Menopause

sassafras45October 1, 2009

I'm new here and looking for support,which I am not getting my from OB/GYN. I began having issues with my period in March, 2007. Since then,I've had maybe 5 periods. My FSH is 57.5 and estrogen around 30. I am having debilitating symptoms which range from severe and constant panic attacks, living in a constant state of anxiety 24/7, heart palpitations, shakiness, tingling and numbness in my extremities, feelings of muscle weakness, feeling like something is crawling on the inside of my muscles, a humming and vibrating feeling that wakes me up at night, feelings of doom, and weird gastrointestinal problems,not to mention the sudden onset of ocular migraines (with scintillating scotomas and no pain),blurry vision (had a complete exam with the eye doctor, with ultrasounds of the back of the eye and pictures of the optic nerves,and alln normal). I am on the birth control pill to control symptoms so I have no hot flashes anymore,although sometimes I do get chills. I have very loud ringing in my ears,although I have had a problem with tinnitus since I was 9,and a foggy feeling along with occasional dizziness. I feel like I am losing my mind, and also cry a lot for no apparent reason. My internist wants me to have a CT scan of my head and abdomen just to rule out anything diseases (he at first thought I had a pituitary tumor because my cortisol levels were high,but a second test, along with an ACTH test were normal). I am terrified to have CT scan because of the contrast they will inject, which is mostly in part because of my panic and anxiety. I can't seem to find anyone to talk to about this,and I'm sorry if this seems like a long diatribe, but I honestly live every day feeling like there is something critically wrong with me and thinking I am going to die. Does anyone else out there have any of these symptoms, or am I just losing it?

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oilpainter

Some of these may be menopause symptoms, but a lot are not, at least I never heard of them happening. I would think if your are on HRT most menopause symptoms would be mild.

I really think you should have the CT scan, but ask your doctor for a mild sedative to take before you go.

Are you on any meds for the anxiety and panic attacks? I really don't know what more to say except I hope you get to the bottom of whatever it is. No I don't think you are losing it. I think there is something wrong, but couldn't begin to tell you what

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 9:12PM
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sassafras45

Oilpainter,I sincerely appreciate your response. I did a little bit of research this evening, and I found a list of symptoms that could be caused by menopause. Hopefully, this will help others, too. Some of them are not the "normal" symptoms that our doctors or others tell us about and can be obscure,so it makes me feel a little bit better.

Some Typical Perimenopausal Symptoms

*Changes in bleeding (heavy bleeding, irregular cycles, missed cycles, light bleeding, clotting)

*Anxiety, fear, depression, irritability, rebellion, crying jags, panic attacks

*Fatigue, loss of energy

*Low self-esteem

*Suicidal thinking

* Inability to tolerate tension

*Inappropriate emotional responses

*Low noise tolerance

*Sleep disturbances, insomnia, sleepiness

*Inability to concentrate, short-term memory loss

*Drying and thinning of the gastrointestinal tract (causing constipation, ulceration, stomach pain, colitis, diarrhea, gas)

*Bladder infections, frequency and urgency of urination, burning, incontinence

*Vaginal dryness

*Low sex drive, painful intercourse, reduction of fantasy, lack of lubrication during sex, diminished orgasms, lessened skin and nipple response

*Hot flashes, night sweats, chills

*Dizziness

*Low blood sugar, trembling

*Numbness, tingling, crawling feelings on skin

*Dry, wrinkling skin; loss of collagen, sagging breasts

*Dry, thinning hair; growth of facial hair, male pattern of hair on body

*Brittle, slow-growing, and grooved nails

*Osteoarthritis, bone thinning and loss, loss of height, shifting joint pains, joint degeneration, backache, mid-bone pains, muscle cramps and spasm, muscle weakness, and loss of strength

*Rapid heart rate, palpitations, heart pain, increased cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, shortness of breath

*Headaches, migraines, nausea

*Dark gloomy circles under eyes

*Weight loss or gain

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 9:39PM
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beauty2009

Hi sassafras45 it sounds to me like youve hit perimenopause because ive had most of the symptoms you describe at some point in the past 12 months it hits you like a bolt out of the blue ive had palpatations nowt wrong with my heart mammogram nothing wrong with my painful boobs hot flushes day n night feelings of doom hopelessnes panic attacks extreem fatigue bouts of crying for no reason anger sleepless nights weight gain diarrhea gas chest infections blurred vision eye auras depression nausea all these symptoms are normal when perimenopause begins how old are you chick im 46 had a hysterectomy at 30 1 ovary left my doctor agrees im perimenopausal but blood tests always coming back normal fsh and LH try not to worry too much you sound normal to me ok shelly x

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 5:33AM
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junegloom

Sassafras,

I think I also had almost all the symptoms you describe,
including the increased tinnitus. I believe that most
were manifestations of underlying anxiety, which led to
more anxiety about dreaded illnesses that might be causing
the symptoms. My symptoms started at the time my periods became irregular (age 47) I reluctantly began a low dose of Prozac, and I think it really does help. It takes a long time, more than one month, to help. You will feel much better if you get the scans to make sure nothing major is going on.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 2:09PM
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karinl

You may very well have menopause plus anxiety, and I'm glad you've found this forum to find some other people to talk to. I would bet there are some local resources that you can tap into, check maybe via your health unit or community centre.

There are also some great self-help books on menopause and probably also about anxiety. Maybe a visit to the library would be therapeutic!

"Manifestations of anxiety" may explain a lot of your symptoms as anxiety has a way of ramping up everything. But the muscle weakness, if that is really happening, might suggest something completely different, and something that could be missed just because its onset is at the same time as your menopause. Not that I want to give you more to worry about, but if you read about them you might be able to rule them out: MS and similar conditions.

I too would take the scans on the basis that anything that is ruled out is one less thing to worry about. And the results can be surprising. My cousin's wife recently was found to have a gall stone that no one had stumbled on while trying to figure out her diverse and long standing digestive problems. It is just all too easy for medical personnel to miss something that is staring them right in the face, especially with menopause to cloud the picture.

KarinL

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 11:27PM
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karinl

Actually there is an "on the other hand" which is that if you are more anxious about the contrast stuff than about any conditions those particular scans might diagnose, then skip them and get your doctor instead to order some tests that address your most pressing concerns, just as you did with your eyes. Do some reading to try to focus your concern on what it really makes sense to worry about. Sometimes anxiety makes sense!

KarinL

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 11:31PM
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junegloom

I should have also mentioned that I had the CT with contrast, and it was
not at all bad. You feel a slight warming in some parts of your body, but
nothing disturbing. Very rarely do people have a negative reaction to the
contrast material, but the medical staff know what to watch for, and know
how to handle it.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 8:51PM
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moonmax

Thank you sassafras45 for the list of possible symptoms of menopause. I just found this forum and am glad I did. I am 55 and my OB/GYN just took me off the pill and it feels like a bomb hit me all of a sudden. First thing that happened a yeast infection that wouldn't go away. Then panic attacks--couldn't breath and chest pains then muscle aches like I've never had. I haven't had a period in 3 months and I asked my physcian if I need to be concerned about birth control. She kind of smiled and said that at my age it was hight unlikely that it would be an issue.

So I guess my question is, should I be using birth control just in case and if so what are the better OTC that I should be looking at? Sounds like a dumb question but anyone I talk to these days looks at me like I have three heads! The way I've been feeling lately, it sure seems like I have three heads!! lol

    Bookmark   November 14, 2009 at 1:23PM
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