Aggravating Anxiety

gaylee51January 4, 2007

Hi... So glad to have found this great site! Been dealing with Meno symptoms for a while now (I'm 51). I had a uterine ablation 6 years ago, so no periods, and wasn't sure where I was menopause-wise. In past 2 years have had bothersome symptoms such as whole body hot flashes, heart palps and anxiety. My (female) doctor doesn't seem to really be with it as far as menopause... ran a ton of tests to rule out other things, then I finally insisted on an FSH test last month. It was 135! She finally admits that I'm menopausal!

Lately I've been experiencing daily anxiety , out of the blue. I think some of them have been full blown panic episodes. They are awful! I've been releived to find that this is a common symptom of menopause. Any suggestions on best ways to deal with them? (I am not on HRT). Thanks for this great site. I've already gained some comfort from reading some of your posts on the "joys" :( of this eventful time in my life. Gayle

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I have had these symptoms for a couple of years now. I finally got off of caffiene (even decalf has about 10percent caffiene) no chocolate, no heavy sugars. It has really helped the heart palps. I take xanax some for the anxiety. I found out that when the estrogen drops, the adrenal glands are supposed to take over the jobs, but stress depletes the adrenal glands. I finally went to a gyn, the ob's are just busy with babies. I have been on a low dose of hrt for 5 years. It is just hard to replace what your body was born with. The bio-idental hormones have not been proven safer. Find something that you can do just for you. We will all get thru this. Dont forget to breathe!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 10:37PM
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I got hit with a wave of overwheming anger/anxiety this morning. I'm still getting periods, and my breasts are constantly tender. I'm glad for a forum like this so we can share/sympathize with each other. Shotzy, I'm taking some deep breaths now. I drink one cup of coffee in the morning (can't quite give it up yet). Need to detox from Chrismas (which isn't helping things). Not on HRT, but am thinking about it. Does the low dose really help?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 8:10AM
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I also have anxiety, usually in the evenings when I'm relaxing in bed before turning out the light.

I have my yearly appointment with the gyn in March and haven't had a period for a few months.

I'm afraid of going on HRT because of weight gain. There were a couple of times throughout the years that I went on hormones and gained weight almost instantly. Should the weight gain be a concern for me vs the benefits of HRT? Should there be weight gain with a low dose of HRT?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 12:31PM
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So I started 5 years ago on the highest dose. 6 months ago they put me on the lowest dose, (it is much lower) Thought things were going okay except 2 months ago, I started having alot of urgency to urinate. No positive cultures for UTI's ! After fighting many drs. they told me that the large drop in HRT was causing my bladder to weaken. Seems estrogen keeps the bladder supple. The bladder is a smooth muscle, not like the heart that you can exercise and keep strong. The drop in estrogen also caused the vagina to dry up and one of the gyns was telling me I had lichen sclorisis (terrible disease) Long story short, I dont have lichen sclorisis, and the urologist suggest I get on a higher dose of prempro. He said the studies that were done on prempro where done on much older women, they couldnt use women who had hot flashes, cuz they would know who got the placebo and who got the real prempro, cuz the PREMPRO gets rid of the hot flashes or drastically reduces them. Seems it is better to get on them and stay, then jockey yourself on and off them. The body doesnt like drastic changes, as anyone who has yoyo dieted knows. So at 52, with no breast cancer or uterine cancer in my immediate family, I went with quality of life and the HRT. If it sounds like I am preaching, please know that I have spent lots of money, time and heartache getting to the place that I am today. I still have some vagina problems, itchy and stickly, not so dry now that I have some topical estrogen cream to use. So now, I started seeing a therapist, seems like the vagina defines us women in so manny ways, that I may be doing some of this to myself. It is a work in progress. Anxiety rules my life on occasion too, but today was a good day. Breathe!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 7:23PM
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I do use deep breathing to try to calm down during an attack, but with limited success of late. The physical experience of this anxiety is overwhelming! I also been having some lovely vaginal issues... intercourse is excrutiating. I have recently remarried after 21 years new husband has been very understanding in that department, thank God! I go to an endocrinologist in a few weeks. I understand that your thryoid can be a culprit even if the typical thyroid tests are in "normal" range. My hot flashes seem to be whole body ones; I get strong heart palps, dizzy, then a feeling in my stomach and chest like you're on a roller coaster ride. Then I turn bright red and feel extreme heat. After a few minutes I then get the shakes and chills. This happens 2 or 4 times a day. I'm assuming it's hormonal bcause cardiac and thyroid tests are normal. Sometimes feel like I'm going nuts! Bring on the HRT! Thanks for listening... Gayle

