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Breathlessness and pounding heart.

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by justy, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi, have been having a problem with severe breathlessness and a pounding heart after minimal activity, which resolves after sitting or laying down for a while.

    I am recently anemic. i have fibrosis in one lung. The doctor says my haemoglobin is not really low enough to cause this degree of breathlessness (10 - not sure of ref range, but its a UK one) my ferritin i also low for years (between 5 and 9) My GP is very alarmed by this and says if it gets worse i should go to casualty (it is getting worse and came on over a few weeks recently)

    I am waiting for an endoscopy for gastritis and anemia problems - he rang the hospital but they cant see me any more quiclky, hence his recommendation to go to casualty.

    I dont really want to go to casualty as me M.E is pretty bad at the moment - being in hospital could be awful right now as im hardly sleeping as it is, and feeling exhasuted by norml every day tasks like showering again.

    I was wondering if anyone who is more severely affected has this problem - just wnat to know if its common or not. If not i might get myself down to the hospital - if i can find soemone to take me - my husband i under so much pressure with being the only one working and looking after thekids and me etc.

    Best wishes, Justy
     
    MishMash likes this.
  2. globalpilot

    globalpilot Senior Member

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    It's hard to say for sure if the low ferritin is causing those symptoms. But I have heard of people with ferritin that low getting iron infusions and feeling much better. I have had iron that low and did have shortness of breath I noticed when walking up stairs and a pounding heart but not sure if it was as bad as yours.

    If you go to the hospital, will they be giving you iron infusions ? If they are, it would be worth going - they might really help you. My doctor wanted me to have them but here in Canada they won't do it unless your hemoglobin is out of range.

    But Justy, it is really low and has to be fixed I would think. My doctor commented that he didn't knwo how I was walking around when mine was less than 10.



     
    justy likes this.
  3. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    Yes, when my ferritin levels was down at 3-5 I had exactly what you describe. The symptoms went away when I took iron, I started feeling better only when my levels got up to 20 and over. I also had insomnia at the time which made it worse.

    I also think it would be wise to have infusions if you are unable to increase your iron stores with iron supplements.
     
    justy likes this.
  4. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    My hemoglobin was also normal when my ferritin went down at 3-5, my doctor told me that this didn't discount my symptoms. Low ferritin will cause what you are experiencing.

    Your doctor has to take into account that you have ME and less oxygen circulating in your blood so this makes your situation worse.
     
    justy likes this.
  5. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replies - i am officially in iron deficiency anemia - despite taking supplements for the past two years. They seem to be cautious about iron infusions as they told me they have a high risk of adverse/allergic reactions. i couldnt tolerate the ferrous sulphate - due to the sulphate i presume - i had terrible wired symptoms from it which stopped when i discontinued it.
     
  6. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Sorry to hear this justy - I know my sister was very low in iron when she was admitted to hospital but they still gave her oral supplements, sometimes you've just got to bite the bullet haven't you though, no use in dragging yourself round when you feel so bad. May be worth a trip to A & E to see what they say. Hope you get sorted.
     
    justy likes this.
  7. Bob

    Bob

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    Hi Justy. Also consider the possibility of hypotension (low blood pressure). Or the possibility of a combination of anaemia and hypotension. I thought of this because you said it is relieved by sitting or laying down. I think that hypotension can cause palpitations, chest pain, fatigue, and breathlessness. And I think the symptoms can often be temporarily relieved by sitting or laying down.

    Good luck, Justy, with finding out what the problem is, and getting it treated quickly.

    Bob
     
    justy likes this.
  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Hi, I have the same symptoms with orthostatic intolerance. They go away when the OI goes away (currently with Strattera).
     
    justy likes this.
  9. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    Sounds awful Justy. Sorry to hear what your going through. I can't really offer any advise because I don't know anything about it, i get breathless since ME but not to the degree it sounds like you are. I hope you get whatever help you need and feel better soon.
     
  10. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi Justy--I am sorry you are feeling so crappy. :hug:

    I wish I had some ideas to offer. All I can think of is that maybe eating (even better would be juicing) lots of greens like kale, collards, even parsley would help. And of course, there's always liver. :p

    I have been a big fan of greens for many years, and never had issues with anemia. It probably wouldn't hurt anyone to eat more leafy greens, unless they have an allergy to them.

    I hope you find something helpful soon. Take care.

