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Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

FAQ Minerals Deficiencies: Anemia 

“I’m anemic. Is too little iron in the blood (anemia) a cause of Atrial Fibrillation? Any advice on how A-Fib patients can deal with iron deficiency?”

A-Fib patient, Sally Mertens, wrote about iron deficiency and offers this advice:

“Based on my experience dealing with chronic A Fib, I would stress the importance of having ferritin [iron storage protein] level checked.

My doctor (gynecologist, not my cardiologist!) figured out that my chronic A-Fib might be related to my low ferritin level which was at 9. After only 6 weeks of taking Repliva (82 mg/day iron), my ferritin level was up to 29 and my A Fib had stopped. (Another over-the-counter iron supplement is Floradix.)

I haven’t had one A Fib attack since I started the Repliva. I have concurrently stopped donating blood (which I was doing as frequently as possible) and began eating beef—at least 8 ounces per week (after 3 years as a vegetarian).

Normal serum ferritin (SF) ranges differ by gender, ethnicity and age. The ideal serum ferritin range for adults is 50-150ng/mL

My GYN would like to see my ferritin level at about 50 and told me it would take about 6 months for me to get my blood “stores” back to normal.

I feel extremely lucky and grateful that when I moved to a new town, I got referred to a GYN who was well aware of the link between anemia in pregnancy and heart conditions.

(As a footnote, every time I donated blood, I passed the Red Cross hemoglobin test. My GYN understood how that was possible, but I didn’t understand the explanation well enough to share it with you here.)

I’m well past child-bearing age and thus, as a precaution, my GYN also sent me for a colonoscopy to rule out internal bleeding as a factor in my low ferritin.”

From another reader:

Mike writes that taking a product like Geritol boosts his red blood cells and improves his heart valve problems and his A-Fib.

Lesson Learned: A-Fib patients should ask their doctor to verify they have a Normal serum ferritin (SF) level.

Return to: FAQ Minerals & Supplements
Last updated: Monday, June 18, 2018

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