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can hormones cause low iron? can hormones cause low iron?

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Unread 02-10-2006, 06:47 AM
can hormones cause low iron?

Hey I am 3 months post-op and was wondering if anyone was having troubles with their iron being too low or their ferritin since having thier hysto? My doctor says mine is low and wants me to take a iron pill. They believe it will help my rls but in all the other blood work I have had done I didn't have low levels yet I still had my rls. The restless legs syndrome (rls) I have had for at least 5 years so why didn't my low ferritin show prior to my surgery and now after it is low? So that brings me to the question of if I might have low levels of hormone which could be causing my low iron. I just want to see if this is a common thing due to low hormones.
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Unread 02-13-2006, 09:50 AM
can hormones cause low iron?

I didn't get any replies so thought I would bring this back to the top. I am still wondering if anyone had any problems with iron and if hormones were the cause of it going to low or high?
Unread 02-13-2006, 10:05 AM
can hormones cause low iron?

I am not an expert on HRT and am still sorting out my own hormonal issues but I don't think hormones affect your ferritin. More likely, it is like my doctor just told me. Ferritin is the iron stores in your blood and they are the slowest to replenish after chronic blood loss such as I had with heavy bleeding. Iron supplements and good dietary habits can speed this up but it takes a while to recover to normal ferritin levels. Hope this helps.
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Unread 02-13-2006, 10:07 AM
can hormones cause low iron?

Thank you
Unread 02-13-2006, 12:28 PM
can hormones cause low iron?

I saw another post on this and one of the hostess said to be careful with your iron intake as high levels are toxic and you are having periods to get rid of the extra blood and iron. I also don't think hormones affect your iron. I have some other hormones issues and my endo doesn't seem to thing so either.
Unread 02-13-2006, 04:40 PM
can hormones cause low iron?

It's not something that many have noticed but you never know so I did a quick dive into the medical literature and it looks as though ferritin levels might have a connection to thyroid hormone levels and menopause can reveal thyroid problems. Here's the relevant information I bumped into below--so you might have a thyroid panel done.

But first--here's some advice from the Natural Pharmacy on RLS (they really analyze the available research, so it's a decent resource):

Preliminary studies suggest that supplemental magnesium may be helpful for RLS, even when magnesium levels are normal. An open study of 10 people with insomnia related to RLS or periodic leg movements in sleep found that their sleep improved significantly when they took magnesium nightly for 4 to 6 weeks. However, open studies are extremely unreliable, because they do not factor out the placebo effect, and no double blind studies on magnesium for RLS have been reported.

Based on numerous case reports of improvement, folate is also sometimes recommended for RLS. Symptoms decreased in one study of 45 patients given 5 to 30 mg of folate daily. However, again this was not a double-blind experiment, and therefore the meaningfulness of the results are questionable. Keep in mind that such high doses of folate should be administered only under medical supervision.

A number of studies have linked RLS to low levels of iron in the blood. In one analysis of the medical records of 27 people with RLS, those with the most severe symptoms had lower-than-average levels of serum ferritin, one measure of iron deficiency. In another study in which 18 elderly people with RLS were compared with 18 elderly people without the condition, those with RLS also had reduced levels of serum ferritin. When 15 of these people were given iron, all but one experienced a reduction in symptoms. Those with the lowest initial ferritin levels improved the most. However, once more, these were not double-blind studies, and therefore their results cannot be trusted.

In contrast to these results, a double-blind study of 28 people found that iron didn’t relieve RLS any better than placebo. However, in this particular study, participants had normal levels of iron on average. The study didn’t effectively measure whether iron might help RLS among people with iron deficiency.

One theory holds that mild iron deficiency may cause RLS by decreasing the amount of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This theory is supported by findings that conventional drugs which increase dopamine activity (such as the Parkinson’s Disease medication mentioned above) can also alleviate RLS.

The bottom line: iron supplements might be useful for people with RLS who are also deficient in iron, but this has not been proven. Still, if you're deficient in iron, that's a situation worth correcting. Note that tests for anemia won’t necessarily pick up the low-grade iron deficiency that is linked to RLS. For that purpose, you'll need tests that specifically evaluate iron levels, such as ferritin, serum iron, and total iron-binding capacity.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E has also been proposed for this condition. In one report, seven out of nine people with RLS given 400 to 800 IU daily of vitamin E experienced virtually complete control of symptoms, while the other two had partial relief. Other anecdotal reports suggest that vitamin C may be useful, and that vitamin B 12 may benefit people with RLS who are deficient in this nutrient.

