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OK Medical Experts, a question

Discussion in 'Community Message Board' started by cycofan, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. cycofan

    cycofan Guest

    So my dr. and I have been watching my thyroid levels slowly drop for the last couple of months. Then, today, I got results from my health assessment that they did at my work, and my iron is off the chart low. It should be 35-55, and mine is 22 - whatever that means? Anyway, through google, I see that hypothyroidism and low iron have similar symptoms - all of which I seem to have, but can't quite determine if they are related, or could be compounding each other. Thoughts or experiences?

    I'm seeing the dr. tomorrow to discuss all of these things, and to give them more blood to play with. Frankly, I'm tired of being tired, and just want to do something about it.
  2. mrsrocster

    mrsrocster Guest

    Sorry to hear you are going through this! I can't offer any suggestions, but am interested in what others have to say.

    Please let us know how you are doing when you get your results!

    Lord knows, after your trip to Hawaii your blood test have GOT to be better---> right? ha ha

    Seriously, hope all is well and you get some news that is easy to resolve!

  3. reggae

    reggae Guest

    My niece has the same problem, has to take high doses of iron.

    She gets real dizzy sometimes, feels faint.

    Next time I talk to her, I'll find out if they are doing anything new.
    She's been dealing with this since she had her second son.
  4. BostonsJ

    BostonsJ Guest

    Wow I can't help because I have no knowledge about this. One thing I know though is with kids, work and then trying to play a little you can get pretty run down. I know my daughter gets anemic and then she takes the prenatal for a while and they seem to pump her up again. She takes those because with her heart problems the doctor feels those are the best for her.

    I hope all is OK and that you are just dealing with trying to do it all Cyco. But I'm glad you are checking it out and getting the help you need.
  5. cycofan

    cycofan Guest

    I told my dr. that I lost all of this weight and got in shape to feel great, and I feel crummy! The good news is that ALL of my other results from my health assessment were wonderful. My cholesterol was 169. The last time I had it checked, it was over 200.

    Thanks for all of the good thoughts. I asked about starting iron supplements, and he said he wanted to do this blood work tomorrow without anything, and then he would probably have me start.
  6. BostonsJ

    BostonsJ Guest

    Oh yes wait until he gets clean blood results before you take anything. That way they know now what they are looking for. Good Luck once again.

    Do you sleep at night? I know with kids it is difficult. We develop mother's ears and don't really sleep deeply. Funny when I am at Audra's those old mother's ears kick in just as though it was yesterday and I hear the kids too.
  7. cycofan

    cycofan Guest

    I actually had a sleep study back in April, when I first started reporting the fatigue. I woke up 54 times in the course of the night for "unknown" reasons. Big help that was. I take a medication to help me sleep....sometimes it works better than others.
  8. BostonsJ

    BostonsJ Guest

    Yes I thought you did have that study. Well right there that is telling you something that you are not getting enough sleep. I hope that they find the root of the problem it could all be inter-related. Best wishes on the results let us know.
  9. elliottsmama

    elliottsmama Guest

    I have low iron and take iron pills as well. Mine is due to my acid reflux which causes slight bleeding in my throat. I have been eating total with raisins this week every morning so that I can hopefully give blood on Monday. It was suggested by the blood bank and sometimes it actually works. Good luck. Hope to see what you find out.
  10. Hi there,

    My daughter has a Thyroid problem. It's underactive, known as Hypo not Hyper. She is on 3 iron pills a day due to a low red blood cell level. She was weak, fatigued, and feeling dizzy. Today after only a week on the iron, and the thyroid med adjustment, she is feeling so much better and actually looks a lot better too. She was so pale before.

    Thyroid can cause Anemia, and with the right meds can be remedied.
  11. Gayle V

    Gayle V Guest

    A normal serum iron level is 60 to 170 , so that 22 is likely not your iron level but probably your hematocrit which is a measure of the percent of your blood that is actually red blood cells. The normal parameters that the doctor stated sound more like that. So 22 is definitely low.

    When you are low on iron you will have fewer and smaller red blood cells , because you won’t be able to produce enough hemoglobin, which is the part of a red blood cell that carries oxygen. You can be breathing just fine, but if your blood doesn’t have enough RBCs, (or large enough RBCs, or enough hemoglobin in them), it will not be able to pick up and carry the oxygen from your inhaled air, and transport it to the cells of your body, you will feel tired. You will likely even feel out of breath from minimal activity.

    This lack of iron can be caused by not getting enough iron in your diet, or not absorbing what you do take in. That could be caused by lack of certain digestive factors. Having low thyroid function can cause decreased production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which in turn lowers your absorption of iron.

