Shortness of breath due to iron anaemia?

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hello,

about two months ago i got my blood test done which showed very low levels of haemoglobin and haemotocrit. I then got my serum iron test done too and i was diagnosed with iron deficiency anaemia. I started a regular ferrous sulphate supplement from a local company. Although some symptoms (such as tingling in legs) have gone, i have started to feel shortness of breath and especially from evening onwards it increases. This shortness of breath is there since the last three days. I had this feeling earlier but then it subsided. Is it possible that my supplement isnt working and that i need a more effective one?

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  • Posted

    Hi there, I had severe iron deficiency anaemia and was also put on iron suppliments, I am still taking a lower dose, how much are you taking and is it prescribed or over the counter? Mine was prescribed and I was on 210mg of Ferrous Fumerate 3 times a day, the iron tabs you buy over the counter are generally not 'gutsy' enough for what you need they are only meant to be a top up for people who perhaps don't get enough by diet alone, my shortness of breath diminished considerably in the first 2 weeks of beginning treatment so I think you should perhaps go back to your doctor and ask if you need something stronger.
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    • Posted

      Hello how long did it take for your shortness of breath to subside completely. I was recently diagnosed with anaemia and was also put on iron supplements my shortness of breath started to get better within days. I've been taking the supplements going on 3 months now shortness of breath isn't as bad as it use to be but I still have mild shortness of breath. Is this normal?

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  • Posted

    What was your hemoglobin and hematrocrit level? Iron, ferritin, total iron binding capacity and % saturation lab values?

    How much are you taking?

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  • Edited

    shortness of breath are not due to anemic condition this may be cause of allergy or infection issue. You can treat this with anti allergy pills.
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    • Edited

      Shortness of breath definitely is part of anemia! I've had it. Went on a hike and it was so hard. Even a small flight of stairs an leave you winded. Other symptoms - things going black when you stand up, burning mouth and gums, instant dry cough , and I had months of dysphagia ( painful swallowing) which went away after five days on iron. Even my upper lip started to feel paralyzed. Don't underestimate the effects of anemia.
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    • Posted

      I've had it as well, my blood count went down to 6.4 and we have 11 stairs at home, trying to get halfway was like going up Mount Everest, also had the cough, was on bed rest for a while, even crossing the landing to go to the bathroom was an effort, I was on iron tabs 3 times a day for 3 months! thankfully much better now.
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    • Posted

      Hi. Exactly happened with me, pulse rate is 105 to 120. I strted iron from yesterday. And taking multiple vitamin injections.

      I faced other things too that I would like to share if it related to u too that I've noticed red tiny spots yesterday, shiny spot on arms and two at back also. Is it normal or a very severe deficiency of iron. And weird cracking sound from bones, kneww joints elbow throat. Have u faced al this too? I am more concerned about tiny blood coloured red spot.

      Reema

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    • Posted

      mine is currently at 3.4. I just visited a hematologist today. I have to start iron infusion (IV) once my insurance decides if they will pay for it. The shortness of breth is rediculous for me. i was unaware that Anemia could also be a cause for my RLS. 
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    • Posted

      You are SO wrong on two scores.  First shortness of breath with allergies is often Asthma and requires a doctor to prescribe a correct course of action, which will likely include Asthma medications with or without allergy meds.  Please don't offer medical advice.   Second, shortness of breath is VERY much a symptom of iron deficiency &/or anemia as iron and hemoglobin are what carries oxygen in the blood.   Since I suffer from both asthma and iron deficency anemia, I can tell you that for me the breathlessness is different.  With the iron deficiency I tire easily, have short fast breathes, but no congestion, no wheezing, nor tightness in my chest.  Also- my legs will ache from simplest activities- crossing a parking lot, walking from room to room in my home.  The best part of getting infussions was being able to walk around again.

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    • Posted

      Was there anything that could be done for your shortness of breath? This is the worst part for me. I have almost gone to the ER a few times because I just can't get a good breath. Being tired all the time is awful, but not being able to breathe is worse!!! ....and scary!!!

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    • Posted

      Iron infusions work for me. I have had about three over the last year. You do not need to suffer like this. Go to your GP - I think you may be in the US? So visit a doctor. When I was diagnosed I was so bad they admitted me to hospital and I had a blood transfusion. I try not to let it get that bad again. Don't wait any longer - get it checked, please.

