Menopause Part III : The Visit to the Real Doctor

I went to the doctor on Monday because I haven’t slept the night through for a month and the acupuncture didn’t make it any better.The hot flushes wake me up at least twice a night. I have now missed two periods. The doctor gave me some sleeping tablets and took some blood.

The test results came back yesterday showing that my FSH levels were well below what signifies the start of or completion of menopause (mine is 10, menopause is 25). But what was worrying was my level of iron.

It seems that I have high iron levels in my blood which could be caused by a genetic condition called haemochromatosis. The doctor asked “Do you have a history of this illness in your family?” and I said “I don’t know, I’m adopted.”

I had another blood test yesterday and I’m off for an abdominal ultrasound today.

I don’t think it can be solved through dietary intervention (giving up meat), it seems treatment is some kind of enforced blood donation — draining off pints of blood until my iron levels return to normal.

Perhaps they should just give me leeches like the old days!

Anyone ever heard of this condition? I know about low iron, but too much iron is not something I thought was possible.

PS: I am pleased that I’m not “over the hill” just yet. I’m not ready to get old and menopause seems like the proverbial nail in the coffin.

PPS: I’m going to attempt to take an (@chaotickatiep) photo every day. You can see the growing portfolio on my Tumblr blog (yes I know I’ve got WAY too many photography sites/blogs but Tumblr is the easiest because I can upload directly from my iPod).


Do not cringe and make yourself small if you are called the black sheep, the maverick, the lone wolf, Those with slow seeing say a nonconformist is a blight on society. But it has been proven over the centuries, that being different means standing on the edge, means one is practically guaranteed to make an original contribution, a useful and stunning contribution to her culture. ~ Women Who Run With the Wolves

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

12 thoughts on “Menopause Part III : The Visit to the Real Doctor

  1. Haemochromatosis is potentially dangerous, so it needs to be properly diagnosed and treated, and yes – the solution is to take blood regularly to avoid a build-up of iron in the liver, which can lead to liver failure, long term. There are things you really don’t want to inherit from your parents. Money and property = good. Genetic diseases = bad.

    I have NO idea how I know this stuff…I suspect I’ve watched way too many hospital shows. 🙂 (Actually I have an interest in genetic diseases, since I have a nice exotic one.)

    1. Thanks Kerryn, that’s what Dr Google said. Lucky I don’t drink so my liver should be healthy and I’m hoping it’s sorted before any damage is done.

  2. Got my levels back, I’m not perimenopausal either! Perhaps I’m cranky because I just cranky! As for the loss of temp control not really sure. I am seriously overweight though, so will just concentrate on eating healthy and try to shift some weight, no I didn’t say diet!

    I have heard of haemochomatosis, I don’t think the management is too bad.

  3. Katie, I second what Kek said. Many years ago I had a friend with a rare illness that required regular blood transfusions. A by product of this was increased iron levels and I remember her telling me why it was so serious. Dont muck around. Follow your doctor’s advice.


    1. I have an appointment on Tuesday so hopefully it will all be sorted then. I’m not taking any vitamins and trying to stay away from red meat for now.

  4. Howdy Katie,

    My man had similar blood test results come back about a year ago, they monitored it for a few weeks and luckily after they sorted out a few funny levels with testosterone and other stuff the iron levels evened themselves back out.

    He was a bit anxious about the possibility of regular donations though.

    Hope it comes good for you


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