I think I'm there...?

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?"

I think I'm there...?

Postby Abby498 » Sun Oct 17, 2004 11:16 am

Hello everyone,

I'm here because I do not have anyone to talk to about this. Please do not tell me to go to a doctor, if I could I would and I would not be here asking questions.

My last period was right on time. As usual I would kill, if need be, for sugar. The flow was very light but that happens from time to time. It ended, or so I thought and then 2 days later I spotted one day, then off a day, then on etc. now for a total of a week past the end of my official period. I am 40 years old by just over a month. I started menstrating late in my 11th year.

I figure I must be entering menopause. What is the worst for me right now, and yes, I know things can get much worse, is my swollen breasts and weight gain (even if it is only due to water retention, I am over weight and hoped to lose some weigh these last few months) and my constant 'need' for sugar.

I do not know why but when I realized this was menopause, I was totally bummed. My age is the same however it seemed to still make me feel older. The wrinkles on my face are the same so what's the big deal? I ask myself. Not to upset now except that I do not know what to expect.

How long can the process take before I can feel 'safe' that I will no longer bleed? I think I heard 2 years once but have not taken the time to read the way many web sites on the subject just to find the small bits of info I am interested in.

Thank you all for your time,
Abby
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Postby Zero » Sun Oct 17, 2004 1:18 pm

Hi Abby....welcome to the Minnie Pauz community. This is about the only place on the web where we women can have a laugh or two about all the hormonal stuff happening to us and still get support and feedback on the situation.

We don't "tell" people to go to the doctor, but it always helps to know if you've seen a doctor yet before asking some questions on a message board. Personally, I don't have insurance so I haven't seen a doctor in over 10 years...I've been post menopausal for 15 years and have never taken anything except vitamins and minerals. When someone makes that decision it's understood that they're going to deal with the symptoms the best they can, but we ALL have to be educated about what is going on with our bodies, what our family history looks like and what the options are regarding our health at this stage.

"How long can the process take before I can feel 'safe' that I will no longer bleed? I think I heard 2 years once but have not taken the time to read the way many web sites on the subject just to find the small bits of info I am interested in. "

We have a couple of experts on the board who are qualified to answer some of your questions and I'm sure you'll hear from Dr. Judy in the next few days, but I can tell you that the peri-menopause stage could be anywhere from 2 years to 15 years before you're actually through menopause. You will know that you're through it after having no periods for 12 months. Unfortunately, some women stop and start several times and you always have to start counting again.

There's just no easy answer and each of us is different. That's why talking to other women is certainly one of the best things we can do at this point. Glad you found us!!
Zero
 

Postby drjudy » Mon Oct 18, 2004 9:49 am

Hi Abby,

Welcome to the forum AND the wild hormonal ride through perimenopause. I certainly appreciate the mixed emotions that accompany the first signs of the change, but hang on...as Dee points out, you may be at this for years. I got my first early morning hot flash at 42, and now, 11 years later, I'm still not officially in menopause.

Please check out my answer to the post "Wierd bleeding" for an explanation of why the periods get so abnormal. You are in that unpleasant state of too much estrogen, where you feel like two swollen breasts with an attached woman, and she's generally in a bad mood. What I found most annoying about that state is that it often it was not relieved when my period finally came.

These prolonged periods, unfortunately, can go on and on. Women even can get anemic from them. They can be stopped hormonally, and I hope that you are able to seek medical attention if you get into that never-ending period place because it is so wearing on you.

While sugar craving can be part of the whole business, I am concerned about your cravings with your extra weight. Needing a quick sugar fix may indicate that you are getting into a state of insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes. When you eat simple sugars, like white bread or potatoes, rice, desserts, or soda, they rapidly enter your blood stream, causing an elevation of blood sugar. Your pancreas, the organ behind your stomach that's in charge of monitoring your blood sugar and releasing insulin in order to maintain a normal blood sugar range, releases a huge amount of insulin to deal with the load. The extra sugar is rapidly cleared from your blood, leaving you with a lower blood sugar than before you ate and lots of insulin looking for more sugar to work on. You are weak, maybe dizzy, and starving! all within two hours of having eaten. Another sugar load relieves the symptoms but sticks you in a vicious circle of needing to eat often and choosing the wrong foods.

Because you are overweight, you are producing even more estrogen from your fat cells. This can contribute to abnormal bleeding and a state of hyperplasia in the lining of the uterus where the cells start to divide and heap up more than usual.

Your troubles are very common to early perimenopause. I wish that you had some medical guidance through this trying phase of life and hope that you can find some outlet for your questions and healthcare.

Best wishes,
Judy
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