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Older female issues: perimenopause, menopause, WD or something else

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Barbarannamated

Yes it is so complicated and even endocrinologists don't agree or have same testing - I believe my edoc is exceptional but I do wonder why he did not measure T3 or reverse T3 (rT3) in my recent $3000 battery of tests when Hashimoto's was my known problem -

So true that different thyroid formulations work differently - on Armour now and not noticing improvement -

Elizabeth - knowing what you do now about thyroid„what would you advise someone facing Thyroidectomy (not certain - pending scan of nodules/goiter)

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elizabeth11

About thyroidectomy-

 

If I could go back in time-ha ha-I might not have done it. I had what turned out to just be goiter/hashimotos.

 

I've never been able to get my thryoid hormones stable post surgery. They are okay for a while, then change drastically and I have no idea why. When they do replacement, most docs want to give you synthetic t4, when I understand that the thryoid has many other t types (like t3 and more). They give you the script and expect you to come back maybe one or tops twice a year. As I understand it, it takes about 4 weeks for any change in meds to show up in blood work.

 

So if you decide to do it, educate yourself about everything that the thyroid does and the different replacement meds, synthetic vs dessicated pig thyroid hormone (which is Armour that some people love), name brand vs generic (there are serious concerns that all generics are not the same as the name brand.)

 

Also, I think having my thyroid out has probably contributed to my fertility problems. Don't know if this would be a topic of interest to you or not. I'm sure plenty of women without thyroids have gotten pregnant but for me it didn't work to date.

 

Make sure that you have a doctor who will listen and be sensitive to how you feel, because many are not. I've always felt the doctor thinks this is like adding salt to a soup...that it doesn't matter what kind or make of salt. I personally believe the type of salt is crucial, like dead sea salt, french mineral, kosher, etc...

 

My two cents....hope it helps.

 

Elizabeth

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MrsGreen

Dear Bord Members,

 

I have been put on 3% progesterone cream (bio-identical) as I have a severe lack of the hormone.

Now I am worried that going off it again will cause severe withdrawals.

Is there any information about this hormone and the effect it can have when going off it again?

Anyone experienced?

 

Thank you very much,

Mrs Green

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Nikki

Hi Mrs. Green...

 

Why do you have to go off of it? Even with hormones, cold turkey is not a good thing.

Believe me.

 

Taper the dose the same way we do with AD's.

 

Eventually I am going to get off HRT (bio-identicals) so I started reading (Google) about taking (6) months to do it. Apparently the test group that did it this way VS the women who went cold turkey had much better results. The women who tapered had a much easier time with symptoms such as aches/pains - irritability - sleep - hot flashes.

 

Aside from Antiobiotics ~ I don't really think there is a Med out there that may not be discontinuation crapola ;)

 

Hugs

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MrsGreen

Nikki, hello!

 

I don't have to go off them yet, I just started last Saturday. I have insomnia and hormones are one thing that are apparently out of balance. I just don't want the insomnia to get better - if it is progesterone related - only to have to deal with it all over again when I withdraw from the progesterone.

 

As you say, if I do it very slowly then it should be no problem.

 

I am never sure what to believe. I tapered of an antidepressant and have been very insomniac since. I took it because I was suffering from insomnia after my child was born and now I am not sure whether I had a progesterone issue after the birth (which wasn't checked). I am trying not to get myself into more trouble with taking hormones/medication and am very worried that I have to take this hormone. On the other hand I am happy that it might help....

 

Hugs

Mrs Green

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Altostrata

Yes, if you need to quit, taper off progesterone cream or estrogen also.

 

How has the progesterone cream affected you, Mrs. G?

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MrsGreen

Alto, it hasn't affected me yet as I have only been using it for 5 days, just wondering!

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MrsGreen

For your information:

 

I stopped the progesterone cream, I was even more sleepless. And I have been doing research into the fact that it is cancerous. No thank you!

