September 5, 2010

Think You’re Tired Because of Heart Failure? Maybe It’s Not the Heart At All!

Posted in Heart Disease in the News, Heart disease tips, New Heart Studies tagged , , , , , at 11:41 pm by keepyourhearthealthy

photo by graur razvan ionut

Fatigue is a HUGE complaint among people suffering with heart failure.  While there are several reasons why a person with heart failure might feel completely drained of energy (medications, poor heart pumping) a new one is gradually emerging.

Apparently a study presented in Europe has brought to light the newest possibility of iron deficiency.  Your body requires iron to help carry oxygen in the blood to all your organs.  People with iron deficiency are known to feel extremely tired all the time because of a lack of oxygen carriers in the body.

In the past, doctors have checked for iron deficiency only when a person is anemic (low blood count by lab test).  However, this new study says that heart failure patients can be iron deficient without being anemic.  Since iron is not a standard test drawn at each doctor’s visit, there usually has to be a high degree of suspicion for the iron levels to be checked.  In other words, this study says that a good number of heart failure patients may be suffering fatigue due to iron deficiency because the doctor does not see anemia on the standard blood test.

Further studies will hopefully continue to support screening for iron deficiency in heart failure patients.  Once iron is easily replaced with medication, quality of life can be significantly improved!  See the original article at Iron deficiency in heart failure.