve the ongoing anemia but do not want to do anything surgically that might make my diabetes return. I am 65 years old now and current weight is 195 pounds which has been stable in this range for many years. I was 327# preop and have had no
    problem maintaining my current weight which my MD's are satisfied with. Any patient that has experienced similiar difficulties from the type of gastric bypass
    that could give me some information as to what steps
    you may have or are taking to resolve these problems would be greatly appreciated. My gastric surgeon is no
    longer practicing medicine and is not available for
    postop consultation.

    ------------------
    Mike
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    Old 09-13-2003, 05:49 AM   #44
    SleepyKitty
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    Dorri, Thanks for the expansive list of symptoms. I'd be more than happy to share with you the one that trouble me most.

    Extreme weakness and tiredness ---> ALWAYS
    Confusion or loss of concentration ---> YUP
    Shortness of breath especially on exertion -->occas
    Rapid heartbeat, palpitations --> infrequently
    Chest pain ----> yes
    Possible hairloss ----> unfortunately
    Headache -----> intolerable I have 5 dif rx's for them
    Wounds that heal slowly ---> not really
    Dizziness or fainting ----> a wee bit
    Difficulty sleeping -----> ambien to the rescue
    Pale skin colour -----> can you say CASPER
    Pale fingernails (often with vertical lines)--> YES!!
    Pale lips, ear lobes and mucous membrane --> GHOSTLY
    (draw down your lower eyelid, if you are anemic
    the mucous membrane will often appear whitish
    pink instead of a vibrant healthy colour)

    Some Symptoms of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

    Fatigue ---> Diagnosed with CFS/FMS
    Loss of appetite ---> YES
    Weight loss ----> not particularly
    Constipation ----> nope
    Flatulence (gas)----> yup (pardon me)
    Depression -----> chronic/severe
    Confusion ----> yes
    Poor memory ----> gets worse all the time
    Burning of mouth and tongue -----> yes
    Menstrual disturbances ---> missed cycles then heavy
    Nervous system problems such as numbness,
    tingling, needles and pins feeling in hands
    and feet -----> lil bit mostly my toes
    Neuritis ---> not sure what this is
    Pain and stiffness in spine ----> upon waking
    Difficulty walking and maintaining ----> upon waking
    balance after prolonged deficiency
    Psychological symptoms.----> hand in hand with depression

    I have been SUFFERING for 5 yrs, I am at the point I am ready to drink blood! LOL I am always weak, tired. Maybe once every couple month I have a really good day or two and then I really do to much and I pay fo rit dearly.


     
    Old 09-13-2003, 08:14 AM   #45
    avuntika
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    hi all,
    im anemic since many years. have been told i suffer from iron deficiency anemia, but taking iron for years and years still only maintains my haemoglobin level at 9 to 10. i suffer from very heavy periods too. im tired most of the time, sleep 12+ hrs daily, look pale and am depressed too. even after so much sleep i hv to drag myself out of bed every morning. i also hv hair fall that nothing seems to help. i thot abt trying iron iv since tabs are not helping me, but reading abt some of the side effects has me all scared. im very jittery abt doctors and medical procedures, and especially needles !! any advice would be appreciated. thanks !

     
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