Jump to content

Another Anemia Question...

Recommended Posts

I have another anemia question. I know several of you have anemia, so I hope it is okay to ask.

I had iron deficiency anemia this summer. Heavy periods were the suspected cause. I took 3 ferrous sulfate pills a day for 2 months - July and August. At the end of that time, my iron was up - even a little on the high side, and I was not anemic anymore, so they took me off of the pills.

Fast forward to now, I just got some bloodwork done. I'm NOT anemic, but my iron is borderline low (although still within the normal range). Is it normal for iron to deplete like that in 4.5 months when you are not on an iron pill and you have heavy periods? It's gone down about 100 points. My doctor doesn't seem concerned. He does want me to start taking 1 ferrous sulfate per day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm no doctor, but it sure seems like in your case you may need to take some supplemental iron on a routine basis. Heavy periods had made me anemic so I understand.

As for how much iron you lost in a certain amount of time, I don't know what that means except that in your case, you need to keep watching yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you mean by "100 points"?

Do you have signs and symptoms of anemia? Are you cold and tired, etc.? I'm assuming you have POTS. Do you have blood volume problems as well?

Why are your periods so heavy? Do you have a clotting disorder? Some clotting disorders (e.g., von Willebrand's disease) do occur in females and are often undiagnosed. Because they run in families, the women who have them often think that such heavy bleeding is normal, because their mother or sister had the same problem.

If your periods are heavy, you may get some relief by going on a hormonal contraceptive. The progesterone portion suppresses the growth of the endometrium, which is what is shed during your menses. The less the endometrium grew during the preceding few weeks, the less you will bleed during your period. Of the available hormonal contraceptives, I think that the vaginal ring gives you the lowest dosage and the best cycle control.

As my sister always said, "If men got periods, there'd be a cure by now."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have dysautonomia but I suffered from anemia for about 9 years due to heavy blood loss during my periods so my answer to you question would be yes. My periods were also heavy my entire life but when it got out of control it was due to fibroid tumors. It is amazing to me what your body can adjust to and redefine as "normal" - I agree with lthomas that we tend to think something is OK because it runs in our family or thats how it has always been for us. I was functioning "just fine" for years and didn't realize how awful I felt until I looked back. Please keep looking into it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for your answers. I just don't know where to go with this...

1. Trust that it is the heavy periods and take a daily iron pill (as suggested by my doctor). I can't go on birth control so that is not an option. My husband asked me if I thought I bled more than most women and I definitely do. I usually have to stay home on my second day and go to the bathroom every 1-2 hours. I still bleed red blood on day 6 and by day 7 it is just old blood. Sorry if this is tmi. My periods range from every 25-30 days. This month it was 25 days between periods.


2. Be worried and check into GI issues.

Thanks again. I am so thankful that I can come here and get opinions. My doctors don't seem to be concerned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It appears more likely that blood loss is the culprit (vs GI issues). Taking iron as long as you have heavy periods might be all you need to do. Add the iron-rich foods, too, because so many of them taste gooooood.

If you take any acid-blocker or anti-acid medication, iron is less well absorbed. It needs a slightly acid medium for absorption which is why companies often put a little vitamin C in their product.

Even if you cannot take BC you might want to research things which can cause high estrogen because they often increase bleeding. There are a bunch of environmental estrogens (and estrogen mimics) in animal foods, plastics, agricultural chemicals, etc. Also if you are constipated or your liver is sluggish estrogen levels may stay higher than they would otherwise.

It is good you have a doctor who will monitor the numbers for you.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I'm just reading thru old messages on this topic b/c for the past two months my period has been horribly heavy. I should stay home on the first two days b/c I am constantly in and out of the bathroom. Yesterday I had two huge clots in the AM (sorry if this is too graphic) followed by a free flow of blood for about 1/2 minute. It was a little disconcerting. Perhaps this is normal for heavy bleeding, but it seemed excessive. I was at work. As I was walking back to my office, I felt quite faint, so I sat down in the nearest office. They called the EMT who could "not find my pulse"--of course my pulse pressure was low. He felt I needed to go to the ER. Why I didn't strongly argue against this I don't know. So, I ended up at the ER where they told me I am anemic (hemoglobin=10--not too bad) and sent me home with a prescription for iron pills and anti-inflammatory and telling me to follow up with my doctor. I felt like an idiot... :huh:

I guess my question is--what do other POTS people with heavy periods do--just take iron? I cannot take BCPs. I have tried and they make my POTS flare up. I know I have a fibroid. Probably that is causing the problem. How do I know when the bleeding is serious enough that it is a problem? I feel faint and weak so easily it seems hard to judge based on how I feel. I did re-start my SSRI two months ago which is also when the heavy bleeding started?! Anyway, I will see my ob-gyn in two weeks. Just wondering if anyone with similar experience can give me their thoughts...

thanks :o


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...