At the end of my tether

Menopause symptoms

?

Hi i'm new here and don't know what to do or where to go next.

I had my last son in November 1983 and had to have a hysterectomy in March 1984, at the age of 30, as I had had heavy and prolonged periods for a while, even before my last son was born. I thought that having another baby would help; although that wasn’t the only reason we had him, in fact they only became worse.

It was soon after this that I began to have the first signs of hot flushes and mood swings, although I had had mood swings every month when my period was due. My G.P. gave me a tablet (the name of which escapes me) and it helped for a while but then had to be increased until I was on the highest dose and it wasn’t working anymore. It was at this time that she put me on HRT.

I had to come off of it [HRT] in 2007 when I was diagnosed with angina and the pharmacist at the hospital said that I shouldn’t take it anymore.

Since then my hot flushes have been continuous and I have tried many herbal remedies, including Evening Primrose Oil and Menoleve and although they work to start with they seem to stop after a while.

My husband always knows when one is coming on because he can see the redness start on my neck and spread up to my face and then the fan goes on. I call it my tropical events and I say that I have my own central heating if people comment on the redness. It used to cause great amusement when I was at work and I used to be dripping with sweat, I used to wash my face and neck with lavender wet wipes to cool me down.

I did ask my G.P. if there was anything else that she could prescribe for me but the only thing she could suggest was drugs for depression and anxiety which might help but they may make me feel worse. She also said that losing weight might help but that is easier said than done. I am now 62 and I am still getting the hot flushes and mood swings, I get palpitations which don’t help with the angina and the blood pressure.

I have now been getting joint pain and memory lapses and my concentration has become slow. I also get dry itchy skin, my GP says use moisturiser! and my hair is falling out. I am also pre diabetic.

I get plenty of exercise as I go swimming 3-4 times a week and I also do aqua aerobics as well but the weight is stubbornly staying put.

17 Replies

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  • So, have you had your thyroid tested? A lot of those symptoms could be caused by low thyroid. Hypothyroidism could have been the cause of the menstral problems that lead to the hysterectomy, and the hysterectomy made it worse. But, be warned, doctors know nothing about thyroid, and will only diagnose you if it's extreme.

    But, if you can get her to agree to a test, make sure you go as early in the morning as possible - no point in having it done in the afternoon - and fast - just drink water.

    Then, make sure you get a print-out of your tests - it's your legal right to have one - and post them here.

    If you do have hypothyroidism, exercise is just going to make you worse - and it certainly isn't going to make you lose weight. :)

  • Thanks I'll do that and thanks for the advice. I do the exercise for a bad back and the water does help.

  • Yes, but don't over-do it! lol

  • I have no thought of doing that lol

  • lol

  • I had my thyroid tested last month at my general health visit for my heart and it was 4.4 so no problem there says the doctor.

  • Yes, well, the doctor's wrong. Although you'll never be able to persuade him. A TSH of 3 is hypo in the real world.

  • dorothymarjorie Besides the thyroid tests Greygoose has suggested, I would also suggest a hormone test. I don't know what hormone tests are offered through GP surgeries but I had one done privately through Genova Diagnostics. You can get details from ThyroidUK's main website here thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin... and if you click on "download a PDF document of Genova Diagnostic's List of Tests" you will get the pdf of all the tests Genova do. Scroll down to page 4, female hormone tests are listed there. Have a read through and see if any are of interest. Because I am in my late 60s I had the most comprehensive (Menopause Plus) and discovered a problem with my cortisol, DHEA and all sex hormones.

    Another thing to look into is bioidentical hormones as a way of balancing hormones. I wont recommend anything in particular because I only know about what has been advised by my holistic hormone specialist.

  • Hi .DM,, I agree with GreyGoose, plus .susie to an extent. Yes you get PMT.now, HRT stopped that probably also sounds like when you stopped HRT your menopausal symptoms returned - the usual after effects of a hysterectomŷ which you had a t a young age, and the reason you were put on HRT, so you kept on menstruating.

    Like you I had heavy prolonged periods, but I found that going on the pill between 22 month gap having babies, and also after birth of 2nd one helped regulate me much better. At age 35 I was then Sterilised so I could come off the pill, having taken it for 13 yrs, with risk of thrombosis. Mŷ periods continued, much lighter and not quite so painful as previously - but that's life, we are women!

    I also didn't know then, but I probably had my Thyroid condition from not too long after birth and a neck gland operation, Hence my subsequent ongoing and different health conditions now, at age 69 next month.

    I've done a lot of research into my own health history over last few months and so much ties up, including genetic links.

    I'm not medically qualified - very qualified in frustration tho that Dr's don't know as much as we do these do these days. I researched my Health Conditions using HonCode & Trusted you websites.

    For you, folloŵ Greŷ Goose advice about how to prepare for a Thyroid blood test. Then post your results back on here, after you have discussed with your Dr who may or not prescribe you, if he does, folloŵ the manufacturers instructions leaflet and make sure you take with a glass of water, not a sip, and leave an hour before you eat anything!

    Sorrŷ to sound so bossŷ.

    All meds have their own specific instructions about how and when to take them. So often many meds say take morning with food. It's so often best to leave a gap between individual meds.

    .....chuck out the OTC ones, chances are there may a be a duplication of some ingredients, which can lead to overdosing of a single ingredient in 2 or more different meds.

    If not sure, check out one or multiple meds on drugs.com. For health conditions, try looking at Wikipedia, all you need is the one word name of the condition in their search box. Asking Q's in a search box confuses matters.

