!!!"Iron deficiency anemia/ B12 defic... - Pernicious Anaemi...

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!!!"Iron deficiency anemia/ B12 deficiency cause heart palpations/flutters?


Desperately seeking reassurance, advice etc.

I've had on and off heart palpations and ectopic beats since I lost a lot of blood during child birth 7 years ago.

That's when it all started.

I've had all the checks but my heart is structurally fine.

The doctor thinks because my iron is very low this could be causing my flutters, ive been on iron supplements for over a month now, due for a check next week. The palpations gradually subsided but suddenly today it's flipped flopped and it scares the hell out of me. Could B12 deficiency cause this too? I just don't know what to do anymore.


32 Replies

If you google the symptoms you will see that it is normal with people with this anemia. I get it sometimes to.

Lilianxious in reply to mcginnmx

Thank you, I have I suppose when the episodes happen it freaks me out 😞

B12 deficiency definitely caused palpitations with me . I was not iron deficient . Doctor told me not to worry and sent me on my way . I had them over several years , then eventually got other symptoms of B12 deficiency .( dizziness , confusion , breathlessness , numb feet etc ). Low b12 blood serum of 150. Still sent on my way . Nothing wrong with me .

, according to doctor .. Went to private doctor - diagnosed with Pernicious Anaemia after P.A. antibody test at Nuffield hospital - insufficient injections prescribed by my GP ( 3 monthly) Have to self- inject weekly - Result — no more palpitations and other symptoms gone , except I’m left with burning feet , which is now permanent .

Have you had a b12 blood test ? If not , why not ? B12 deficiency isn’t generally interesting to the medical profession , for some reason .

ThePATexan in reply to wedgewood

I had a similar battle for years. Dx PA and Rx SI, which improved things considerably but still had this awful burning and anxious, dark feeling (though I wasn’t anxious for any reason). Eventually found a great doc who recognized and tested for an hyperadrenergic condition. It was insanely high positive. Turns out the high catecholamines are the cause of my low B12. The constant making and expelling of catecholamines uses massive amounts of B12 and other nutrients. Might be worth an ask? I was told the condition is often triggered by a traumatic event. Mine was a late term miscarriage.

The heart is a big, complex collection of muscles. It beats because nerves take electrical impulses to these muscles and make them contract (squeeze) in a regular rhythm.

Nerves and muscles need a specific range of minerals, along with vitamins, to work properly.

It is possible for a deficiency or excess of any one thing, because it will upset the correct balance of other things, to cause problems.

However deficiencies of things like iron and vitamin B12 especially, but also calcium, potassium and magnesium, significantly affect the way nerves transmit impulses and muscles contract in a direct way.


If you are short of any of these things in particular then you are bound to get disruptions in heart rhythm.

It is important to get your heart checked but you have done this and it is fine so there is no need to be particularly worried - a healthy heart is remarkably resilient (it is designed to withstand electric, emotional and physical shocks, (eg significant blood loss as you know).

You heart needs lots of oxygen all the time and as iron affects the way oxygen is carried in your blood if you are low in iron your blood will carry less oxygen so it won't like it!

Symptoms are your body's way of telling you that something is wrong and needs fixing so if you don't feel right you do need to do something.

If I get short of iron my heart complains badly and if things are too low it sulks and goes into "heart failure" mode, making me very breathless and cough all the time (just what you need in a Covid-19 outbreak 😁!).

Once it's like this it takes 3 weeks from when my iron levels are good again - which can take weeks to get it back up - before it's OK again. I'm guessing it's because it takes 3 weeks to make a full set of good quality red blood cells which will carry the full amount of oxygen.

Low levels of many vitamins and minerals, but especially iron, also make you feel anxious and that's bad enough in itself without your heart crashing and banging and making a fuss, isn't it? You have my full sympathy!

What to do about it? Make sure your levels of everything are good - an excellent diet plus a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement plus any supplements needed to correct any identified deficiencies and regular blood tests to check things are good.

Good luck - you will get it sorted!

PS if it's any consolation my heart HAS got physical defects and it has still kept me going for nearly half a century with all sorts of deficiency problems! It does complain a lot at times but keeps going!

Brilliant explanation. Thank you.

Yes! They will both do it. Mine improved with b12 injections and I finally have a decent heart rate as well. It would race for no reason. Made me feel awful! My iron came down for a short while in the beginning and the flutters came back. All is well now and am not taking iron supplements anymore.

Could it be Atrial Fibrillation or Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation.? I have it as well as B12 deficiency. Are they connected?.

I had bad palpitations. Also told not to worry about it.

