Anyone in perimenopause??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 57 Old 12-31-2006, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been looking for the proper forum to post this question... hope I have found it!

Just looking for support in the area of perimenopause... anyone having sleep issues? Digestive issues? Pounding heart? What else? How DO you get through it? What helps? It is annoying to have all of this after being SO well and healthy for the majority of my life!

Granted, I am under HUGE amounts of stress... : getting divorced from my bully of 3 years (have a 2 and 7.5 year old at home), working full time, running a household. BUT, my Midwife does think that I am in perimenopause as well. It is hard to tease out which symptoms are related to that, and which to stress...

Anyone have ideas? Good suppliments?

Thanks so much!
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#2 of 57 Old 12-31-2006, 12:01 PM
 
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I thought I was, doc thought I might be. I'm in my 40's. It was anemia and an ovarian cyst. Chelated iron was a big help.

It sounds like you're coping with an awful lot.
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#3 of 57 Old 12-31-2006, 12:22 PM
 
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I don't know your age, however I do know what you are going through. I spent 10 years in perimenopause - and now in menopause(I am 57) am still having nightsweats.

I used soy and black cohosh with great success for those hotflashes, mood swings, etc. I also take B6 and call it my happy vitamin! Actually I think B6 works better than even anti-depressants.
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#4 of 57 Old 12-31-2006, 01:26 PM
 
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i also was under stress and I dropped a period or two, I thought I was in it..but I went to a acuptuncturist and took chinese herbs and have regulated both. My nurse practioner did not feel I was in it after measuring a few things..

anyway, I would get to a good acupuncturist. I would also find a good homeopath. The homeopath will also help with the stress...

and both will help with all the symptoms. Also if you need to lose weight you might want to begin that process because weight impacts hormones. just a thought...but honestly take all of this bit by bit.. I am sorry about the divorce but I am happy for you that you are about to have a new lease on life. Congratulations and welcome to your new world!

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#5 of 57 Old 12-31-2006, 09:55 PM
 
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Subbing

I can't afford the tests at the doctor's ofice, but since I am 41, I am probably in it.

Sleep isues, digestive issues, heart isues, short cycles, got all of that stuff.
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#6 of 57 Old 12-31-2006, 10:07 PM
 
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I highly recommend Dr. Christiane Northrup's book about menopause:

http://www.drnorthrup.com/bookstore/...product_id=198

or you can browse around her site:

http://www.drnorthrup.com/

she really covers all the bases-giving dietary recommendations for this stage, alternative therapies, suggestions for spiritual healing/preparation, etc. in addition to the medical POV.
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#7 of 57 Old 12-31-2006, 11:20 PM
 
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I'm 50 with my youngest child just being six. I think I'm finally starting, although it's pretty much physical changes like the facial hair and some differences in my periods. I have a terrible time sleeping, though, and feel like I have been relying on using Tylenol PM for the past few years Yikes! I hate to even write that. I am so ready to be done with having periods.

I think this is a good place for a continuing thread, rather than in the tribes. While I spend a bunch of time with younger women, since I still have small kids, I'd like to touch base with mature mamas. And most older women are into personal growth.

I'll definately get the book by Dr. Northrup. I need to start informing myself. But aside, a cute story. Three years ago I was throwing off the covers in a sweat on a nightly basis. I told dh that I thought I was "finally" starting menopause. I was so disappointed to find out that my dd was cranking up the heat on her way to bed every night. So much for my short lived hot flashes.
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#8 of 57 Old 01-01-2007, 07:35 PM
 
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I believe that i am in perimenopause. I have never had PMS and have always been pretty even keel when it comes to moods.No hot flashes or mood swings but i have been having panic attacks while driving on a highway up in mountainous terrain. ( Tough luck for me seeing as i live up on the mountains).It started when i was about 44 ...i am now 46. My periods are irregular. I have heard that panic and anxiety attacks are associated with menopause. Has anyone else had this?
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#9 of 57 Old 01-01-2007, 09:28 PM
 
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Subbing--I'm 44, and I credit perimenopause for most of the minor distractions I've got. Not that anything's that bad, but I believe that hormones have got to be responsible for the following:

•waistline weight gain--I've been thin all my life, and in the last couple years, I've gained a roll of flab around my middle.

•heavy periods--they start slow, and by Day 5, I can hardly leave the house for two days. They end slow. They last 10 days.

•stomach discomfort during ovulation--this is something other than mittelschmerz, that lower abdominal pain (I get that, too). This is more upper GI, and seems triggered by my body preparing to ovulate.

•dizziness the day before my period starts.

•occasional sleep issues, usually tied to stomach/gut activity.

