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?"


Postby Pickle » Sat Oct 30, 2004 8:23 am

First I have to say thank you to Dr. Judy, Dee & everyone else on this site. It's so nice to see all the women helping each other. It's comforting to read a post & say, "wow, me too!" We know we're not allone in all of this. Now for my question...I'm 45, had a hysterectomy leaving one ovary a few years ago & have been told that I'm in perimenopause. Besides all the usual annoying symptoms, I have horrible backaches all the time for the past couple of months & sometimes all over body aches. I also have a preexisting anxiety condition which I take medication for so, when I read somewhere about backaches being associated with heart attacks in women, I got extremely worried (which made my anxiety even worse :( ). I went to my cardiologist & he doesn't think it's my heart (blood pressure is low, I'm not over weight & I exercise 4 days a week) although he's scheduled me for a thalume (sp?) stress test. I guess I'm just wondering if other women are experiencing back pain with their perimenopause? Thank you again. Elisa
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Postby drjudy » Sun Oct 31, 2004 10:12 am

Dear Elisa,

I'm glad you enjoy the forum; Dee has provided us with a wonderful spot in cyberspace to share our experiences, and laugh.

Joint aches can certainly be part of perimenopause. In fact, I think this is the most overlooked symptom of the phase. Joint stiffness and even a flu-like aching, especially when first getting out of bed in the morning, is one more possible aggravation of dwindling estrogen.

"Horrible backaches all the time," however, certainly warrants investigation. A stress thallium test is quite a test to order on someone whom the cardiologist thinks does not have heart disease (see below)! Along with your heart investigations, I think you should also see your primary care doctor to initiate a work-up to make sure that there isn't something specifically wrong with your back that could be improved with physical therapy or some other directed treatment.

Best wishes,

X-ray exams a potential pack of troubles

"A chest computed tomogram (CT) corresponds to about 400 chest x-rays, implying a risk similar to smoking 700 cigarettes. Here, we have a paradox: in Europe, when you buy a cigarette pack you are faced with a large, bold, and funereal black notice stating that "Smoking severely damages your health" or "You can die from smoking"; then you have a thallium scan, and no one minds telling you that the long-term risk corresponds to smoking 1,400 cigarettes."

Eugenio Picano, MD, clinical cardiologist, on the risks of ionizing radiation from radiological exams

Please note, Dr. Picano does note further on in this interview with Medscape that the risk calculation for an x-ray exam changes favorably if the investigation is done in a patient with symptoms that require the test for evaluation. I bring this point up to you, Elisa, only to inform you so that you can ask your cardiologist about his opinion on the risks vs. benefits of proceeding with this particular test.
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Postby Guest » Sun Oct 31, 2004 10:47 am

Thank you so much for your reply. I have been going to this cardiologist for 7 yrs. I have mitral valve prolaspe & he monitors that. I have a good relationship with him so I will certainly ask about the pros & cons of this test before it is done. I had one of these 3 yrs. ago also. He did tell me that it was the best way (other than an angiogram, which he said, "I will not do!") to check for heart disease. Now, after reading your reply, I am concerned about this test so I will definitly talk to him further. :? Thanks again. Elisa

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