Another "newbie"

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?"

Another "newbie"

Postby Iradan » Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:16 pm

Hello All,
Iam glad to discover this board. I am 48, perimenopausal and started feeling not myself since 45. First came digestive issues, like heartburn and burning in the abdomen, then panic attacks with chest pain, then came constipation, achy muscles and joints, headaches, and now it feels like PMS that never ends.
I've been through two upper GIs scopes, colonoscopy (because of constipation and addominal cramps), nothing was found. Three trips to ER resulted in a regular and thalium stress test, EKGs, and all kind of blood tests did not show a sign of CAD or anything like this. So now when the chest pain comes on, I simpy try to ingnore it. Finally, constipation was resolved, but the rest of the digestive vows did not. I feel like there is a concrit under my ribs, I can smell everything a mile away, and my favorite food like fish makes me gag. Moodiness and depression are taking over, brain fog, muscles and joints pain, neck and back tension, you name it, I have it. The only one thing that I didn't have so far is hot flushes and my periods were still like a clock work and not heavy (never before).
I felt so rotten and was at the end of my rope, so, I've decided to try P-cream. I've got Rx and used it according to my doctor instruction from end of menses for 3 weeks, then my period started 8 days earlier. I felt somewhat better but started gaining weight, was bloated and constipated, and got sore breasts. So I skipped 2 months, and my period went back to normal, 28 days cycle. Then I've re-started P-crema recently to curb depression and anxiety after my mother's death. The second time my cyckle was only 18 days long. So, I was told to start using the cream after day 14, but this time my cycle started just after in 2 weeks, that never happened before. Now I am confuse, is the P-cream that shortens the cycle, or it's a natural course of menopause rapidly approaching.
Although my symothoms come and go, I can tell they increased lately. I have bout of crashing fatugue, cry spells, tension headaches, sudden chest pain and panic attacks.
I eat very healthy, low carb and not too much fat either, I have mild diabetes (since 45), which shows only as elevated fasting blood glucose, which I control through a lower carb diet and exercise: weight training and some cardio.
I am some what relieved to know that I am not the only one who has all these sympthoms, and there is a way to deal with them. My recent blood works showed no symothoms of menopause so far, like my FSH is low, and no hypoT either.
Sorry for a long post, if yo can advise me on whether bioidentical estrogen/progesteron can help, I would really appreciate it. I am not goin to try conventional HRT and neither BCP, since my mother died from uterine cancer, so only bioidentical is an option for me.
Thanks,
Iradan :D
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Postby minniepauz » Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:15 am

Welcome, Iradan..... hopefully, Dr. Judy can give you some insight on the situation since none of the rest of us are doctors. :)
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Postby drjudy » Tue Aug 16, 2005 11:52 am

Goodness, you are experiencing a lot of unpleasant things. This is a situation where it's a little hard to sort out what's what without that personal encounter.

As I understand it, you have had regular periods up until the three associated with the use of 'P-cream.' Is that progesterone? What is the strength (how many mg per ml) and how much did you use. These P-cream cycles were shorter than usual, right?

Now you're having fatigue, easy tears, brain fog, anxiety, and panic attacks. I'm sorry to hear about your mother's death; that was quite recent, correct? Certainly your grieving reaction to her passing would still be quite strong, so that all of these symptoms that existed before (perhaps associated with her terminal illness) would be quite intense now.

Then you have the stomach upset, a feeling of fullness, heartburn, and quesiness, right? Also chest pain, although you did not mention what that was like. And joint and muscle aches.

I am pleased to read about your good eating and exercise habits. I hope you're able to keep those up, even on days when you must feel like crawling under the covers and hiding.

This doesn't sound like the time to consider hormones, although fluctuating hormone levels associated with early perimenopause could be contributing. Since you've had a number of tests and know a lot of things that aren't wrong with you, this may just be a time to surround yourself with supportive friends and family, and realize that there are enormous changes going on in every aspect of your life.