I've got Christiane Northrup's book, and it's got some good stuff. I'm hoping to approach menopause from a mindful and body-respectful perspective. The physical things I mentioned above, for example, are mild as long as I don't dwell on the negative aspects of them. If I could get over my fear of vomiting, for example, I wouldn't stress out over some upper GI sensations that occur every month on day 13 or so. I have to make a conscious effort to think, it's just an energy surge causing this, not the norovirus! Even the two days of heavy bleeding--I am trying to read that as not necessarily a hassle, but a message from my body to slow down on those days, to let my body have the peace and time it needs to cleanse itself. (Believe me, this is a tough perspective to manage if I've got a volunteer gig at school and pile of errands to run, all while hauling along my 20-box of organic cotton tampons!)

I'll visit this thread often. I hope the mods don't move it out of Personal Growth, because I choose to see perimenopause as a growth phenomenon. It's the bridge to bigger and better things--and, I hope, that deeper wisdom we keep hearing about!
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#10 of 57 Old 01-01-2007, 10:53 PM
 
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I'm dealing with heavy bleeding too-unbelievably so-but I know I have fibroids. Am focusing on shrinking them through energy work, yoga, diet modifications, visualization, etc.
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#11 of 57 Old 01-02-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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I was first 'diagnosed' with perimenopause when I was 30. My hormones were so messed up.
Things kind of stalled for a few years but now it seems that it's in full swing again. As a matter of fact, last month I got my period a whole week early. That is VERY unlike me. If anything, I used to have very long cycles (42 days).
I have all the other symptoms.

I'm going to be starting a Yoga-lates class (mix of yoga & pilates). As soon as I can find a bathing suit, I'll be swimming regularly. Going to try to start taking care of my body.
I've been growing large patches of white hair recently too. (I'll be 40 this month). sigh.
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#12 of 57 Old 01-02-2007, 12:37 AM
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Planned Parenthood can provide medical care for very low cost. Might want to get checked out first.

I'm swinging through this now. Hot flashes, whiskers, periods coming at uneven intervals, etc. I'm absolutely going to have to try B6 for my depression issues. Thanks Grandma JJ.

Tylenol PM contains tylenol and Benedryl. That's why it makes you sleepy. Try using sleepytime tea, meditation, chamomile, exercise.

Or, my favorite, the 'sleep fairy'. If nothing else, this is good for a laugh. Get comfy and cozy. Tell yourself that tonight you're going to sleep well. Relax. Imagine a fairy, all in white. Imagine the inside of your brain as being full of everythign that's keeping you awake. The fairy picks up her high powered fire hose and washes away every thought that comes into your brain. (If you're a vaccuum freak, feel free to have her vaccuum instead.) Everytime your brain trys to think of ANYTHING, wash it away.

It may take a few nights to get the hang of it, but it works!

I've heard evening primrose oil works for a lot of symptoms too.
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#13 of 57 Old 01-02-2007, 12:41 AM
 
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The whiskers drive me nuts. I pluck...and the next day they are back...and long! I don't get it. My whole face seems to have a layer of soft fur on it. rofl
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#14 of 57 Old 01-02-2007, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! I'm glad that this thread took off! And glad ya'll think it is a personal growth issue as well... I do! So much to grieve and mourn as I head into this (I am 43 and getting divorced... hoped for more kids, life partner, etc)... but I am also ready to move into a new phase of my life.

I gotta get off to work this AM, but wanted to comment on a few posts...

Evening Primrose is AWESOME! It got rid of the ripping breast pain I was having. I already take B6 for nerve health and also fish oils for memory/mood stuff. i seem to be doing mostly OK in the mood area DESPITE the huge stress I am under with the divorce, full time work, and a 2 and 7 year old at home. I DO get anxiety attacks and insomnia... mostly at hormonal swing times (ovulation) and a few days before bleeding. My cycles are getting LONGER (from 32 to 34 days to 36), I LOST 15 pounds (my sister is losing it too... maybe a genetic thing in our family), I get PMS now for the first time ever, and I have constant loose bowels ( I NEVER,NEVER, NEVER have had digestive issues... that really pisses me off!)

I'll definitely get the book.

Glad I am not alone in all of this!
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#15 of 57 Old 01-02-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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Count me in
I'm 52, and last year had to have a sub-total hysterectomy (ovaries and cervix left intact) because of fibroids, heavy bleeding and chronic anaemia that had plagued me for YEARS.

It's only been in the last few months that I have been experiencing what I can definitely call 'hot flushes' - and have been having sleeping issues: waking up too early and can't get back to sleep. Mind you, I have also undergone a lot of stress in the last few years: divorce, repatriation, phd!!!:

I've been upping my B-vitamin intake, as well as Evening Primrose (great stuff!). I know cutting down on coffee is meant to help, but I just can't give up my first cup of the morning!

