Breathlessness and iron tablets

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For months I've been suffering with chest discomfort, a sort of breathlessness and various other symptoms. I was diagnosed with low iron levels and have been taking iron tablets for a couple of weeks now. However, I think my breathing has gotten worse since on them. I feel as though I can breathe, just like I can't take in a sufficient amount of air and I'm feeling quite dizzy and groggy constantly. Some of my other symptoms are headaches, nasal congestion, going to the toilet a lot more, indigestion/burping and difficulty sleeping. I suffer with anxiety (not helping the illness as I have panic attacks a lot currently) and also the common side effects of the iron tablets (diahorrea, black stools etc). I was just wondering whether the iron tablets are meant to be given more time to work or if these tablets are making me worse since my breathing has become a lot worse in my mind. I've listed my other symptoms in case there might be another underlying problem. Any help or advice would be appreciated thank you. I'm so groggy and dizzy and my chest is so uncomfortable it's making my life miserable.

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  • Posted

    Hi Rachel,

    When I first was diagnosed with anemia and got on iron pills, it took a really long time for the iron pills to work and my symptoms to be reduced.  I think it took at least three months before I noticed an improvement.  I would get gaspy just going up a flight of stairs.  If you've been anemic, not only is the iron level in your blood low, but the iron stored in your muscles is low, so it takes time to replentish your iron levels.  Once your blood levels test normal, you should be less gaspy, as then you'll have the hemogloben needed to carry oxygen around your body (right now, when you breathe in, your lungs are working fine, but you don't have enough hemegloben to absorb and carry the oxygen around).  Your blood levels will test normal before you've restored the iron needed in your muscles. So that means the fatigue will stay for a while.  Even once your iron is replenished, you will probably be deconditioned (since you've been so tired, dizzy, and headachey to be as physically active as normal), so then you'll have to build your stamina back up.  It took me about 5 months from diagnosis to feel all the way normal again.  It's really frustrating because it takes so long, but hang in there.  Good luck and I hope you recover more quickly than I did.

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  • Posted

    I just started my iron pills last week and I have noticed heartburn really bad shortly after.(this causes chest pain for me). Has anyone had cramping in their legs and a weird off balance feeling in their head with anemia??
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    • Posted

      Hey I've been havin heartburn and chest pain as well from the iron pills...and some leg pain it's really weird. I felt off balance while sitting in my chair at work lol you aren't alone

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  • Posted

    Have you had your B12 level checked. This is needed to aid iron absorption. And taking with food and orange juice or Vit C is advised. 

    Most iron preparations cause constipation although the one I take produces soft stools but not diahorrea. Maybe worth checking if the one you are taking is suitable for you.

    It is difficult to relax when you are worried and panicky but try deep breathing exercises, through the nose. 

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  • Posted

    I had same problem until I use ultimate iron enzymetic supplements now I'm feeling much better and no iron issues anymore .Remember anemia causes symptoms like anxiety

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  • Posted

    Im in the same situation as you, my feritin went up slightly but i feel almost worse now then i did when it was really low. I experience that same weird breathless feeling when you cant take in a full amount of air. I believe it is just the anaemia and we just need to wait it out. Keeping you in my prayers
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