Where do I 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?"

Where do I begin?

Postby Hopefully » Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:48 am

I've been dealing with perimenopausal symptoms since 2002, and although things have improved I sure would like to feel like my pre-perimenopausal self again.

I'm 44 years old and my mother went through menopause when she was either 46 or 48, she is not sure of the age LOL. My sister who is a year younger is also experiencing the same challenges going through perimenopause, but she's found great relief by only taking Effexor.

I've had just about every perimenopause symptom listed. The one that has been around since 2002 is a lightheaded/spacey feeling. When this symptom first occured I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, but since that diagnosis in 2002 my doctor realized that I was dealing with hormonal imbalance.

My estradiol level is <15 with the range being 19-500, my fsh is 22.2 with 23-119 being listed as the postmenopausal range. Thank God for the great doctor that I now have, because I've been through some who need to have their licenses revoked. I've seen a ENT, had several MRIs and I don't have any detectable inner ear or sinus problems. I've had every possible test done for some really horrendous diseases and thank God that they all came back negative.

Overall I'm a very healthy woman who is having a difficult time going through perimenopause.

I've tried herbal remedies, natural progestrone, Climara, CombiPatch and other hormone patches. I'm also taking various vitamins and supplements (flaxseed, primrose oil, calcium, magnesium, B complex, iron, multivitamin, vitamin C).

I'm presently taking a low dose bcp along with Vivelle hormone patch. I've also been on Wellbutrin for 1 month in hopes of keep my moods balanced. This morning I forgot to change my patch an a truck load of symptoms returned. Within one hour of applying the new Vivelle patch I felt like a new woman :).

After many years of low blood pressure, normally 106/64, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2003. I'm taking Microzide and doing well. I've noticed through trial and error that I can stop taking Microzide and my pressure remains about 117/70, but when I stop taking my bcp my pressure will escalate after a couple of days, 140/109.

I heard of a recent medical study concerning the relation between menopause and high blood pressure. I wanted to volunteer for the study, but I wasn't eligible because I'm already taking hormones and a bp medication.

I guess I need to get to the point. What can I do to get rid of this lightheaded feeling and mood swings, has anyone found relief by taking an antidepressant, what other options are available to help me make this transition smoothly?

Thank you so much for taking time to read this long post and replying. I truly need some suggestions.
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Postby pamibe » Mon Feb 07, 2005 10:25 am


This is when, though at times I thought I would alternately go crazy or just die from symptoms, I thank God my experience with menopause has been so much better than it could have been, and has been for others.

I never used anything other than some progesterone cream, but my sister-in-law is on anti-depressants for her symptoms, and the results have been remarkable. They really smooth the way for her, if you know what I mean. ;)


Postby Zero » Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:45 am

Wow, Hopefully! You've really tackled this from every angle!! My first thought was that maybe you've been dealing with so many things at once and maybe, instead of finding the balance you're hoping for, you've lost track of what's working and what's not. I'm sure Dr. Judy will have a better idea of where you are right now and if there's anything more you can do. I've found that sometimes we need to take a deep breath, step back and review the changes that have come about in the past year or 6 months. This is where journaling comes in handy.....

I'll be watching for Dr. Judy's response and welcome to the board!! :)

Postby Hopefully » Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:50 pm

Minniepz and Pamibe thanks for your replies. Minniepz I've been dealing with this since 2002 when all the symptoms hit me like a brick wall. I've had mild pms and then what my dr. called pmdd for a couple of years prior, but in 2002 thing went from mild to severe.

Pamibe which antidepressant is your sister using? I have a co-worker who was prescribed Effexor in her mid forties for depression and we believe it prevented her from experiencing any perimenopausal symptoms. She mentioned having a couple of hot flashes, but nothing else. She calls Effexor her happy pill. On the other hand her sister had a really rough time and just found out that their mother also had a difficult time going into menopause.

I spoke with the nurse at my dr. office today and they gave me a sample of Lexapro and we're going to draw blood and check my testosterone level.

