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Yay for Menopause

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  • keodell1966keodell1966 Posts: 131Member Member Posts: 131Member Member
    I'm 53. Wondering when this stage of life will start. Periods are normal, ugh!!! I want some benefit here.
  • singingfluteladysingingflutelady Posts: 8,614Member Member Posts: 8,614Member Member
    I'm not sure of my status (I'm 43). I'm on a med that has a side effect of raising your prolactin levels so my hormones are messed up plus I'm quite underweight. I haven't had my period since january. I was regular before starting this med. I don't have any other menopause symptoms. I'm not missing my period at all.
  • beckyrplbeckyrpl Posts: 53Member Member Posts: 53Member Member
    Lydia, I'm so sorry! I hope when you get 'there', your chronic migraines go away. Mine did, and I can't tell you what a relief it's been!
  • SummerSkierSummerSkier Posts: 847Member, Premium Member Posts: 847Member, Premium Member
    I'm not sure of my status (I'm 43). I'm on a med that has a side effect of raising your prolactin levels so my hormones are messed up plus I'm quite underweight. I haven't had my period since january. I was regular before starting this med. I don't have any other menopause symptoms. I'm not missing my period at all.

    I think what you have is called amenorrhea where women without enough fat or under a lot of stress lose their period. It's not really menopause but some of the side effects (hair brittleness, bone brittleness etc) can be similar.
  • gothchiqgothchiq Posts: 4,192Member Member Posts: 4,192Member Member
    I was fully paused by 48, will be 51 next month. Even with HRT there are hot flashes. I would really like these blasted things to go away and don't know if they ever will.

    I was told red clover extract and/or evening primrose oil were helpful for some people waking up at night hot and sweaty. Worth a shot. Check with doctor first in case of medication interactions. Also keep a fan going in the bedroom. If the air isn't moving, that makes it worse.

    I am also unhappy about the vanishing libido. I'm married, so this is bad. I talked to the doctor and she's kind of at a loss about it. She thinks I'm under too much stress. Sure, but that isn't going to change. I can't be waiting for that to magically go away.

    If there's anything that really does bug me about all this, it's the collagen loss. Loose skin. BLAH.
  • whmscllwhmscll Posts: 2,124Member Member Posts: 2,124Member Member
    I feel extremely lucky, I have only had night sweats twice and while I had frequent hot flashes my first 2 years, they were never the sweat-dripping-down-your-face kind. My hot flashes are less frequent now, yay. I did find it more comfortable to put a wool mattress cover on my bed; they help regulate your body temp. in both winter and summer. I have waterproof mattress covers on the beds in the guest bedrooms for the young grandchildren mostly) and I cannot sleep on those, they trap heat horribly.
  • crystalwelshrobertscrystalwelshroberts Posts: 146Member Member Posts: 146Member Member
    I'm gonna need someone to send me a postcard or something to give me a heads up that menopause is arriving. I had a uterine ablation 4+ years ago, so I don't get periods anymore. Are hot flashes going to be the first sign? Or something else? I'm 46, so I'm thinking it's not too many years away at this point.


    ohhh, I'm pretty sure you will know without a postcard! I had an ablation too. Prior to that I never really had PMS or hormone swings during my years with a period... so as soon as the hot flashes came, no sleeping, and my belly expanded – my world turned upside down. It is worse for me when I drink wine (just can't do it right now) and I also notice eating chocolate can also bring on a flash. I'm 52 now and it started 4 years ago. (My sisters journey lasted 8 years.)

    Meditation helps me a ton! When I can't sleep – I meditate. Insight Timer is a great app for guided meditations if you are new to meditation. When I flash – I strip then meditate. It really helps me calm 'the thought storm' I make up during this natural menopause process.

    One thing we can all count on for sure. This too shall pass <3
  • rhtexasgalrhtexasgal Posts: 534Member Member Posts: 534Member Member
    I am 47 in have been in perimenopause for about 2 years for sure! It truly stinks when my body craves a hot bath because it hurts so bad and then you get in and think you are going to die of heat stroke because the bath triggers hot flashes! Ugh ...

    I am not a good candidate for HRT so i am taking a combination of supplements that seem to work with night sweats and hot flashes. I take Source Naturals "Hot Flash" supplement. It has black cohosh and other stuff in it. I pair it with maca root and DHEA.

