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Perimenopause--think I'm having it.

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vixengrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-28-09 11:00 PM
Original message
Perimenopause--think I'm having it.
I'm just shy of 37, but I've had something suspiciously like "hot flashes" over the last six mos. (or so), and my last period went a little like--two weeks of PMS, then two days of period. And there have been other little signs that I've started going through changes.

I feel like I'm too young to start noticing changes like this, but then again, I know mentally I still see myself as in my early 20's, and also, I'm kind of a compulsive ruminator--I always notice when things are out of whack. Even if it's me that's out of whack. I'm going to bring this up when I go to a doctor later this week, but I wonder--I know perimenopause can start in one's late 30's, but has anyone else experienced it early? I've always been a little jokingly eager to be done with periods "and all that.", but I feel a little sad, now, as if really, "all that" was a badge of pride.

Does anyone have experience of the change while still relatively young? Was it difficult? Did you have HRT--I'm scared of doing that, myself--and what was that like?

Part of me just wants to "nature-girl" it along with wild yam cream and black cohosh and more soy--anyone find natural sups that stop the sweating and the weeping and gnashing of teeth?

Now, I also am gonna ask my doctor about my athritis and whether my thyroid is sluggish, which are things my research suggests might also have something to do with how I feel--I might have another reason for being temporarily "off". But I still want to know about what I might be facing about menopause, because deep down--I kind of know it's coming up.

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Pool Hall Ace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-29-09 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think I'm having perimenopause, too!
I'm in the right age range for it, though -- I'm 47. The only symptom so far is that my periods are only coming approximately every other month. And the flow is much lighter -- thank Goddess!

I'm going through a tough time right now health- and marriage-wise, so I think my weeping is probably related to that rather than hormonal swings. Fortunately I haven't had to deal with the sweating yet.

Years ago, I worked with a woman who was going through menopause. Fortunately, it was no big deal for her. When she had the sweats, she would just go to the restroom and splash some water on her face.

I'd like to hear others' experiences, too. :)

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Pool Hall Ace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-29-09 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. Oh hell, vixengrl, I just read some of the other threads on menopause.
Have you? Menopause sounds like it is going to be pure hell. x(
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oregonjen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. Great link to share...

It's a life saver. The message boards are awesome! :thumbsup:
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-12-09 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. Perimenopause can last for years and years
It's more a process than an event. But yes, my hormones definitely starting getting a bit whacky as I neared that 40 mark. I had my second child at 38, so there were a few years right after (breastfeeding and all) that would have masked all that. And strangely, afterwards, my periods were far more regular than usual. But within a short while, things just started to be a little weird.

My biggest problem was migraines - they got really bad through my 40s.

I just had a hysterectomy - including ovaries. I'm wearing a very low-dose estrogen patch (I've also got osteoporosis already, so this may help with that) - and I've felt a few flushes, but nothing dramatic. The worst of this sudden menopause is the brain fog. It's similar to how I felt during the middle of my pregnancies, but worse. Hard time grasping the word I want, hard just to think clearly...
could be I need to mess with my hormone levels, but it could also just be that it's too soon after surgery to be concerned.

My mom says menopause was no big deal at all for her - hopefully for you it's the same!
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. Yeah, I had *vicious* migraines in my 40s. Other than that, perimenopause
hasn't been too bad. Still no hot flashes and I haven't had a period or a migraine in months!
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vixengrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-05-09 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
5. I'm not having it.
What I'm having is stress and irregular periods and a profound need of vacation. Nice to know. Also re: arthritis and thyroid--nothing much. Apparently, I could stand to exercise more. So far, I've taken up walking a mile or so a day--and feel better. (My calendar is still off, but I never was especially regular. I didn't realize work & lifestyle affected it so much though. As in, periods with a six or so week interval.)

Hopefully, better diet, cutting back on booze, and so on makes an improvement. (Well, so far, so good.)
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PRETZEL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
6. I've been reading this thread for the last couple of days
because I'm really confused and quite honestly don't know what to do. Not so much for me, but for my wife.

Truthfully, I wish she would have recognized this two years ago. The strain on our relationship has brought us to a breaking point. I'm not claiming no responsibility as a part of this, but many of the issues we're having I really think could have been averted (or at least mitigated) if she would have realized what was going on and dealt with them then. But for some reason only she would know, she really has decided to ignore them and basically takes it out on me.

I've felt I've read a great deal (she's read nothing) about what women go through and how to deal with them. She's got many of the symptoms that seem associated with peri- and menopausal women. Some are more severe than others. But it seems that she hasn't had the most common which may or may not be a major factor in her decision.

She hasn't had the hot flashes or night sweats that she feels most women go through. I honestly believe that is her biggest determinant as to what it means to be in the menopausal state. But she has ignored many of the other signs which are by far the most severe and quite honestly are the source of practically all of our marital problems.

What I wish I could get her to understand is that I do understand that the mood swings (which range from relatively mild to borderline manic), the weight gain (which doesn't bother me in the least) nor the loss of sexual desire (which should not be confused with affection and romance) are just part of the process that I can honestly live with. What I can't live with any longer (and these are symptoms that I believe she has that may not be as common) is the alcohol abuse, the abusive attitude toward me and the general indifference toward herself and our relationship.

