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  • Writer's pictureliz panella

health journey entry II: iron overload

For those of you who have been following my health journey, I wanted to give another update on the past few months! As a reminder, here is a list of my symptoms since Feb 2023:

  • Migraines

    • started on a quarterly basis in July 2022 & became consistent on a weekly basis in Feb 2023

  • Fatigue & Low Energy

    • have been this way for many years but got worse after college

  • Hair Loss

    • started in Feb but got better in the past month or so after I decreased my dose of NP Thyroid from 180mg per day to 120mg

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Motion sickness

  • Occasional blurred vision

Tests & Appts Thus Far:

  • Found a specialist for my migraines at the Headache Center of Chicago

    • Diagnosed with chronic migraines

    • Now have a dedicated provider with open communication, monitoring symptoms & medications

  • Brain MRI with contrast due to chronic migraines

    • MRI came back normal

  • Thyroid Ultrasound due to being diagnosed with Subclinical Hyperthyroidism by my PCP

    • Subclinical hyperthyroidism happens when you have a low or undetectable thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level with normal thyroid hormone levels. It usually doesn't cause symptoms, and it may or may not require treatment

    • Ultrasound came back normal

  • 2 rounds of bloodwork (initial & follow-up)

    • Very high iron levels

    • Low TSH

  • PCP follow-up appointment to discuss all tests, bloodwork, & next steps

  • PCP prescribed a liver ultrasound due to high iron in my blood

    • Came back normal

Next Steps:

  • Friday

    • seeing a Hematologist (blood specialist) regarding high iron levels & treatment options

  • July

    • seeing an Endocrinologist in July for further discussion about thyroid issues, medication, etc.

  • July

    • seeing an Integrative Medicine doctor to try & get to the root cause of what's been going on

What is most frustrating about all of this is that my iron levels have been high since my bloodwork in January 2022, but I didn't know that it was an issue until a few weeks ago. Once I started doing more self-research, switched providers, & interpreting my own bloodwork, I was able to find more information & get referrals for additional testing as I mentioned above.

Even though I still don’t have a ton of clarity on what’s going on with my health at the moment, I feel very hopeful about the specialists I will be seeing in the upcoming weeks & months.

This is your reminder to take your health into your own hands as you know your body better than anyone else. If you feel that something is wrong, advocate for yourself!

If you have any questions about my journey & what I've gone through thus far, I'd love to chat! Feel free to message me on Instagram here.

I'll follow up with entry III soon!




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