NOT ME! Not at 44!

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?"

NOT ME! Not at 44!

Postby Peri-Denial » Mon Mar 21, 2005 2:56 pm

:shock: I am 44 year old mother of 3 (18, 15, 13)Here is my story...I am still in denial so bare with me on this.
In the last 6 months I have gained more weight than I ever have in my life (25lbs), and I can't honestly believe it was my diet. Yes I ate junk food but not to the point of overeating. I have been dieting pretty strong over the last couple of months but even with diet and working out it is not going away as fast as I am used to. I have lost 10lbs in 4 weeks (I am almost there) I am prone to believe that is just because I am getting older and my metabolism has slowed down. That I can accept.
Recently though my periods are wierd...3 weeks then 5 weeks then 4 weeks now barely 2 weeks. I read on about other symptoms and the sleepless nights, night sweats, and achey muscles that also fits in. Come on tell me I am over reacting. Can I really be going through menopause? If so at least I would know how to deal with it. All though losing my period permanently would be a major plus. :D
Peri-Denial
 

Postby Zero » Tue Mar 22, 2005 7:57 am

Ok, so you're half right :) You're not in menopause.....yet! Not until you've gone without a period for 12 straight months. But you ARE starting the process of "the change".....the transition time between regular periods, cramps, PMS, etc and menopause is called peri-menopause. It can last anywhere between 5-15 years. During this time there's lots of fluctuation of your hormones and the symptoms you may have, as well as the intensity of the symptoms. The irregular periods is usually the first indication.

I was lucky....my periods just stopped when I was 41 and I've never had another one, but I had at least 5 years of really intense hot flashes, mood swings, depression, then I've had long stretches of insomnia, aches and pains, and several other symptoms....it's now 16 years since my last period (which makes me 57) and I'm still working on keeping my weight down and just staying healthy, but there are a lot of positives coming your way, like NO PERIODS!! and knowing more of who you are and what you want and trusting your instincts.

The problem I see for you is dealing with peri-menopause while your kids are going through puberty! I had my 3 kids between age 20 and 26 and NOW I can see the benefit to having them at an early age. :) A lot of women did college and career first, then started their families, so there are many of you menopausal moms with kids at home!

Hang in there and educate yourself as much as possible because that's going to help you maintain your sanity through all this! We'll be here to help......just holler! :)
Zero
 

Hang in there - I'm 45

Postby Team58 » Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:13 pm

I couldn't believe it either - the weight gain just has me amazed - I wake up and I have a new roll- I was always in decent shape - not model - just able to go to the store and try on clothes - now!!!!!AHHHH!H!!!!! don't even go there. And not to mention all of the other good stuff that goes along with this - I watch Nick at Night most every night - thank goodness it is better than an infomercial. hang in there!
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave intending to arrive safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body used up, worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
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Me too!

Postby young1 » Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:48 pm

Hi Ladies!

I'm brand new here, and I'm so glad I decided to check this out. I'm 37 and my doctor has confirmed that I'm in peri-menopause. I have been having symptoms for a couple years now, and I never really put it together until my periods became even more random then is typical for me. I have now gone for 6 months without one, but you never know! I just pray I'm not at work or out in public somewhere if it decides to visit again.
My biggest problem with this whole thing is the foggy head, forgetfulness and just basically not feeling at all intelligent. It's really hard for me because in my work, I need to be able to think and I just don't seem to be able to anymore. I'm making more mistakes than I ever have, and I think people are starting to wonder about me. I'm so afraid I'm going to lose my job, and I'm creating all this anxiety. I need some advise on how to deal with this at work.

Thanks for your time.
young1
 

Postby Zero » Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:22 am

Hi young1....you are on the young side to be starting this whole process, but it's certainly not unheard of in this day and age! I just hope doctors don't start overlooking other possible reasons for "early" menopause (like pcos, etc) now that they're saying "you're in peri-menopause" instead of "you're too young to be in peri-menopause".

Dr. Judy, do you think this will become a problem? I know it's becoming more common for physicians to recognize our symptoms as hormone related, but could it become a "catch-all" diagnosis?

Regarding how your symptoms are affecting your work, you're right about creating some of the anxiety that makes some of the problems more prominent and there ARE some things you can try to keep your anxiety at a manageable level.....

1. Make an effort to become a little more organized than you are normally, like literally taking notes to remind yourself of certain tasks, meetings, schedules.

2. Keep your sense of humor! We've GOT to laugh at ourselves because if we don't the worrying will show in our faces (scowling) and in our attitude at work! Other people are much more forgiving when we allow them to be "in on the joke", so to speak. They relax more when they see that we are not worried..... and when we are not worried, we're not stressed and we can actually remember things much better! :)

3. If it's getting really serious at work.....go to your supervisor and explain that you're getting to the age where your hormones are starting to kick-box each other, so you are working with your doctor to get them into balance again, but you just wanted them to know that if you seem a little "out of sorts" occasionally, that's it.......again, a little humor can go a long way.

If anyone else has some suggestions.....lets hear them!
Zero
 

Postby youngone » Sat Mar 26, 2005 5:06 pm

Thanks for the advice Dee.
I am seeing a specialist because my doc did the blood tests and didn't believe it either. I've since had another blood test and an ultrasound to rule out anything else. I have also had my thyroid checked and it was fine. Due to the other symptoms I have hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain and memory problems etc etc it seems that is the correct diagnosis. My doctor thinks I should start HRT, she said it would help my foggy brain. I'm not sure that's the solution...but at this point I'm ready to try almost anything to get my brains back.
youngone
 

Postby drjudy » Sun Mar 27, 2005 11:30 am

I absolutely agree with your doctor that you should give hormone therapy a try. You are still at a point in life where women have a full complement of reproductive hormones supporting them (and keeping them on their toes with all those teens!), and the lack not only makes a youngish woman miserably symptomatic, but also increases her chances of a major depression, osteoporosis and future fractures, heart attack and vascular disease, and definitely a decrease in working memory.

Several doctors did a meta-analysis (a study of studies) looking at outcomes in women just entering menopause who took hormones or not. By combining multiple studies, they ended up with data from 26,000 women. They found that there was actually a decrease in mortality in women on hormones up to age 60; after 60 it was 'a wash' with respect to risk of pitching over dead. Now women in their 40s and 50s don't usually die, so a decrease in hardly ever is hardly a decrease. The bottom line, however, is that the risks that were so widely announced in the media of increased heart attack and stroke in women on hormones in the WHI study do not apply to women who are much younger than most of the WHI participants.

You can always choose to discontinue hormones if you don't care for them, or if new research in the future makes this strategy seem unwise.

Best wishes,
Judy
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Postby Guest » Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:59 pm

Thank you Dr. Judy. I think I will give the hormones a try.
Guest
 

There too

Postby lynie pause » Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:24 pm

Peri-Denial,

I'm 43 myself and going through this phase I have 28 symtoms out of the 35 :cry: I wished it not true but it is. I have been experiencing the hot flashes for yrs. Wish you well. Lynie
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