Low iron, no periods. Possible cause?

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Hi there,

I am a 26 year old female who has been feeling extremely tired over the last few months with symptoms of fatigue including dizziness, trouble concentrating and feeling out of breath. Approx. 2.5 years ago I had similar symptoms and my doctor did a blood test which found my ferritin levels to be at 7 (with the guideline at 28-160). Despite eating red meat and other sources of iron frequently it was very low and she attributed this to my periods and told me to take supplements. HOWEVER 2 years ago I had the mirena inserted and so have not had any periods in this time (not even spotting). I had another test in february this year and my ferritin levels were at 15. I also had another test a few days ago and have gotten the results back and the levels have dropped again to 12. Between the last two tests I actually increased my iron intake with red meat and so expected the results to increase if anything but instead have decreased despite no period! All my other blood tests have come back normal so my doctor has said that I am not anaemic.

Any ideas on possible causes?

All information and suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks, Hannah

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Causes for low iron from not eating enough foods that contain iron. Meats, eggs, green leafy greens and more as well as iodized salt. Or the lack of the body to absorb iron as in celiac disease, Also a intestinal bleed or ulcer or a colon polyp. Experienced a intestinal leak a few years ago , The doctor said it was from taking to much Ibeprophen. As the pills can sit in a pocket and desolves in place and cause a tear in the intestines . Who knew, 

    I hope you find whatever is causing your iron deificency and soon back to feeling better.

    Kind Regards

     

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  • Posted

    Hi perhaps you just need to get your iron stores up. Even without any periods sometimes food alone isnt enough to get your iron stores up to an acceptable level. Even after 2 years perhaps your stores have struggled to build up (even with no periods) Have you taken any iron tablets/supplements recently? My ferritin went low due to very heavy periods, I started taking iron tablets about 7 months ago and had the mirena coil fitted about 4 months ago. I still bleed (but not as heavy) but Im finding the process of building up my iron stores (and the symptoms going) is very slow. Is the dr going to investigate anything?
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  • Posted

    I had two friends who had similar issues to what you are experiencing. They came to me for advice because I was such a health nut for a while. Based upon the following research I had come across: 1) some individuals actually struggle absorbing iron through meat sources and do better through a consistent diet of plant sources high in iron and 2) The best way to correct deficiencies is not through dependence on supplements but a diet that meets those needs on a consistent basis.

         My solution to my friends was to eat every meal filled with high iron content foods containing: broccoli, spinach, black beans, and deserts consisting of pure cocoa or black molasses. I told them to stick to it for two months without missing a day and then go down to only two meals with such strict requirements. Results: My first friend who had anemia recovered with no supplements, and returned to her energetic nature. My other friend with low iron levels and no period had her period resume. What can be learned: 1) supplements cannot replace a consistent healthy diet. 2) For some people it is better to get your daily dose of iron through plants rather than meat especially when it is meat from the USA.

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  • Posted

    Ferritin is very important for body and it is a protein that stores iron in our body. The level of ferritin in our body should be maintained for better functionality. A continuous low ferritin level may be because of regular dietary iron deficiency,  intestinal malabsorption, bowel disease andexcessive blood loss. As you said your ferritin level is decreasing even you are not anaemic. you need to make some changes in your daily life or change your iron intake. There are several ways to rise your ferritin level:

    Find if you any infection such as malaria or any other

    Eat iron rich foods or supplementary iron, lean meat, crabs, eggs,  chicken,oysters, , fish, pork etc.

    Increase vitamin C intake, use iron pots for cooking.

    You have to stop consumption of food which make it harder to absorb iron. Red wine, Coffee, Non-fermented soy, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, milk and black or green tea.

    By making few changes in your lifestyle and diet, you may get positive results.

    Good Luck.

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  • Posted

    The biggest source of iron is pink lentils, don't even bother with meat. But I don't think iron is the case. These may be the reasons

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS causes relatively high and sustained levels of hormones, rather than the fluctuating levels seen in the normal menstrual cycle.

    Thyroid malfunction. An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) can cause menstrual irregularities, including amenorrhea.

    Pituitary tumor. A noncancerous (benign) tumor in your pituitary gland can interfere with the hormonal regulation of menstruation.

    I have the same problem, I eat a lot of vegetables, overall I eat way better than before and I started having 2 month breaks between periods, I eliminated everything, so in my case it probably is a pituitary tumor, thyroid was working goood 3 years ago. I would suggest you to have a blood work done to see if everything is good with your hormones.

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  • Posted

    I had a similar problem. My periods were delayed 1-3 weeks. First I thought it might be thyroid problem. But when I did the tests my thyroid levels were normal, however my ferritin is extremely low less than 1.5  (normal 9 - 158 for women). Started to take iron supplement, and my periods normalized. Personally think that fixing anemia with mirena is not a good idea. Look for cause and address it.
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