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Anemia-Cure-with-Natural-Food&id=1006559
     
  11. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    Hi Justy

    My relapses are very much characterised by these symptoms. Have been for 30 years. I think they are very typical of ME. My haemoglobin and ferratin are normal, as is just about everything else. Nothing seems to help except rest, and eventually when I come out of a bad relapse, they more or less disappear, though my heart rate is always quite high. Diet doesn't make any difference.

    No-one has been able to explain the cause of these symptoms to me and nothing I've read throws any light on them. I think it's fairly clear that they are part of autonomic dysfunction though.

    Sorry I can't be of more help! I do hope these symptoms ease up soon for you.

    Jenny
     
  12. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I have had very severe episodes like this (once every few months) and it seems it was due to low potassium--at least a hefty dose of potassium and glugging down a liter of electolyte drink (pedialite unflavored) took the symptoms away in about a half an hour.

    Have you tried supplementing with potassium or eating some extra bananas and something like pedialite? I find pedialite much more effective than most electrolyte drinks--and you need to drink a whole liter when you are having an episode. A doc told me that a liter of pedialyte had a similar effect to IV saline.

    Worth a try!

    Best wishes,
    Sushi
     
  13. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion Sushi. I'll try it.

    Jenny
     
  14. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Good point Sushi. I can't drink pedialite, because of the sugar. But I do drink 4 packs of Emergen-C/day, so maybe that is another reason I don't have these kind of symptoms as often as most people.

    Justy--I still think that greens would be a good idea though, because of the anemia issues.
     
  15. MishMash

    MishMash *****

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    Strange, I get that too. It feels like your heart is slowing down, but also pumping massively. Like you are going to have a heart attack. I also get chest pressure, but I don't have any signs of heart disease. Maybe it's the time of year. Body reacting to the fall, maybe? Anyway, I hope you feel better with whatever you try.
     
  16. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    That's exactly what tachycardia feels like to me. Of course there can be lots of causes of tachycardia besides POTS. The *effect* of tachycardia is to deprive your tissues of oxygen because your heart is actually beating too fast to pump blood efficiently.
     
  17. rlc

    rlc Senior Member

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    Hi justy, RE

    I understanding not wanting to go to casualty, but I recommend that you do, breathlessness and pounding heart with iron deficiency anemia that won’t respond to treatment is very serious!! Don’t wish to alarm you but Iron deficiency anemia that is not treated can be fatal, it can lead to heart failure. If you are lucky and ask them to, they may admit you for a few days and you will get a large amount of tests done, they may even do your endoscope, just don’t tell them about ME, mentioning it seems to turn doctor’s brains off.

    You have been suffering from not having the tests you need doing for a long time and I think with the seriousness of your symptoms there is a good chance that the hospital will do all these tests and find out what is going on, which will hopefully lead to successful treatment and you feeling a lot better.

    Hope this helps

    All the best
     
  18. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Am off to casualty this morning - my breathlessness is noticeable when dressing and now walking DOWN stairs, although resolves if i sit and do nothing still. I have decided not to tell them i have M.E - althouhg it may come out as my M.E is much worse at the moment. I had thought i might say i had been ill a while, and my GP was investigating the cause but with no answers yet (sort of true in a way)

    i'm sure it will be nothing - but i cant stop worrying about it now, so need to put my mind at rest. Will update later if im home. Thanks for all your concern and suggestions.
    Justy
     
  19. globalpilot

    globalpilot Senior Member

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    Ok, Justy. I hope you get some answers. Let us know how it goes.
    Just wanted to mention I've had good success with a new iron pill called 'proferrin'.
    I take 3 per day. My ferritin is up from around 10 to 24 after YEARS of trying other forms. No other forms worked for me.

    Hopefully they'll do more testing like potassium, magnesium etc.
     
  20. Shell

    Shell Senior Member

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    Good luck with A&E Justy. Sorry you have to go there.
    Hope you do get some answers.

    Just a note on Iron tabs. I think Ferrus Sulphate is designed as a form of torture. I take Floradix and there's a naturally produced iron water a friend of mine has used to kick her Hg up when she's pregnant. The more gentle approach takes longer to get the Hg raised to normal but it doesn't knock you about as badly.
    They should do the edoscopy soon hopefully and see what your innards are doing.

    I do get the horrible tacky and breathlessness but with me it's POTS /OI.
     

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