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Has anyone had low ferritin count and low iron count post- menopausal. I have had colonoscopy, ct scan and videoscopy(swallowed pill with camera) and nothing has shown anything. Just went on iron, but want to make sure not just putting a bandaid on the problem.
Hello annie,
I'm in a similar situation as you are. Last summer at age 57 and post-menopausal (although I was a late bloomer - didn't hit menopause until I was 55) I tried to give blood which I've done many times before and was told my counts were too low and that i should see my doctor. Thus began a long and arduous adventure through what it seems like you have experienced.

My ferritin was a 5, my iron was a 25 , my saturation level was a 5 and quite a few other levels were either high or low. I saw my GI doc and had a celiac blood test which was normal, a colonoscopy and camera pill which showed no bleeding and was then sent to a hematologist since there was no GI or vaginal bleeding. She put me on iron supplements and retested me 5 months later and my levels improved to Ferritin of 40, iron of 55 and saturation of 16 and guess what?!?!? she told me to stop taking the iron and returnto see her in October. I was and still am surprised and a little concerned because although my ferritin is improved it is not at the 50 or better that I keep reading about that is better for you to be at and my saturation is still below normal of 20 - 55.

I do have bad GERD and acid reflux and take Nexium and there may be an issue with the iron absorption due to the PPI's - do you take any PPI's?

But I did not go to medical school so I am biding my time until my follow-up appointment and hoping that nothing changes.

What is your doc's follow-up plan for you?
[QUOTE=susieq14;4029570]Hello annie,
I'm in a similar situation as you are. Last summer at age 57 and post-menopausal (although I was a late bloomer - didn't hit menopause until I was 55) I tried to give blood which I've done many times before and was told my counts were too low and that i should see my doctor. Thus began a long and arduous adventure through what it seems like you have experienced.

My ferritin was a 5, my iron was a 25 , my saturation level was a 5 and quite a few other levels were either high or low. I saw my GI doc and had a celiac blood test which was normal, a colonoscopy and camera pill which showed no bleeding and was then sent to a hematologist since there was no GI or vaginal bleeding. She put me on iron supplements and retested me 5 months later and my levels improved to Ferritin of 40, iron of 55 and saturation of 16 and guess what?!?!? she told me to stop taking the iron and returnto see her in October. I was and still am surprised and a little concerned because although my ferritin is improved it is not at the 50 or better that I keep reading about that is better for you to be at and my saturation is still below normal of 20 - 55.

I do have bad GERD and acid reflux and take Nexium and there may be an issue with the iron absorption due to the PPI's - do you take any PPI's?

But I did not go to medical school so I am biding my time until my follow-up appointment and hoping that nothing changes.

What is your doc's follow-up plan for you?[/QUOTE]
Hi Susie,
Thank you for your reply. I also was told to take iron last year when all the test were done, then when my iron counts came up he said to stop the iron. That was from my GI doctor. Now, I am dealing with my endroconolgist, and as of now he wants to see me in 3 months. I have been a diabetic for 25 years, on insulin, thyroid med, antidepressant(just started that 3 mos ago) and Lyrica for leg pain. You mentioned PPI, not sure what that is. Glad to hear that someone else is trying to get answers. Please keep me posted.

Gail
P.S. Annie is my boxer dog. Kids are grown and gone, just waiting for grandchildren.
Hello Gail
and you can say hi to your dog Annie too!:wave:

a PPI is short ofr proton-pump inhibitor and it is prescribed for peopel who have GERD and acid reflux. The most common PPI is Nexium - "the little purple pill".

When did you stop the iron? Have you had any recent blood work done to monitor any change since you stopped the iron? I am so anxious to see what my levels will be October.

Well it was nice "to meet you" - I agree that it is helpful to know that others are dealing with similar issues. Sort of a "misery loves company" situation.
Hi Susie,

Nice to meet you too:) I had all of my original tests last year around Oct thru Dec. It was back then that the GI doctor said to stop my iron.
My blood work in February was fine, a little low but okay. When I had my bloodwork again in June, thats when my ferritin came back at 13 and my iron 45. so my Endocronolgist said to start iron again. so I have been taking 325 twice a day and will have test again the first part of October.

Do you feel tired alot? I have mornings that I get up and an hour later I lay back down. then maybe take a nap or two the same day. Other days I get through the day okay. I usually am in bed though by 10:00pm. I try to walk 3 miles a day 5 days a week, but sometimes I get home from that and take a nap:yawn:

Thanks for getting back to me.
Gail
Hi annierules - It's a shame your doctor told you to stop the iron supplements once your ferritin got to 40. I wouldn't think that high enough. You mightn't be anemic, but it's healthy for a number of reasons to have a higher ferritin.