What amazes me is that other than my sister I don't know anyone personally who has experienced perimenopause as rough as myself. I've met some really awesome women via internet who have had similiar experiences as myself. Let me change my earlier statement, my sister in law did have a difficult time after her complete hysterectomy, but the dr. attributed many of her symptoms to fibromyalgia. Which so happen to have surfaced after her hysterectomy.

There I go rambling.
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:27 pm

Postby Sandycane » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:03 am

Hi Hopefully,

"Hopefully" my reply might help you!
I've always suffered from bouts of depression with suicidal thoughts- Until- I started taking St. John's Wort, about 4 years ago.
It was amazing I suddenly felt "normal" all the time. I would still get sad at times but, it wouldn't be long until I had my happy thought again. :D

Well, I noticed the sadness was lingering longer than usual so, about a week ago I upped the dosage from one in the morning to also taking another at night and I am feeling much better.

It has definetly helped me- I wouldn't do without it!
Hope this helps.
Sandy :)
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 11:16 am

Postby mfrompa » Tue Feb 08, 2005 3:52 pm

Hi Hopefully,
I am a 25 years worth of of surgical menopause, and was diagnosed several years ago with Fibromyalgia, I, also, have anxiety disorder, but, am taking Celexa an anxiety and depression medicine. I have also, been on Nuerontin for several months, and the Nuerontin works for pain, I also, take Mucinex, which helps you breathe better, but, I am in agreement with Dee up there, in another post.
Some of your lightheaded feelings may be a side affect of one of your meds. Or, if you really do have an anxiety disorder, then, you need to give Lexipro, time to work, which as you probably no with any brain chemical altering drug takes a while, and the very side affects of these drugs cause lightheadedness and dizziness, and by all means do not mix your drugs with herbal drugs, without consulting your doctor first.
St. John Wort does work for some, but, you don't take it with prescribed drugs.
When you get your prescribed meds from the pharmacy be sure to read the side affects of those drugs and also, sometimes there are foods you cannot eat or can't eat within a couple of hours of taking your meds. Nuerontin, cannot be taken if I use an antacid, within 2 hours of using the antacid. See what I mean, I wasn't told this by my doctor or pharmacist. I just read all about the drug, plus did some online research for interacting with prescribed drugs. You can do this at WebMD, and there are other sites you can go to.
Above all, you seem, to have yourself fairly well cared for, but, that may be one side that isn't.
I hope Dr. Judy will answer this, cause, I think, that you may have anxiety over your problems, and this makes you worse than ever. I certainly empathize and sympythise with you on this...I have 25 years worth of doing what you are doing, and tying to be functional. Right now I am barely functioning. Need to go to rehab hospital and live there for a while to bring back all that I can be, and this is my latest diagnosis from a excersise therapist.
I hope you keep on posting. This site is a place of comfort and laughter.
blessings to you,
My goal is to accept the things I cannot change, with serenity, and the wisdom to know the difference.
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Location: Pennsylvania

Postby drjudy » Wed Feb 09, 2005 7:46 pm

You've certainly gotten some good information from other women on the forum here with similar situations. Nice work on getting the diagnostic testing you needed to begin sorting through this stuff. At least you know that there is nothing simmering in there that's going to lead to unpleasant surprises in the future.

Your current trial of an antidepressant with anti-anxiety properties sounds like a good idea. Lexapro is a very good drug, similar to the Celexa that was helpful to Marcia. Effexor is also good for both, and has some specific properties that are helpful for hot flashes. If Lexapro increases rather than relieves that spacey feeling, Effexor might be worth a try, but as Marcia notes, it does take awhile to see the full benefits of any anti-depressant, so switching too soon would make your already confusing picture even more muddled.

I am sure you'll be able to find something that will make you feel like your old self. The best thing will be finishing this transition and settling down in to a new and maybe better place.

