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Women's Health

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11/23/2009

Question:

I have not been clincally diagnosed with Anemia, but my dr. last yr told me to take Iron pills after I told her I was unable to give blood a few times because my iron levels were too low. She drew blood and had me take some over the counter iron pills. I took them religiously for about 2 wks n forgot after that. I always feel tired and like I never seem to get eough rest or sleep. About a year ago I started to get real nauseous and would throw up everyday that I was on my period. My periods last about 3-4 days and are heavy periods. I never used to have heavy periods or any symptoms the way I do now. My cramps are severe enough to keep my in bed all day, miss work, miss class and not even be able to move or walk because it hurts so much. Lately even when I`m not on my period I feel weak and light headed, my hands feel tingly at times and I feel the constant need to throw up. Whats wrong with me? Is there something I can do to prevent these things? Or something a doctor can do? Should I see my doctor soon? Should I be concerned?

Answer:

I am so sorry that you are feeling so terrible. No one should have to suffer with menstrual periods like this. There is a lot that can be done.

The first step is to see a provider who is skilled in Women's Health. That may be a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner or physician, or a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner or Physician. I'd suggest going to the web and looking in your community for a recommendation. The local Planned Parenthood office might also be a good option.

You certainly need to have some blood work to look at your compete blood count (not just your iron level) and some hormone indicators. I'd also suggest that you keep a calendar that notes when you are having symptoms, when you are having your menstrual period, and when you feel OK. The pattern is important for the provider to know.

In the meantime, I'd also suggest some prenatal vitamins (not because you are pregnant, but because they might help boost you a bit).

Please don't delay seeing the provider. You don't have to suffer, and it doesn't mean that there is something life-threatening that is wrong with you.

All the best.  Hope this helps.

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Response by:

Elizabeth R Barker, APRN, BC, FNP, FAANP, CHE, PhD Elizabeth R Barker, APRN, BC, FNP, FAANP, CHE, PhD
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University