Rheumatoid and menopause : I am going to be 50. I am... - NRAS


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Rheumatoid and menopause

ragurl profile image
21 Replies

I am going to be 50. I am experiencing hot flashes, headaches and bloating before my period worse than ever. Does anybody have

Experience with post menapause and rheumatoid arthritis? Does it get easier after menopause due to no more hormone fluctuations? Is anybody still on steroids after menopause? I am currently taking humira, leflunomide and 6 mg prednisone and my doctor is worried about the prednisone! Every time I try to taper below 5mg I flare awful. Just hoping to hear someypoidtive and hopeful these fluctuations with my hormones are rough

21 Replies
Need2knowN profile image

I don’t know about post menopause but currently my pain is awful during my period.

ragurl profile image
ragurl in reply to Need2knowN


alexask profile image

I do wonder sometimes whether very low doses of pregnenolone could replace prednisone without the side-effects. Not really much info out there on the internet - this was the only thing I could find:


"I'm amazed that no one has ever tried pregnenolone for HRT reasons?!

Obviously, I have done loads and loads of research and started on a very low dose and increased very slowly.

After 6 weeks - no flushes, less aches and pains, clearer mind, increased motivation, more concentration, more energy and the only thing that has actually worked for my arid lady garden :) I have also added progesterone - what a rebel eh?! ;)

Everyone is different and NO ONE on this forum is an expert on menopause/HRT, and everyone must do their own research if they use this 'product', which is a naturally occuring hormone. But if we are going to move forward in this area we have to try new things.

Pregnenolone, is a precursor hormone and produces oestrogen, progesterone, testesterone, DHEA etc. It is said it will make what the body needs, unlike DHEA which I probably would never take.

Sub lingual or micronized tablets are the best. Normal tablets dont seem to have an effect and transdermal are too weak.

I hope this helps some of you. Conventional HRT (and I swapped around many times) didnt help me, nor did any herbal remedies."

ragurl profile image
ragurl in reply to alexask

Interesting ... I do take a biodentical progesterone 100 mg 12 days out of month. It helps greatly, but the day before my cycle it's so bad.

Simba1992 profile image
Simba1992 in reply to ragurl

There are good products and good instructions. These are the best. Hope these will help. Anidea to see what your progesterone/ estrogen ratio is.


ragurl profile image
ragurl in reply to alexask

Thank you for your research!

Simba1992 profile image

What has been shown to help very effectively is supplementing with natural progesterone. Not chemical HRT. To supplement with natural ptogesterone is safe and beneficial in many ways even after menopaus.

Here some useful reading on the subject.


ragurl profile image
ragurl in reply to Simba1992

Yes, I take natural progesterone 100 mg 12 days a month. It helps significantly but the day or two before my cycle is

So bad physically still. I flare, horrible headache and bloating . Might need higher dose

I was lucky, I never had any menopause problems. I'm 67 and have had RA for 31 years. If you can eventually stop using Pred, it would be better in the long run. I still take 5mg daily which is much better than 40mg. I had the high dose as I have Vasculitis, not for my RA, but such high doses caused Osteoporosis and I have 4 spinal fractures. I take Methotrexate and Leflunomide for RA. I can't take HRT as I have had Breast Cancer, so take anastrazole which prevents my body from making Oestrogen, which doesn't help the OP at all.

Simba1992 profile image
Simba1992 in reply to

Progesterone is an estrogen antagonist and besides good for bones! Needs to be natural progesterone though! Have you ever talked about this alternative with your doc?

My cancer was both Oestrogen and Progesterone positive, so I can't even have Progesterone. Even though I know it's good for bones.

Thingybob profile image

I had exactly the same at onset of menopause. Sweats, bloats, various aches and pains and twinges. I never knew if it was menopause or high bp or low thyroid. Neither did the docs tbh. Then 12months ago a RA diagnosis.

Now prednisolone adds to the confusion!

My rheumy told me that below 7.5 mg pred is around the level that the body produces naturally so .... Im going to try to reduce from 5mg and do it vvvv slowly slowly seems to be the advice as in 1mg reduction gradually over 1 month.

Just as a precaution or to rule it out maybe get your thyroid function tested as that can also happen at menopause ?

VeronicaF profile image

I said to the GP about Progesterone, as I stopped the HRT and she said I still have a womb so Progesterone is not good to take

she said it was up to me stopping the HRT and my body will have some naturally anyway

my hot flushes are going, nearly almost gone now

I think the flushes I have just in evening sometimes is the RA

Simba1992 profile image
Simba1992 in reply to VeronicaF

Your GP does not know what she is talking about, sorry.

VeronicaF profile image
VeronicaF in reply to Simba1992

well that wouldn't be a surprise to me, they are awful my GPS but they own all the practises, so can't change them

Simba1992 profile image
Simba1992 in reply to VeronicaF

Really too bad, this is why we need to do our research😰

Joy_1 profile image

Hi Ragurl

Sorry can't comment on Menopause as I'm not there yet but I can comment on flaring every time you hit a certain dose of Pred.

I had spent 5 years trying to get off Pred. I would always flare badly when I hit 5.5mg Pred. I am now at 3mg Pred. - reducing by 0.5mg every 4 weeks. To get there I had to hit 20mg MTX.

ragurl profile image
ragurl in reply to Joy_1

Thanks for sharing your experience. Pred is so hard taper.

embroy profile image

I was on Entercept when instarted on the Menopause, I take Soya isolflayes from Holland and Barrett, and have helped a lot, but helped in the winter as well. Hope it is helpful.

Hi, I know this is an older post, but I was going into menopause when my RA was diagnosed, and it was miserable. I started with 80mgs prednisone and Leflunomide, then a couple of years ago I started Humira also. During menopause and once we got it controlled, my doctor was also worried about bone loss with the Pred and wanted me to taper. I am/was on the same medications as you are(Leflunomide, prednisone, Humira) and want to tell you that though it was difficult and slow, I was able to taper off the prednisone. Once I got down to 5mgs it took 1 1/2 years of tapering off completely, at only 1/2 of or sometimes even 1/4 of 1mg tablets every two weeks. I couldn't handle going any faster because I would have flares if I dropped a whole mg at a time. My Rheumy helped me by giving me 1mg tablets after I got to the 5mg, and once I got down to under 5mgs. More pills, but they are so tiny. I used a pill cutter. I also would cut one pill into fourths and that would last for four days of 1/4 doses(like when I did 4 1/4mgs a day). Even when I periodically have to go on 20mgs again I do a slow taper like this. Like I said, for me it took a while, but the benefit is no or minimal flares. So of you are still trying to taper, or need it in the future, I hope this helps you.

ragurl profile image
ragurl in reply to

Thank you for your experience

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