View Full Version : Menopause - Anyone going through it? How long will I be miserable for?

Nov. 26, 2009, 10:19 AM
Anyone else entering the wonderful state of Menopause? :(

Beside constant fatigue, and I mean constant, but you can't sleep because you're so freaking hot, what else can we expect?

Nov. 26, 2009, 11:08 AM
I've been suffering for about 5 years now.

Lots of things trigger hot flashes, and natch, they are all things I like...caffeine, chocolate, wine, spicy foods...:cry: you have to find out what triggers yours and avoid/cut back wherever possible.

I keep a fan going next to the bed so I can throw off the covers and be cooled by the breeze, also keep water on the nightstand, drinking cold water helps.

NONE of the herbal remedies have worked for me.

I'm hoping it all goes away soon.

Nov. 26, 2009, 11:15 AM
No problems as of yet but I'll warn ya, pick your Doc carefully. :cool: In the past month I've talked w/ two GF's of mine (in different parts of the country) who were having horrible night sweats preventing them from getting any sleep. Both had seen their young gyn's and both were offered anti-depressants over hormone replacements. :o Both gals said "I'm not depressed, I CAN'T SLEEP!". They were not offered hormone replacement as a treatment option. Neither one has health risk- don't smoke, are in shape, etc.

So, I asked a GF who has been an OB/GYN for 20 years "what is going on with the young doc's and how they help women manage menopause these days?" She said anti-depressants do help manage menopause and the problem my friends might have encountered is that their doc's don't feel the risk of hormone replacement is worth it. She pointed out that while HR raises slightly the risk of certain cancers it REDUCES measureably the risk for colon cancer. She said it comes down to patient education and letting the patient decide what risk they want to take. :)

So, if your Doc has been in practice say 10 years or less you might deal with something like this. :sadsmile:

Mtn trails
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:22 AM
I've been going through it for about a year. Starts with the night sweats and progresses from there. I did start an herbal pill pack from GNC but those pills are so freaking huge I stopped taking them. Didn't notice much difference anyway. I usually have about 3-4 "power surges" during the day while at work and less (for some reason) while I'm home. I don't feel fatigued unless it's from lack of sleep. It's rare that I can actually sleep through the night and wake up at a normal time instead of 4:00 am. Sucks.

Nov. 26, 2009, 11:31 AM
My prime time for hot flashes is of course when I've hiked across campus and just stood up in front of the class. Then I can feel it coming, and Whoop! there it is - the red spreads up from my chest to the top of my head, and the sweat starts pouring off me, soaking my shirt and my pants waist.

It's terribly embarrassing, but my students are now used to it, and we all laugh about it when it happens. I hate the nighttime sweats, and the fact that I'm only 43. I'm still getting my period, too, so it's hardly fair. Everything is all wonky and discombobulated, and I have a Dr.'s appointment next month to talk to them about it. I took the pill for a while but it made my migraines just unbearable, and I'm afraid that hormone therapy would do the same. So I'm not sure what I'm going to do, besides grin and bear it. I take antidepressants, which does help, although not with the hot flashes. It makes me more bearable to be around, though.

Nov. 26, 2009, 11:35 AM
I have chemo induced menopause, extra special sucky.
I haven't slept through the night for almost two years. When I do, it is such a difference! It is getting a little more managable. But I have to keep the room COLD! I went to an Event last weekend and, sharing a room, could not get it cold enough. So I didn't sleep the night before a competition, then had to drive home 2 1/2 hours, yuck.
My understanding is it is risky for me to take hormone replacement because I had breast cancer.
So I suffer in not so much silence!
I wish it would go away.

Nov. 26, 2009, 11:40 AM
I seem to be finished, finally. My GP suggested soy milk to help with hot flashes, and it did help me a good bit. However, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the middle of it, and my medical oncologist then said to stay away from soy milk because the potential influence of the phytoestrogens is not at all well understood. But if you're low risk for BC, you might give soy milk a try. I will admit that I have less issue with fatigue now, and almost no trouble sleeping if I stay active, tho I don't have the energy I had when younger--maybe that's normal?

I will still get the odd hot flash in the spring. Mine were never a serious bother, but did linger around for a long time, probably 4-5 years overall.

I stay away from caffine, chocolate, wine, spicy foods because of acid reflux anyway (which, of course is aggrivated by weight gain--the one menopause symptom I have in spades). I also notice less stress incontinence, as evidenced during sneezing, coughing, and bucking spells (thank god for panty liners, Wintec saddles, and soft-gaited quarter horses), if I avoid caffine, etc.

Getting old is not for the faint of heart.

Nov. 26, 2009, 11:50 AM
Well, I guess the loss of a period is the only good aspect. Love that part!

I can only get a good nights sleep if I keep the thermostat at 68 degrees or lower. Cats, dogs, nor DH is happy about that..lol

Tried Estrogen for a few days but it brought on the worst period I ever ever had in my life. I could not leave the house for days..:no:

I think the fatigue is the worst part. Most days I can go to sleep at 5:00 PM. and sleep a good portion of the evening.

