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Quality of life of women with heavy periods is improved with iron supplements

Harold Mandel's picture

Women often feel irritable and run down from their periods, particularly if they are heavy. It is generally suggested that aside from adequate rest, good nutrition is essential to help women cope in as healthy a way as possible with their periods. There is sometimes skepticism about the value of supplements to help women who are run down from their periods to feel better. New research shows that iron supplements are very helpful and in fact improve the quality of life of women with heavy menstrual bleeding.

Physicians should actively screen for anemia in women with HMB

Researchers have investigated the impact of anemia and iron deficiency on health associated quality of life (HRQoL) in women being treated for heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) reported the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. This study was done at five university hospitals in Finland. The researchers observed that there were improvements in HRQoL after treatment of HMB which was associated with correction of anemia. It was their conclusion that physicians should actively screen for anemia in women with HMB and they should emphasize early iron substitution as a vital part of treatment.

These researchers from Finland discovered that diagnosis and treatment of anemia is very important to help improve quality of life among women who have heavy periods reports Wiley.The findings have suggested physicians should screen for anemia and recommend iron supplementation for women with heavy menstrual bleeding.

Heavy menstrual bleeding is a common cause of iron deficiency and anemia

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Heavy bleeding during menstruation is one of the most common causes of iron deficiency and anemia. Over an extended period of time the monthly loss of iron from a woman's period without adequate dietary iron supplementation can decrease iron stores in the body. It has been found in previous studies that iron deficiency anemia may impact women in many ways, including:

1: Physical performance

2: Cognitive function

3: Mood

4: Overall quality of life

Dr. Pirkko Peuranpää and his research associates from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hyvinkää Hospital in Finland assessed the impact of anemia and iron deficiency on health associated quality of life in 236 women treated for heavy menstrual bleeding. A year after treatment women who were initially in the anemic group had a significant increase in energy along with improvements in functioning both physically and socially. These women also experienced an overall decrease in anxiety and depression in comparison with the non-anemic group.

It actually took five years for the iron stores to reach normal levels. Dr. Peuranpää says the findings from this research suggest clinicians should screen for anemia in women with heavy menstrual bleeding. Iron supplementation should be recommended as part of the treatment process. The advice from Dr. Peuranpää is good. The ease with which iron deficiency anemia can be tested for should encourage clinicians to always check for this in women with heavy menstrual bleeding. The dramatic improvements in many parameters of a woman's well being when iron supplements are taken for this condition are generally impressive.