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Low ferritin and perimenopause

By May 20, 2011 - 6:55am
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These two have similar symptoms with regard to exhaustion, irritability, memory and concentration issues, etc.

I have many peri-men. symptoms. I am 39, have 6 children, have hot flashes, night sweats, enormous memory/concentration issues, some anxiety, depression, irritability, numbness and tingling in extremities, etc. My ferritin level is 8, but I am not anemic and I have been on a regimen of supplements from a local store that specializes in vitamins/minerals/supplements. (The norm. range here is 13-150 per my primary).

My primary and ob offer little to no advice on how to manage these symptoms-any suggestions?

The birth control pill and supplements do not seem to be helping. The fish oil (3000 mg day) also does not seem to be helping my memory much.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi cjlewinski

I have written about the use of black cohosh several times and I'm linking you information I have written about this plant: http://www.empowher.com/community/ask/does-anyone-use-black-cohosh-night-sweats

Also, I have heard several testimonials about acupuncture helping the emotional/mental symptoms and impairments of menopause/pemimenopause. Just bear in that that when it comes to homeopathic or many non-Western methods, there are skeptics and for every study that proves something, there's another that negates it!

Good luck,

May 20, 2011 - 12:28pm

Sorry to hear about the cancer in your family. Yes, that does change things for you.
Glad you'll having the sonogram to rule out other conditions that could explain how you are feeling.
Here's one more article from Dr. Jones on natural ways to treat peri-menopause.
Sounds like you're already taking some supplements, hope this articles provides a few more suggestions for you. Also found this product on the site - looks like it's all natural as well.
Hang in there! Let me know what you find out next week.

May 20, 2011 - 12:18pm

Hi cjlewinski,
My iron levels are okay but I did suffer from perimenopause when I was 35. I had hot flashes, night sweats, depression, migraines, fatigue, memory loss, weight gain and concentration issues and overall just didn't feel good. My primary doc and ob at the time didn't help much and didn't think it was perimenopause because I was to young. Finally changed doctors and my new obgyn did check my iron levels (since I was so tired all the time) once the test showed that my levels were okay he ran blood work to check my hormone levels. Those came back and did indicate that I was in perimenopause. He then put me on estrogen (vivelle dot patch). Within days the symptoms got better and I was feeling human again and realized that I wasn't going crazy it was just my hormones!!! Have you had any blood work to check your hormone levels? Wondering if that would help with the right diagnoses for you.
Sorry that you are feeling the way you are! I hated it and honestly thought I was losing my mind. The worst for me was when I started a sentence and three seconds later couldn't remember what I was talking about. Oh, I have two kids and they thought I was crazy too!!
Hoping you find some answers so you can start feeling better!
One more thing they tested was my thyroid levels to make sure everything was okay there as well.
I found these articles thought they were interesting and hopefully will provide a little more information.



If I find anything else, I'll post it here for you.
Hoping you get some answers soon! Let me know what you find out.
Take care,

May 20, 2011 - 12:30pm
(reply to Angelica)

Thank you for your post.

Yes, we have had blood work done for thyroid, sugar, hormone level, iron, on and on. With the history of cancer in my family, the only hormone replacement even suggested at this point was loestrin (sp?) I have never been able to tolerate the pill, nor are other women in my family able to. I am also not able to tolerate the progesterone cream.

We have a sonogram scheduled next week to check for fibroids, etc. - that may help explain some of the menstrual issues and a neurology consult due to the extreme memory issues. This will rule out tumors, etc.

Once the above-two are accounted for, it will simply be symptomatically treating the peri-men. or ferritin issues.

I would have to say memory impairment is my worst symptom, with hot flashes being secondary. I hope to get suggestions on this forum for supplements that I may not have considered, etc.

Thanks again.

May 20, 2011 - 12:50pm

Hi CJLewinski,
Thank you for your question, and for joining EmpowHER. Perimenopause can be a difficult time for some women. A similar ASK came into the website a while back, and the response from the moderator may provide some insight and ideas about how to deal with your symptoms. You may want to use the list of treatments Susan Cody lists, to help you advocate for your health with your doctor. Be sure that whatever you try doesn't conflict with any other medication or treatment you are undergoing for a different condition. If you think you may need to speak with a therapist about your depression. Please do so. Your children need a happy mama, and I'm sure you want to be the best mama you can for them. Your doctor's office (ask the nurse) may be able to provide some resources.
Here is the link to the similar ASK: EmpowHER ASK: Perimenopause Symptoms and Treatments.
Here also is information about treating iron deficiency, to help you advocate for your health: Mayoclinic.com: Iron Deficiency Treatments
Good luck, and let us know how else we may be able to help you.

May 20, 2011 - 8:53am
(reply to Christine Jeffries)

As anyone who has researched peri-menopause knows, anxiety, depression and a whole other list of psychiatric issues can errupt during episodes hormonal imbalance.

If one has clarity to seek out answers, they would obviously have the foresight to seek a therapist's help if the symptoms were severe enough.

My question was posed to see if anyone else had dealt with symptom confusion wherein two possible causes were present and, if so, what worked for them.

I assure you my children have a "happy mama", however, my question remains.

May 20, 2011 - 9:29am
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