49 guess its the beginning.......

connie_txAugust 16, 2004

I turned 49 this past May and have never ever missed a period in 36 years. Until this past month. And when I was pregnant with my 2 daughters. Have not been on any birth control for over 22 years. Question is? Do I have to take anything or do anything while going through this. Meaning is there medicine I have to take because I am going thru it or starting the missed periods. I have not been sick many times in my life and when I am its a cold or the flu and that is maybe a handful of times. I read all these women on Hormones and such and wonder do I have to take anything during this time. May sound stupid but I don't need to go to a doctor if I am not sick just to ask him these things unless it is necessary that I do start taking something.

Connie

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catherinet

Hi Connie,
I wouldn't take anything for it.....just eat well and take a multi-vitamin. Perimenopause can last a long time......I've been doing it for about 7-8 years. You may have irregular periods for a long time. One thing you need to watch out for is alot of extra bleeding. During this time of hormone weirdness, the lining of your uterus can get too thick and bleed alot, and you don't have the right balance of hormones to stop it. Just keep that in mind. When I miss a period, it's usually a little heavier the next time. Everyone is different. But as far as missing some periods, I wouldn't worry about it. Just try to stay as healthy as possible, while you're going through this change. Good luck!
P.S. Keep having your pap smear every year, and an occasional mammogram too.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 8:45AM
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connie_tx

CatherineT,

Thanks for the advice. I am not worried about any of it. I guess I have hot flashes come and go over a few years but nothing that I worried about. Have always had interupted nights with bathroom runs, tiredness to the bone every morning even after 9-10 hours sleep. Could be my business though. I work 17 hours a day painting childrens furniture. What I was concerned about is all these people are taking stuff and I thought I had to be on something. If I am not taking anything will something happen to me elsewhere in my body???? All these creams pills etc, what are they for and are they a must to take to avoid other problems?? Thanks for any help anyone.

Connie

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 3:11PM
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catherinet

Hi Connie,
Boy, you sound busy! Are you inhaling all those paint fumes all day??
I think until recently, doctors would have told you that you needed to be on hormone replacement, to keep from having heart disease and osteoporosis. But in the past few years, studies showed that using hormones actually increases your risk for certain problems, so lots of people got off it. The best thing you can do for avoiding osteoporosis is to take calcium supplements, eat well, and exercise.
In a world where we are told to constantly take a pill for just about everything, no wonder you think you should be doing something! But I'm sort of a natural person, and feel that the best thing you can do, is eat well and get plenty of sunshine and exercise.
Some people have horrible perimenopausal symptoms and extra hormones seem to help them.........but it's many times so hard to get off them, without having those symptoms return. So I think the best thing is to never get on anything to start with! One of the worst perimenopausal symptoms for me was fatigue......but it's slowly improving. good luck!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 3:38PM
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connie_tx

We do have heart disease on my mothers side of the family and diabeties, cancer and my mother has it as well the diabeties and her brother had it bad but died 2 years ago from a brain tumor. Go figure that out and my grandmother his mother that never smoked or did an ill thing to herself died of a brain tumor 6 months before he did. We have had a rough 2 years and my father passed away suddenly in May from his Heart which we didnt have a clue over that as he had been through strenuios testing 2 weeks prior for a knee surgery. Maybe all this is causing alot of the syptoms but no matter I think the time has arrived and I am waiting on test now for my diabeties. Should hear sometime this week. My sugars are running 200-208 pretty steady and that has me concerned so I went to the doctor for that. But I am wondering if the menopause is causing the fluctuation?in those numbers. I did tell him I had missed Julys and now am waiting to see about August. I love it without it but wonder about it if it makes sense. I do have crankiness though and that is driving my family up a wall. Probably part of it. I do eat better watching the diabeties and walk every night mostly a mile at the track at the school as far as sunshine,,,,, havent figured out how to walk and paint a toybox at the same time. Never enough hours in our days to be ready for the next show or market...Thanks Catherine

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 4:17PM
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catherinet

Hi Connie,
Sorry to hear about your father. I'm thinking they didn't do a stress test for his heart, and might have missed something. Then again, he may have thrown a blood clot during the surgery. If you do happen to have heart disease in your family, I would say that's a reason to NOT take HRT (hormone replacement therapy). I think watching your diet, controlling your blood sugars and exercising are the best things for you.
I know that being irritable is a drag, but I wouldn't go on a medication just for that.......especially since the hormone replacement has gotten such bad press lately.
I think you should try to get your blood sugars lower. I think that would be the best thing for your health, and I'm not aware that hormones can do that for you. You might need a better diet. Have you talked to a dietition?
Some people with symptoms of menopause use herbal supplements, like black cohosh. I bought some "Estroven".......but haven't used it yet.
Be sure to drink lots of water too.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 8:04PM
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connie_tx

Thanks again and No I do not want to take anything or even start on it and am still waiting for blood test of several things will post back this week after I get them so check and again thanks for the talk.

