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Old 07-02-2004, 06:43 PM   #1
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Meagan312 HB User
anemia symptoms & heavy periods

I have been diagonsed with anemia a couple months ago, and have noticed that my symptoms (shortness of breath, chest pain, ringing in my ears, etc) get worse after my periods. My doctor doesn't believe me and says iron levels don't fluctuate so fast. But I can't believe it's all coincidence, especially since my periods are heavy.

My questions:

-- Do others have similar fluctuations in symptoms?

-- Did anyone try to go on contraceptives to reduce the number of periods for this reason?

 
Old 07-02-2004, 09:55 PM   #2
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Marimac HB UserMarimac HB User
Re: anemia symptoms & heavy periods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meagan312
I have been diagonsed with anemia a couple months ago, and have noticed that my symptoms (shortness of breath, chest pain, ringing in my ears, etc) get worse after my periods. My doctor doesn't believe me and says iron levels don't fluctuate so fast. But I can't believe it's all coincidence, especially since my periods are heavy.

My questions:

-- Do others have similar fluctuations in symptoms?

-- Did anyone try to go on contraceptives to reduce the number of periods for this reason?
Is the doctor a hematologist, GP, or OBGYN? It usually depends on what the doctor's expertise is as to how they view your anemia symptoms. Yes, after I have a period, my anemia symptoms worsen. Actually they start to worsen when I first start and if the period becomes heavy and prolonged such as several pads per day and 14 days long or more, I am in deep trouble with very low blood pressure and fainting and dizziness symptoms. I was given medoxyprogesterone one time to help stop a period. It was administered one pill per day for 3 days. It stopped it. But it took and IV iron infusion to correct the anemia. Also when they gave me the iron, my period started up again!!!! even though I was not due for a period. This is weird how one's body will dump the very product that the doctors say we need!

 
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Old 07-04-2004, 01:46 PM   #3
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californiasunflower HB User
Re: anemia symptoms & heavy periods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meagan312
I have been diagonsed with anemia a couple months ago, and have noticed that my symptoms (shortness of breath, chest pain, ringing in my ears, etc) get worse after my periods. My doctor doesn't believe me and says iron levels don't fluctuate so fast. But I can't believe it's all coincidence, especially since my periods are heavy.

My questions:

-- Do others have similar fluctuations in symptoms?

-- Did anyone try to go on contraceptives to reduce the number of periods for this reason?
Heavy periods can be the contributing factor of causing the anemia. Losing too much iron. Having a heavy cycle is also very exhausting. You may want to check to see if you are starting to have mild endometriosis.

Iron tablets help with the loss of iron. During your cycle, to reduce the blood flow, a trick is to take 600 mg of ibuprofen each day of your cycle. That sounds like a lot but it can work. Ibuprofen is hard on the tummy so be sure to drink a full glass of water as well as take it with a meal.

Cooking foods on cast iron skillets is an iron source, as well as eating spinach and dark leafy greens.

As long as you have heavy periods, this is going to be a battle. Get a good physician to help you with this. You may need to go doctor shopping to find the right one. Good luck!

 
Old 07-06-2004, 06:18 AM   #4
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PETALS HB User
Unhappy Re: anemia symptoms & heavy periods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meagan312
I have been diagonsed with anemia a couple months ago, and have noticed that my symptoms (shortness of breath, chest pain, ringing in my ears, etc) get worse after my periods. My doctor doesn't believe me and says iron levels don't fluctuate so fast. But I can't believe it's all coincidence, especially since my periods are heavy.

My questions:

-- Do others have similar fluctuations in symptoms?

-- Did anyone try to go on contraceptives to reduce the number of periods for this reason?
I have noticed a change in alertness and and fatiuge during my premenstrual and menstual cycle. It feels as if my memory and strength bottom out. My levels as of last month were,
ferritin-4
hemoglobin-10
hemocrit-25
My doc told me just the numbers. I am assuming I have matched them up right. I also get short of breath very easily. I have to go at a slower pace. Do you sometimes feel as if your throat is closing up? I can feel in my ears my a heart beat. Not so much of ringing.
Petals

 
Old 07-10-2004, 12:09 PM   #5
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Re: anemia symptoms & heavy periods

I had less than 50% of the Iron that I was supposed to in my circulation just three months ago.