My ferritin levels had made a dramatic drop . Again was told in range

Anyhow after getting my ferritin levels up to 40ng/l (range 10_upwards) and had a multivit. The shaking and palpitations stopped. Did take me months though. I also got breathless on the slightest exertion . This all totally new to me. My first ever ferritin test Dec 18

I imagine after a big blood loss you may have needed longer maintenance iron?

When my b12 was first tested and low my ferritin level okay. So for me it goes with b12 deficiency.

I've been on vit d for a few years before.

I've since read low vitamin d stops you absorbing b12 as well !

So I would get your bloods done and get a print out and address anything.

One the equilibrium has been lost it's a constant battle I find to try and get on course again.

I wish you well

What Denise said is very very spot on. Also caffeine, dehydration, stress all effect heart rate and rythem. But probably the biggest issue is once you have had issues of palpitations, PVC’s etc which make the heart feel like it’s fluttering or flip flopping you become intrinsically aware of your heart beat and because we see our heart as the be all and end all just worrying about it creates a vicious circle of it all. The good think is our hearts have an amazing electrical circuitry that if one part fails the others take over and being stressed or nervous produces cortisone which makes this misfire. Hope you feel better soon best way is to keep your mind busy.

And a very, very spot on additional comment too!

If we are worried we get additional adrenaline, cortisone, and other hormone influences too, which vary the availability and uptake of the mineral ions in the nerves and cause all sorts of rhythm changes.

As Parksy says, it can be a chicken and egg situation where one thing begats the other: stress causes arrhythmia and arrhythmia causes stress!

I guess that's why I've learnt not to worry about mine - if it's beating its good and if it stops its not me who's going to worry about it!!

Lilian before I was diagnosed I remember having palpitations, it was much much later that I finally had a blood tested. I had very low iron, folic acid and vitB12. The Dr's initially did an ECG and a tracing monitoring machine that I wore for two weeks.....I rarely get palpitations now. Keep well x

CherylclaireForum Support

I had a 24 hour monitor because, strangely, about a year ago, while everything else was finally improving, this particular symptom was getting more frequent and more severe. It went from the occasional wake-up call in the night to experiencing it several times a day (and night).

While I had just put it down to "B12 deficiency" because it is on lists of symptoms, I was told by a consultant to have it checked to be on the safe side. I'm glad I did because they recorded about 4,000 episodes in 24 hours, they said in the report. The cardiac people did not need to see me and left it to my GP to explain it and offer treatment.

It was diagnosed as "ventricular ectopics", which is apparently harmless, can start/stop for no known reason -and the only treatment offered betablockers, which I declined. I'm just going to wait for it to go on it's own. It's taking it's time but I'm not going to worry about it.

B12 injections about twice a week, folate and ferritin finally stabilised, vitamin D tablets on prescription... not a lot else I can do, then. Like Denise said, if it's beating, it's good news.

I do think that anyone with heart arrhythmia as a symptom should have it checked to ensure it isn't anything more serious or treatable before shrugging and getting on with it.

Marz in reply to Cherylclaire

Are you taking Magnesium and VitK2-MK7 - the important co-factors when taking VitD 🌞💝

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Marz

Probably not often enough, Marz, to be honest. K2 spray when I remember it (yes, I know) and magnesium - just checked my daily multivitamin & mineral tablet: 27% of daily needs. Can you get magnesium easily from food ? If so, which foods ?

Marz in reply to Cherylclaire

Not sure how much D3 you are taking - if GP prescribed - then probably too little ! Dosing is based on test results. Magnesium is needed to aid the absorption of VitD. VitD increases the uptake of calcium from foods and K2 directs calcium away from arteries and soft tissue and into bones and teeth.

Globally magnesium levels are low in people due to soil depletion. There are foods - fruit veg nuts containing magnesium if we are able to absorb well ?? A quick google will reveal all.

Which magnesium is in your multi-vit ? Does your multi-vit contain iron ? Calcium ? Some multi-vits do not contain enough to give benefit and if the dose is increased then there could be too much of some things. Iron negates other ingredients too.

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Marz

D3 : prescribed 2 x 400 iu a day, because I have osteoporosis of the spine.

Multivit: iron: 14mg (100%), calcium: 162mg (20%)

Will have a Google, Marz.

Thanks and happy Easter !

Marz in reply to Cherylclaire

Am afraid 800 iu's of VitD will do very little to aid osteoporosis. A typical GP dose designed to fail. Your dose should be according to your test result. I take 2500 IU's as a maintenance dose and currently am taking a double dose due to current invisible threats ! VitD is an anti-inflammatory - steroidal - pro-hormone - so much more than a vitamin. 150 pmol/L is a suggested level to prevent a whole host of conditions - including some cancers. There is a chart in the link below to indicate levels required to prevent various conditions.