I hope you're able to get some good quality sleep. If not, discuss that issue with your doctor, as sleep is essential to the healing process. If your anxiety is making you unable to function in your day to day life, please consider treatment for that as well.

Without understanding more about your situation, I don't have any other specific suggestions to you. As you have read from other posts, this hormonal transition is a bear, and every cycle brings something new but not necessarily pleasant symptom.

Your body will eventually be returned to your control. I hope you have women friends to laugh and cry with; I'm sure you'll find such like-minded souls on this site.

Best wishes,
Judy
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Postby Iradan » Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:00 pm

drjudy wrote:As I understand it, you have had regular periods up until the three associated with the use of 'P-cream.' Is that progesterone? What is the strength (how many mg per ml) and how much did you use. These P-cream cycles were shorter than usual, right?

Hi Dr.Judy a d thank you for your reply.
Yes, I was pretty regular (2-3 days fluctuation here and there) before I've used pregesteron cream for the 1st time. I don't have it in front of me, but I was Rx to use 1g of cream twice a day, it's USP progesteron from International Women Pharmacy. I will check for the strength later. Unfortuntely, my dr. told me to use it starting 1st half of the cycle, now I've learend that those women who still menstruating, must use it only 2nf half of the cycle!

Now you're having fatigue, easy tears, brain fog, anxiety, and panic attacks. I'm sorry to hear about your mother's death; that was quite recent, correct?

Correct, it comes and goes but it started 2 years ago, and certainly, it became worse after I've learned about my mother's illness almost at the same time.

Then you have the stomach upset, a feeling of fullness, heartburn, and quesiness, right? Also chest pain, although you did not mention what that was like. And joint and muscle aches.

This is what bothered me the most, the digestive issues when I was worried that something is seriously wrong with me, my doctor never linked the hormonal issues and digestion, but the chest pain is more like a cramp, same cramp i have in my back and neck, I also have this feeling like there is a golf ball stuck in my throat and my whole digestive system goes into spasm, it's hard to explain. I know that stress triggers it for sure. I know that food has nothing to do with it, after all it's been a while, however, I've ditched coffee and alcohol, since this substances sometiems trigger anxiety attack too. Rx drugs like prevacid and such did not make much difference either, considering side effects. I am so relieved to find this site and find out that other women have digestive issues as well. I understnad that my emotional state is still very fragile after my mother passing less than 2 months ago, so hopefuly, it will subside as well. Anxiety does not bother me that much now, I am taking good Vitamins/ Omega-3, calcium/magnesium, etc. I've asked for P-cream mostly because of aching muscles and joints, especially during winter time, when it's cold and dump weather. I am not big fan of any medications, especially pain medication, and trying to avoid taking it unless pain gets really bad.

I am pleased to read about your good eating and exercise habits. I hope you're able to keep those up, even on days when you must feel like crawling under the covers and hiding.

I am trying very hard, sometimes pushing myself too much but exercise like stregth training makes me feel better. Diet wise I am a bit relaxed now, before I was very strict with my carbs, even a good ones, counting every morsel of salad.

This doesn't sound like the time to consider hormones, although fluctuating hormone levels associated with early perimenopause could be contributing.

I guess this is my main question for you, after I've read Dr.Lee's books : does every women need bioidentical hormones, especially progesteron, because except being more relaxed I haven't noticed any positive effects of it: I was bloated, hungry, constipated, and got achy breasts, which is not normal for me, I've started feeling like being pregnant again. I finally realized that all my problems are related to hormonal changes, so I don't stress myself over my health that much (before I was paranoid that I must have something terminal), just try to wait until the sympthoms subside or my body ill get used to a low level of hormones.

I hope you're able to get some good quality sleep. If not, discuss that issue with your doctor, as sleep is essential to the healing process. If your anxiety is making you unable to function in your day to day life, please consider treatment for that as well.