I went on a high dose Birth Control pill (Cyclen 21) and this has reduced my flow dramatically. I also took slow releasing Iron with Folic Acid for three months, twice daily with orange juice, which triples the absorption of iron. (I had no side effects by the way, no constipation whatsoever).

I am now back to normal and do not get any dizzy spells! :-D

 
Old 09-14-2004, 05:13 AM   #6
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Re: anemia symptoms & heavy periods

How severe is the bleeding of your period. Is it accompanied by what looks like clumps/clots? I went on for ten years thinking it was just a heavy period I had. I was wrong. It was a uterine fibroid the size of a tennis ball. The fibroid didn't give me any other problems, no pain, no bloating... invisable to put it well.

Over time my boarderline anemia went to severe.... with the Drs. thinking I had bleeding somewhere internally... no one checked me out for fibroids. It got so bad I was exhausted during and after my monthly. I had the fibroid out in November of 2003. Now I have normal periods, light and free of clots.

Amazing... Bad part is what the continuing state of anemia did to my body.... drained my iron reserves... I was losing it faster than I could replace it with the iron. I am still recovering and have a rocky road ahead, for this didnt happen overnight and it did alot while draining my reserves.

Takes a simple test if you may have fibroids... ask the Dr to rule it out with a scan.

IRD

 
Old 09-14-2004, 04:07 PM   #7
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Re: anemia symptoms & heavy periods

Wow...you should see another doctor. Cause this is perfectly normal. I have been anemic for about 7 years now....since I was 15. And every doctor I have ever seen, the first thing they ask is "Is it usually worse right after you have your period". Even my dentist asked me the other day, I had to give the list of health problems pre-surgery.

It's normal, and nothing to worry about, I have always been advised to increase my dosage of iron supplement the week of my period. Talk to a doctor about it.

Last edited by Grrmotts; 09-14-2004 at 04:08 PM.

 
Old 09-15-2004, 01:46 AM   #8
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Re: anemia symptoms & heavy periods

Sorry Can't Be Of Help On The Heavy Period Issue, But I Suffer From Anemia As Well. I Had The Ringing In The Ears And The Short Breath As Well. I Have A Hard Time Rememebering To Take My Lousy Iron Pill Since I Have So Many Drugs To Take With It. More Times Than Not I Don't Take It. I Have Never Noticed A Differenced On It Or Of It. One Time I Did Use It Religiously And I Got Bunk For My Troubles.

The Folic Acid Twice Daily With Iron And Orange Juice Sounds Like A Winner Combo For Me, I Could Use Triple Absorption.

I Also Suffer Low Testosterone And Have To Have That Replaced As Well.

So I Am Quite A Canidate For Chronic Fatguie. It Got So Bad That I Was Bedridden For Months Before I Said This Is Crazy I Need To Talk To A New Doctor.

Well He Gave Me Ritalin La And Man Did That Stuff Light My Tires, I Had Boundless Energy. I Know It Was A Fake Form From A Pill Put After Some Many Years Who Cares. That Tended To Have A Zombie Like State When It Wore Off So I Changed Meds To Dexedrine And Adderall.

I Honestly Can't Get A Damn Think Done Without My Adderal, I Could Not Even Get Out Of Bed. It Helps Me Organize Better, Gives Me Energy, Not Boundless, That Part Wheres Off, It Also Makes Me Feel Good About Life.

That Is Probably Due To The Fact It Releases Massive Amounts Of Dopamine And Nor-epinenphrine In My Brain While I Take The Drug. I Guess Some Would Call It A Mild Euphoria. Yeah Well I Will Take That Any Day Over Just Laying In Bed And Endlessy Watching Tv.

I Do Suffer From Chronic Bouts Of Constipation As Well, Which Is Mainly From My Pain Management Program I Am On. You Can't Win.

All I Can Say Is Anemia Is No Joke And It Makes Me Feel Like A 100 Year Old Man Sometimes Who Can't Get Out Of His Own Way. It Is Too Bad I Have To Resort To Such Powerful Narcotic Type Stimulants For Energy, But No One Has A Better Answer.

So In Conclusion I Would Like To Tell Those Other Forgetors Out Their That We Need To Take That Lousy Little Iron Pill Continuously. Look What It Causes When You Don't?


