Anaemia / Light headedness

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Back in January, I was anaemic with very low iron count (88) and ferritin (9).  I took iron tablets and my levels returned to normal after a few months.  Since then, I've had 3 different endoscopies and a CT scan, none of which found any cause for the anaemia, so my doctor said we should just monitor it with regular blood tests.

On July 18th, I had my most recent blood test, and my iron count was ok (148) but my ferritin level was borderline (13.5), so I was prescribed more iron tables.

I'm taking 1x322mg ferrous fumarate per day, but this weekend I've started to feel dizzy/light headed and fatigued.  It's only been about 4 weeks since my blood test - could my iron levels have really dropped into anaemic levels in such a short time, even while taking iron tablets?  Especially since all my tests have shown no internal bleeding.

Not sure if I should go back to the doctor and have my iron levels checked again.  I also suffer from anxiety (I was on citalopram before January, but was told to stop taking it when I was diagnosed with anaemia), so I could just be working myself up over nothing.

Anyone else suffered sudden drops in iron levels without any sign of bleeding or known cause for their anaemia?

I'm male, 35, 6'2", 176lbs/80kg.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Like you, the cause of my anaemia remains a mystery. Iron tablets do not improve my iron levels so I have regular iron infusions or blood transfusions if the levels are too low. Yes, go back to your doctor asap. Good luck. 

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  • Posted

    Hello! Have they mentioned having you do a capsule endoscopy ? This will show if you are bleeding anywhere.  The camera can see any areas that a regular endoscopy and colonoscopy can't see. 

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  • Posted

    I think you mean iron is 9 to 13.5 and Ferritin is 88 to 148. If it's as you wrote in your opening post I am worried. Without the ranges it looks suspect.  

    Yes you iron can drop whilst on supplements. Mine did. I hope they have monitored your b12 and folate as they can cause low iron. 

    If if you feel bad please don't feel bad about going back it might be the same thing it could be something different. 

    Remember to have vit c with your iron. 

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    • Posted

      There seem to be different scales for this - I think for the iron count my hospital is using an old fashioned scale or something.  It's definitely ferritin which is 13.5, and the 'normal' level is supposed to be between 12 and around 300 or something like that.  The iron count is supposed to be normal between 130-180.  At my last test, my iron count was normal, but my ferritin was "in the low end of normal", so I wasn't actually anaemic but they wanted me to take iron to get my ferritin level up.

      I'm 35, and this year was the first time I've been anaemic in my life.  My doctor was convinced at first it must be some sort of gastric or intestinal bleeding, because that's the usual cause of anaemia in men, but I had a gastroscopy, colonoscopy, capsule endoscopy and a CT Scan, and they showed up no problems at all.

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    • Posted

      Ahh makes sense now. Common iron range is 7-27 so 88 would've been really high. Caffeine, being a vegetarian, coeliac(gluten) can all affect iron. 

      I had an iron infusion and it's kept my levels up. My ferritin went from 50 to 464 and iron from 6 to 17.  I only managed  to get my ferritin from 17 to 50 on supplements and my iron went from 10 to 6. The good thing about infusion is you don't have to worry about the stomach absorbing the iron and the side effects that taking iron causes. 

      However your results look like you are absorbing the iron just slowly. Monthly check ins are not bad if you don't feel well. 

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  • Posted

    CSW I'm a female so my problems were different, and solved differentlly, but I had a ferritin of 6 last year and felt dreadful.  Lightheadedness and wooziness were very prominent symptoms.  

    Some people have absorption issues with iron, maybe the doctor can investigate this avenue?  Also other things like bugs (H Pylori for instance) might block iron absorption because they infiltrate the lining of the stomach.

    Have you been tested for H Pylori (simple blood test) and also thyroid problems?

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    • Posted

      I've had a ton of blood tests.  They definitely tested for thyroid problems, don't know about H Pylori.

      I'm feeling better this week, so I'm going to wait and see before going back to see a doctor.  Even over the weekend when I wasn't feeling great, it wasn't as bad as I felt in January when I definitely was anaemic.

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