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Am I dying or is it menopause?

Posted by junegloom (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 5, 09 at 1:15

I see a common theme in many of these posts. Lots of us have terrible symptoms and the medical community can't help us. My symptoms began last year. I had weeks of nausea and diarrhea followed by terrible dizziness, headaches,tingling on one side, throbbing pulse, crushing bouts of depression and anxiety. It would come and go for weeks at a time. I saw a urologist, neurologist, two ENT's, and a gynecologist. Everything was scanned, blood was tested and I was declared 100% healthy even though I was so sick I couldn't function. I kept thinking they must be missing something. I started on antidepressants and a hormone(progestin only) and gradually felt better for almost a year. Then in June it all started over again, except the dizziness is not quite as bad this time. I'm chucking the hormone pills because they're obviously not helping. But I've started calling the doctors again and see myself heading for the same pattern of desperately hoping they can help me. I keep thinking they must be missing something, how can I feel this bad and not be dying? It has really helped me to read these posts and see that I'm not alone, and hopefully not dying of some mysterious unidentified disease.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Am I dying or is it menopause?

Boy do I know how you feel!

I'm having a terrible time. Started HRT in Marh, then weaned off on third month as I was just so fearful of side effects only to go back on after a month. I've noticed improvement in my meno symptoms but my migraines returned with a vengence & dizzy spells which I attribute to the hrt. I had such a doozy today I had to leave work and have 3 midrins and it's still kinda there. Awful. Your damned if you do & damned if you dont with the HRT.

I'm so worried I'm going to have a stroke I'm thinking of weaning off again. I'm on lowest dose of prempro.

Best to you June, I know how you feel. If I could just tough it out for 4-5 yr.s like my mother did I'd be okay. But I feel so out of sorts...

~Cat


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RE: Am I dying or is it menopause?

Hi ladies:

catlettuce:
I was on HRT for a few months to get over severe hot flashes and they never did much for me. I got off them and started eating and drinking soy products. They have soy nuts--I liked the barbeque-- that I had for snacks and I drank chocolate soy milk and included tofu. Stuck a piece in the center of my burgers and mixed it in with other dishes. It doesn't have much taste so anything with good flavor disguises it. That got me over the hump and did more than anything for my menopause symptoms.

junegloom:
Have you had yourself tested for food allergies. They can cause many of your symptoms. The depression and anxiety could be just because you feel bad and no one can find anything wrong and the headaches could be made worse for the same reason, plus your blood pressure probably goes up when you have these attacks.

Try keeping a log of everything you eat and see if you ate anything different when you have an attack.

Just my opinion but it is worth a try. I wish you both well


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RE: Am I dying or is it menopause?

Cat,
I did the same thing initially with the hormone pills; started them then had second doubts and stopped for a week before starting up again. My doctor told me it takes about 3 months to adapt to hormone medications, so I was too impatient. I decided that I would only take them for one year to minimize risks, and since my symptoms returned while I was taking the pills it was an easy decision to stop them (it's been just about 1 year). Both my mother and sister breezed through menopause without a single complaint, so I'm doing something wrong.

Oilpainter,
I like the idea of keeping a journal of foods. I already keep a journal for medications, so it will be easy to add a few sentences about daily consumption. I was awaiting a gastroenterologist referral last year when my symptoms lifted, but I hadn't considered allergy. I think shifting to a more vegetarian/soy rich diet is worth a try. I've read that in Japan it is almost unheard of for women to have trouble with menopause, and they attribute it to a soy rich diet. Trader Joe's here I come!

Hope everyone is coping, looking forward to fall and cooler weather...


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RE: Am I dying or is it menopause?

Junegloom........so sorry its been so difficult for you.
I am totally convinced that there are some of us who are so dependent on our special mixture of our hormones that when they start changing, it has major, MAJOR affects on us.
I went through hell in perimenopause. I still haven't completely recovered and doubt I ever will.
But it IS definitely better.
I'm 59 and haven't had a period in about 4 years, but I swear to god that I'm still fluctuating. In fact, last night I had a migraine aura for the first time in about 6 months. I used to have alot of horrible migraines......especially during perimenopause, but now I only get the visual part and very mild headaches. But getting the aura at all tells me my hormones are still fluctuating. And the several times this has happened to me, for several weeks beforehand I had unexplanable pain, fatigue, anxiety, etc., etc. So I'm positive its the fluctuating hormones doing this.
I had every test in the book during perimenopause.....including heavy metals, neuro testing for M.S., test for Lyme disease, etc., etc. Every dang test was always normal........yet I felt like I was dying. I saw rheumatologists, ENTs, Internists, Infectious Disease docs, OB/GYNs, GI docs, neuro docs.........I was positive there was something seriously wrong with me!

