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In all honesty my memory has never been great but at 51 it really is awful...my 80yr old mothers is better!

if i don't write things on my hand so i can see it id never remember....and its no good putting a list in my bag because i forget its there!....so frustrating and not being able to concentrate.

Also the constant tiredness...iv just got up at 10am after 9hrs sleep and could quite easily go back to bed....my lack of enthusiasm is depressing.

my kids have left home and iv been divorced 8yrs so i thought this would be my time to enjoy but feel yuk!

I still get periods and bleeds in between ....im told thats normal at "my time of life" but also worry a little just in case its something else and nobody bothers checking because I'm over 50!!......O Happy days!! ps I'm not usually a moaning person...iv worked hard bringing up and supporting my family looking after my parents and generally my glass is always half full...but this is getting me down sad((

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  • Posted


    At last! Someone has described my own symptoms in a nutshell! I would have replied sooner but I forgot my password and had to come up with a new one!

    My husband has taken to calling me the Amazing Memory Woman - I can forget where I'm going in the house if I get distracted! His office is on the way to the loo and I can be talking to him for ages before I suddenly remember where I was headed!

    I'll send this off before I forget what I'm doing!

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  • Posted

    I will turn 50 later this year and I am shocked at how awful my memory has become - and at other symptoms. Like yours, my memory has always been a bit iffy, to say the least - I have no trouble in remembering childhood and many things in my past, but the more recent past is a problem!

    If I write a shopping list I know I'll never remember to take it with me! I somehow seem to get by by visualising the list, but I always forget something - usually the one item I really needed! I have also noticed a tendency to become blind to things right in front of me - I've lost count of how many times I've gone in search of something, only to find it inches from where I was in the first place!

    I have noticed that my memory, in particular for performing simple tasks, seems to worsen dramatically around period time! Concentration is shot to pieces too.

    Over a year ago my doctor did the blood test for hormone levels and said I was fine and not perimenopausal. However, I know they fluctuate and. although my periods eventually settled down in my 40's to become so regular I could predict to the very day (usually one day earlier than the previous month each time), I had one blip last summer when I was 3 weeks late. A couple of times they have been about 3 days late or early. All seemed "normal" until February this year. My periods usually started almost imperceptibly but with vague back ache, finally causing awful pain on day 4 with awful flooding on day 5 then gradually tailing off. This time I was in dreadful pain on day 2 with flooding for 2 days until it was like a tap being turned off! Instant cessation at the end of day 4! Night-time day 5 it suddenly began again then tailed off next day as normal.

    Barelt 2 weeks after the start of that period I woke up with a bleed again but it only lasted the one day. Last Saturday the same thing happened again, throughly confusing me! Several days later it began in earnest again at the proper time, but I have no idea what day it is now - ie is this now day 8? Was woken up on Thursday in the early hours by dreadful pain, then came the flooding. Back to just traces now.

    Is this the beginning of the end? Or just another blip? Had enough of pain and flooding now, thank you!

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  • Posted

    I forgot to tackle the tiredness and depression issues!

    I seem to be in a rut of falling asleep on and off during the day / evening when at my laptop (I work from home), going to bed between 12 and 1am but waking at some silly hour (today it was about 5.30) and not being able to get back to sleep. I only seem to get night sweats once or twice a month, during periods.

    Over recent years I have noticed a pattern of maybe just for one day, pre period, becoming either very weepy at nothing, or very ratty and impatient. Last September this one day turned into almost a week of crying and depression, right into my period. A friend urged me to see my doctor and, after many questions (saying it was too soon to be given HRT as I am regular still) put me on Fluoxetene (Prozac), which was the reason I came to these forums in the first place.

    Supposed to take them for about 15 days every month, to cover PMT and the period. For the first 3 months I took about 3 day's worth then stopped as I felt happier. Not taken any this year yet as I've been so busy and slightly confused as to what my body is up to! Got that dull, tell-tale backache again. Great!

    I keep telling myself all these symptoms must be normal - it's "just your age" as mother-in-law keeps telling me! She dreaded her periods in her late 40's as she got awful hot flushes, flooding, memory loss and dreadful concentration problems and weepiness - until she was put on HRT and never looked back!

    Maybe that's the answer?

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear you are both having a bad time. Although to a certain extent it is down to age, you can really improve things with the right diet and supplements. A nutritionist who has the right training should really be able to help - google BANT and click on the find practitioner button on their website if you decide it is worth a try. All BANT registered nutritionists have to have had proper training and keep up-to-date by attending training and seminars. A nutritionist will look at your symptoms, diet, past health and diet, etc and come up with a diet plan to help. He/she will also know about supplements and be able to recommend a supplement plan that is well balanced too. There are all sorts of cliches - you are what you eat, rubbish in = rubbish out, etc but there is a lot of truth in them!


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  • Posted

    Thank you both for taking the time to reply...i feel better just reading the stuff on here at least i know I'm not alone.

    And yes sue i agree regarding nutrition /exercise etc and its something iv always practised....i weigh the same now 9 stone 7 lbs as i did when i was 30....i run most days....or at least i did up until a few months ago when my energy levels dropped and my brain decided to pack its bag and take a holiday....or rather p___ off completely! ....sorry if that offends anyone but thats how it feels :p

    anyway i WILL not be defeated I'm back in the gym tomorrow another change in diet is on the cards and if all else fails i will welcome HRT with open arms! smile

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  • Posted

    I have read that progesterone/gen depletes earlier than oestrogen when heading for perimenopause. This can be supplemented if low.

    Also, request an Iron Studies blood test. If your (Serum) Ferritin Iron level is greater than 200 and your TS% is greater than 40%, you are heading for iron overload trouble which causes memory loss, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, depression, (for starters). Although some of you are menstruating, so your levels will not show as high yet. Test once you have stopped or slowed down.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sheryl,

    Your comments about iron levels have got me thinking!

    Over several years, at the end of his 70's and into 80, my father was being regularly checked by his lovely doctor who was trying to get to the bottom of some troubling symptoms and it involved iron levels and his liver. At one point it got to the stage where liver biopsies were being mentioned. Thankfully, that didn't happen.

    However, a condition called Haemochromatosis was mooted so I researched it and found that this condition causes the liver to make too much iron - causing fatigue and all the other symptoms you mention. It also stated that it was often hereditary, and I certainly recognised some of the symptoms in myself back then (my father is 83 now). As one of the treatments for this condition is regular, controlled, blood-letting, women who are menstruating are basiciaclly doing themselves a favour! That and being a regular blood donor myself (another factor that was mentioned) would help mask such a condition.

    Mind you, several years ago my haemoglobin levels were too low on one occasion for the donation to go ahead. For various medical and geographical reasons I have only been able to give blood about 3 times in the last couple of years, and my last donation was last summer (would have been yesterday if I hadn't had my ears pierced at Christmas).

    Thank you, Sheryl - it is certainly food for thought...

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  • Posted

    Hi madcow, I am glad Haemochromatosis clicked with you. I have found that a lot of people just do not want to know. As you are menstruating, your levels may not be high yet, although I know of some, even young, women who have a very high serum ferritin Iron and symptoms even though they are menstruating, which might explain why you are having some of these problems.

    You have been doing yourself a big favour being a blood donor - I wish everyone who can, would do so. When you are menstruating, sometimes 2 donations per year is enough, otherwise you can end up with a low Haemoglobin as you discovered.

    If your father was actually diagnosed with HH (Hereditary Haemochromatosis), you can ask for a genetic test for it whether your levels are currently high or not (first degree relationship). Forewarned is forearmed. If your Ferritin Iron is normal, just keep donating. If you do have HH, you will probably have a TS% greater than 40.