 

Warm regards,

Mrs Green

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xDebbiejo

Would this be natural progesterone cream you are talking about as I use naturone which is natural

 

Is this bad for me then ?

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xDebbiejo

Can someone answer my above post please

Xxx

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Barbarannamated

Debbiejo,

I use estrogen and low dose progesterone. My personal belief is that I prefer to use the least harmful products to replace what is naturally occurring in our bodies rather than add drugs. If the progesterone creme helps you, I would stick with it. It is supposed to help with anxiety.

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xDebbiejo

Thank you barb

How are you doing?

Xxx

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xDebbiejo

But would I still have to taper of the natural cream if I wanted to come off it? xx

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Barbarannamated

I think it's always best to taper off of any maintenance therapy because your body has adapted to the presence of the drug/hormone.

 

I had a few good days away from home followed by a few notsogood days at home. Thanks, Debbiejo.

xo

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Nikki

Hi Debbiejo...

 

I have posted this before about my use of HRT. I use bio-identical hormone replacement:

 

Estradiol (tablet) 1/2 mg. daily

Progesterone/Testosterone Cream daily

 

Creams bypass the liver. I had a total hysterectomy in 1999. I could become quite dangerous :o without hormones (LOL)

 

Progesterone has a somewhat calming effect, meaning that without it the wires in my head are unplugged, same with estrogen (estradiol)more so with estrogen.

 

My best friend and I had our hysterectomies the same week. She took Premarin (artifical) and then stopped. She has bad Osteoporosis and developed anxiety which she never had in addition to hot flashes.

 

I do not have bone density loss, or hot flashes and YES I have anxiety, but we all know where that came from.....AD's

 

I tried a few times to taper Hormones, and it was not worth it. I don't know what your hormone is, but tapering is suggested when coming off hormones.

 

If you are simply switching hormones, not need to taper, just switch.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Hugs

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moses

Hi Nikki!

Did you have any negative reactions to testosterone or progesterone?

I am using bio identical for both.

Rosie

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xDebbiejo

A homeopath told me to get a natural cream called Naturone for depression. It's from south Africa

 

Just don't know how long I should be using it for.

It's well expensive but it's meant to be one of the best

 

Xxxxxx :)

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Altostrata

When I experimented with progesterone cream, I got Source Naturals, which I believe is made from soy.

 

It definitely had an effect, but as I wrote before the dosage was impossible to control and if I took too much, I had a paradoxical reaction.

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xDebbiejo

Paradoxical reaction ? Sorry being a bit thick here Alto

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Altostrata

Too much progesterone gave me neuro-anxiety and disturbed my sleep. But I was very hypersensitive to it....

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Positiveone

I had a full hysterectomy several years ago, and was on an Estrogen Patch for a while. Maybe my hormones are out of whack?? I have heard of a saliva test that can be done to find out. I think I'll look into it. Not sure how much this is contributing to my depresssion.

Pos

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Altostrata

Yes, endocrine hormones can contribute to down moods.

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caro123

Hi,

 

I was prescribed bio-idential creame for progesterone and testosterone 5ml x 2 daily as well as a estrogeon tablet. (theory high estrogeon / low progesterone). low testosterone low energy.

 

This was because I removed Marina IUD which I believed was contibuting to being really tierd and not being natural. Unfortunatley wen that was removed had very heavy menstral cycle every two weeks. Creme and tablets give me normal cycle. I notice when I forget to take I get a very heavy period again.

 

My question is - I thought the bio-idential was ok and not cancer inducing ? At 44 I don't want to have a hysterectomy. I was hoping the creme would/might help ie stable hormones might assist in tappering ????

 

Caro

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Sparrow

Progesterone acts on GABA receptors (like benzodiazepines), hence its anxiolytic effects. It should be gradually tapered.

 

I am on a high dose of oral bioidentical progesterone. It is very calming, helps me fall asleep -- and may well be wreaking havoc with my attempt to taper off Klonopin. However, I'm so messed up from being polydrugged and then getting off each one that I can't even think about altering my prog. dose right now.