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 12:54PM
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Gayle, I am sorry you are having a tough time. You have seen a cardio dr. right? Not just a M.D. Why are you waiting for HRT? Is there a reason. It would quickly tell you whether these are hot flashes. Hope you are better soon

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 2:04PM
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Hi Shotzy52... I'm not on HRT because my Doc won't prescribe them for me. She's concerned about recent HRT studies, and my blood pressure issues, (I believe that the lack of hormones is contributing to my high BP!) I'm waiting on what the endocrinologist says, then maybe shop for another doctor.
The nursing supervisor at the hospital where I work says that she's been on low dose HRT for a few years now and she is not concerned with "hype" about HRT. She goes to an oncology gyn and he assures her that it's safe for her. Wow!
My maternal aunt had breast cancer, so I don't know if that would be considered an immediate family member or not. I'm actually hoping that I can give it a try because at times I am really quite miserable.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 2:58PM
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My mother is a breast cancer survivor. I still want to go on HRT at the right time. My feeling is, you're just replacing what you lost.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 3:44PM
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That is so true, you are replacing what you lost. And some of us never had enough to begin with. HRT has save my marriage, friendships and touched every part of my life. One day I will get off. I have friends (we call ourselves the Menowomen) that do not want me to take HRT, they dont live at my house, work at my office, or entertain me when I cant sleep. Quality of life. Of course I am 52, and while I dont think I am dying any time soon, I want to live while I can. Call me selfish.......

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 5:27PM
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HRT is a very individual issue. We are responsible for the quality of our own life. If HRT is the answer for you, then go for it! My GYN said she will help me when I'm ready.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 6:43AM
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Dear Cheerful, You are so right, HRT is very individual, my sister is 54 and has no symtoms except for hotflashes. But she battles heart disease (early before menopauseso I dont think estrogen dropped caused it, probably smoking and life stresses) my mom died at 63 from heart disease. My brother had a bypass at 46. I seemed to have escaped that gene. Of course something will get me.. LOL I wish I had found a gyn that I could have trusted way back when. I am glad you have one. It makes all the difference in the world. God Bless and Keep you , shotzy

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 7:07AM
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Hi Gayle,
I know exactly what you're going through! I'm glad I didn't know in advance how rough perimenopause would be!
I used to get hot flashes like you.....where I'd get nauseous and feel like I was going to pass out. Not fun.
Have you tried something like Estroven? I think I'd give that a try.
One hesitation I have in you getting on hormones, is that you just delay menopause. You'll still have to go through these symptoms when you decide to come off of it.
Yes, it might be a little easier to come off when your own hormones aren't in such fluctuation. But I personally would try to find other ways of dealing with your symptoms.
Nutrition and activity are really important. Cut back on your carbs/sugar, and try to take a walk or do stretching exercises every day. And definitely get some sun every day. Caffeine really does make anxiety worse.......and definitely makes the palpitations worse.
I have found that Catrate Plus (2 a day), and magnesium (500-750mg a day), help ALOT with the palpitations.
I think sublingual B12 can help too. Actually, all the B vitamins will help.
And I would ask for a Rx for something like xanax, to take occasionally, when the anxiety gets to be too much.
Good luck to you! You have my sympathy/empathy!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 7:58AM
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Thanks for al the suggestions! I've actually started taking a B complex vitamin with C, and a Calcium/Magnesium supplement (about 1 week now) and I think it's making a difference. My heart palps and anxiety are relieved a bit already. I've started out low with the calcium/mag dose; I can tell when it's worn off, so I'm in the process of adjusting it.
Also been practicing some relaxation exercises, deep breathing, etc. But listen to this... The other day, home alone and deep into relaxation, trying some "mental imaging" of a beautiful green forest... how nice, UNTIL for some reason I started imagining a weirdo hiding in the bushes waiting to get me. I concentrated hard at getting rid of that image, then I worried that a mountain lion was scoping me out for lunch! WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH ME??!!
If I wasn't so miserable, this woud be funny. Wait a minute, I AM miserable, and it IS funny! Glad I can still laugh at myself! Gayle