Tom

 
Old 09-26-2004, 10:40 PM   #9
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Meagan312 HB User
Re: anemia symptoms & heavy periods

Thanks for all the responses (and sorry I didn't check this in a while -- had too many problems). It's frustrating yet reassuring to know that I *was* right after all, and my doctor is dead wrong. I kept telling him that my worst symptoms are the 10 days or so after my period, and he doesn't believe me. All in my head, he thinks. If some of you have the same problem, it pretty much points to the anemia as being the culprit.

Unfortunately I can't take Ibuprofin (stomach too darn sensitive even at small doses). I want to find out if I can reduce the number of periods or stop them altogether. What are the consequences of taking more drastic measures? I can't go on this rollercoaster every month. It's bad enough as is.

Also, does it help or hurt to double the iron supplements during your period? My doctor said it won't get absorbed beyond a certain point. I'm not sure any of it is getting absorbed, as my test results are the same after 3.5 months on iron pills.

 
Old 09-28-2004, 01:59 PM   #10
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Re: anemia symptoms & heavy periods

I was also dx'd anemic around the time my period started...very heavy..lots of clotting, frequent and long duration. I found out 15 years later than I have a bleeding disorder, Von Willebrand's disease. It is mild and it is believed that up to 2 of 100 people in the world have it. It is genetically aquired..so if there are women in your family who also suffer from heavy periods or men who have had bleeding issues (during surgery etc..) this may be the case.
It is a simple blood test.

I also experience greater fatigue and symptoms during my period.

 
Old 10-05-2004, 11:14 AM   #11
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Re: anemia symptoms & heavy periods

Meagen312,
First of all, when in doubt, get a second opinion from another doctor!

I recently had trouble with my iron levels also. I went to give blood and was turned down because my hematocrit was 35. (I don't know what my hemoglobin was, but my "normal" is between 12.5 and 13--so I figured I was at least at a 12). The nurse said that this would register normal at the doctors office, but they needed the hematocrit to be at least 38 for me to give blood. I was feeling fine, but this was unusual. Within the week I had mid cycle bleeding. It wasn't bad at first, but was getting worse every day. By the time I went to the doctors office the day after Labor day, my hemoglobin was 9.9. We had to stop the bleeding and make a plan. The plan was to get my iron to normal by taking iron suppliments and taking medication to stop the bleeding. Then I was to schedule a hysterectomy (for about 2 months down the line) because other options have been tried in the past and didn't work for the long haul. Unfortunately the bleeding wasn't affected by the meds right away. I ended up in the ER the next day. I was bleeding profusely, but not bad enough to be admitted (a whole different story). So home I went and the next day I followed up at my doctors office. My hemoglobin dropped to 8 (in just 2 days). Well, my doctor hospitalized me, and I had to have a transfusion (2 units of blood), IV meds to stop the bleeding and rest. The hysterectomy was scheduled for the following week. I just had to be patient. I spent 2 1/2 days in the hospital and by the time I left my iron was at 10.8. Not great but better. Monday before surgery I went for the preop physical to my primary care doctor. Once again my hemoglobin dropped to 8.9! I was surpised. What would have happened if I didn't get the transfusion??? Well, needless to say, I was called on Tuesday by my OB/GYN (the day before surgery) to come in early on Wednesday for a transfusion and then surgery. It was a very emotional week. My hemoglobin is normal now--about 12.2, but I wouldn't have gotten to this point without the 4 units of blood that I recieved. The bleeding stopped about 2 days before surgery, but only after A LOT of medication.

I do have a history that didn't help my situation. I have five children and had 5 c-sections. I have a couple of D & C's because of excessive bleeding. I am only 41, but my ob/gyn said after the pathology report that it had been time for the hysterectomy. I wouldn't have gotten better--only worse. The big difference in my case is that ever since I had my daugher in July 2003, my periods were pretty good--not too heavy. This disfunctional uteran bleeding happened very suddenly even though it was building up to happen! Be aware of your body and it's signals. I was lucky that I was paying attention to mine.

IF YOU DON'T FEEL YOUR DOCTOR IS LISTENING TO YOUR SYMPTOMS---GET A SECOND OPINION! I am sooooo fortunate that I have excellent doctors who listen to symtoms as well as their own observations and tests.

Take care. I would like to know how it all turns out.

PS. to answer your questions...I think hemoglobin can change drastically if you have heavy periods. Mine was proof that it can. My doctor didn't want to put me on birth control because I am borderline with high blood pressure. He said it would sky rocket! That was my case though. Every case is different and has different considerations.

Last edited by mperrin; 10-07-2004 at 09:27 AM.

 
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