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    • Posted

      There are several things that can cause anemia; blood loss is the most obvious, so that's why doctors send you for colonoscopies/endoscpies etc., some people have stomach ulcers or other problems in their digestive system.  However, I was losing large amounts of blood from bleeding hemorrhoids,  Some women lose excessive blood during menstruation, but less common causes can be related to food or medication.  Some medications block the absorption of iron, such as some indigestion remedies and acid reflux medication etc. 

      Certain foods also block iron, like coffee or anything with calcium.  Some people just have low iron diets, particularly vegetarian and vegan diets - you have to eat a huge amount of veg to get the iron you need and from the actual iron you eat - you only absorb about 30% of digested iron.

      it took me 2 years of feeling pathetic and lifeless - as a larger woman, doctors just kept telling me to lose weight - but I had always been very active until then, despite my size - and no one believed me about how much blood i was losing or about how little energy I had.  It was very frustrating when docs kept telling me to exercise more.  Are you kidding, i couldn't stand up without getting out of breath and when i told them that, they just thought i was lazy.  It's not enough that anemia takes months to restore your body's iron, but when you're dealing with medical professionals who are dismissive we have further problems. As anemia symptoms begin they often start slowly; feeling a bit more tired than usual or a bit less energy, a lot of us put it down to other things that are happening in our life that might make us a little less energetic, I thought initially it was because i was getting a bit older.  Many family doctors aren't fully informed about most conditions - they know enough to send you for tests or to a specialist and so you go through a battery of unnecessary procedures and wait an unreasonable amount of time for answers.   

      I had to figure it out for myself.  I asked my doctor to arrange to have my hemorrhoids removed and I put myself on iron and b12 supplements, within days of being on the supplements I started to feel better, but after more than 2 years of being totally inactive, i've got a long way to go to get fit again. 

      I understand the ignorant comments - if doctors don't know, how can you expect a layperson to know anything.  BUT I agree with other comments - telling a stranger to take allergy medicine is unbelievable and yet one more person with no insight or understanding.   Let's hope no one took that advice!  Good luck to everyone who's suffering from anemia, I hope you get back to your normal self soon.

       

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    • Posted

      I have a question... I feel your post, JFlo. I am overweight and have very heavy periods, to the point that my iron gets very low. Two years ago I finally went to a doctor after a couple years of not, because I was tired of being told my weight is the end all be all of issues for me. My gp sent me directly to the hospital from his office because my hemoglobin was very low. He later confessed to thinking I had cancer, because of my age and how bad it actually was. My iron was a 3 and my hemoglobin was a 6. Fast forward and it has been two years since I was hospitalized. I felt great right out of the hospital, having IV iron was life changing. Though, I have slowly declined since. I'm starting to get heart palpitations again. I have shortness of breath just doing the simplest tasks. I'm tired all the time, my legs burn walking short distances. I'm nervous to go to a doctor. I don't think I could handle being brushed off. The sad thing is, I know what it's like to not feel this way. I felt better after IV iron. I could walk so much further and simple tasks didn't exhaust me even though I am overweight I was very active. I did go to my doctor after the hospital, but have since stopped because he gave up. He wanted me to go get IV iron at a hematologist's office, but I told him I can't afford that. I can't afford to get IV iron outside of the hospital. I don't have insurance and can't get insurance until November. I don't want to spend $100 plus on a doctor's visit. With my symptoms, do you think I have a valid reason to go to the ER? I keep putting it off because I'm afraid. Though, my heart beats funny and sometimes I have a hard time catching my breath. Thanks in advance for any responses.

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    • Posted

      Hi Taylor81604

      I understand how expensive it can be for treatments and sometimes our health takes a back seat because of this. 

      IV iron is a temporary fix if you only do it a few times - it does make you feel great again till your body uses it up and it does make you feel better more quickly than oral iron can.  Iron and B12 are vital to good health - as well as many other minerals and vitamins.

      If you can't afford the infusion, you might want to consider taking oral supplements.  At the drug store you can find products like Euro-Fer which costs less than $5 for 30 capsules.   You might find an even lower cost product where you live, but talk to your pharmacist to advise you on a low cost product that has enough elemental iron in it.  

      I take one per day, but you may be able to take more to speed up the process- the pharmacist will advise you.

      You have to stay on your treatment - i'm surprised the hospital didn't put you on a treatment plan.  You need to take iron in one for or another for a long time - it can take 6 - 12 months to get your iron reserves back to normal.  Even when your iron is restored to normal levels, with your heavy flow you may need to keep taking a iron, or see what can be done to reduce your flow.  I would think the oral iron is the least expensive and least harmful to your body, until you can get insurance again.  

