To preface: 25-year-old female, 5'5, 120 lbs. Generally healthy and very active, normal menstruation, no medications.
About a year ago, I had a moderate bout of anemia and my doctor at the time recommended I take an iron supplement. My symptoms (fatigue, pounding heart, dizziness) went away fairly quickly after I started taking the supplement and I thought nothing more of it.
Over the past weekend, my symptoms returned with a vengeance. Far worse than they were before. I stopped in at my neighborhood urgent care clinic this morning and was told that I'm definitely in the anemic range and need to follow up with my primary care physician (who cannot see me until the 22nd...wonderful). The doc at the urgent care clinic doesn't want me messing around with any more supplements apart from the ones I'm currently taking until I can see my primary care physician.
So I guess I'm wondering a couple of things. Why have my symptoms suddenly returned? My diet has not changed, my supplements have not changed, and my lifestyle hasn't changed. Are there any paleo tricks I can try to manage my symptoms until I can see my physician? Do you think eating more liver could help me start feeling like myself again? I also want to make sure I'm asking for the right tests when I go see my doctor. From my understanding, anemia isn't always related to iron consumption (absorption could be the issue) and is often a symptom of an underlying condition.
I scanned the archives and they were very helpful, but I'd really love some additional insight. Thanks in advance, PHers!
asked byJaych (1239)
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on May 18, 2012
at 05:31 AM
As I am also learning the hard way, anemia has a complex etiology. A few root causes:
-Insufficient iron intake. Drivers: diet
-Failure of iron absorbption. Drivers: B12 deficiency, celiac disease/gluten sensitivity
-Blood Loss, overt or occult. Drivers: GI tract ulcers, lesions, and hernias
on April 30, 2012
at 08:50 PM
Do you work out a lot? ---> Acute blood loss resulting in anemic like symptoms?
Usually happens in runners.
on May 18, 2012
at 05:50 PM
I had pretty severe anemia that I was able to correct through diet and iron supplements, but when it recurred a year later, my new dr asked how long I'd had hyperthyroid problems. Ummmm I wasn't even aware of it. My former dr told me about the anemia but not the thyroid problem! The symptoms were very similar and I wouldn't have known the difference.
Also, the way you describe your symptoms sounds an awful lot like low blood sugar. I had reactive hypoglycemia for years, but since going primal have only had one bout. I ate low total carbs, but the carbs I did eat that day happened to be all simple sugars (honey/raw sugar in coffee, fruit salad that had a tasty but suspect sauce, etc.)
Do you keep a food diary? That might help you determine if it is food related in case the tests come back negative.