I'm glad to have found this thread -- thanks! When I first joined MDC I started a thread enquiring about menopause in Birth and Beyond (well, menopause is part of female growth...and definitely "beyond" birth, ha ha), and was disappointed to be told there was no specific home for menopause on the forum. I was surprised, as women face many issues, not least at this stage in our lives~
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#16 of 57 Old 01-02-2007, 02:09 PM
 
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51 and haven't had a period since August. My biggest problem is the sleep thing. I'm really having problems with that, and have just resigned myself to it. I use the time for meditation and internet without having to worry about neglecting someone.

Dr. Northrup is awesome. I've got a 19 year old who is also reading her for help with menstrual cramps.

And, by the way, I love this thread too.
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#17 of 57 Old 01-02-2007, 03:09 PM
 
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Thank you for this thread and thank you, mods, for recognizing that this is a personal growth issue.

I'm definitely going to pick up the book or reserve it the next time I'm at the library.

I started the anxiety/panic attacks at about 36, but did not know they had anything to do with perimenopause and attributed them various stressers in my life: the bush(TM) administration, 9/11, being excommunicated from my church, losing my child support, being evicted, etc. They seem to have gotten a lot better in the past year or so, with my dd's help in improving my diet and her gentle and loving support, but they are still there.

I don't have much of an appetite and my dental problems make eating many foods painful and difficult, so I have to be careful to eat enough food. When dd was living away from home a bit over a year ago, I accidentally lost so much weight that I had to wear my 13 year old son's clothes. I giggled at the thought that so many rich young women seemed to act like they wanted the body of a thirteen year old boy and I had it, but when I see photographs of how unhealthy I looked, it scares me.

It's nice to know that the sleep issues are normal. I'm going to try the "sleep fairy".

My cycles seem to have shortened (25 days natural, 26 with OTC progesterone creme which I hate) but perhaps I just wasn't as aware of them before I began to TTC for my final baby; dd and I have always cycled together and she recently experienced a 23 day cycle, which is not normal for her at all.

I still ovulate according to my temperatures, but I don't have much CM at all so conception may be impossible, or at least impossible without a lot of high tech procedures which I can't afford.

For the most part, the "drying up" is a positive for me: I don't need to wash my hair more than once a week or every two weeks, don't seem to have as much body odor, and generally feel cleaner and in less need of any "products", although I do still take an interest in my appearance. I appreciate being able to look like "me" instead of what others want me to look like. I have been celibate for over fifteen years so I have no sexual issues and no issues with discomfort resulting from vaginal dryness.

I take 2800 Mg of Evening Primrose Oil during my follicular phase for TTC and was wondering what dose you gals took to help with perimenopause symptoms, and also what dose of B6.

I have a lot of sadness about the might-have-beens and the never-wases and I so wish I could have another chance at raising children and being part of a family. I never did have that romantic heterosexual relationship I dreamed about as a little girl and I find myself becoming increasingly at peace with that. I positively adore my teenagers and am so proud of the people they are becoming even when we don't always get along and when they don't seem to love me very much. They are every bit as bright and clever and fascinating and infinitely beautiful to me as your infants and toddlers are to you.

I just wish there could have been/could still be more of them.

:
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#18 of 57 Old 01-02-2007, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that this thread has taken off!! What a great place to support each other! Hope more people find us! Nursing a tired todler, so off I go... I love reading everyone's posts...
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#19 of 57 Old 01-03-2007, 02:14 AM
 
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I'm grateful for this thread as well.

I'm 40 (not quite used to saying that), and I think I'm in perimenopause. My main symptoms are trouble sleeping, weight on my waist which I never had before, and a fuzzy memory. I've always been such a together person, and now I'm scatter brained and forgetful.

I haven't been taking the fish oil like I used to. Thanks to the reminder on this thread, I'll get back on it and hope it helps my fuzzy brain.

Keep on talking!! I might not remember what you say, but I'm listening.

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#20 of 57 Old 01-03-2007, 05:48 AM
 
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I am 53 and haven't missed a period yet. I was so hoping that I would finally stop when dd started hers last summer but no. The thing I hate most is the memory stuff like forgetting wht I went into a room for. I have occassional sleep problems, no sweats or hot flashes but I get so cold around my period. Especially my feet and I just hate being cold! The most positive thing for me is that after years of excruciating periods they are more often than not pretty pain free. I was using wild yam cream for a while and it really helped but I am not sure about the use of any hormones so I stopped.

I was feeling a bit old here with all these 20 something new mums so it is nice to meet all of you!
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#21 of 57 Old 01-03-2007, 10:02 AM
 
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Have been wondering how much of all of this was due to something beyond my control ...




Sleep issues, wow. Never occurred to me that they were hormonal. Just thought they were my own meshugas (screwiness) ...


