So…I’m going to take you on a journey…it’s an open journey, a real journey…for years now I have dealt with having a short fuse, being irritable, cranky, tired, no energy, headaches, brain fog, restless leg syndrome, weight gain, always hungry, irregular periods and feeling like I’m PMSing CONSTANTLY and primarily taking it out on the ones that I’m closest to…it became my new normal…I HATED it…it was like I was on an emotional roller coaster…I couldn’t seem to control my emotions…I could see myself getting irritated and reacting to the situation by yelling and yet wondering “Why am I yelling?”…
Now, you have to understand that I’ve been going to the doctor for 10 years for my thyroid (my primary care doctor never sent me to an endocrinologist, a doctor who studies the thyroid during all this time). I have hypothyroidism. The doctor said for years that I have had infertility issues due to my thyroid so that is why my periods are so irregular and because I have poly cystic ovarian syndrome.
So in November 2016, my period was very late and I wasn’t pregnant. Finally, it did start 11 days late…so I called my women’s health doctor who said that I needed to see an endocrinologist (because this has gone on too long…over 10 years remember)…BUT my primary care would have to submit the order. My husband and I are both veterans and go to the VA…so to be seen by the doctor and especially a specialty doctor can be like pulling teeth!…
So December 2016, I finally was approved and went to see the endocrinologist…I had done my research, at this point, I was tired of taking my thyroid medicine because it didn’t seem to be doing any good (except my thyroid levels were good on the doctor’s charts, but I felt horrible all the time)…so I went in to the appointment with my research. I was in tears because I was so tired of feeling so horrible all the time. I honestly thought that I had adrenal fatigue. Well, I told the endocrinologist all of this and I didn’t see the point of taking the thyroid medicine anymore. So in the office, he opened up my file and the next words out of his mouth have changed my life…he said, “You are taking IRON right, because you have had little to no iron for a LONG time”…I said, “What? No. Why?”…He said, “I know what your problem is….You don’t have adrenal fatigue and if you stopped taking your thyroid meds then you would only feel a little worse than you do now because you have NO IRON! You are anemic.” ….I sat there scratching my head thinking…I feel this way because of my IRON really?
That night, my husband went to the store and picked me up some IRON supplements. I have been taking the IRON since…just one every night…now, the endocrinologist did send me to a hematologist to confirm. One of my levels that they were watching was 13 on December 29, 2016 and the same level was 39 in Feb 2, 2017 (which is getting better!) The hematologist sent me to a GI doctor who confirmed that my IRON has not been at the right levels for a LONG time! I did have a colonoscopy and endoscopy in Feb 2017 to make sure that there was no internal bleeding (which there wasn’t…PRAISE GOD!)
Since I’ve continued my thyroid meds (I never stopped taking them) and I have added one iron supplement at night…I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER…my periods are normal and aren’t as heavy, I go to the bathroom regularly, I feel more in control of my emotions, I’m not nearly as tired…my WHOLE attitude has changed!! (Just ask my hubby and kids…)
Now, I’m not a doctor, but it makes me wonder how many people are taking mood stabilizers (my primary care wanted me on those) or depression meds when they just need IRON…WebMD Iron Deficiency