Nov. 26, 2009, 12:10 PM
I hated not feeling "myself", I'd cry at any little thing and get wild mood swings. I was very depressed and then I got breast cancer. I had sudden full blown chemo induced menopause. My hot flashes were horrible because I was on Tamoxifen which seemed to double their intensity. My kids knew when one hit to run and get me an ice cube or two. Running the ice cube on the back of my neck, around my hairline then on my chest/shoulders made me feel so much better. This summer I carried a travel mug filled with ice cubes when I when I left the house so I could grab one for my hot flashes. I couldn't sleep and was tired all the time. Then after about six months the intensity of the hot flashes dramatically decreased. I still get little ones that are manageable. I feel myself again and not as depressed. I think I'm through the worse part. :D

I heard sugar can also trigger the hot flashes.

Nov. 26, 2009, 12:51 PM
I am the one you love to hate - absolutely no symptoms at all. Everything just quit working as in period one month then nothing. No hot flashes and I dont even have an inkling what that feels like, although it sounds, well, um, delightful. As to sleeping problems, nada, couldnt sleep before, still can' sleep now (was HOPING for a change in that) and have survived for years on a series of 1 hour or shorter naps with maybe 3 solid hours from whatever time I decide to try to sleep but I do manage 7-8 hours in 24, just all broken up. Some weight gain though but that is mostly attributable to decreased mobility resulting from too many wrecks. Was told I was fine and just carry on, didnt need meds or anything.

Vesper Sparrow
Nov. 26, 2009, 01:05 PM
My transition has been mild but prolonged. Hot flashes started four or five years ago--mostly at night, but not too bad and when I am very physically tired, I can sleep through the night without waking up. I have a fan turned on all the time in my bedroom. Periods are very light and very spaced out. I thought I was definitively in menopause a year ago but I had another period six months later.

Nov. 26, 2009, 01:17 PM
Nothing else to add except maybe you're not alone.

After 9 years the hot flashes are a little better. I did take a yam based estrogen and it helped a lot, but was on it for 5 years and Doc took me off it.

Nov. 26, 2009, 01:19 PM
Well, timely thread for me. I started with the night sweats years ago, would always be the week of my period. I'm serious when I say that went on for 10 years. Then the periods got closer together (every two weeks) for about 6 months, and then tapered off to nothing - but then the hot flashes came on.

I thought they were gone, I did go for two months with none this summer (and living in Florida I was thankful for that), but guess what - they're back! Guess I didn't factor in hot flashes before deciding to move to FL 5 years ago. They do seem to be sporadic, go a month or two with nothing, then go for a week of hell - I think my body is still trying to trigger a period, but that just is not happening anymore.

And as a 14 year breast cancer survior no HR option for me either, so I just have to tough it out, and pray that they stop eventually.

I'm learning to sleep through the night, I will have a flash just before I go to sleep (no matter what time of day or night) and I go from fry-an-egg-on-me hot to freezing cold, I'm wearing out my bedding from flipping covers on and off.

I think the menopause crap also starting giving me extra heartbeats, went through an ER visit, 24 hour Holter monitor session (not fun when you are having hot flashes and it is summertime in FL, and you are trying to do barn chores, I'm surprised I didn't short out the damned monitor with the sweat).

I have a battery operated hand held fan in my office, that I grab when I feel one coming on, it doesn't really help much.

Now, here is the part I don't get, I was curious to see if it actually raises your body temperature, so I got one of those forehead ttemp strip things, and for whatever reason, it does not register the fact that I feel like I am in the depths of hades, body temp reads normal? What is up with that?

Thanks for letting me vent on this topic, I try not to vent to the family, as I don't want to become one of those crochety old ladies that does nothing but talk about aches and pains and the trials of getting older, but sometimes you just have to get it off your chest.

Nov. 26, 2009, 01:25 PM
MM, I did not complain about chemo, radiation, smashed up knee, but I whine about the stinkin' hot flashes! They are miserable!

Go Fish
Nov. 26, 2009, 01:30 PM
Start to finish - about six months. I had a normal period one month, then they just stopped. I'd have maybe one or two hot flashes a day, they lasted about 5 seconds. Really none at night, to speak of. And they weren't the sweat runs off your head, either. I'd just get a little warm.

I don't know why it was so easy for me. I never had children and never had a cramp in my life. Regular periods, too, even when I wasn't on the pill. Maybe that had something to do with it?

Gosh, I wonder how women throughout history have dealt with menopause? I don't think I'd take HRT, no matter how bad my symptoms were. The risk would not be worth it.

I heard exercise helps...just wanted to mention that. I do get a lot of exercise (all of my life) which may also have contributed to the easy time I had with menopause. I'm also skinny.

Nov. 26, 2009, 01:31 PM
MM, I did not complain about chemo, radiation, smashed up knee, but I whine about the stinkin' hot flashes! They are miserable!

I can totally relate to that! I will admit that I think that this hormonal imbalance is making me more emotional than I usually am, maybe that is why we whine more?

(Also, I didn't do the chemo, was too young for Tamoxifen, so the hot flashes are not man-made in my case).