And have been amazed, have been getting AF regularly for the first time in a decade (pregnant and nursing for b'H the last nine-plus years continuously, so haven't had them, really) and they've been heavy heavy heavy.




And we won't talk about the weight gain.




My first child was born when I was 35 ... but my mom was done with all her kids and had a hysterectomy already in her 20s, so no clue what is normal in my family history, you know?




Glad to have the company here.
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#22 of 57 Old 01-03-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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I find the info in this thread interesting.

I am 35 years old and have been having some odd things lately and wondering if I am indeed in perimenopause.

My mom started menopause in her thirties so I am not surprised if I am on the same path.

I am progressively becoming more bothered by the cold. My periods are now coming every 22 days or so. My actual periods are odd - very heavy in the beginning and they they stop for two days and then start up again. The whole process lasts about 10 days. Drives me crazy!

I am also not sleeping as well. I am more tired during the day but not sure if it is due to not sleeping well at night. My skin is very dry and itchy. And, I am putting on weight in my mid-section only.

Could it be???

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#23 of 57 Old 01-03-2007, 07:16 PM
 
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Yeah, why not. Join the club.



I forgot to kvetch about the incontinence in the last post. So. Do kegels help with pre-menopausal incontinence?
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#24 of 57 Old 01-03-2007, 07:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post
Yeah, why not. Join the club.



I forgot to kvetch about the incontinence in the last post. So. Do kegels help with pre-menopausal incontinence?
Incontinence??? Crap, I have that too....hmmm...now I am really wondering. I hate it when I sneeze or cough. Damn leaky body!

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#25 of 57 Old 01-03-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by melissabb View Post
Incontinence??? Crap, I have that too....hmmm...now I am really wondering. I hate it when I sneeze or cough. Damn leaky body!
So, how do you know if your incontinence is just related to having been pregnant or if it's really perimenopause? I did not have incontinence until I had my babies and now it isn't going away...
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#26 of 57 Old 01-04-2007, 09:17 AM
 
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Well, my youngest baby is b'H 2yo and this incontinence thing really only started a few months ago.
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#27 of 57 Old 01-04-2007, 10:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by merpk View Post
Well, my youngest baby is b'H 2yo and this incontinence thing really only started a few months ago.

Yep, me too. I didn't have it before. Also, both of my kids were by c-section. Not sure if that matters in the incontinence thing.

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#28 of 57 Old 01-04-2007, 12:03 PM
 
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I saw on a website (not sure if it was Dr. Northrup's ... thanks for the link to the PP ... or the Mayo Clinic) that the incontinence is due to declining vaginal (and other) tissue elasticity.

So maybe kegels would be helpful ...

Sigh. Didn't do 'em when I was pregnant, either.
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#29 of 57 Old 01-04-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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Well, now I'm starting to think that I very well might be starting perimenopause. I thought I was pg, AF had been MIA for a wk, very unusual for me, since I am like clockwork. Plus, I had a lot of pg symptoms. I feel like an idiot. I actually asked my ob for a hcg test today, went and got blood drawn, of course, typical luck of mine, AF showed up during the 15 min drive home! Can you believe it? I'm so embarrassed, my doc must think I'm a nut, when he see's my lab results. Although I wonder how many other times he has women do the same thing... think they are pg, but they are actually hitting menopause.

My mom started perimenopause in her early 30's, and I have always been afraid I would follow in her footsteps, and it's starting to look like it. According to the list of, "symptoms" I've had many of those symptoms ever since I was a teenager, and they have just continued to get worse through my 20's and now my 30's. The incontinence thing started when I was pg with my oldest son and never went away. I have kind of done some kegel exercises, but haven't been very stringent about it. I woke up in nightsweats the every night for the past 2 wks and thought it was b/c I was pg. Ugh, looks like it is all downhill from here on out, and I was thinking I'd like to get pregnant one more time.
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#30 of 57 Old 01-04-2007, 02:25 PM
 
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Mags, as far as wanting to get pregnant one more time, just look at all the fertility on this thread! We have several moms of young toddlers here. Perimenopause means that our fertility is starting to shut down, not that it's completely over.

Come lurk here

I have a lot of extenuating circumstances besides my age that are making this so hard for me. However, I had a nice noticeable temp dip this morning which usually precedes ovulation and it happened right on schedule so I don't think this is an anovulatory cycle.

Of course it's not looking all that good as far as co-ordinating things with the donor, whereas last cycle I had all my ducks in a row and then did't ovulate.

:

I've had the stress incontinence thing for awhile too and also need to find a bathroom every hour or so, which tends to curtail my activities a bit and makes me stay home when I'd rather be out and about. Cutting back (attempting to quit) caffeine has helped.
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