Can a metal screw in the body cause palpitations and iron deficiency?
Q: I had a metal screw put in my large toe after bunion surgery last year. Since then I have been having palpitations and severe iron deficiency. I was hospitalised last week due to V tach. I am 47 years old, otherwise very healthy. I started feeling sick after my foot surgery. My sister (a nurse) did some investigations and it was found that my ferritin level was less than 1. I have very low iron stores now and am taking 160 mg twice daily. The V tach was very scary for me. I had a cardiac check done and no blockages were found. It was found that my body is rejecting the metal screw thus the palpitations and iron deficiency. I now have to take 100 mg of Toprel to control the rapid heart beats. Can this screw mess with the electrical activity in my heart causing this V tach and iron deficiency? Have you ever heard of such a thing?
A:Metal can cause allergic reactions but usually not to such an extent though rare things are possible. Nickel allergy is reported especially those who are allergic to cheap jewellery. The best option would be to remove the screw if the bunion surgery has healed but again, I doubt that the screw would be the cause of your symptoms.