Nov. 26, 2009, 01:33 PM
Blood clots, irregular heartbeat. I MISS MY PREMPRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nov. 26, 2009, 02:24 PM
The Chillow is your friend! Loved mine!

I also have roasted flax every morning and it seems to help a little bit..

My husband is getting used to the cold room at night and the blankets flying on and off all night long....

Thing I hate most is the memory loss, I feel like an idiot!

Nov. 26, 2009, 02:55 PM
Memory loss & brain fog can be countered with fish oils & cutting back on/out carbs. Google for more nutritional suggestions :)

I'm menopausal at 40 thanks to pelvic radiation a year ago. I had hot flashes at 10 PM like clockwork for a couple months--I could seriously set a clock by it--but they've tapered off to almost nothing over the last year.

I have no desire or need for HRT but would have to be very careful with my choices since an aunt developed BC after going on HRT.

I do find myself fatigued on occasion but it also corresponds to days that I forget to take my B-complex vitamins. I don't seem to absorb enough from the food I eat so I use supplements.

Nov. 26, 2009, 02:59 PM
Oh man, I am in perimenopause. I'm 38, almost 39. It's horrible. The constant PMS feeling (let's stuff my face with all the food in the world!), the weight gain, the hot flashes...horrible.

Nov. 26, 2009, 03:52 PM
Memory loss & brain fog can be countered with fish oils & cutting back on/out carbs. Google for more nutritional suggestions :)


Yikes, I've been taking fish oil for years...I'd hate to see what my brain looked like without it! :)

Nov. 26, 2009, 04:12 PM
Well, I think I'm in post menopause or at least I should be. Let's see, I started in my late 40's (~48) and did ~13-15 yrs on lowest dose of HRT (what a blessing) but stopped when my OBGYN found a lump and a calcium deposit showed up on a mammogram. Neither proved to be cancerous but that was enough to make me scared.

Unfortunately, I'm now 64 and still having hot flashes...:( :( :( I have ever since I went off the HRT. A friend recommended Gabapentin and I'm on that to help with the hot flashes and while it doesn't stop them completely, it does decrease the intensity and duration.

My mother had hot flashes till the day she died and I'm guessing I've inherited that from her. :( :( She was a great mother, but I really wish I hadn't that in my genes. :( :( :(

Good luck and I hope you live through it better than I did. :)

Nov. 26, 2009, 04:28 PM
ugh, the urge to stuff myself with cake and candy is so overwhelming somedays. add the mental confusion and almost constant fatigue and you've got me. i started with peri-menopause early, at 33. i'm now a few months away from 50 and most days cannot get out of my own way. i drag myself to the barn each morning and cannot wait to get home to sit. pitiful really. i had one period this eyar, so am still not done.

btw, did you ever count your periods?
i did.
say you start at thirteen, end at fifty, take out two years for two kids, that's 500 or so periods in our lifetime!!!!!!!!

so far body work helps with the insomnia. herbal supps for the hot flashes, nothing seems to help the urge to eat every cake i see though.

Nov. 26, 2009, 05:05 PM
I don't have any problems, just a few years of hot flashes, but not unbearable and at 56 quit menstruating.
Now still a few light hot flashes at times, but not very often and never had to be on any HR.

I have friends that had a terrible time, eventually were on HT and said that literally saved their lives, because the symptoms had them floored, like being very sick 24/7 for them.

Then the scare about HT hit the news and some tried to quit, but had to go back on that for a few more years, until they could taper off slowly.
Some tried "natural" remedies, but that didn't work for most.

I am glad I didn't have to try the soy milk, because I am allergic to soy.:eek:

Nov. 26, 2009, 05:16 PM
Let the hating begin.

53 this year, just now the periods are becoming irregular. Sometimes I have one, sometimes not....can never tell when they will hit.

However, I've never had a hot flash, I've been tired my whole life so that is nothing new, no mood swings associated with the menopause, those are strictly "nobody is helping out" or "can I have more $$ mom" type things.

Please God <looks up imploring whatever diety is there> don't let them start now.

Nov. 26, 2009, 06:22 PM
My forgetfulness increased a bit with the hot flashes. But then my daily memory was crap all my life anyways.
Hot flashes are ebbing now...and I didn't have much issues with the nght sweat ones thank goodness. The daytime ones were pretty bad for the first two years...days where I'd be getting 5-6 all over full soaking sweats and have to shower and change. very annoying. But not bad in winter...it's kinda nice being on the tractor in a blizzard clearing snow in a tank top and gloves. :lol: Im summer though they were brutal at times. But nowadays for the last 3-4 years or so I went from one of those "always cold" people to one of those "never cold" people. That'll probably change back when I'm done though.
My cycles finally started skippping around the last almost 2 years. Was happy to not have had one in almost 5 months but got it this morning. Lucky me.

mary m.
Nov. 26, 2009, 06:34 PM
Waves of heat but no bouts of sweat - covers off and on.. afraid to sneeze.. low energy... knew that was all part of it but...

"Thing I hate most is the memory loss, I feel like an idiot!"

Thank you for that! I am not alone!! :winkgrin: