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So if it isn’t anaemia what is it?

(7 Posts)
1wokeuplikethis Mon 17-Jun-19 20:57:18

I have endometriosis, had some removed but no follow up treatment or care/advice. I’m on the pill but sporadically have periods. I had one that lasted a week, then a week later I had a really heavy period for 4 days. Coinciding with this time I was:

Abnormally over-tired, couldn’t get off the sofa.
Light headed/fainted
Even the smallest tasks took great effort, like wading through treacle with awful brain fug.
Constant headache.

A couple of years ago my iron stores were down to 8 and the dr prescribed me iron tablets and I had some left over. These symptoms are the same as I had then. So I booked a blood test, and then started taking the iron tablets after I’d had that and I actually feel a bit better. However, my blood test came back as normal/no action - although they said that last time when my iron stores were 8, but I pestered them about my results.

The nurse is phoning me back tomorrow to talk through my results.

But I’m alarmed at feeling so unwell and having no clear cause. It has a massive impact on my family and my general well-being to feel so poorly, I’m just lost as to what is the cause.

Those symptoms I’ve described, if it’s not low iron, does anybody know what it could be?

OP’s posts: |
ExhaustedGrinch Mon 17-Jun-19 21:04:28

I had all those symptoms when I had low folic acid. They initially thought it was low B12 but turned out to be folic acid. I'm on the mend slowly but it knocked me sideways and took them ages to figure out what was wrong with me (they kept checking thyroid). I then had a siezure (possibly linked I don't know) and my blood test from that showed I had enlarged red blood cells caused by the lack of folic acid. Not sure if you've been tested for low folic acid or B12 or did they just check your iron? Not sure if it would show up on a blood test for iron, I know they tested me for low iron, folic acid, B12 and something else and they were all seperate tests.

1wokeuplikethis Mon 17-Jun-19 21:13:27

I don’t think they are testing for folic acid, it’s b12, ferretin, liver & kidney function and diabetes.

Do you know if they have to test specifically for folic acid or if that would show up with testing for the other things?
It’s definitely something I’ll ask the nurse now.

OP’s posts: |
ColaFreezePop Mon 17-Jun-19 21:24:02

I frequently get tested for ferritin as well as my haemoglobin level. These are separate tests and ferritin had to be specifically ordered. (Low ferritin is non- anaemic iron deficiency.)

The GPs at my practice want to see a ferritin level of 30. Probably as I have repeat anaemia plus other blood cell issues. Many just use the lab ranges.

Generally if they can't figure out what is wrong with you they may ask for loads of blood tests at once covering thyroid, inflammation markers, iron, B12 and folate plus full blood count.

ExhaustedGrinch Mon 17-Jun-19 21:31:23

Not sure if it would show up in other tests but it's definitely worth mentioning. I was so dizzy I thought I was going to fall over all the time, I was napping during the day and in tears by 7pm because I was so exhausted, my memory was shot, I couldn't concentrate or focus on anything - it was that bad I had to leave Uni in the end because I didn't have the physical or mental energy to deal with it. I didn't have headaches but my immune system was terrible, I got everything from general colds to shingles. When I read up about it it says that it can take up to 12 months (iirc) to feel completely better from it but it's been about 3 months on 5mg folic acid or me and my energy levels are so much better, not quite back to where I should be but only napping maybe once a week whereas I could nap several times a day blush Oh and another thing was I could get 8hrs sleep but I would never wake up feeling refreshed, I still felt exhausted on waking!

1wokeuplikethis Mon 17-Jun-19 21:38:09

God that sounds awful, poor you. Feeling like this for 3 weeks is bad enough never mind over a year. But I think because I felt like this before I was quicker to note the symptoms and think no, I’m not going to just hope it goes away.

I don’t know how quickly iron tablets work, or if it’s placebo but I’ve been taking them for 5 days and already feel more like myself. But also my period had stopped finally. It might be something to do with the endo seeing as they really didn’t give me any information and basically said it’s untreatable/you have to get in with it.

I booked a drs apt straight after the receptionist couldn’t tell me any info in the test results so hopefully we will get somewhere.

OP’s posts: |
Violetroselily Mon 17-Jun-19 21:43:40

I had those symptoms when I was low in folate, particularly the lightheadedness and dizziness. Was prescribed folic acid for 3 months and it has improved.

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