Calcium is not the be all and end all of osteoporosis - in fact it is involved in osteoclasts and NOT osteoblasts - that rebuild bone. You need many other vitamins and minerals - check it out at :-


Click onto Bones and then the alphabet of conditions appear ! Like having a GP in your room.

Taking Iron and Calcium together in a Multi-vit will have negative results on the other ingredients as well as each other - as mentioned before. Which brand are you taking ? Calcium binds to iron. Far better to test individually and treat individually. Check other ingredients - cheap fillers maybe ?

Lots of different Magnesium - so choose with care.

Low thyroid also linked to osteoporosis - as is low B12 of course.


The above link takes you to the Prevention Chart - showing levels required toprevent serious illnesses. Lots of other interesting facts and figures on the same website.



CherylclaireForum Support in reply to Marz

Taking ABC+ from Holland and Barrett: 1 a day, - and the prescription vitamin D3.

Was due to have a Dexascan to see how well I'm getting on without the Risedronate which I stopped taking - obviously not going to happen now. Don't think my osteoporosis of the spine was really bad when discovered. Luckily.

Thanks for all the info, Marz. Hope you are well.

Marz in reply to Cherylclaire

Have checked the ingredients on-line and many are suspect. Will run it past our supplement member on TUK and get back to you 🕊

It's probably best to Google it to find which ones you like best but nuts are a good source.

You can buy Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate) from all pharmacies and either take it (be aware that it is a constipation remedy) or add it to your bath or make up a solution and spray or sponge it onto your skin because it is readily absorbed transdermally.

You can also buy ready made magnesium "oil" (water solution) or magnesium lotion.

Although not quite so readily available, if you have a health food shop or buy online then BetterYou do magnesium chloride flakes, marketed as a foot soak. This is even better for absorption and is more bioavailabile to your body once it's in it.

Because they are such a good, pure source of magnesium I eat these but I'm NOT recommending anyone does this!

NB be aware that soaking your feet in it makes them nice and soft but is not a good way to get your magnesium because your feet, along with your hands have your least permeable skin. The most permeable is under your arms and your groin area/inside your legs. (We normally keep these protected so they haven't evolved to be tough).

Happy Easter! 🌞🌷🐤🌺🐇🐥🌹

CherylclaireForum Support in reply to deniseinmilden

........ Still laughing about you eating your foot soak !

Happy Easter, Denise !

Chocolate definitely tastes better!! 😋

However, it's really bizarre but if I'm short of magnesium the flakes taste really sweet... If not then they taste as disgusting as you'd expect! It's a good way of knowing how much I need!

They reminds me of another thing one of my daughters went through. Heart trace done which was ironically after walk up a steep hill to the door of the cardiac unit . 24hr monitor for bp too. 48hr urine collection that she had to take on the bus to return!!

In terrible pain.

Heart thudding that she was told were anxiety attacks. That is a difficult one as has been said. Chicken and egg. She actually asked herself if she was anxious . She wasnt . The thudding and tight chest came first. She took herself to a and e so must've been worried. Very out of character as didnt tell anyone at the time. Another heart trace done .

It was some years later after fibromyalgia diagnosis halted investigations i stepped in

She got a full weeks testing at The National in London.

In her case the heart activity was due to POTs . Ths reason for lots of faints that were getting more serious like fits.

Her POTs we later found was caused by undiagnosed b12 deficiency .like a string of other symptoms. A stroke like episode. Virtigo. Muscle pain. And so on.

Years of investigations and it not tested once .

So yes, get every test you can to rule out things

When her b12 was finally tested on a hospital admission it was below 60 and she had megobalastic anaemia .

We know our bodies so push for tests and answers.

Marz in reply to Nackapan

Fibro can be linked to low thyroid - especially FT3 - which is very rarely tested in the NHS.

So many connections to so many conditions - sigh !

I went to a GP in 2005 with what I called a funny heartbeat. An ECG declared me fine. GP suggested Thyroid was tested - lo and behold I was diagnosed with Hashimotos and so my journey to wellness began.

B12 - Folate - Ferritin - VitD were also low and ensuring optimal levels improved my health. My heart still tells me when I need B12 or the thyroid hormone T3 ..

There is strong connection between the thyroid and the heart 🌞 Low T3 syndrome - well recognised with heart issues.

Oh that's helpful.

My daughter is also low in folate ferritin vit d and b12. Shd had b12 injections and folic acid and vitamin s d tablets. Hef bloods tecently did say sub clinical hypothyroidism . Her

ferritin only 10. Thd above levels find now apart from ferritin

I will make sure she knows what to ask for . Thd National Hospital said its tricky with midodrine she is on for Pots.