    My biggest peeve is that even though I eat at maintenance or I leave a surplus of calories at the end of the day (enough often times to technically lose half a pound a week), it is all I can do to maintain my weight. Forget losing the belly and newly popped out love handles (that I lost for several years). I continue to weigh my food and overestimate calories as a safety buffer and have significantly increased my weight lifting. My body shape is changing for the better, except for that meno-pot belly.
  • aries68mcaries68mc Posts: 43Member Member Posts: 43Member Member
    51 here, hadn't had a period since January then last week had it very light for several days, really not much (compared to always being pretty heavy before). Did have a little cramping and was hungrier than normal. Haven't really had any hot flashes yet. Heck, at work I use a space heater all year round because my office is so cold!
  • ythannahythannah Posts: 2,741Member Member Posts: 2,741Member Member
    I'm gonna need someone to send me a postcard or something to give me a heads up that menopause is arriving. I had a uterine ablation 4+ years ago, so I don't get periods anymore. Are hot flashes going to be the first sign? Or something else? I'm 46, so I'm thinking it's not too many years away at this point.

    I had a hysterectomy at age 33 so it was a mystery to me too. I had my first hot flash ever at the lab waiting for a blood test for... you guessed it... menopause (FSH level). I'm guessing it was peri at that point though because I would get hot flashes for a while, then they'd stop for months, and resume.

    Looking back, I think my first real symptom was developing a sudden intolerance to caffeine. But, like periods and pregnancies and everything else, women's experience of menopause can be quite different. There are women who NEVER get a hot flash. Lucky them. :|
  • SummerSkierSummerSkier Posts: 847Member, Premium Member Posts: 847Member, Premium Member
    So unless you have ever had a hot flash at night - i e night sweat - it is difficult to understand just how nasty they are. It's like your entire body is covered with a film sometimes even you face. gross. And when I had the flu, it just intensified then to the point where I had to sleep wrapped up in a bath towel. literally. I thought my water bed tubes had sprung a leak the first time.

    Anyway, enough gory details. What I really want to know is what the mechanism is that triggers these "hot" flashes. I do understand that it is the lack of hormones/ estrogen specific which makes our bodies unable to adjust their thermostats correctly, but I would like to know on a more scientific level what actually triggers them. It has to be a chemical thing. Most of them occur for NO OBVIOUS REASON out of the blue. But there must be some chemical thing going on which triggers our bodies to go off the rail? I do know that when I was losing weight and eating at a deficit (less food at nighttime) that they went almost completely away but in maintenance they are back. So it has something to do with the way our body releases energy perhaps.

    And I know that if I google it I will get a million supplements which are claimed to work miracles or special sheets or pillows etc. I am more interested in what it is about the lack of hormones that makes our thermostats broken and what the reaction is. Surely some really smart women must be able to figure that out and come up with something to mitigate that reaction? surely??????!!!!

    inquiring minds.
  • cbstewart88cbstewart88 Posts: 403Member Member Posts: 403Member Member
    For some reason I have yet to fathom, I coasted through menopause. One day I had my period, then: DONE!!! For good. No fuss, no muss. That was about 14 years ago. I still have the last half-gone package of "panti-liners" in the top drawer of my dresser. Once in a while I look at them and just grin smugly. I'm sure there is probably a nest of spiders in that package now...
  • Anna28518Anna28518 Posts: 470Member Member Posts: 470Member Member
    beckyrpl wrote: »
    Welcome to 'the club'! I'm 3 years into menopause. Not gonna lie, the hot flashes were &!*#$ - but I'm loving my curse-free life! No constantly checking my purse to make sure I'm 'packing', no more PMS every month, no more migraines! Yep, things have 'shifted' a bit on my body, but in the realm of things, it's all good!

    This!
    I feel so much better being on the other side (at 48), the occasional hot flash or night sweats are nothing compared to all the other hassle I had before.
    Feeling better than ever!
    edited August 30
  • shewhoismanyshewhoismany Posts: 125Member Member Posts: 125Member Member
    @SummerSkier I could only hit the like button once or I would have banged it a million times.

    We could blame the patriarchy's overwhelming interest in the penis and its dysfunctions eating up research dollars but that would be mean. Actually, just about every reason I could think of for this not being a stronger area of research was mean.
  • kimny72kimny72 Posts: 13,750Member Member Posts: 13,750Member Member
    @SummerSkier I could only hit the like button once or I would have banged it a million times.

