Don't know where to begin

For those of you who are just beginning this wonderful process, here we can narrow down the symptoms and ask questions like "am I starting perimenopause?"

Don't know where to begin

Postby Ms. Shapen » Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:22 am

I am new here. I was reading threads off and on most of the day yesterday. I don't know where to start. Um . . . well . . . I guess I just jump right in . . .

I have had hypothyroidism for several years. I have sleep apnea. I am 44, so I think that I am peri-menopausal, even though none of my doctors (some of which are women) have suggested it. I was prescribed Lovastatin last week for high cholesterol.

Unfortunately, my symptoms are characteristic of hypothyroidism, lack of sleep, PMS, peri-menopause and even the Lovastatin. I've had an increase in Synthroid, but I feel like no matter which doctor (including an endocrinologist) I go to, they are simply treating the numbers.

I feel like this post is going everywhere . . . and nowhere . . .

I didn't know a darned thing about hypothyroidism when I was first diagnosed. I was told to "take these pills" and I'd feel better. So I took them. I was under the impression for years that hypothyroidism was "no big deal" because that's the way the doctor handled it. Okay, I'm not dumping all the responsibility on the doctor, but because it didn't seem important, I didn't have any drive to get more information.

I was just going along with the way things were last year (having mono, pneumonia, acute bronchitis, awful back stiffness, etc.) Then, I started looking into hypothyroidism. I found things on symptoms lists that I had, but never knew that all together, they were related. I realized that my doctor was handling everything individually as well, which is when I recently requested another TSH test for my thyroid. I have now found the same thing happening with the peri-menopause list.

On top of that, I find my work environment boring and depressing with no advancement. I have been divorced for just over a year and this apartment living is yet to be my "thing."

So how do I know which problem is causing me trouble? (Tiredness, "mental fog", forgettfulness, difficulty concentrating, irritable, very low metabolism, depression, muscle/joint aches and pains.)

How do I deal with it, if I have a little bit of everything going on? Last week, my answer to this question would have been to pack up the basics and move to the middle of the forest. LOL

Ms. Shapen
Pauz-ing to remember what I was going to do next . . . *sigh* :D
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Postby drjudy » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:40 am

I think you'll find the forest filled with like-minded women opting out of their crazy lives and looking for peace and good company.

Unfortunately, middle-age, big life changes, a little depression, perimenopause, and hypothyroidism all have the same symptom list. I'm not sure it matters how much each contributes to your total picture. What matters is how you feel relative to how you'd like to feel, and working on all parts to get as close to that goal as you can.

You might find "Screaming to be heard," a book by Elizabeth Lee Vliet, MD, helpful. She's written a couple of other books about hormones, but this one in particular talks about contributions from all endocrine glands in body contributing to the total picture.

You didn't mention why you thought you were in perimenopause. That phase is defined by changes in your usual pattern of periods. If you are going into perimenopause, it's possible that a small amount of estrogen would also help you feel better.

I hope you have a doctor 'in charge,' an internist or GP who's helping you keep track of the total picture, not just the numbers. Nurse practitioners are particularly adept at that in my experience, moreso than the MDs.

Your work and personal situation certainly must contribute to the way you feel. A study was done on people who found their work unrewarding, and their performance unappreciated; turns out that situation is worse for your health than a crazy busy workplace where you are a much-appreciated but overworked member of the team.

I hope you can sort this all out in a way that takes you to a better place.

Best wishes,
Judy
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Postby Ms. Shapen » Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:19 am

Thanks, Dr. Judy, for the response and the book reference.

I'm trying to work on everything that could affect how I am feeling. It sure is a slow, frustrating process.

I think that I am heading for (or already in perimenopause) because, although my periods have never been like clockwork, they have been definately different. They are basically the same duration, but a LOT heavier - and grosser - the first two days. As you said, any other symptom I have could be contributed to peri-menapause or a number of other things. (No wonder I feel nuts . . . I can't point my finger to any one thing. *sigh* )

Thanks again,
MS
Pauz-ing to remember what I was going to do next . . . *sigh* :D
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Postby Rita » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:03 am

You sound like I do. If you read my post a few under yours you'll see. I am seeing a N.D. right now to help me balance my hormones with vitamins and minerals. I too had a week thyroid. My blood test revealed that it was okay, yet when I started some iodine tablets he gave me my trembling went away in just a few days and hasn't been back. It is confusing and so hard to figure out what is wrong with us. I guess we can be "nutty" together. lol
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Postby Ms. Shapen » Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:56 pm

Rita:

Thanks for helping me to feel not-so-alone. The vitamins/minerals issue has had me confused even before I came to this point in my life. I take a multivitamin, yet I get the impression that it isn't enough.

I can't imagine taking several different vitamins a day. And I have trouble even buying supplements that have not been proven to really work. IMHO, that is just buying something because the manufacturer says it works. I am old enough to remember the saying, "Buyer beware."

Yes, it IS hard to figure out what's wrong. I have been referred to other doctors who do their battery of tests. When one gets tired of me, I get sent to a different specialist. Hmmm . . . they should check my heart and blood pressure AFTER I get the bills. LOL
Pauz-ing to remember what I was going to do next . . . *sigh* :D
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