    It could also be due to losing blood in some manner. Like heavy menstrual flow or bleeding somewhere in the gastro tract. This could even be due to loss of microscopically small amounts. The different blood tests that the doctor does can give him an idea of which process is responsible for your low iron.

    I would guess that the difficulty with your sleep is likely due to the fact that, while asleep your breathing is shallow. That’s normally so. But your iron level is so low, and thus your blood’s oxygen carrying capacity is so low, that your body’s tissues cannot tolerate the difference between the poor level of oxygenation they receive while you are awake versus the even worse level of oxygenation they get while you are asleep. I wouldn’t be surprised if when you wake up all those times during the night, that you are probably gasping for air, or at the very least taking several deep breaths before going back to sleep.

    I’ve been there myself. I spent much of my adult life slightly anemic, and several years severely anemic. I also spent years trying to take iron supplements, which I never could tolerate well at all, due to my history of gastric problems. It never really helped as much as it should.

    When my blood levels finally got bad enough my hematologist ordered iron infusions for me. (He wanted to give me blood, but I wanted to try the IV iron first.) The iron infusions were wonderful !! The difference in how I felt was like a miracle to me, and took only a couple days to be noticeable. (Although the total difference takes weeks, matching the time it take the body to produce a new red blood cell, start to finish.)
    The energy difference is remarkable.

    But more amazing was the immediate disappearance of the weird anemia symptoms, the crazy skin itching (a not real common symptom) and the ice chewing compulsion which is a very common symptom of anemia. It’s classic, so I’ll bet you do it. Once you’re not anemic anymore, that will just stop, all by itself.

    I wish you luck with the new tests. If it’s all due to the low thyroid, you should feel much better once they get your thyroid hormone levels under control and the blood iron levels up to normal. I wish you a speedy recovery.
  12. cycofan

    cycofan Guest

    Thanks, all! I'm looking forward to my dr.'s visit today, and am hoping that I can start to feel better soon. I'll let you know what I hear in a few days!
  13. Lisa

    Lisa Guest

    I had a whole response ready to go in my head, but Gayle said it all!!! I too have been anemic and the difference iron makes is unbelievble!!
  14. BostonsJ

    BostonsJ Guest

    Yikes Gail I know you are frustrated with your job but you sure do know your stuff! Thanks for that detailed explanation about how it all works together. I actually understood what you said.
  15. Bobbie

    Bobbie Guest

    Gayle, great information! :thumb :thumb :thumb

    I've been anemic many times over the past 20 years or so. They put me on iron pills, my iron levels come up (as does my energy level) and then I'm off those pills until the next time. =dunno

    I think my reason is because I don't eat enough meat. Too bad bread doesn't have more iron in it. :grin Or cookies! :grin
  16. nieciez

    nieciez Guest

    :yeah That was a wonderful lesson Gayle. Helps me understand some of Leatherneck's health issues with his anemia too....unfortunately he has hemochromotosis and they haven't figured out why he is anemia when he should be overloaded as he hasn't been bleed in about 4 years! Due to the Hemochromotosis they don't want him to take iron supps. He's been through numberous colonscopies, endoscopies, bone marrow tests and sleep study. His Hemotologist is at Bethesda Naval Hospital and they've been talking about sending him to NIH as he is a rare case being a confirmed hemochromotosis yet anemic for so long.

    CYC, hope you get relieve soon!
  17. iluvcruzin

    iluvcruzin Guest

    How did your Dr. appt. go Cycofan? I had similar symptoms and requested a sleep study thing thinking that was my problem and why I was fatigued. My Dr. took a blood test and determined I had an underactive thyroid. The symptoms with this is multiple. Not only was I zoning out at times and not realizing it, my blood pressure was high (normally on the low range). Everything was fixed with the first dosage of levothyroxine (they start out very low and work the dosage up). That was a couple years ago and I couldn't believe how in a few days I felt so much better! I did end up taking the sleep study as I did have sleep apnea. However, it wasn't why I was feeling so dragged... Hope your Dr. finds a solution.
  18. Gayle V

    Gayle V Guest

    It certainly is a common problem, isn't it.

    Hey Denise, Leatherneck's problem really sounds interesting. I'd be curious to get a look at his lab tests. I'll bet it's very frustrating for him, and his doctors. I encourage him to push for the further evaluation at that other facility. It's a shame to spend so much of his life feeling miserable, if there is a solution out there. I wish him luck.
  19. cycofan

    cycofan Guest

    All I did today was give them the blood. It will probably be Monday. They took three viles, so they must be doing something good! I'll let you all know! THanks for the advice, help and good thoughts!

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