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metaboblism 1985 Oct;61(4):672-6.
Serum ferritin as a marker of thyroid hormone action on peripheral tissues.

Takamatsu J, Majima M, Miki K, Kuma K, Mozai T.

Serum ferritin measurements were evaluated as a marker of thyroid hormone action on peripheral tissues. Mean serum ferritin concentrations were not significantly different in euthyroid, thyrotoxic, and hypothyroid subjects due to a wide spread in ferritin levels among individuals. Intraindividual changes in serum ferritin, however, occurred with changing thyroid function. All 18 patients with thyrotoxic Graves' disease had a decrease in serum ferritin levels when they became euthyroid during antithyroid drug therapy. Furthermore, a significant intraindividual correlation between serum levels of ferritin and T4 or T3 was found in 2 patients with thyrotoxic Graves' disease in whom levels were measured serially throughout the course of therapy. Similarly, serum ferritin levels increased in all 12 hypothyroid patients with Hashimoto's disease when euthyroidism was achieved with L-T4 therapy. Administration of 75 micrograms T3 daily for 1 week to 11 euthyroid subjects resulted in a 23-243% (mean +/- SD, 117 +/- 70%) increase in serum ferritin above basal values. In contrast, in 3 patients with thyroid hormone resistance, the same treatment produced rises in serum ferritin concentrations of only 2%, 5%, and 15%. Our data suggest that alterations in thyroid status in a given individual produce changes in serum ferritin levels. Measurement of this protein before and after T3 therapy may prove useful in the diagnosis of thyroid hormone resistance.
Unread 02-13-2006, 06:49 PM
can hormones cause low iron?

yeah i have rls and i realize the iron will cause it but prior to my hysto i didnt have low levels and now all of sudden i do so i was thinking that maybe cuz my hormones are gooved up that it could be the cause of low levels of iron. But obviously its not. I have a real hard time with my iron being low for the past 5 or 6 years without it causing me to feel real sick but i guess it can happen.

as for having high intake i would never take iron without a doctors suppervision which i am doing at this point my doctors are recommending it but i am not wanting to due to the toxation you can get from it. And for the periods i havent had one since oct. which was when i had my hysto so that was why i was thinking the hormones change was what caused the drastic change in iron. I had my iron checked several times in the last year and it never showed low levesl as a matter of fact this last blood work wasnt low i was still in the range but i was on the low end of the range in ferritin so they are thinking due to that is the reason of rls. anyway i will keep looking cuz i dont think its the case but maybe just once a doctor may be right lol
Unread 02-14-2006, 04:01 AM
can hormones cause low iron?

Something strange........if you have a gold ring, or wedding band, take it off and run it down your face. Does it make a black line?
For the past 3 or 4 weeks, my wedding rings have been causing my fingers to turn black. I've never had this problem before! I e-mailed my gyn and she was a bit interested in it (she's very inquisitive & intelligent.....likes to find answers to everything!). Anyways, I did some searching myself and some theories I found attributed the "black fingers" to an iron deficiency. Mind you, this is only a theory.....not medically proven, I don't think! Some people also claimed that the blackness is due to acidity levels in the body. Well, I've done the "ring test" on my face and sure enough.....I had lines. Several women I know also tried it with my rings and nothing happened!
I am on HRT (Femring & Prometrium). So, the saga continues and I have no clue if I am iron deficient!!
Unread 02-14-2006, 04:26 AM
can hormones cause low iron?

That is strange would be interesting to know for sure. Are you to be going to your doctors or is she just going to research it herself? Let us know what the turn out is.
Unread 02-14-2006, 02:11 PM
can hormones cause low iron?

I have e-mailed her and asked if she could check the CBC blood work that I had done in January. The blood work was actually ordered by my podiatrist, and I faxed a copy to my gyn for my file. There were several areas on the results that had an "L" next to them, meaning low, I presume. I'm waiting to hear back from my gyn to see what my iron level was from that bloodwork. I do have an appt. with my new primary physician tomorrow. I will ask her about it.

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