Are you menopausal? Do you feel like a hypochondriac?

  1. I'm 51 y/o. I've had 1 period in the past year. I go for a while and feel fine and then I go for a while and feel like I've got every aliment there is. I'm in that situation now.

    For the past 2 weeks I've had nagging headaches, cramps, diarrhea, nausea, night sweats, fatique, bloating, and body aches. None of them bad enough to say I'm actually sick but bad enough to make me feel bad day after day. I feel like it's all hormonal. I've got the zits in my nose and tender breasts like I used to get before a period. This is making me crazy!

    I've been taking a low dose of Prempro for the past 18 mo's. It apparently isn't enough anymore to help me through these symptoms but I don't want to increase the dose.

    Am I crazy? A hypochondriac? Anyone else going through this?
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    Oy, I feel for you. I spent 10 years going through the change.

    I finally just stopped the low dose pill I was on and, zap! Never a period again. I'd talk to your practitioner.

    The pill helped me through the last couple of years and then, the last few months, I stopped menstruating and realized it was time to become a beard-stroking menopausal crone. It's a good fit.
  4. by   Sailingshoes
    I work with a couple of nurses with similar complaints. They have had very good success with Cymbalta (anti-depressant). No, they are not depressed but the rx reduces their menopausal s&s. we work in a cancer center where some women are forced into early menopause so docs prescribe it for them- Pts that could not get a decent nights sleep with so many hot flashes. Maybe this would help you. good luck.
  5. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I've been menopausal (maybe by now postmenopausal?) since 1979. Managing symptoms while balancing risks is heady business.

    The last thing you need complicating that is feeling like you are a hypochondriac.

    Woman to woman, it sounds to me like you don't have a trusting working relationship with your physician.

    You either need to get your doc more engaged in your symptoms and concerns, or you need a new doc.

    No offense to any males reading this post, but I have had much better luck communicating with female physicians, even if they are too young to have experienced menopause yet.

    Good luck with this.... email me if you like, I am uneasy about giving medical advice, even if it is just my own experience, on a thread, but I'll share what I've learned through my own trial and error, off site.
  6. by   DutchgirlRN
    Thanks guys. I appreciate the support. (((HUGS)))

    I am not looking for any medical advice just validation that these mulitiple symptoms are menopausal, that I'm not the only one experiencing this, that I'm not alone in this.

    I have discussed this with my female doctor. She is willing to increase my hormone dose but I'm reluctant. She feels I'm better off on a lower dose but feels increasing the dose would help ease the symptoms considerably. I am already on an antidepressant. I would be certifiable if I wasn't. Before starting Prempro my FSH (?) level was 0.1. Basically "zero", considered post-menopausal. The longest I've gone in the past 3 years, is 8 mo's without a period.

    I know it has to be a year to be considered actually through with menopause. Do all these symtoms go away once a woman is actually post-menopausal?

    I'm not invalidating surgery or chemically induced menopause by any means (I so feel for you guys) I'm referring to a woman's natural process of shutting down the baby factory.
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Mar 25, '07
  7. by   SuesquatchRN
    They go away in time. I'm post for three years now and only rarely experience a night flash. Absolutely never get cramping or the rest of it anymore.

    Going off the hormones stopped my periods. They were artificially prolonging my menses.
  8. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from Suesquatch
    They go away in time. I'm post for three years now and only rarely experience a night flash. Absolutely never get cramping or the rest of it anymore.

    Going off the hormones stopped my periods. They were artificially prolonging my menses.
    That's very interesting that you say that. Hum...definately something to think about. I read your post to dh and he said "I think she's got something there, maybe those low dose hormones are keeping you in a constant idle mode, not letting you shut down the hormones for good". Thanks!

    (hey...I can always go back on them...what the heck) Thanks again!
  9. by   SuesquatchRN
    You're welcome.



    When I went off there were a few very unpleasant months of constant cramps and feeling as if it were the day before my period and then, voila! Nuthin' 'cept hot flashes and they diminished within the year.
  10. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    She is willing to increase my hormone dose but I'm reluctant. She feels I'm better off on a lower dose but feels increasing the dose would help ease the symptoms considerably.
    Sounds like you have a very good doc, and my experience was that when I took hormone replacement I did not have symptoms. Of course when I took them orally, I would forget, then remember, then forget again, and for me, that pattern brought back a lot of the "sensitive skin" (okay, acne) that I had had in my twenties. I went to the 30 day injectible, and that worked great (only had to remember once in 30 days or so).

    But then I got concerned about the side effects, breast issues, all that stuff. And I figured, I'm over fifty, maybe it is time to just let it go. So I did.

    The one thing no one told me about was the atrophy. I thought I had a mild cystitis going! So now I use a cream locally (don't remember to use it as often as prescribed, but I don't have the burning, etc. so I guess it is enough). And I am not taking systemic HRT, which is what I want, what works for me.

    And oh, yeah, what you are describing sounds like menopause to me, it was what I experienced, and you definitely are not alone! It does get better. It seemed to me a little more difficult just quitting altogether, but the faster I withdrew the HRT, the soonerthe s/s of menopause relaxed. Now I just have the urge to jump into a cold shower about once every four or five months, if that.

    Glad you shared here--it is a sisterhood thing.
  11. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from chris_at_lucas_RN
    And I am not taking systemic HRT, which is what I want, what works for me.

    And oh, yeah, what you are describing sounds like menopause to me, it was what I experienced, and you definitely are not alone! It does get better. It seemed to me a little more difficult just quitting altogether, but the faster I withdrew the HRT, the sooner s/s of menopause relaxed. Now I just have the urge to jump into a cold shower about once every four or five months, if that.

    Glad you shared here--it is a sisterhood thing.
    Thanks Chris for sharing. It is a sisterhood thing. I have often said it's amazing how many of our problems begin with men, menstruation, menopause, mental breakdown.....
  12. by   VivaLasViejas
    There is nothing you all have described that I myself haven't felt at some point during the last 5-7 years. I've chosen to go through this 'au naturel', so to speak, and all I can say is it DOES get better. I don't have half the number of hot flashes or the intensity of mood swings that I did in my early 40s; of course, I haven't had anything approximating a period since last June, so I suspect I'm nearing menopause anyway. But I'm here to say that it's NOT all in your head, and that you're NOT a hypochondriac!!

    Welcome to the sisterhood!!
  13. by   DutchgirlRN
    Hey Girlie! Congratulations on G-Baby # 3! Any photo's on this site?

    I have decided to cut down to 1/2 a prempro a day for a couple of weeks and then 1/2 every other day and then every 3rd day, etc....I'm basically chicken. I remember all too well how bad the mood swings were.
  14. by   Roy Fokker
    *Taking notes on how to help future wife survive men and menopause... whilst busy observing the trends some women might go through at menopause*

    cheers,

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