    Then if you are positive for HH, you children are entitled to a genetic test as well. People don't usually need a liver biopsy these days because of the genetic test, unless you do have severe liver problems, and then I would hate the idea of somebody taking bits of a liver that is already damaged. MRIs and scans are the best non invasive way to go.

    The liver is one of the organs that actually absorbs and stores iron, but it can go to your heart, joints, pancreas, brain, reproductive organs, etc as well. Generally not all at once, usually it picks a path of least resistence, it seems, and it is different for everyone.

    The duodenum and a lower part of the intestines is said to actually absorb the excess iron whereas those people who do not have HH, excrete it.

    The disorder generally sneaks up on men, and women who go through 'normal' menopause. But if one has a hysterectomy, we start iron loading immediately. In general, 1 in 200 get HH, and 1 in 7 are Carriers. In Ireland the incidence is 1 in 80 and I imagine it is fairly high in Scotland too. These are the places that the Celts end up settling and the mutation started with them.

    Good luck with it - it is better to know and get treatment for it than harbour it for years.

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  • Posted

    Ah! Now I have a Celtic connection, too! Some generations back in my ancestry, on my mother's side, there are Scots! I was always told that's where my abundant freckles came from!

    Another snippet of info I have remembered - Once I was into my 40's I was often getting comments such as "Well, YOU aren't anaemic - your blood has sunk like a stone!" every time I had the simple finger-prick test at the blood donors' session! Right up until the several occasions when I had to be retested and 2 times were borderline but ok, and one was too low.

    Also - I have been aware that I seem to have more energy and better moods straight after a period in recent months. I just put it down to feeling so much better after the mood swings, pain, flooding and, sometimes, migraines. Better, because my mind is thinking, Well, that's over for another 3 weeks! Maybe - it's down to less iron in my system?

    I believe the tests for HH were inconclusive in the end with my father - maybe "borderline", as with diabetes tests over the years, depending on day, time and parameters. Both parents have regular blood tests for all sorts of things though, and they have very thorough and caring doctors in their practice. I have no children, but I do have a younger brother, although he seems full of energy and get up and go as he approaches 45!

    Thank you for all your information and good wishes - I wonder just how many people who use the anxiety / depression forums (I get alerts from them after enquiring about Fluoxetine and Amitryptiline) have actually got haemochromatosis?

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  • Posted

    Maybe there's just too much going on in your life and you're so stressed out that you're not fully recouping from sleep, and it's lowering your memory capacity as well.
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  • Posted

    yes Lara...i do feel a bit on overload at the moment, iv always been able to sort everything out for everyone and now both my elderly parents are ill and things aren't going to plan i feel so frustrated!

    Im also recovering from a chest infection thats made me very run down and tired as well as working....i want to be able to cope with everything but sometimes its just not possible sad

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  • Posted

    Lots of drs make mistakes about interpreting Iron Studies - thats why we need to request copies for ourselves. That's why it took 9 years for me to be diagnosed after a hysterectomy, and I was really struggling severely, because she did not believe the ferritin iron levels and told me (after diagnosis) that I did not look like I had it. Now she was considered to be the best female dr in the city so I did not dr shop.

    Among my support group members and those that phone me for advice and help, the problem is continuing and it is now 24 years later.

    Is your lack of children your choice, or did it not just happen? Sorry, if I am being intrusive, but HH is known to cause reproductive organ problems, in both men and women.

    The blood bank used to tell me that they loved people like me too because my Hb was always so high.

    I bet your brother is a Carrier - they seem to have the best constitution!

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  • Posted

    Hi Sheryl

    Don't worry - you are not being intrusive. I always assumed I'd have children, just never got around to it in a way. I was on the Pill from 21 to 42, which covered a marriage and divorce and a second marriage. I must admit, the last time I remember feeling really maternal and a little clucky I was 27. Now, being faced with what the menopause means, I just feel relief at knowing there will be no more periods one day, rather than sadness at the loss of child-bearing chances. Sometimes that makes me feel like a freak - but we do have other friends who never had children.

