can low iron cause severe fatigue?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sallys, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. sallys

    sallys New Member

    anyone who has had this problem i'm looking for your experiences. Just got a phone call from drs receptionist saying go to GP cos iron is low and that is why i'm fatigued.

    My iron is usually at the low end of normal and from time to time goes to below the norm because i have very heavy menses (always have so nothing new) but even when i take iron supplements it never improved the fatigue.

    Your experiences would be valuable

    thanks
    sallys
  2. lostmisty

    lostmisty New Member

    I had severe anemia for a year because of bleeding; so tired I'd have a yogurt sitting there and not have the strength to lift up the spoon. It can cause other symptoms as well, shortness of breath...dizziness. After nine months of almost 1000mg of iron a day I regained my iron levels and lost some of my weakness. Fibro gives it's own fatigue and weakness but anemia can wipe you out all by itself. Iron is the devil to take but worth it in the long run. Don't forget your fiber even if you have to take it in a pill. I hope you feel better soon. :)
    ~Misty~
  3. PepperGirl52

    PepperGirl52 New Member

    are what carry oxygen through your body. If you are low on that (hemoglobin), you are low on oxygen.

    You know what it's like when you can't breathe correctly, for whatever reason? Of course, it's going to zap your strength. That's what happens when your hemoglobin is lacking the oxygen it needs to properly feed and nourish your body, to help create the balance that God intended it to have.

    I know that the iron pills are very hard on the stomach, and can be constipating. Make sure you're eating lots of green, leafy vegetables, and if you are not a vegetarian, try liver and red meats, too. That will help boost the red blood cells.

    I found out during my hospital stay that I was very anemic, and I know now why I was feeling SO tired before the surgery! It's a horrible feeling. Good luck! PG
  4. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    You might want to try prescription iron supplement, only because of your heavy menses, of course! I get one specific symptom (since I can't rely on fatigue factor, it's always bad!) and it is dizziness and increased heart palpitations!

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_deficiency_%28medicine%29 I got the following:


    Iron deficiency (or "sideropenia") is the most common known form of nutritional deficiency. In the human body, iron is present in all cells and has several vital functions -- as a carrier of oxygen to the tissues from the lungs in the form of hemoglobin, as a facilitator of oxygen use and storage in the muscles as myoglobin, as a transport medium for electrons within the cells in the form of cytochromes, and as an integral part of enzyme reactions in various tissues. Too little iron can interfere with these vital functions and lead to morbidity and mortality.

    The direct consequence of iron deficiency is iron deficiency anemia. Groups that are most prone to developing this disease are children, and pre-menopausal women.

    Total body iron averages approximately 3.8 g in men and 2.3 g in women. There are several mechanisms that control human iron metabolism and safeguard against iron deficiency. The main regulatory mechanism is situated in the gastrointestinal tract. When loss of iron is not sufficiently compensated by adequate intake after some time that is determined by the state of body iron storage, iron deficiency develops.

    Causes
    chronic bleeding (hemoglobin contains iron)
    excessive menstrual bleeding
    non-menstrual bleeding
    bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract (ulcers, hemorrhoids, etc.)
    rarely laryngological bleeding or from the respiratory tract
    inadequate intake (special diets low in dietary iron)
    substances (in diet or drugs) interfering with iron absorption
    malabsorption syndromes
    genetic defects of iron metabolism

    Symptoms
    Symptoms of iron deficiency are not characteristic, however the following may be present:

    Pale skin color (pallor)
    Fatigue
    Irritability
    Weakness
    Shortness of breath
    Sore tongue
    Brittle nails
    Unusual food cravings, such as pagophagia, the excessive eating of ice
    Decreased appetite
    Headache

    Likely lab test results in people with iron deficiency
    A full blood count would likely reveal microcytic anemia
    Low serum ferritin
    Low serum iron
    High TIBC (total iron binding capacity)
    A possibly positive fecal occult blood test, if iron deficiency is the result of gastrointestinal bleeding.
    As always, lab values have to be interpreted with the lab's reference values in mind and considering all aspects of the individual clinical situation.

    Consequences
    Continued iron deficiency may lead to worsening anemia and fatigue. Thrombocytosis, or an elevated platelet count, can also result. A lack of iron in the blood is a reason that some people cannot donate blood.


    Treatment
    Before any treatment is commenced there should be definitive diagnosis of the underlying cause for iron deficiency, particularly in older patients who are most susceptible to colorectal cancer.

    If the cause is benign, temporary or not easily treatable, people can receive iron supplements, e.g. in the form of ferrous sulfate or amino acid chelate tablets
  5. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member


    Perscription iron is very hard on the gut, it is notorious for causing heavy duty constipation and is not well absorbed.

    I take dessicated liver by Trophic, it contains extra B12 and vit. C to increase absorption and totally helps. Its safe to take in high amounts too, as its actual food. Body builders take very high amounts of liver supps, it very safe.

    As well as weakness and fatigue I find it very hard to breath sometimes, that's when I know its time to increase my iron. So I take liver, a natural multi mineral w/ iron (which is absorbed very well as a combo product, and is non-rx). When its really bad and super hard to breath I also make sure I get beef on the table that night. It works every time. The hard to get a breathe feeling is horrible and I don't mess around w/ that sypmtom.


    Jeanne