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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    South Central PA
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    More Menopause...

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    Hello Ladies,

    I've read through many of the menopause threads here but I'd like to hear more from those of you who have reached this wonderful transition from perimenopause to menopause. What kind of symptoms are you having and how are you dealing with them? I think what I really need is commiseration. I'm 54-1/2 and until 53-1/2 thought I was going to breeze through menopause. I've now missed three cycles and my GYN, after reviewing blood tests, says I'm "there". I have strange symptoms that don't seem connected and even my GYN says she doesn't know if they are all menopausal, but "could be". Besides the unbelievable night sweats, I'm having sinus problems (kind of like a sore throat), severe digestive problems, back aches, pelvic aches, ankle aches and this last week a headache that won't quit. I've had all kinds of tests and the gastroenterologist thought I'd need to give up my gallbladder, but those test were normal. For now I'm on strong acid reducers and that's helping somewhat. Sometimes I just feel downright awful. I am riding and it's the only thing that's keeping me connected to my old self. Sometimes I ride strong, sometimes (like today) I barely slog through 20 miles. Last year at this time I was cranking out 200 miles a week including a weekly 50-75 mile "hill ride". That seems like another lifetime.

    I tried OTC natural progesterone cream and I think that contributed to my digestive problems and made me feel depressed, so I stopped. My GYN wants me to try HRT (Duavee). It's funny though that all of the common side effects listed for the drug are symptoms I am already having! Right now I am using soy and black cohosh. It may be helping a little but not enough. My husband is in favor of the HRT. He wants his wife (and riding buddy) back. I never thought I would use HTR but I'm about to cave in and give it a try. My GYN says try it for four months. Someone told me that athletic women can go through worse menopause. Is that true? I'm a lightweight, about 112 pounds at 5' 6-1/2".

    Please share your own thoughts and experiences. I'm getting a more than a bit desperate.
    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" -Winston Churchill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    You are not in menopause until you have not had a period for a year. Everything else is peri.
    FYI, I have all of those things, which may or may not be related to my hormonal level. I've been post menopausal for 13 years, so I just keep going.
    I would try the HRT. You can always stop. Also, you might try some relaxing type of movement, like yoga or T'ai Chi. At the least, it might help your riding and calm you down.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    You know, have you seen an allergist and/or done a challenge diet? That cluster of symptoms sounds way suspicious for food allergies/sensitivities to me, and those do change with hormonal changes.

    The gold standard for diagnosis is a challenge diet, and that's something you can do yourself without even getting a doctor involved. It's a hassle, but if you are sensitive or allergic to foods, it could wind up making a huge difference in how you feel.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    I agree, Oak. I am sensitive to everything, so what you suggest is very true.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352
    Though I'm younger I'm also in the perio phase. Let's see, it started out literally thinking I was going crazy because my anxiety was off the charts. I had to get some drugs to calm that down. I'm now off the drugs and am doing okay, but it got me over the rough patch and I have some "as needed" for panic attacks. Then there was and still is the breast pain. That has been exceptional and stressful. I've also had problems sleeping, fatigue, peeing every 5 seconds and lots of mood swings, oh and gastric problems, such as bloating, etc.

    On the plus side I have gone the opposite of most women and my acne/rosacea has improved markedly and my perpetually dry skin has moisturized. Explain that one to me.

    I forgot (ha ha) memory lapses have been noticeable as well and sex drive has dropped. I'm pretty sure there are other things that I can't think of at the moment, but they'll come to me.
    Last edited by thekarens; 07-08-2015 at 10:27 AM.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    773
    ahhh the joy of being women...and aging. haha

    I also had a special blood panel done last March (no period since October 2014) but she said even after a year you can't really say you're into menopause. Used to be true but more and more women, even after that 12 month of free periods are getting them again (at different levels). The test unless you've been over a year will not be as accurate. It may say you're menopausing...but it's not. Yet anyway. It was a bit technical but this is the big picture I retained.

    While typing this I did a google search on this test I had done and that my doc said it was not that accurate for various reasons. This link I read says mostly what she tried to explain to me:
    http://www.healthline.com/health-blo...-perimenopause

    I had to smile at this one....so NOT funny but we had discussed in a thread just yesterday on how not to read and believe everything on the web (medical-wise). haha
    Called : The 35 Symptoms of Menopause http://www.project-aware.org/Experience/symptoms.shtml

    Very interesting!