Everything came to a head over the weekend. I finally got tired of seeing her drunk again, getting sarcastic toward me then wanting to have sex (personal comment: our sex life is now totally dependant upon how much she drinks) which finally pushed me over the edge. The rage of frustration that I showed as a result did more harm than good. Right now, I'm not so sure we can recover from it. Right now, I'm not sure I can continue as long as she continues to ignore what I feel is something that as natural a process there is in human nature, it cannot be ignored with nothing being done about it. I just wish she would want to try.

Finally, I must apologize for the post on this forum. If anyone wishes to notify the mods, please do. I needed a forum to express how I feel. I know this is more a forum for the many wonderful ladies of DU.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Pretzel, I'm very sorry to hear
you have reached such a terrible place in your marriage. Menopause may be at issue here, but also it could be a severe case of depression. She's not going to know for sure unless she sees her PCP or GYN and honestly talks about what's been going on.

I wish you hope in getting this resolved for the sake of you both. :hug:
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PRETZEL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Thanks,
I think you have a good point. Maybe it's me also not wanting to acknowledge that maybe depression (or another form of BPD) is at work. Trust me, given her family dynamics, that's not out of the realm of possibilities.

In either case, I hope she reaches the point where she seeks help before we reach the point of no return. Quite honestly, given her personality, I doubt it. I'm not holding out much hope.

Someone from another site I found suggested "detachment" for my own sake as the pressures of our relationship are becoming greater. I'm trying that but don't feel too good about it. I may not be as stressed as before, but I can tell it won't last long. I'm not the type of person to distance myself from situations just for my own well being.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 02:52 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. How are you doing?
We don't have a group for people dealing with family member's issues, that I know of. It might be a good idea. As a 51 year old woman who has had terrible PMS, hypothyroid, diabetes, menopause, and alcoholism - I wouldn't jumpt to the conclusion that your wife is suffering from peri-menopause. It could be any number of things, including plain old depression. But there are a number of things that can cause weight gain, depression, loss of interest in sex, fatique; I was hypothyroid. Try to encourage her to see a doctor for a complete metabolic work-up.
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PRETZEL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. The family issues group is a good idea,
I'd support that in a minute. As for me, I'm not sure I can handle the roller coaster that our lives are on right now much longer.

You're right, it may not necessarily be peri. It could very well be other issues. She's been taking Paxil for many years (long before we met.) We met when she was 39, she's now 46. So I honestly can't rule out (except in my own mind) that there were issues that preceded our relationship that are still out there.

She's had PMS (not a big deal) that does border on extreme. That isn't an issue for me. I've learned to give her her space when she's getting ready to start her period. And we've talked over the last couple of years about possible hypothyroid as a possibility. That was almost 2 years ago and she still hasn't had it checked out. Her alcohol abuse is the biggest issue right now for me. She's a Jekyll and Hyde when she drinks. She may only drink once or twice a week, but it's not how many times, it's how much she drinks when she does. I've never in my entire life ever met anyone who becomes as nasty when they drink as she does. And it's making me increasingly angrier with her and it's starting to show.

So to answer your question, no I'm not totally sure she's peri-menopausal. Quite honestly that's probably the easiest explanation and the one that has the least damaging consequences. But there really comes a time when you have to make a decision that if someone's not willing to try to help themselves, how much longer do you continue to fight and lose? This has been issues between us for over 2 years, possibly longer, that she has been just not willing to go and seek help. I honestly can't give anyone any logical explanation for her refusing.

At what point do you accept defeat?
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
8. Welcome me to the club!
I am my own personal spaceheater or even swamp cooler these days. I get so hot and sweat like nobody's business I too have arthritis, but my thyroid remains good. I don't have the mood swings and ugly temper anymore because I'm taking Cymbalta, which has helped immensely. I had to do something fast because I was on the verge of a break down and even feared losing my job if I didn't get my temperment sorted out and fast.

Lortab for the arthritis and lower back pain, in addition to pains from old fractures and the Cymbalta have kept me not only on an even keel, I'm almost downright pleasant to be around these days. I just wish I could stop the sweating!! Ugh!
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-15-10 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
12. Yes, both my sister and I had it young.
Edited on Mon Feb-15-10 10:10 AM by OnionPatch
In fact, she had her last period at 39. My last one was at 45, which I still considered young. Both of us started having symptoms and eventually hot flashes way before that point, in our thirties. She went on HRT (I think she uses premarin) and is still using it after five years. I was leery and tried other things. I found that out of all the "natural" remedies for hot flashes and the symptoms that came before them (similar to what you describe), soy was the only thing that worked much for me. I did pretty well using it and over the counter progesterone cream for several years but at around 48 I started having hot flashes every half hour or so and just couldn't stand it. I now use bio-idential hormones, which I chose over the standard pharmaceuticals after reading a lot about both. One thing I found helpful to know is that staying a healthy weight and getting plenty of exercise reduces peri and postmenopausal symptoms.

So, no, you are not too young to start having symptoms of perimenopause. Not at all. Get a good check up then start reading up (unless you already have) so you can make some informed decisions about any treatment you decide to try. I personally like Christine Northrup's books. Good luck and I wish you smooth sailing.

(PS Of course you'd better be careful taking the advice of an evil-duer. :))
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
13. I started in with the hot flashes in my late 30's. I started using natural
Edited on Sun Jan-30-11 08:50 PM by kestrel91316
progesterone cream which helped tremendously. But time marches on - I am now 54 and it's been 3 1/2 months since my last period. I think my day might have arrived. FINALLY.
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