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Periods + Anemia

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  • Periods + Anemia

    I'm 22 years old and last year I was diagnosed as Anemic. However, due to a fainting spell in June this year, it was discovered that my iron levels had dropped significantly from before to 9.2 and I was put on iron supplements straight away as treatment. I suspected my diet wasn't supplying me with the sufficient amount of iron, but after a little research online I found that my diet wasn't the problem.

    In terms of my period, they have always been heavy and irregular. I went to my doctor in the hope that he could give me some advice as to how I might reduce the heaviness of my period, but he said he wasn't aware of anything that could do such a thing and prescribed a contraceptive called Microlite, saying it may help.

    Cut to a few months later and I'm miserable. My periods are all over the place and they are so heavy both during the day and night that my sleep is becoming effected, which, thanks to the anemia making me feel like the walking dead, isn't so great.

    During a recent conversation with a friend, we were discussing how I was coping with having anemia and she asked me if my periods were heavy. I told her they were and she said that was my problem - my heavy period is to blame for the anemia. It made perfect sense to me, because it felt as though the supplements weren't doing any good.

    Can anyone offer me any help with this problem? If it is my period that's causing me to become anemic and the heaviness of my period can't be reduced, am I going to have to continue feeling miserable and worn out every month?

  • When you say heavy, how heavy? Give me an example like 1 super absorbency tampon per hour or something like that.

    Many women have heavy periods and are not, in turn, anemic. It makes my skin crawl that he tossed you on hormonal birth control as a "solution" because he didn't know what else to do. Hormonal bc can cause an entirely different set of side effects.

    Are the iron supplements not helping you feel better? Be sure you're getting enough iron in your diet, and also consider Kelp supplements.
    "Be what you're looking for."

    Comment


    • Thanks for replying

      In terms of heaviness - I use Always Maxi Super Plus sanity towels and I need to change at least ever hour and thirty minutes - two hours on the first 3 - 4 days, then I'm good with about two hours and thirty minutes - three hours from the 4th day to the end of my period.

      I don't have the strongest stomach when it comes to taking meds, so taking a supplement pill a day is enough for me. I didn't take the Microlite, and after reading that, I'm glad I didn't.

      My anemia doesn't feel like it's getting any worse, but it certainly doesn't feel like it's getting any better either. I basically feel the same, minus the fainting spells but I still feel faint from time to time. The majority of the symptoms I was experiencing before are still there. I definitely tired to adjust my diet but that's just basically eating more of what I was eating anyway - red meat, potatoes, chicken, more fruit and veg. I didn't really eat fish that much before but I've added it to my diet and I'm trying to eat more of it.

      I've never tried Kelp supplements before. My prescription for iron supplements runs out this month, so maybe investing in Kelp supplements would be a good idea.

      Comment


      • Gotcha. Some women have no issues with hormonal birth control...but I was not one of those women.

        Iron supplements are well known for causing stomach upset, even constipation and darkened stools. So if you're experiencing any of that, the iron pill could be the culprit. However, when your iron is that low, you have to have it. I don't believe I would replace the supplement with Kelp without consulting a doctor first, and perhaps have your iron retested, but it could certainly be an addition. Do a little reading on the benefits of Kelp. I take it daily.

        My predominant thought in all this is, you need to find a new OB/GYN. Search for someone progressive and enthusiastic about women's health. Too many of them are old men (there are some excellent male ob's, don't get me wrong...I loved mine, until he moved away!) who should've retired 25 years ago. You need someone who will do a full panel of your nutrients/vitamin levels, testing your iron, thyroid, vitamin b and d levels, etc. While heavy periods can cause anemia, anemia can actually CAUSE heavy periods too. So can hormonal imbalances, in which case hormonal bc may be the answer....but I'd want affirmation of the imbalance FIRST. You could have some fibroids on your uterus, resulting in heavy painful periods. You need a doctor who will consider all the options and who will find out what is causing the anemia and if it IS the heavy periods causing it, then what is causing the heavy periods. Tossing you on hormonal bc without finding the cause is not the answer.
        "Be what you're looking for."

        Comment


        • I'm sorry you had issues with hormonal BC

          I've been lucky enough that the iron supplements haven't really caused any side effects. I'll definitely have to get my iron levels checked again soon, especially since my prescription is ending. I have no idea where I go from there as regards continuing the supplement or heading down a different route.

          It's such a difficult task trying to find the correct health care professionals here, especially as I avail of public health care, so I really have to rely on my general practitioner more often than not. To his credit, he is a pretty good doctor for general and routine purposes, but I feel very much in the dark when it comes to issues such as this. Honestly, you've given me more guidance than anyone I've spoken to in relation to this, including the doctor!

          Thank you for your help, by the way. It's greatly appreciated.

          Comment

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