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 4:39PM
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"HRT is a very individual issue. We are responsible for the quality of our own life. If HRT is the answer for you, then go for it! My GYN said she will help me when I'm ready".

I posted this back in January. I am so ready now! I'm seeing my GYN next week. The anxiety is so bad, I feel like jumping out of my skin. That, on top of the hot flashes, mood swings and lack of sleep. I feel like I'm losing my mind. I have to get my quality of life back.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 7:44AM
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I want to add that I too have made significant changes to my diet and I do think the episodes of extreme anxiety are much less often. I quit all caffeine and limit sugar/highly processed foods. I've gone to a mostly natural eating program of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and mostly white meat and not much red meat. I also take a multi vitamin, calcium supplement and a fish oil capsule every day.

The month of October was the best month I've had in almost a year. My period started a few days ago and it's been very heavy which normally also coincides with high anxiety episodes but not this time. I am really hoping I'm getting a handle on this via changing my diet because I don't want to take the anti-depressant my doctor prescribed.

I've also noticed a change in my energy level. I'm functioning more normally than I have been this past year. I've read alot on the internet about adrenal fatigue during peri/menopause and that's what prompted me to make dietary changes.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 10:05AM
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I started HRT in November. For the most part, it's working well. But for some reason, I've had major anxiety this past week for no reason at all.

I'm curious: of the 28 pills that come in a package, are they all identical (a constant flow of estrogen/progestrone), or are any of the pills placebos?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 2:12PM
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My experience has been the same as hgtvme. I made major lifestyle changes beginning about 4 years ago, and the results have been astounding. No PMS, no anxiety issues, no mood swings, no insomnia, and plenty of energy.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 1:38AM
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Hi Ladies,
I'm new here, but was very interested to read your posts. I too have suffered depression/anxiety in the past, but once hitting the menopause, it all worsened. As my periods tailed off, it was just in blips, then passed, but once they stopped altogether (I'm now 54), I went into a full blown episode of depression/anxiety/panic attacks, thinking the most strange thoughts, being unable to sleep, lying in bed some nights thinking "I'm going mad", also feeling strange, like I was in a different world from everyone else, feeling both physically and mentally ill. What on earth was going on I wondered.
I researched the menopause, and then realised that all my symptoms were down to this. The anti-depressants I'd had for years stopped working. I finally gave in and got hrt, then did something REALLY silly. As I began to feel a bit better, I stopped dead the anti-depressants. Not smart!!!! Anyway, got REALLY ill, doc said I need both, not one or other. It's been a long hard slog, some days I wished I wouldn't wake up in the morning, but I am VERY SLOWLY getting there. Have also had some blood tests done, results next Monday, also changing hrt for another type.
Anxiety/panic really awful, all I can say is try your best to ride it through, eventually it will subside. Then as much as is possible, try to enjoy the time you feel better, build into your brain happiness in each day. Very hard I know. Hope this post finds you all feeling a little better.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 1:05PM
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