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Nothing in particular helped. I was on HRT for 5 years, but I honestly felt that it made things worse. It gave me GERD pretty bad.
If you feel that you've really ruled out anything else, then you just have to carve your way through the next few years........trying different things that help.
I was sooooooooooo lucky in that I didn't have to work at a job through this. Although I did raise 2 children through it and it was very, very hard.
You'll find things that will get you through. Alot of it is trial and error. I have heard that some of the antidepressants work well for the pain.
Good luck to you! You're definitely not alone in this!


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RE: Am I dying or is it menopause?

Catherinet... May I ask you about your auras? Did they start out as just lightning flashes? Mine have turned really nasty here latley. I cannot see at all when these occur. ( Double vision? ) I used to be able to close one eye and see but not anymore.. Is this what you experienced?


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RE: Am I dying or is it menopause?

Hi figittts,
I've had migraine auras since I was about 22. They got pretty bad during perimenopause. Mine are very colorful jagged flashing lines. They are in the same spot in both eyes. And yes, sometimes it seems like I can't see at all.
They used to totally freak me out, but I learned that they usually only last 20 minutes. they used to be followed by horrendous headaches, but now there's either no headache or its very mild.
I was on Maxalt for awhile and it would keep the horrible headache from happening.
I was put on a beta blocker, which got rid of all of them.
Yes, they are very scary!
Can you figure out if anything in particular causes them, or if they occur at a certain time of the month?


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RE: Am I dying or is it menopause?

As far as I can tell they just happen when they want. There is no pattern to them. My eye doctor called then migraine auras without the headache at first then all of a sudden wham there was the headache. The double vision part is what scares me so badley. I used to be able to close one eye and go on about my day until it went away but no when one comes on strong I cannot even do that and see. It is total double vision. both eyes. so why do they use a beta blocker? and what is it a beta blocker lol


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RE: Am I dying or is it menopause?

Hi figittts,
A beta blocker is a drug that blocks the various beta receptors in our blood vessels. They are in our arteries in our brain and also in our hearts. (I'm no expert, so I'm just saying what little I know). When something activates our beta receptors, it causes our vessels to constrict, our BP and heartrate to rise.
There's something about the beta blocker that prevents the spasming of blood vessels in our head, which is what causes the aura and the migraine. Supposedly, we get auras because the vessel spasm is in the vicinity of our optic nerve.
Beta blockers are not without their side-effects.......like listlessness, lack of energy, motivation and for those who already have low blood pressure, it can make you feel dizzy.
I'm on the drug Toprol XL and take just a smidgen of it. I'm not sure it keeps me from having migraines now, since the headaches really started easing up when the further away I got from having periods. I have the auras about every 6 months now, with just a very mild headache.
How long have you had them? I'm almost afraid to say this, in case your's just started up, but they say that if you've had them your whole life, you tend to get over them during menopause. But if they just started up at menopause, then you're likely to keep them. That happened to my sister-in-law. she's on Topamax. I think it made her gain weight.......but most drugs that affect the brain do.
You may have to try several different meds for migraines, until you find one that works.
Are yours around the time of your period (or when your period usually is)?
Look up Migraines on the internet and you'll find places that tell you things to modify, to help reduce your liklihood of getting migraines. when mine were really bad, I had to give up chocolate, nuts, MSG, and others. And I absolutely positively couldn't eat ANYTHING after 6:30 in the evening, or it would cause a migraine in the morning.
I've heard that people with sleep apnea can get migraines, and once they start using CPAP, their headaches improve.


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RE: Am I dying or is it menopause?

I dont think I have sleep apnea. I sleep fairly well. Well at least until this crap all started that is. My auras started in feb of this year. They did not have headaches until just recently tho. and as far as the predictability of them well the only thing i can track on them is that if I am stressed or dont get enough rest it seems to happen more often than not. One bad attack one evening and two really really bad ones in the mornings so far. thank you for your info I really appreciate all your help.


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RE: Am I dying or is it menopause?

its a terrible time, i have suffered ten years now, well its never really gone away, what with pms, then post natal depression, now the menapause, my worst sympton is not been able to sleep, i am on sleeping tablets, and i do sleep now, but ive heard its not good to be on them long term then i get depression because of the lack of sleep, my quality of life is zero, i cant work, as i cannot cope, now i have my mum to look after who has dementia ,my grandmother took her own life before i was born, and i feel that in the twenty first century they have not helped women enough, you are on your own to sort the problem out


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RE: Am I dying or is it menopause?

its a terrible time, i have suffered ten years now, well its never really gone away, what with pms, then post natal depression, now the menapause, my worst sympton is not been able to sleep, i am on sleeping tablets, and i do sleep now, but ive heard its not good to be on them long term then i get depression because of the lack of sleep, my quality of life is zero, i cant work, as i cannot cope, now i have my mum to look after who has dementia ,my grandmother took her own life before i was born, and i feel that in the twenty first century they have not helped women enough, you are on your own to sort the problem out


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RE: Am I dying or is it menopause?

Please try a homeopath, try something called sepia, or go and do a full homeopathic test.


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