 

Sparrow

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Barbarannamated

Hi,

 

I was prescribed bio-idential creame for progesterone and testosterone 5ml x 2 daily as well as a estrogeon tablet. (theory high estrogeon / low progesterone). low testosterone low energy.

 

My question is - I thought the bio-idential was ok and not cancer inducing ? At 44 I don't want to have a hysterectomy. I was hoping the creme would/might help ie stable hormones might assist in tappering ????

 

Caro,

I am on estrogen patch for several reasons, none directly related to menopause, but Premature Ovarian Failure (autoimmune) that happened to be discovered at menopausal age. I won't claim to fully understand, but I trust my endocrinologist diagnostic skills and feeling that I've been very estrogen-deficient for long time.

 

I've been dissecting the info on hormones and the Women's Health Initiative Study that was halted in 2002. The results are being sliced and diced so many ways, it's difficult to know what the truth is.

 

That said, I personally feel more comfortable using what my body should be producing naturally (and can be measured) rather than drugs I've used for years that are endocrine disruptors with unknown effects or measureable lab values (serotonin, etc).

It makes better sense to me to "help" the body with the more natural product.

 

I have been extremely low energy (not anxious) most of my life. The estrogen is helping with that as well as pain. I am prescribed progesterone also. I understand -as Sparrow mentioned - that it is GABAergic and calming.

Just my opinion today and subject to change!

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caro123

Thanks for your reply Barbara,

 

All information is valuable and I agree with you re "better" to go naturally where possible, but am in catch22 without I have horendous cycle as in very very heavy etc I guess its worth looking into.

 

Thanks once again, I have read your story and am very grateful for all the information you have supplied this site

 

Caro

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Barbarannamated

Caro,

I apologize if my earlier post was confusing.

 

Are you considering stopping the hormones due to cancer concerns?

 

I am aware of interventional procedures for heavy bleeding to avoid hysterectomy. I don't know details, but have a few friends who had them. I believe they try to avoid hysterectomy when possible although I have friends who've gone that route. My take on the latest research is that hormone replacement in the 10 years following menopause is thought to be safer than the study group in the Women's Health Initiative (average age 65, I believe). Definitely something to discuss fully with a good doctor who takes your full picture into account (risk factors, etc) and presents the best options for you.

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peggy

i have been wondering for a while if my periodic hot flashes and palpitations are w/d or menopause related.

 

I had an appointment with my doctor a couple of weeks ago and she did a full battery of tests. Thyroid is good, liver, fbc etc good. oestrogen is basically nonexistent. Which is to be expected for menopause but the doctor said to me that from the ladies she sees, the ones whose hormones drop off a cliff seem to be the ones who have the most problems with menopause symptoms - the ones whose periods get irregular for a while and then slowly stop seem to be ones who don't have as many symptoms. My periods stopped abruptly. I was a 28 day girl all since my periods started when i was 14 to the day they stopped when i was 47 - except for one brief period 6 months later - which coincided with a brief period of no hot flashes.

 

So, here i am still getting hot flashes - up to 20 a day (and night). That seems to be my main symptom, along with the palpitations which happen at the same time. Some nights i am awake for a few hours as well. I am so over it, i was thinking of trying HRT for a brief time. I have no real risk factors - and have no uterus any more so don't need progesterone.

 

I was interested to read Alto said somewhere that menopausal women have more problems with withdrawal - i did manage to get off effexor when i was not menopausal without any problems...

 

can i have some input here? I know i read a few posts from people who take oestrogen

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Altostrata

I went through menopause more than 10 years ago. I've had a Menostar mini-estrogen patch for a couple of years for my withdrawal-induced sleep disorder. It did help.

 

It delivers a daily dose of .14mcg estrogen, about half the usual Vivelle patch. Usually it's prescribed for osteoporosis. Because the dosage is so small, it apparently doesn't need opposition by progesterone. My gyn followed me with uterine ultrasound for 2 years to make sure it wasn't doing anything suspicious, and it wasn't.