Connie

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 9:06PM
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Carina

Hi Connie, welcome to the club!
Like Catherine, I've been dealing with perimenopause for seven years or so, yuck yuck.
Started out with irregular periods & went downhill from there! I wouldn't bother with HRT (hormone replacement therapy) especially with a history of heart disease in your family. I did take a low dose estrogen pill for about ten months & it regulated my periods somewhat, but nothing else so I quit.
I have asked two gyn doctors over the last few years about it, and both said not to bother.

You can try one of the herbal formulas, it probably won't hurt. There was an article in the New York Times this morning about them, actually. Apparently there is no definitive evidence that any of the soy/cohosh/primrose etc etc are effective. 30% of women in one large study DID report "improvement in symptoms." However 30% of the women taking a placebo reported exactly the same thing! So I guess if you believe it will work, then at least you may get the placebo effect...
I've tried several and didn't notice a bit of difference in anything. Taking extra calcium/multivitamin is probably a good idea though. Make sure you eat right & get exercise, all that stuff.
Hormonal changes cause things to shift all over your body....blood sugar may well be one of them. Though sometimes you don't know whether it's female hormones or just the (ack) natural aging process, I guess.

PS, I've been a painting contractor for 25 years and have breathed my share of fumes too!!

Oh and PPS. I keep thinking I am DONE with all this. I went 7 months without a period, then had one. I just went 11 months without one (I was ready to do the Ceremonial Burning of The Feminine Products) and then whammo, two straight weeks of period. Aaagghhh! Guess my ovaries are just not going down without a fight.

Oh and one more PS. I am 46 and have been going through this crap since my late thirties. I sure wish my body would have waited a bit longer.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 6:24PM
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bbaird

This is a natural passage just as starting menstruation was.

There's nothing special to do unless you have severe symptoms of some sort. In the end, it all works out.

I do find, however, that I developed severe dust allergies. I don't know if it's related. I read that progesterone keeps allergies in check, and that, at perimenopause, as the hormone decreases, the chances of getting allergies increases.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 6:31PM
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Carina

Funny about the allergy thing. I'd never had an allergic reaction in my life, but a few years ago I started getting all stuffed up in winter and spring. Most unpleasant!

And I agree about the natural progression thing. There's a tendency to "medicalise" menopause, it's a huge marketing opportunity for pharmaceutical companies and every outfit that sells supplements and herbal concoctions.

Plus it seems to be a rather American tendency to want to "take something" for every little physical change and ailment. When quite often a healthy body deals quite well without intervention.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 9:39PM
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connie_tx

Guess there are lots of us 40?'s on this board dealing with all this. I can handle all the stuff that comes with it. I do not like to take any drugs for anything Ibuprofin puts me to sleep. Could have never been a drug addict. Would have slept thru it all and not know if I enjoyed it. Ha ha. But did get the call for part of my testing came in , my hemoglobins were a 9.2 so he said that was not good and called in METFORMIN 500mg 2 times a day. My daughter said that maybe he wanted to get it down at first then back off to once a day. She is so against these drugs. She is a nurse. She says that all it does is mask the problem that we should all diet and exercise and watch everythig we do and it would come down on our own. Especially for younger people who can do these things but thinks it all right for older ones unable to get out and do most of these things. But that is her belief. I for one want this under control and will take it. I don't need organ problems to boot on top of this menopause. Also he said that my cholesterol was good 172 and that the hdl was 120 and was very suprised how good a shape I was in. I am overweight, but really never get sick. Maybe 10 times in my adult life with flu or colds. Anyways he is waiting for the rest of the testing to come in and will probably test in 15 days as that is all the pills he gave me. Lets keep this going or at least in touch with each other as to our progress or lack of ha ha.

Connie

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 11:56PM
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bbaird

Connie-

I'm not saying it was all fun and games for me. I think I've crossed over to the other side:) I also think that it happened a few years too early for me due to the fact that I had an ovary yanked 10 years ago.

I had MAJOR NIGHT SWEATS for about 2 years. (Sometimes even during the day- -a couple of times I dove into the freezer section of the supermarket. If you ever see a woman of a certain age lingering in the freezer just a little longer than necessary, I'll bet she's peri) At night, in the winter, I'd have the windows flung open and I'd stand in front of the air conditioner for a minute. Then I'd freeze and run under the covers. Before I'd even gotten the covers up to my neck, I'd be boiling and throw the covers off as quickly as I could and run to the air conditioner. I couldn't get rid of the cover fast enough. This went on all night. No fun for an SO. I HATE winter and LOVE summer--the hotter and more humid the better. Unfortunately, my body has changed its mind about the seasons. I get kind of sick and queasy in extreme heat and can tolerate cold now.

Also, for the same 2 years I got rosacea and mild breakouts--puberty all over again. I still have a couple of breakouts now and then, but, it subsided.