    We could blame the patriarchy's overwhelming interest in the penis and its dysfunctions eating up research dollars but that would be mean. Actually, just about every reason I could think of for this not being a stronger area of research was mean.

    Yeah, the sad fact is there has been so little research done. The old paradigm was that women were left out of studies because our hormones would mess with the results, like knowing how our hormones mess with OUR results wouldn't be useful? But there's always been this idea (myth I'd bet) that female hormones are unpredictable and would make any study misleading. We don't really have good settled info on any of the stages - monthly cycles, PMS, miscarriages, maternal fatalities, infertility, menopause.

    With more women in science and healthcare now, I'm not sure why this isn't changing more dramatically, unless it's just the wheels of change turning slowly. I was hoping there'd be more progress made by the time I got here, but at 46 I'm thinking it will be sooner rather than later, and it's still a puzzle best explained by witches and the phases of the moon it seems :wink:

    As a data geek, I'd really love to have some actual data to cling to, and my mom doesn't remember when she started or specifics about anything, so it will be a mysterious adventure for me all the way!
    edited August 30
  • rhtexasgalrhtexasgal Posts: 534Member Member Posts: 534Member Member
    For some reason I have yet to fathom, I coasted through menopause. One day I had my period, then: DONE!!! For good. No fuss, no muss. That was about 14 years ago. I still have the last half-gone package of "panti-liners" in the top drawer of my dresser. Once in a while I look at them and just grin smugly. I'm sure there is probably a nest of spiders in that package now...

    Ahhh ... now you are just bragging! LOL j/k Truly, I am envious of this. My mom was the same way but me? Nope!
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 11,876Member Member Posts: 11,876Member Member
    So unless you have ever had a hot flash at night - i e night sweat - it is difficult to understand just how nasty they are. It's like your entire body is covered with a film sometimes even you face. gross. And when I had the flu, it just intensified then to the point where I had to sleep wrapped up in a bath towel. literally. I thought my water bed tubes had sprung a leak the first time.

    Anyway, enough gory details. What I really want to know is what the mechanism is that triggers these "hot" flashes. I do understand that it is the lack of hormones/ estrogen specific which makes our bodies unable to adjust their thermostats correctly, but I would like to know on a more scientific level what actually triggers them. It has to be a chemical thing. Most of them occur for NO OBVIOUS REASON out of the blue. But there must be some chemical thing going on which triggers our bodies to go off the rail? I do know that when I was losing weight and eating at a deficit (less food at nighttime) that they went almost completely away but in maintenance they are back. So it has something to do with the way our body releases energy perhaps.

    And I know that if I google it I will get a million supplements which are claimed to work miracles or special sheets or pillows etc. I am more interested in what it is about the lack of hormones that makes our thermostats broken and what the reaction is. Surely some really smart women must be able to figure that out and come up with something to mitigate that reaction? surely??????!!!!

    inquiring minds.

    There's been some research in the "quality of life for estrogen receptor positive women's cancer survivors" sector, but last time I read up on it, there was not yet a definitive answer about what exactly in the brain was being triggered (it's been a few years since the reading).

    It's of interest there because some women go into a sort of mega-menopause after the cancer treatment: They are either already in menopause, or are abruptly put into menopause (by chemotherapy or surgical/hormonal treatments for the cancer (for those who care about the tech, by "hormonal treatments" here, I mean things like Lupron that shut down the ovaries chemically)). Then, once menopause is confirmed, additional drugs are commonly used to reduce the normal ancillary production of estrogen by the adrenals and fat cells (here, talking mainly about aromatase inhibiters like arimidex among others; Tamoxifen and kin can also increase some menopause-like symptoms, but by a different mechanism than blocking endogenous estrogen production).

    The combination tends to magnify the normal symptoms of menopause.

    On the breast cancer/ovarian cancer support sites, you may find quite a bit of practical advice about combatting menopausal symptoms, through means other than estrogen HRT, which is obviously contraindicated for this group. It includes drug strategies, various combinations of supplements, herbals (which often are phytoestrogens, so that's a little fraught: Mechanism of action for the specific phytoestrogen matters) and just plain practical suggestions for moderating the symptoms.

    Just my understanding as a non-scientist, from about an 8 year course of "been there, done that" ;) , including being trained as peer support for other survivors.
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