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Thread: Low iron but period isn't back?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    48

    Default Low iron but period isn't back?

    Hi all. My LO is almost 26 months now, but at about 18 months or so, right before I got my period back, I had a blood panel run to check for thyroid issues but all it found was a low blood count. My doctor told me to take iron and B12 supplements.

    Now I'm having other health issues and am worried that was a sign of internal bleeding from a cancer or something (I have hydronephrosis with yet unknown cause, but nothing of concern yet on ultrasound and non contrast CT).. I know I was very anemic right after birth, but my levels went back up so quickly on supplements that my doctor had to call to tell me to stop taking them.

    I have had this issue on and off my whole life, but that's common with menstruation. I feel very stupid for not mentioning at the time that I didn't have my period back. When I asked her to recheck my levels, I had just started my period again and she knew this and said, well, since you just started it you're probably fine since that's what normally causes it. Again, stupidly, I didn't ask why it was low in the first place then.

    I'm hoping it's just a B12 issue, as I think I generally have that low as well. I do eat red meat so should not have a problem getting adequate iron.

    Just wanted to know if anyone else ever had low iron more than a year after birth but before your period came back.

    And in terms of my other health issues, if anyone had pregnancy induced hydronephrosis that did not resolve after pregnancy, that would be interesting to me as well. I have no idea if I had this during pregnancy, but I've had two kidney infections since that prompted the ultrasound.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Low iron but period isn't back?

    Are your levels still low? I'm a little confused on that point. If they are, could you ask your doctor about pernicious anemia? Sometimes people can't properly absorb B12 orally, so all the supplements in the world won't bring your levels back up. It might be worth asking about intramuscular B12 shots.

    I'm not sure about the hydronephrosis issue. In terms of internal bleeding, have you talked to your doctor about this? Are you worried that it might be some sort of colon cancer? You could ask about doing stool samples for occult blood. I would definitely encourage you to discuss these concerns with your doctor. It sounds like things are complicated in your situation and you have a lot of unanswered questions that are weighing on you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Low iron but period isn't back?

    I'm not sure if my levels are still low. They were never retested. I guess that would be step 1, but I've responded to treatment for it in the past. I'm mostly just wondering if it's really, really weird and rare for nursing moms of toddlers to have low iron before they get their period back. I know breastmilk is not supposed to really take much iron.

    I am concerned about a colon or ovarian cancer that may be bleeding or otherwise causing anemia (don't think my levels were so low to be considered anemic she never requested follow up tests). My CT didn't show evidence of this, though it wasn't specifically to check for those things. But they were looking for anything that might be obstructing my urinary tract, either within it or outside of it.

    Guess I'll have to bring it up to my doctor, though she'll think I'm nuts bringing up something from that long ago.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,911

    Default Re: Low iron but period isn't back?

    It's not "really, really weird" for women to have low iron, but it's unusual enough in a woman who eats red meat that I think it's worth some more conversations with your doctor about supplements and follow-up testing.

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