Normally, I sleep like a rock, aiming for 8 hours at least, but I get one lousy night before my period every month, or very rare I have night sweats and then it's hard to get back to sleep. But again, nothing unusual to it. I wonder if adrenal fatigue related to a stress has something to do with aggravation of my sympthoms lately, and if there is any way to treat it.
Thank you so much, appreciate your input.
Iradan :D :D
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Postby Ms. Shapen » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:17 pm

Iradan:

Am I correct in understanding that your mom passed away less than two months ago? ! ? ! Were you close to her? This could be a very big part of why your body is rebelling.

I have read that many folks get sick more often after a death or divorce. They can have things as simple as colds, only more of them. Or they can have serious illnesses develop. I can only guess that stress and lack of sleep are major contributors. (And sometimes sleep quality is far worse than the sleeper may think.)

I can tell you that since I left my husband in June, 2004, I have had more doctor visits and tests done than I've had in the last couple years combined. Maybe it's just a conincidence (the timing of peri-menopause and/or the divorce and/or my thyroid needing adjustment . . . again). It's something to consider.

All of these
Moodiness and depression are taking over, brain fog, muscles and joints pain, neck and back tension
are also signs of depression . . . Even if you weren't close to your mom, maybe you need to talk it over with someone and get it off your chest.
Pauz-ing to remember what I was going to do next . . . *sigh* :D
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Postby Iradan » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:28 pm

Hi Ms. Shapen,
I am positive that my mother's death is a majot contributor but this whole mess started even before I'elearned that my mother has terminal illness.
Unfortunately, all these disroderes: depression, thyroid, perimenopause have similar symothoms and it's not easy to distinguish one from another. I do have ppl to talk about my mother's death, and I am not getting sick more than normally ppl do, I had sick once with a cold for the past 4 years, so it's not that bad. May be fluctuating hormones do have something to do with depresion, after all, many women getting depressed during this transition time. I am looking for a good hormonal clinique in SF and or Bay Area, at least, withing 2 hour drive. I've read that balancing adrenal hormones is a must before messing with thyroid and femlae hormones. If anyone can recommend a doctor or a clinique, I wouod appreciate it.
Best regards,
Iradan
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Postby Ms. Shapen » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:41 pm

Iradan wrote:Hi Ms. Shapen,
I've read that balancing adrenal hormones is a must before messing with thyroid and femlae hormones.


Hmmm . . . interesting. I've been hypothyroid for several years and have never heard or read of this. Now, I have something else to look up.
Pauz-ing to remember what I was going to do next . . . *sigh* :D
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Postby drjudy » Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:49 pm

Hi Iradan,

In response to your question in your second post, no one needs to be on bio-identical hormones or progesterone, but some women benefit from them, feeling better and experiencing less premenopausal misery. Whether or not you choose to take them depends on your symptoms, your history, and your goals for perimenopausal.

I'm glad you're not stressing too much about all your problems now, as perimenopause can take a long time and sling a lot of troubles our way before we find a new and (hopefully) better phase of our lives.

Judy
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Postby Iradan » Thu Aug 25, 2005 12:40 pm

Hi drjudy,
Well, it's been 2 weeks from my last period, and here is another one, so I am now on 14 days cycle :shock:
This time I had such severe neck, back and shoulder pain, that I took Motrin, which I usually avoid like a plaque. I've started thinking that I've cought West Nile virus or developed a case of accute arthritis. But it was just a case of severe PMS accompanied by a severe panic attack a day before. What a joy.
So, now I don't understand which hormone I am lucking: estrogen, progesteron or both? Before this nightmare I used to say that I will never take hormones, but now even rat poison does not sound like too much, LOL.
I had an vaginal ultrasound about a year ago because of my mom's history, nothing was found, but I will get another one done as soon as my period is over. I don't bleed heavy, normal period lasts 3-4 days but the frequency is bothering me. Is it anything I can do to get back to 24 -28 day cycle? Anything !!!!!
Appreciate you help.
Iradan.
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Postby minniepauz » Thu Aug 25, 2005 1:46 pm

You might want to visit Larrian Gillespie's website and forum. http://menopausediet.com/ Her books and articles are very informative.
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