    To finish, I hope you manage to find solutions and feel better soon. I've been there done that, so now appreciate the value of personal research, as well as info and support from these Communities. S x

  • Hi SAMBS,

    Thanks for the advice but if I took a gap between each tablet in the morning I would be here all day!

    I gather OCD is over the counter drugs which I don

    t have, all the drugs that I take are prescribed by my doctor and a lot of them are painkillers for a bad back, which I sustained at work and which may be the start of osteoarthritis.

    I have two displaced discs which also gives me pain down my legs.

  • Hi, DorothyM, yes to OTC (over the counter) If you cant separate timings, may I suggest you have a chat with your chemist or doctor then , especially if they are all painkillers! There may be a lot of the same ingredient in each one, which research has suggested can lead to overdosing on one or other specific ingredient. A search on - drugs.com - will give plenty of info on prescribed meds, whether taken singly or as part of a multi drug regime so will tell you if there are any contra-indications between them.

    I do understand the pain bit, I went to an osteopath 30+ years ago when I first put my back out and only took ibuprofen the 1st couple of nights or days, to help reduce inflammation. The Osteo after doing her work also suggested some floor exercises using hot & cold treatment on the affected area. ice pack/tea towel wrapped hot water bottle.

    It's my posture now I'm much older, that doesn't help and I take no painkillers at all for any type of pain, because I refuse to. If I'd known about medications and conditions, back then as I do now, almost too late to be of help, and after several months of research into my own health - I'd be a damn better than I am today. I don't feel ill or in pain, but do have several health conditions.

    So just explaining, and hoping it helps you understand. The doctor should always be the 1st port of call, especially as medicine and health knowledge is progressing at faster rates than a few years ago. The art is in finding a really good doctor of course or pharmacist to discuss meds with. Going to same pharmacy and not objecting to them keeping record of your prescriptions on their computerised systems, will also help because the programmes flag up contraindications between different meds. This also help avoid potential for liver damage or toxicity.

    I'm not medically qualified, just passing on research information I've found has helped me.

    I hope you feel and get better soon with your back and will be able to reduce or stop your medications Asap.

  • Greygoose's advice and that of others is 'right on' and certainly the thyroid test should be done. Also saliva tests for hormones if you are so inclined. You might also look into supplementing with natural progesterone cream (Emerita ProGest cream is a good over-the-counter brand name). You might look into reading the book 'What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause" by Dr. John Lee for information about our hormones and the changes we go thru and how to supplement natural progesterone cream.

    Supplementing with natural progesterone cream is just a simple way to duplicate/mimic what the body is no longer doing... that is... providing our bodies with approx. 20 mgs of progesterone for days 10 - 20/24 cycle as our bodies prepare for a fetus. Our production of estrogen gradually, naturally tapers off (never stops entirely) but progesterone abruptly ceases or drops to negligible levels even while we still continue to have periods.

    I took it because I suddenly started suffering from horrible insomnia, brain fog and short term memory problems, irritability and it seemed I was pms'ing 24/7. It only took a few weeks for my insomnia to clear up as well as the irritability and brain fog/memory problems. My niece has good luck using black cohosh for the same peri/menopausal symptoms (especially hot flashes) tho she also took natural progesterone cream for four - five years.

  • Just saw your post after I had written of how I chose to have a hysterectomy in order to be able to continue oestrogen without taking progesterone! Ironic. :-)

  • Hi,

    I stopped caffeine completely and dairy at the same time and since then my hot flushes have completely stopped.

    Chocolate and spice can also trigger them.

    Take sage in a pure form as this can help hugely.

    I'm guessing some symptoms are related to your thyroid as they were mine in which case diet will help.

    Are you gluton free?

  • I agree with grey goose. I think also that hysterectomy and the reduction in oestrogen that follows (even if you don't have an ooectomy, the ovaries give up the ghost after about 5 years I was told) can tip you into hypothyroidism. (I chose to have a hysterectomy so that I could continue oestrogen (HRT) without taking progesterone (which I hated). My mother had a hysterectomy for a benign growth when she was in her late 30s. When in her 70s she suddenly started bloating and becoming weak and various other symptoms. I convinced her to go on oestrogen and, very quickly, she lost weight and had a sort of rejuvenation. Then the newspapers ran the scare campaign about oestrogen and breast cancer and she stopped taking it. The bloating and other symptoms came back with a vengence. She also had 'normal' thyroid results with TSH of less than 3, but a few years later she was totally demented (details of which in my other posts). She was also B12 deficient and has Hashimotos. So, I have been very careful not to stop oestrogen, but I could see I was developing similar symptoms, so I went to a doctor whose name I found on thyroidmum. This has made a huge difference. My partner also has Hashimotos, pernicious anaemia and diabetes. His normal doctors simply failed even to look at his results or his symptoms. We all also take B12 (sublingually) 5000iu daily. Aches and pains and finally loose pelvic and knee joints were major symptoms for me along with weird word-finding problems and terrible fatigue after I had exerted myself to do anything. Also indigestion and constant hunger, plus diagnosed as diabetic although I am able to manage that with a high fat low carbohydrate diet (which allows cheesecake sweetened with stevia). :-)

  • I forgot to say that the doctor prescribed NDT.

  • You poor thing. I came off HRT four years ago and still have hot flushes, low energy etc. I was told they would go away after 2 years but no such luck. I had a hysterectomy when I was 42 and I am now almost 64. The joys of womanhood

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