Can i ask, have you had a full thyroid check up? this should include TSH, FT4, FT3 and thyroid antibodies to rule out an auto immune thyroid condition. The most common times for the thyroid hormones to start playing up are at puberty, pregnancy and menopause. A lot of menopausal women have actual thyroid symptoms yet their doctor simply blames it on "menopause". With thyroid testing, a lot of doctors only look at TSH and that alone doesn't say much, unless your TSH is far too low or way too high. My TSH was considered "normal" and i went without medication for 9 years, when all along i did have issues but the silly doctor didn't look at the rest of the thyroid panel.

Thyroid issues can make you feel tired, but so can adrenal issues. it would be good to have your adrenals checked to see how much of the hormone cortisol they are making.

Having low ferritin can make you tired and by doing a lot of exercise or physical work you can drain the small amount of remaining energy your body has. With low iron you need to take it easy and not over exercise.

Low iron is normally a symptom of something else which is going on. If it's not due to any internal bleeding or gluten intolerance or a meat free diet, then it has to be due to something else. Thyroid issues often are accompanied by digestive issues which lead to malabsorption of nutrients. This is quite common as is low Vitamin D and in some cases low B12 in addition to the low ferritin, so you should get everything checked just to be sure.

As you see the endo for your diabetes i'm sure he/she would be ok with doing the FULL thyroid checkup.
Hi Audrey,

Thank you so much for your information. I have been on thyroid meds for 25 years. He just lowered my dose again when I saw him 3 weeks ago. That is when he suggested iron. Not sure when he last did a full panel on my thyroid, but will ask him when I see him in 3 months. He usually runs a full blood panel but maybe he is missing something. I don't eat alot of meat, but am trying to make myself eat more. I am also trying to eat more foods that have iron. Thanks for the info on excercise, that makes sense. Due to anxiety and depression I have been trying to walk 3 miles a day. Maybe I had better cut back on that for awhile. Thanks again!

Gail (Annie is my boxer dog, waiting for grandkids to love:)
[QUOTE=annierules;4034657]Hi Susie,

Nice to meet you too:) I had all of my original tests last year around Oct thru Dec. It was back then that the GI doctor said to stop my iron.
My blood work in February was fine, a little low but okay. When I had my bloodwork again in June, thats when my ferritin came back at 13 and my iron 45. so my Endocronolgist said to start iron again. so I have been taking 325 twice a day and will have test again the first part of October.

Do you feel tired alot? I have mornings that I get up and an hour later I lay back down. then maybe take a nap or two the same day. Other days I get through the day okay. I usually am in bed though by 10:00pm. I try to walk 3 miles a day 5 days a week, but sometimes I get home from that and take a nap:yawn:

Thanks for getting back to me.
Gail[/QUOTE]

Hello Gail,

sorry for the delay in answering you. the week of the 20th I was on vacation and we went away so the week before I was working extra hard at the office to get everything cuaght up so i could leave with a clean desk and now this past week was a crazy week doing catch up with all that came thru while I was away. Sometimes I wonder why bother with vacation? it is so hard the week before and then the week after. :dizzy:

Anyway to answer your question - yes I was/am more tired than I have ever been. When my ferrtiitn and iron were real low, I was exhausted every morning and hated my alarm clock with a passion. Most nites I was falling asleep on the couch something that I never did before and there were days when I could hardly keep my eyes open or my head up at work and felt like I needed a nap. Once I started the iron pills I haven't had those feelings during the day but I'm still tired in the morning and go to bed early. Part of the problem I think is not just the low iron but the fact that since hitting menopause I don't sleep straight thru the night anymore. :dizzy:

I also don't eat much red meat so I wonder if that is a problem. it doesn't agree with my stomach. I try to walk 30 minutes on my treadmill every morning and this year has been hard because I don't get up early enough and at nite after supper I'm beat.

hopefully we will get some answers and more importantly feel like our old selves again!:D
Thanks Susie,
I am glad you got to go on vacation. I agree I think menopause and not sleeping through the night adds to the exhaustion. I think I am getting more energy since I have been on iron. Hopefully that will do the trick for both of us. Sending good thoughts for our health to return to both of us.

Blessings,
Gail
Hi Susie, in addition to your iron supplements, have you checked where your Vit D and B12 are at, particularly as you don't eat meat you could be low in these too.

The fact that meat doesn't agree with you could be due to your system not digesting meat properly. As we age (don't mean to be disrespectful) our system naturally produces less digestive enzymes so it's beneficial for a lot of people with stomach issues to change their eating habits eg: eat smaller meals but eat more often, introduce digestive enzymes into their diet.

Your blood group wouldn't be "A". I've often read and have been told by a health worker that Blood group A have less stomach acid and so have problems digesting protein. I never knew my blood group until last year and mine is A+. Could be something in that.

The fact you aren't sleeping well at night now could be something to do with your hormones. A lot of females can start having thyroid related symptoms once going/gone through menopause, but doctors will often blame any/all symptoms on actual menopause, when in fact it's thyroid related. It could also be to do with your other hormones eg: estrogen defficiency is linked to sleep disturbances. As you know, going through menopause does decrease estrogen.





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