      A dose of IV iron might give you the boost you need again to start you on your way to feeling good.  I don't think it's wrong of you to go to the ER for them to give you IV iron, it sounds like your iron levels could be at a critical level if your heart is palpitating.  But remember to take the oral iron when you leave the hospital so you don't get so ill again.  Now that my iron is improving i have a bit more energy - no where near what it should be but it's enough to start doing some exercise again.  I've been doing a very low impact aerobics workout that i found on youtube.  I do it every other day for 8 minutes - i'm building up to doing a longer workout, but even this is making me feel alive again - and i've lost 5 lbs. 

      So please put your health first - think about your budget and if there is anything you can give up so that you can afford the $5 for the oral iron.  I know what it's like to be on a low income - many of us have been there, there's no shame in living in a country that doesn't have enough jobs for everyone, and there should be no shame in being overweight either, not all of us are sitting watching the soaps all day eating potato chips.  Some of us have health issues and it's time for people to stop judging - especially the medical community.  I would love to hear from you again - it sounds like we have a lot in common and can be supportive of each other.  Let me know if this interests you and i'll find a way to for us to exchange email addresses.

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    • Posted

      Yes so is thinning hair and brittle nails I had a Hemoglobin count of 4 I could not even shower without feeling as if I was going to black out! Because I waited so long to get help I even have heart failure. I never realized how devastating the affects of  Anemia could be you literally cannot breathe it feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest!
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    • Posted

      Hi  Capsicum, im older and have copd but i was doing pretty ok with that; im not real bad yet. however, i started being pretty short of breath and had to take it slow around the store, now about 3 or 4 weks has passed and as soon as i stand up and begin to walk, i am extremely SOB. I have to get back to a sitting position and regain my breath and im fine.  But also, once i start to walk., this kinda heavy, real funny feeling comes over my head and body.  I am very anemic and just thought about that. 4 yrs ago i had 2 blood transfusions or perhaps iron infusions.  does your SOB get that bad and with a weird feeling? thanks

      \

       

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    • Posted

      Shortness of breath has been the worst for me!  I have been getting iron infusions for over a year, but still keep losing blood -- somewhere!! Doctors can't figure that part out.  

      ?When I went to my GP, she just kept telling me that I was anxious and needed to see a counselor for my issues.  Each visit I was going down hill.  I was so out of breath that I couldn't even talk, let alone have enough energy to argue with her!  Finally, my husband was pushing me around in a wheelchair because I couldn't breathe. 

      After that last visit, I went to an ER and my hemoglobin was at 3, and ferritin at 2.  I was put in ICU and given several blood transfusions.  

      ?I have a NEW GP now, but am still suffering from blood loss and anemia.  Doctors haven't been able to solve that issue yet.  

        When my #s get low, I can't even move from one dining room chair to the next without being completely out of breath and having to rest 5+ minutes. 

      This is no fun!!  I really have no life.  I spend most of the time just sitting around waiting for the next iron refill!

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    • Posted

      Hello Terrie

      Yes my SOB got that bad at the start about three years ago. Since then I’ve been monitored more closely and I have iron infusions when the levels are low enough( about every 3 months). You must not let it get this bad. It’s a dangerous state and you must get the treatment you need. I’m sorry not to answer  earlier. I hope you are feeling better.

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    • Posted

      This sounds awful. My iron infusions are given when my levels reach a certain point well below the crisis level you describe. That first GO sounds appalling- I hope someone told her what happened to you so she doesn’t do it again to someone else. I can empathise with you. This has been going on for nearly 3 years and they still don’t know how I’m losing blood. Good luck.
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    • Posted

      Hey Donna i am sorry that your anemia has been so up in the air sad I havemild beta thalassemia minor so my hematologist basically told me i will have sob here and there but to just take ferrous sulfate 325mg tablets 3xs a day until i reach menopause . Idk what your hematologist has told you but that's basically the only person who knows how to deal with our anemia our go's arent much help with that unfortunately. Feel free anytime to ask me any questions and keep me updated on your status i will be praying for you hang in there ttyl

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    • Posted

      So true it is so horrible and the worst thing is going to the doctors after realising symptoms are in no chance of getting better ! And then your told you have anxiety....i mean this low iron illness can cause stress and anxiety but doctors never listen to how people really feel when they underground this illness and it breaks people even more.
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    • Posted

      so coughing like dryness an symthom i just been told by my doctor that i was aniemic but the short of breath in dry coughing feeling like i have to cough up aomething started yesterday sep 26

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