She has put on alof of weight around her middle and all over. Sk I hope they will address her thyroid. It seems low ferritin can cause low function of thyroid and vida versa.


Marz in reply to Nackapan

Sub clinical Hypothyroidism is something that needs further investigation. If only the TSH was tested then that is not the full story.

The tests required are TSH - FT4 - FT3. The last one is the most important and rarely tested in the NHS. I would also have Anti-TPO & Anti-Tg tested to rule out Hashimotos which is auto-immune. Sadly only TPO is tested in the NHS. Hashimotos can be a cause of poor uptake of nutrients.

Low Ferritin can have a negative effect on the conversion of the T4 (inactive) into the Active T3 - needed in every cell of the body. It is low T3 that causes the symptoms.

Thousands on Thyroid UK have Private testing done through Medichecks or Blue Horizon. Link below - Click onto About Testing in the Menu. Medichecks have Special Offers on Thursdays and always flagged up in the News Feed.


Am afraid diagnosing and treating the thyroid suffers as badly as B12/PA treatment - sigh ! If thyroids were correctly treated then Big Pharma would lose out on lucrative treatments - treating the many symptoms of low thyroid. List of symptoms in the above link too !

Am wondering about a connection with her POTS too - off to have a search ! Happy to help 🌻

Nackapan in reply to Marz

After many many years her diagnosis is : b12 deficiency


And HEDs

Hypermobility Ehlers Danlos syndrome

They must all be linked and started from low undetected b12

Healthy baby bf for 9 months (maybe short of b12 there?)

Good eater. Active . Outward bound sort of child. Very bright.

Problems started from early teens.

Now 30.

Was a full time Senior school English teacher .

Will look into all the tests for thyroid .

I'm convinced the big weight gain and low ferritin and fatigue linked.

It's the mix of thyroid meds with midodrine that was mentioned as tricky.

Her sisters are fine.

Thank you for the information . I know little about hashimoto's ect. Its seems very complex.

Much appreciated

As a mother its ongoing .

Marz in reply to Nackapan

Yes as a Mum we are always connected to the umbilical cord it seems.

Hashimotos - on Thyroid UK forum you can see over 3000 posts concerning Hashimotos - under the heading - Topics - on a PC. Scroll down and down if on a phone/tablet. Docs rarely have any understanding of auto-immune issues - many of which start with the gut. You can also read more about Hashimotos in the link to Thyroid UK website I posted above.

After years of challenging health I was diagnosed with Hashimotos in Greece back in 2005 - I was 59.. The TSH - FT4 - FT3 were all in range and I would not have received treatment in the UK. My anti-bodies - that destroy the thyroid - were very high. Both were tested.

My Terminal Ileum was removed due to Gut TB and later Crohns - so no re-cycling of B12 - and so it goes on. Only discovered by reading and learning from others. You can click onto my username and read my Bio - I have read yours !

Reading the list of your daughters conditions I do think it would be worth ruling out Hashimotos with thorough testing with Medichecks - testing kits sent out to your home and results by e-mail. Used by 1,000's on TUK. Sadly it is the best way of obtaining a diagnosis - and later optimal treatment.

My youngest daughter came out to see us on holiday and I could spot a few signs. Her Thyroid blood test done the next day and results printed out within two days - indicated a problem. We then went to the Diagnostic Clinic and a scan revealed more. Back in the UK her GP refused to look at her results and scan and declared HIS blood test normal. A second one was done and again declared normal. We persuaded her to go privately and she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer after a Fine Needle Biopsy. Her thyroid was removed - followed by RAI treatment. A further cancer followed. Just one of the reasons I try to ensure people have all the correct testing and keep on chasing when you have a feeling things are not right. We are not a body of separate bits and pieces - everything is connected. She is not the only case I have encountered. Another girl I met, eventually saw an Endo and was told she had a small thyroid because she had probably been born like that - how would he know ? Again it was thyroid cancer.

I am not being alarmist - just explaining why I am banging my drum !

Nackapan in reply to Marz

Yes I understand. Hope your daughter recovered okay. My friend was in some sort of isolation chamber for thyroid cancer she is okay at present.

Right I will get her to have proper blood tests and have more tests. Its never ending for her.

Thank you

Yes I read your profile

She seems to know more than me I think.

T c

I too had heart palpitations and so many weird symptoms. I was also iron deficient but taking the iron did not solve it. It is only more frequent B12 that has made a difference. Like Wedgewood mine was not taken seriously and I had to ask for a b12 test after years of problems.

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