Low Iron Levels and Weakness

Posted by Dana, Volunteer Mentor @danab, Jun 24 11:21am

Hi, I am a caregiver to my wife who has just found out She has severe Low Iron Levels. She initially is getting 2 treatments of IV Iron infusion and im Praying she gets her energy back as she went from walking about 4 miles a day to almost not able to get around the house without feeling very weak. Looking for others who may have gone thru similar situation. No other issues except for the low Iron we're noticed on any Labs and a similar situation happen in March where she was hospitalized and ran every test known and could not find a cause. They at that point did not test Iron that I know of.
Thanks

@deechase

I have had a low iron level for years and take Vitron C, which has helped get my ferritin levels out of the danger zone. However, as far as weakness/depleted energy, I have found that taking a healthy amount of vitamin B12 helps tremendously! I also exercise a ton more than I ever have in my life, and that has been a huge help as well. I have increased my protein and believe that is also helpful. Hope your wife finds a solution to this debilitating problem.

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@deechase, How much is ‘a healthy amount of B12’, please? Thanks.

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@quimbie

Question about the vitron-c. Been taking iron for most of my life and I take c but would taking the vitron-c make any difference than taking the 2 separately? Been anemic most all my life and now osteoporosis. Just curious.

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@ quimbie
Good morning,
I take iron to increase my Hemoglobin for frequent blood product donations. I’ve never taken vitron-c so don’t know how well it works.
I take an iron only supplement and originally took a vitamin C tablet with it to help absorbsion but it didn’t increase my Hemoglobin because I was eating cereal with milk and the calcium binds to iron and the iron is eliminated. Now I’m using orange juice instead of milk and my Hemoglobin jumped from 11 to nearly 15.
Take care,
Jake

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Can low iron levels be attributed to long term treatment of Type 1Diabetes? After 30 years of erratically unsuccessful treatment to maintain glucose levels, now at 72 have very low energy and dizziness/nausea. Doctors (all types) have not been able to help. Janet

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@jakedduck1

@ quimbie
Good morning,
I take iron to increase my Hemoglobin for frequent blood product donations. I’ve never taken vitron-c so don’t know how well it works.
I take an iron only supplement and originally took a vitamin C tablet with it to help absorbsion but it didn’t increase my Hemoglobin because I was eating cereal with milk and the calcium binds to iron and the iron is eliminated. Now I’m using orange juice instead of milk and my Hemoglobin jumped from 11 to nearly 15.
Take care,
Jake

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Thank you for reply. I am big milk drinker so maybe I need to look at that. So many variables that sometimes not sure which is best. I do the best I can with what I have to work with. Thanks.

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@carlies

@deechase, How much is ‘a healthy amount of B12’, please? Thanks.

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Well, I'm not a health care provider, so I can't say for sure, but I found this information WebMD:
https://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-b12-deficiency-symptoms-causes#1
I would check with your health care provider to be sure what is right for you.

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@jrlynch

Can low iron levels be attributed to long term treatment of Type 1Diabetes? After 30 years of erratically unsuccessful treatment to maintain glucose levels, now at 72 have very low energy and dizziness/nausea. Doctors (all types) have not been able to help. Janet

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Hello @jrlynch, Janet, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. As I have a friend who dealt with low levels of iron and anemia, I am familiar with one cause and that is Celiac Disease. It can be diagnosed by having a GI specialist do an endoscopy. Other tests might diagnose gluten sensitivity but do not diagnose Celiac Disease.

Here is some information from Mayo Clinic's website about Celiac Disease, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/celiac-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20352220.

In this article, there is information on what the symptoms are for adults who have Celiac Disease. You might take a look at them. Do doctors think that diabetes treatments are related to low iron levels?

I'm wondering also if you are currently seeing a good endocrinologist or are you just seeing a PCP? If you are not with an endocrinologist now, I would recommend asking for a referral to one.

How do you feel day-to-day Janet?

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@loribmt

@lisal64 You just had your 1st transplant birthday this month! That’s awesome! A hearty congratulations and a huge smile for reaching the Stringent Complete Response! That’s the ultimate goal of using your own stem cells for remission of multiple myeloma. I’m thrilled for you because I know this hasn’t been easy by any means but it’s a positive milestone in your ongoing journey of recovery. You must feel pretty energized mentally with that good news!

I am sorry you’re having the side effects of the medication your taking.
The fatigue and weakness from the Pomalsyst would be really frustrating to cope with. Especially now after hitting a secure remission point, you want to get on with life at full speed. Chemo and the transplant does take its toll on the body. Having an autologous SCT you were spared any graft vs host issues but it doesn’t come without its own share of recovery issues and collateral damage. The first year is the hardest so keep the faith! You’re doing amazingly well and your positivity will keep you propelled! ☺️

How long will you be on the Pomalyst? Is this a long term maintenance medication that can be reduced or eliminated over time?

Wishing you a steady recovery, Lisa! Lori

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Lori, thank you for your kind and encouraging words! My family and I are thrilled with my SCR . My MM specialist wants me to continue the Pomalyst for a year, then repeat BMB. He did talk about tweaking the dose later, as a possibility. Right now, I am afraid to rock the boat, and am ok with continuing. I will have labs checked every 2 months, locally. I may decide to see if they can lower the dose later, if my numbers stay down. It was a trade off: Pomalyst 4 mg with NO DEXAMETHASONE! I was happy that my maintenance did not include the Dexamethasone, as I had really bad side effects from 8 months total, of the 40 mg dose ,weekly. My eyesight is worse than ever now, too. Possibly from the steroids. I am a nurse, and have decided that this fact is a blessing and a curse, as a patient. I have been my own advocate, and am so thankful that I have been able to learn so much about MM. My nursing Med- Surg book (from 28 years ago), only had 1 long paragraph about MM. I have been blessed to recieve care at Mayo, as well. I wish all of us with MM could reach SCR, and pray for a cure soon, too! Thank you again for your support!

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