 

(When I was researching it, I found some women cut the Vivelle patch in half and use that as a mini-patch.)

 

It's best to use the absolute minimum dosage of any hormone treatment. This will vary from person to person. It's not one-size-fits-all by any means.

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basildev

Hi everyone,

 

Just wanting to get some insight regarding coping with menopause symptoms on top of withdrawal symptoms.

 

I'm 45YO and I'm not sure the exact age of onset of menopause symptoms but I figure I have around 3 or so years to go.

 

The plan was to be completely weaned off my meds by that time so I won't have to cope with the 'double whammy'.

 

But of course....my body might not be willing to adhere to that plan. Part of me wants to hurry along my taper so I don't have to deal with both problems at once.

 

Of course I know that's not the sensible thing to do.

 

Is anybody here dealing with both menopause and WD? If so how do you tell the difference between the two? How do you manage it?

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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flower

This is when I started in to menopause. I honestly believe that's when most of my problems began. I also am tapering Celexa. Just updosed yesterday to 7.5mgs. I started with night sweating although blood work denied hormones malfunction. My sister is your age and just had a Hysterectomy due to periods being hard and mood swings. She said the sweating stopped overnight. Be careful with that Celexa. It's a nighmare. I'm now free of the periods for 1 year. Officially into menopause? or over it I don't know. I'm now 56. 10 years of that crap and now trying to get off the AD. Please let me know if you have any advice for the Celexa tapering.

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peggy

I started perimenopause about 4 years ago, and had my last period about 2 years ago. Hot flashes and night sweats were my only problem. Coincidentally it was about the same time that i started to really try to get off AD. So, i was never really sure if the hot flashes were from effexor withdrawal (as they use effexor for women who can't take HRT) or menopause.

 

2 months ago i gave in and went on a small dose of estrogen -( i don't have a uterus so don't need progesterone) - after 3 weeks the hot flushes stopped completely - i cannot believe how much better i feel. I was really concerned about starting HRT because of all the problems i have had with getting off effexor, but I felt like i just hit the wall with hot flushes every 30 mins. I will get off effexor and then deal with any fall out from HRT well after that.

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basildev

Hey Flower,

 

thanks for your input. It must be hard to deal with both at the same time. The only advice I can give you re Celexa is go slow. I have WD symptoms from my taper that began 7 weeks ago. The symptoms are uncomfortable but manageable. I'm not going to taper again until they have disappeared. That's my plan. I estimate it will take me at least a few years to come off the meds completely.

 

Peggy, would you mind telling what age you were when you started perimenopause?

 

I'm in 2 minds re HRT as well. I don't want to do all the hard work getting off one med only to go on another. But I've never been able to take synthetic hormones anyway so who knows what I'll do when the time comes..

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peggy

i was about 47 when i started the hot flushes. my periods were regular and then they stopped for about 3 or 4 months, then started again for a few months and then stopped for 8 or nine months, then a few more then no more - over a couple of years. I didn't have heavy or long periods like some people experience. When i was having periods i wasn't having hot flashes.

 

It's funny, before i went on HRT my local doctor did a full battery of tests - she said everything came back normal and i asked her what my estrogen was like and she said it was pretty well non existent but she would expect that - i felt this profound sense of loss - who knows why... i am really glad i have started now on HRT now - i mean i am only 52 and i want my skin and bones to last out my lifetime!!!!!

 

there is a drug called tibolone (made from yams) that my friend takes - it is an interesting drug in that it acts like estrogen on some cells and progesterone on other cells so you don't need to take different drugs through the month. She says it has made a huge difference to her quality of life as well - (and she takes cipramil) I don't have a uterus any more so i can just take estrogen.

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basildev

Thanks Peggy.

 

I've heard horror stories about perimenopause - not looking forward to weight gain either.

 

I guess I'll just have to prepare myself as best I can and hope for the best!

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peggy

don't expect the worst - you may be just fine!

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