All I'm saying is that I waited all the extreme stuff out and it all went away-- kind of. Maybe it will go away completely eventually. Also, I used to be able to get away with 2-6 hours of sleep a night. Now, I want 7-10!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 3:55PM
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catherinet

Who planned this all out anyhow?? I think he/she needs to work out some of the kinks! ;)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 10:32PM
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Carina

Mother Nature. Or God, depending on your orientation...once our breeding years are over we are designed to become expendable. :)

bbaird, I'm with you on the skin breakout thing and the sleeping, too. During my months without periods, the niggling little issues like that go away, or at least lessen. So I'm assuming - and hoping - once I'm truly through peri I'll feel MUCH better.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2004 at 6:03AM
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connie_tx

If I slept 12 hours a day and I have some of this past month it still isn't enough. My business is suffering from it because I don't want to paint and if I don't paint we don't make as much money and there again we don't have as much to pay bills and live the everyday life. I just want energy back in a natural way not drugs.... My blood sugars are doing so good now that I am on Metformin it has come down from 228 to 133 in one week, this morning so guess its working. I am not watching my eating as I should but that is good for me. This menopause is throwing everything off for me. I did have a period this past week a weird on but had it. And on time I might say.....

Connie

    Bookmark   August 25, 2004 at 12:52AM
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Carina

Connie...I've had the same problem - fatigue, and sometimes it's extreme.
The doc I went to suggested a higher protein diet (I eat barely any meat; and for years have eaten fairly low protein/high fruit & veg, and alas - sugary things; a weakness.) A diabetic friend suggested the same thing.

It really does make a difference...I noticed that after a high carb meal - even something "healthy" like unsweetened bran cereal & banana - I would get a big sugar crash. I've been eating more protein - weird things like cans of sardines, hard boiled eggs, nuts - and don't get the fatigue like I used to.

Oh - and did I mention the hairs appearing on my chin?? What's THAT about? Feh.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2004 at 12:30PM
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bbaird

EXERCISE!!!

I find that I can't get out of bed because I'm so tired. However, once I FORCE myself to get up and get going, the fatigue subsides.

A 2 or 3 mile walk, 1/2 hour of yoga- just get going physically. It should help.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2004 at 2:40PM
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bbaird

"Oh - and did I mention the hairs appearing on my chin?? What's THAT about? Feh."

Yup.

The "Feh"--too funny

    Bookmark   August 25, 2004 at 3:29PM
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Carina

Yes, definitely exercise!! Boring old advice, but it's true, it does make you feel better.

I have three large dogs, that gives me a wonderful excuse to take them out for brisk walks. Benefits all of us.
A serious yoga place opened in town...I've talked to a couple of people who have gone there. They say it's brutally hard and makes you feel wonderful and stretchy afterwards...

I read an article recently about a trend in yoga & exercise studios. Where you take your dog along and it's kind of tandem human/doggie yoga. Or doga. Or something. Where I live isn't nearly trendy enough for that sort of thing; otherwise I'd be silly enough to try it.

I'm going to start shaving my chin. :I~

    Bookmark   August 26, 2004 at 7:52AM
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catherinet

Sugar and carbs are really bad for fatigue. Unfortunately, if we eat a few of them, they take over our bodies and minds and convince us we need LOTS more of them! The exercise thing is true too......but it's soooo hard to exercise, when you feel like lying down on the floor!
Connie.....are you sure nothing else is going on with you? Make sure all your general labs are okay. You haven't been bit by a tick recently have you? I always like to remind people about how bad Lyme disease can be!
So........more exercise, less sugar and carbs!
I can so empathize with you! I thought I had chronic fatigue with my fibromyalgia. The fatigue was overwhelming for a long time. I could hardly make it through a grocery store. I didn't know about carbs and sugar then.....wish I had. Hang in there Connie, and try to behave yourself with eating...... It may take a few days to a week to feel the benefits of not eating sugar, but hang in there! Also.....try to remember that this will eventually pass!

About the hair......I'm not getting hairs on my chin.....but I'm getting that fine baby hair all over my face!! You gotta laugh, right????!!!??

    Bookmark   August 26, 2004 at 9:07AM
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bbaird

I do yoga at home with tapes. My favorites are Suzanne Deason's.

I tried yoga when I was in my 20s and I hated it. I couldn't stand something so slow and methodical and introspective. Funny how things change in your "old age". I love to walk quickly, swim, ride my bike, etc., but, yoga also fits into my life now.

Carina- do you already do yoga? It IS very strenuous and relaxing at the same time. You feel SOOOO GOOD when you're finished-- like a mini-vacation.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2004 at 3:53PM
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Carina

bbaird - I did do yoga way back in in my late teens/early 20s, enjoyed it too.
Catherine - I've got a bit of the downy fuzz thing too...but once in a while I'll see a noticeable actual hair on my chin. Yikes! I've gotten into the habit of scrutinizing my face in a magnifying mirror, tweezers in hand to remove any visible ones.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2004 at 5:18AM
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catherinet

lol! Carina.........I just couldn't stand looking that close at my face! haha

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 7:15PM
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Carina

It's scary all right!
But I figure it will just get more seasoned over time so I'd better get used to it....

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 10:00PM
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catherinet

When I was younger, I used to notice that people in their late 40's (women) looked rather tormented and rough in the face. Then, a few years later in their 50's, their faces looked calm and peaceful.......sort of like a storm-front going through, then things calm down again. I'm still getting used to looking in the mirror and seeing a white-haired lady with a drooping face. yikes! Who IS that???

    Bookmark   September 3, 2004 at 9:00PM
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