Best wishes,
One HOT Woman!
Posts: 1460
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 4:01 pm
Location: Denver, CO


Postby parts2you » Thu Feb 10, 2005 6:42 pm

hopefully, something will give and these things will lessen enough for us to enjoy our lives!
i have a couple friends of mine that also seem to be having a hard time or wierd things happen, but they are in another state,so i know what you mean about that part. me coming to this website every now and then really helps as i go from thinking i have some dreaded disease to thinking i am a hypochondriac to thinking i am totally insane. i also get frustrated because i want to feel good. at least most of the time!! it seems i get maybe about five good days a month....and never in a row!!
your lightheadedness...what is it like?? i get headaches,lightheaded, feel more off balance than any room spinning. sometimes it will seem like something is moving when it isnt. sometimes just to move my head alittle makes me lightheaded.
i hope you read my other latest post. i hope SOMEBODY read my latest other post!!(no replies as yet)we have some of the same concerns. an antidepressent will probably help your moods...i havent been on one for years but in the past i had good results with them for moods. id be curious to hear if they help the dizziness. ive been given antivert in the past for the dizziness and in reading about ear disorders they usually say there is not much that can be done for the dizziness except the antivert which makes you tired....when i do take it, it really doesnt seem to help much. unlike you though i was told i had some fluid in my ear,not infectious, and at one point was prescribed a water pill. i dont know if it was a coincidence or not but the couple months i took it, i seemed to feel much better in alot of ways including no head problems or dizziness at all. now i am getting all that again AND feel swollen (see post) so i want to try taking them again to see what happens. i will let you know in a few weeks if they helped (i dont get them till next week) do you seem to retain water at all? im just curious,i never ever imagined i was gonna go thru such a hard time with such weird things happening to me...mine started in about 97 with some really strange things off and on thru the years. cant go into them all now i would take forever, but they have come and gone,gone and come. the times i have seen doctors any tests come back good so i feel as you do, that i am basically very healthy just having a hard time with this. it always takes me coming to this site though to be reminded of that!!!
One HOT Woman!
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Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 11:54 pm
Location: north carolina

Postby Hopefully » Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:23 am

Thanks for everyones replies.

Well, I tried the Lexapro last night and now I remember why I don't care for SSRI. The Lexapro has me feeling like I'm having a hangover, and I haven't drank any alcohol since...hmmm...sometime in the 1980's.

This is a spacey, woosie, feeling that's more intense than my daily lightheaded feeling. I remember feeling this way, but worst, when I tried Zoloft.

Guess I'll just stick with my Wellbutrin, Mircette and Vivelle. Eventually, everything will settle down with my hormones and I'll feel great again. This too shall pass.
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:27 pm

irregular periods

Postby Sheilaabsolon » Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:09 am

My name is Sheila. I am 52 years old and am going through a process of change which I am not sure is normal. I believe for the first time in my life I missed a period a few months ago. I then had one two weeks after that this is now carrying on for over ten days is this anything to worry about. I am also getting a slight dragging feeling down below. This period is not so heavy as normal but is definately different.
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:02 am
Location: England

Postby drjudy » Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:38 am

Dear Sheila,

You sound normal to me. I hope that you've found previous postings to this forum useful to confirm that your experience is about what we do during perimenopause.

Best wishes,
One HOT Woman!
Posts: 1460
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 4:01 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Postby pamibe » Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:00 am

Welcome, Sheila! :D

Hopefully, sorry I took so long to reply to you; I had to ask S-I-L which anti-depressant she's using: Zoloft.


new to this pre-pauzer

Postby tingles » Mon Feb 28, 2005 1:16 pm

I guess I should start by introducing myself ..I am a 39 year old, sahm, with an eight year old daughter, two step-sons and a wonderful husband. For the past month, I have begun to experience most of the symptoms on the list...aches, hot flashes, mood swings, you name it. I thought I was going crazy...my breast , back and muscles have been tingling and I was so afraid that it was cancer!!! (too chicken to see a doctor) I cry if I drop a towel, am moody and so depressed. I really never thought it was possible to feel any symptoms so young..need some encouragement to persuade me to see a doctor..am totally terrified. Thank you so much for this site..have learned alot :D

Postby pamibe » Mon Feb 28, 2005 1:23 pm

Welcome, tingles! Love the name. ;)


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