    So - I have no idea what my fertility has been like. My brother is only just getting married this year, so he has never tried for children. I am hoping to get over to see my parents tomorrow, so I will have a chat about haemochromatosis and see if the doctor has ever said anything else about it.

    Scentofawoman - I'm so sorry if it seems we've hijacked your discussion! I really feel for you. Unlike you, I don't have to juggle my symptoms with children and ailing parents. I consider myself very very fortunate in that both my parents, touch wood, are in reasonable health and can, and do, generally look after themselves and each other. I do worry about them a lot - my dad will be 84 this year and my mum is 80 in a couple of weeks. She had a heart attack over 15 years ago but they keep themselves pretty active and do their own DIY.

    Going back to reading your last paragraph again - I'm sure the right doctor would listen to your worries and take them seriously, even at "your time of life". I know we are always told to report bleeding in between periods. As this has only just started to happen to me, a close friend has told me to keep notes for now but to maybe see a doctor about it if it keeps happening while I am so regular. I was actually about to try and book a year-overdue smear test when this extra bleeding began. Getting it done at the best time is now that little bit more difficult!

    In the UK there is now a new advertising campaign for women over 70 to check their breasts as there has been an increased incidence of breast cancers going undetected in over 70's as they were thought to be "over all that" by then. So doctors should still take your symptoms seriously and give you a thorough check if that is what you ask for.

    I wish you all the best with your health and your parents x

    PS - Although not under the same pressures as yourself, I, too, know the lack of enthusiasm for life - my own parents wouldn't recognise me at times as I have always been known for my sunny disposition throughout life, no matter what. Even after my uncle's funeral, a few years ago, my aunt joked that I should move in with her and my cousin as I made them feel better with my natural cheerfulness! Oh how things can change! Huh - hormones - who needs 'em!

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  • Posted

    scentofawoman and madcow, you both seem to know that this is not normal for you as I did and I was not going to accept that this is how I would have to go on living just because the label peri/menopause is hanging over you. It sounds to me that you have been feeling this way for a long time, so it is not just a passing phase because of some events in your life. Push for tests and push for results - don't let it take 9 years like I had to because I had not heard of what I now know.

    Your drs may do the usual tests, menopause hormones, thyroid, but please make sure they do an Iron Studies test and a pituitary gland test too. Repeat the ISs again in 6 months if test results are normal, and so on - at least to eliminate those possibilities.

    Menopause does fog the brain too, so investigate HRT supplements. Bio-identical hrt supps especially.

    Good luck and I would love to hear when you have some clarification.

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  • Posted

    Dear All,

    What you are discribing is exactly what happened to me about 25 years ago. After many, many procedures by my obgyn, I was finally given at $24.00 blood test (my doctor's quote) and came to find out my thyroid was not working at all. I had the memory loss, being tired all of the time, could not concentrate, etc. My obgyn told me -"get exercise," "you are depressed," "it's because you now have two children."....I had a d&c, conal biopsy, given antidepressants, started walking every morning (only to get back home and fall into a sound, 4-5 hour nap) and then I just thought I was loosing my mind.

    Well, after 1 1/2 years of this, the doctor finally did the blood test. When it showed that my thyroid was not producing THC, I was sent to an endocrinologist. Despite my thyroid not being swollen and I my not loosing hair my skin still looking great, the endocrinologist decided to do a scan (at this point he did not think I had a thyroid problem and I had to really push for the scan)  And, ta da, I had a thyroid tumor. Surgery was scheduled within two weeks, the tumor was removed and I was put on thyroid replacement therepy. Within 6 weeks, I felt like a million bucks...

    So, the upshot of my story is you have to take your health into your own hands and push for answers. Too many times doctors overlook the complaints woman present to them, but, if it's persistent, then keep going.

    Good luck and do not give up!!!

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