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low ferritin or anxiety(29 Posts)
I’ve been feeling tired, a bit dizzy and short of breath for a couple of months. The breathlessness comes and goes but mainly happens when I move around. I’ve had some palpitations and increased heart rate too.
I had a blood test done and my ferritin level was 16.
Would a ferritin of 16 cause these symptoms?
Not to drip feed I have had periods of anxiety and CBT years ago and have had a stressful time recently so wondered if my symptoms were ferritin or anxiety related?
Yes it can do, mine was 17 and I had the same symptoms.
Thank you for replying that’s good to know I’m not used to feeling anxious so often again. I haven’t had any guidance from my doctor just to change my diet but I’m vegetarian. Did you find iron supplements work to bring ferritin levels up?
Go on iron, mine was 2 and I was a wreck
2! You must have felt horrendous. Hope it picked up for you.
Yes I had these symptoms and mine was 14.
I kept being told it was anxiety and got referred for cbt
I didn’t feel anxious though?!
Then I finally saw a locum doctor who said I needed ‘pumping full of iron’ and that was that. It is the ferritin causing this!
Thank you that’s good to hear! I’ll get some iron supplements
ask for iron infusions.. these will get your levels up way faster 🌺
Aren't the doctors giving you iron?
No when I rang up for the results the receptionist said the doctor had advised dietary changes (easier said than done when you’re veggie!) and to get some supplements over the counter.
My usual doctor has left though so it’s all a bit chaotic.
I’m thinking of changing doctors as I feel a bit like I’ve been left to my own devices with this!
Trouble is the iron supplements you get in the shops don't have much iron in them. They have the adult recommended daily amount but if you are lacking you will need more, you're always playing catch up iyswim.
Go back to GP or find another one, you need a good old dose of ferritin to get back to normal.
OP go back to your GP and explain this.. my levels were like the other poster..mine were at 3.. I had a new female GP who was horrified that I was just being handed iron tablets.. which made me violently sick.. instead of infusions.. She said I would need to take several iron tablets a day for one year to reach healthy levels whereas an Iron infusion was tenfold faster... I get infusions every 6 weeks.. it takes a few hours and it makes a world of difference.. my iron depletes at an awfully fast rate the reasons are yet unknown.. tests are still being carried out...
good luck OP.. please pursue this.. 🌺
Thanks for your support with this. Admittedly I didn’t know too much about iron levels and ferritin so the informative replies are appreciated. Some traumatic experiences when I was younger and health anxiety makes me a bit of wimp with medical things but I’ll definitely go back and get sorted
iron supplements taste vile ... dress them up flavour them disguise them.. they still make me very sick... I do think many women by default of gender are low in iron .. they blame their tiredness on age when it could also be an iron deficiency .. I found seeing a female GP helped... I know my levels have dropped because I feel the cold terribly... my hair falls out.. I wear fingerless gloves a lot .... I crave things like mince .. everyone is different thats just my 'indicator' .... good luck OP 🌺
It could be both, as iron deficiency can excaberate anxiety symptoms. That's really low ferritin, you want to be between 80-100. It will take a long time with iron tablets but it is possible. Get a proper prescription for iron tablets, and take them with vitamin C to increase uptake. Avoid calcium with a few hours of the iron as it inhibits uptake. Good luck. Make sure the GP keeps testing your levels every 3 months or so to check you're on the right track. It can take a little bit for your stomach to get used to the iron and there are a few different pills so be prepared to experiment. If your gp will do infusions, great, but I think most won't.
^ this absolutely. Definitely need to be 80-100.
Also, there's new research that every other day can be more effective but check with Gp.
I went back to the GP and I’ve been prescribed ferrous fernate(spelling?) daily for at least a couple of months.
Thank you for all the advice and giving me the push to get sorted.
Mine was 6 last year and I felt dreadful. Got them back up to 35 and gp advised to stop iron. Which was stupid as they fell below that and I feel dreadful again. Trying to stomach 400mg a day ferrous fumerate
@CottonSock have they investigated why they are dropping?
I was veggie for over 25 years no problems and healthy pregnancies. I then became severely anaemic with the same symptoms you describe. Took 18 months of iron, vitamin D and twice weekly B12 injections to get well. I’m no longer veggie because you can’t easily obtain B12 as a vegetarian. I am finally healthy and full of energy and happy. Please don’t let the GP fob you off. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
@CottonSock that’s the dosage I’m on as well. Did you notice any side effects at all? My stomach is a bit sensitive at the best of times so I’m trying to be prepared!
OP this is a really interesting post. My ferritin was 17, but the GP said it was normal and no action was needed. I often feel exhausted and am taking fluoxetine for anxiety (which I'd never suffered from before!). Wondering now whether I should buy some supplements.
You can buy ferrous fumerate over the counter at the pharmacy. I did this after my prescription ran out. Exactly the same stuff
@Flatwhite32 From what I can gather different areas have different ranges of what is considered low or normal.
Taking supplements would certainly be worth a go.
The best way I can describe it is as having anxiety symptoms without feeling particularly anxious as well as feeling really tired and run down.
Hope you start to feel better soon.
Flatwhite I'd go back to the GP for a prescription (maybe ask to see a different doctor?) as I thought they usually treat anything under 20, and you'll want to have your bloods checked periodically while supplementing to see if it's working? Besides which, they probably ought to find out underlying cause (if you don't already know). I highly rate the Patient Access app if your surgery do it, so you can see and track your blood test results easily, it's fab.