    Hoping you can find a solution to your symptoms.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    190
    Thank you all! Oak, good point about the allergies. I've never before been sensitive to anything, but it's a whole new ball game now! I've seen that list of the 35 symptoms before Helene and sadly I can relate to too many of them!! thekarens, I had the anxiety and panic attacks about 6 months ago, but that's gone away to be replaced by lethargy. My GP proscribed and anti-anxiety med which I never took, but still carry around with me. ;-) A week ago my face was breaking out like a teenager. Wrinkles and pimples??? How is that fair? Crankin, I broke down and am on the second day of HRT. My GYN wants me to try it for four months. It scares me to death actually.
    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" -Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    Lethargy is a symptom of depression, which can be caused by hormonal changes related to menopause. I have a couple of patients who are taking a low does of an anti-depressant (prescribed by their PCP before they started seeing me for counseling), which has helped with both mild depression symptoms and the physical symptoms of menopause. See how the HRT goes; it is scary, but short term, you are probably fine.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    190
    Thanks Crankin. If the HRT makes a difference, then at least I'll feel better about chalking it all up to menopause.
    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" -Winston Churchill

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask.
    Posts
    345
    I went through menopause at age 50. The first year I had a lot of hot flashes, so my doctor tried me on low dose HRT. Unfortunately, I had an adverse reaction just three days after starting, ending up in the emergency ward with stroke-like symptoms. After putting me through the MRI machine and determining that I didn't have a stroke, they told me to stop taking it.

    I eventually reduced the hot flashes with a ketogenic diet, from about 16 a day to 4 or 5, but gained a lot of weight on the high fat ketogenic diet that I've never been able to lose. Now I just use an estrogen vaginal cream a few times a week to prevent atrophy.

    On the whole, I like being post menopausal. I don't feel like I'm a prisoner of my hormones any more.

    One thing you need to watch out for after menopause is hypothyroidism. When my cholesterol levels suddenly changed for the worse (I'd always had really good numbers), my doctor ran an extra thyroid test and, sure enough, I was very low. She says that a lot of post menopausal women have under-active thyroids and often they're treated for the symptoms - such as changed cholesterol levels - instead of the cause. So, now I take Eltroxin very early in the morning
    Queen of the sea beasts

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    1,039
    Well apparently I'm one of the lucky ones and am beginning peri at 38-39 years of age. I have a gyno appt this week to confirm but I am pretty sure based on my symptoms this is what's going on. My Mom actually didn't start this process early but my Grandmother did so I don't know... Anyways I have been having the horrible periods, super long and heavy. Been having the crazy mood changes, depression, lethargy, insomnia and night sweats. Ugh it's awful. I just starting using a progesterone cream to see if that will help with the symptoms. I will run it by my new gyno when I see her this week but it took over a month to get into her so I was getting desperate for some relief. My period was at least 7 days this last time and not 3 weeks!

    Have any of your heard about adrenal fatigue contributing to peri onset? I am concerned about this as I recently stopped taking my ADHD medications after about 4 years and it seemed the worst of it was after I did this. I realize there are a certain amount of withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping this type of med but after several weeks those should lessen and go away. Based on my own knowledge, is it possible that b/c I was taking ADHD meds, which drive the sympathetic response and pushes a lot of hormones through your system has somehow fatigued my adrenal glands and contributed to my lack of Progesterone (based on symptoms) or Estrogen dominance? Slowly since adding the Progesterone cream things have improved some.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    I am not a doctor. But, in my role as a therapist, I have to be up side effects of certain meds. Yes, ADHD meds do affect the sympathetic response, but I have never read any articles or heard the psychiatrists I work with, or my clients talk about the kind of response you are having. ADHD meds aren't like SSRIs, in that they work immediately, and then they are out of your system after a few hours. Could taking them for 4 years make permanent changes in your hormone levels? Anything is possible, but this is something I have not heard of.
    Peri-menopause at age 38-39 is *not* unusual. I was about the same age, and I know many people who were the same. It may just be that going off of the meds and your symptoms happened at the same time, but it's not the cause. Everything you describe is related to menopause.
    I know others here will disagree, but adrenal fatigue, well, I don't believe it's been empirically validated as a real thing. I know it's popular in the naturopathic community, but I am suspicious. I'm all for natural treatment, as much as possible, but... tread cautiously before spending $ on treatments. All of these symptoms suck, but, I would listen to see what your gyn says.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    3
    Thank you for sharing their ideas...

 

 

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