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Mine's Hotter than yours - can we compare hot flushes?

(40 Posts)
inthesticks Sat 11-Sep-10 11:25:23

Last winter I had a couple of missed periods and coincidently ( I thought) lots of flu like night sweats.
Periods came back like clockwork in April and the hot symptoms stopped,but no period now since July. At first I put it down to the hot weather, but I've never before been one to break into a sweat even in extreme heat.

I can't deny it any longer the menopause is upon me.

I had always imagined hot flushes to be a feeling of being hot accompanied by a red face. I think the term hot flash is a more accurate description of my symptoms. I become aware of sweating first then feeling hot. Sweat pours off my face and chest.
At night I have to sleep with no covers, a window open and a fan.

I've just had a coffee and as I type, next to an open window I am dripping.

Perhaps I won't need the heating on so much this winter grin.

inthesticks Sat 11-Sep-10 11:27:23

By the way I'm 52 and I realise most MNs are younger but I know there are a few like me who had children late.

purplepeony Sat 11-Sep-10 18:24:15

I'm not obsessed with the meno- honestly!

I had mild ish flushes as soon as my periods stopped at 53.5- though since then I have had 3 more and am 55.

I went onto HRT for the flushes which were stopping me sleeping. During the day they were one an hour- started in my chest and spread upwards. I didn't get really red or hot but it was still noticeable and I work, sometimes in a 1:1 setting with men, so I didn't like it.

I still get the occasional sweat at night when it runs down my chest but don't need to get out of bed or anything and usually get straight back to sleep.
would you consider HRT?

purplepeony Sat 11-Sep-10 18:24:50

3 more periods, not 3 more flushes!

DancingHippoOnAcid Sat 11-Sep-10 18:27:49

Yep you have descibed the hot flushes I get.

Have never been able to see any actual reddening of the skin as I had expected a hot flush to be, more a rising hot feeling in the face and sweat pouring off. Other people do not notice anything happening.

At 52 you are at the average age for menopause, and I also had the stop-start periods - went a year with no periods, then monthly periods again for 4 months then nothing now since May.

I am 44 so have early menopause, but there are quite a few posters in this section who have had menopause early - some in their 30s.

DancingHippoOnAcid Sat 11-Sep-10 18:28:28

And it certainly does save on heating in the winter grin

inthesticks Sun 12-Sep-10 10:09:32

DancingHippoOnAcid yes that describes it exactly and I don't think anyone else notices. At work I have always been the one who wants the window open while others sit huddled in a cardigan complaining they are cold. I used to joke "heaven help me when I reach the hot flush stage".

purplepeony - This is fairly new to me so I hadn't considered HRT yet. Oddly enough I don't find it that unpleasant, however it's most definately disturbing my sleep, wakes me up every hour. I bought a dirty great fan on a stalk and DH said it nearly blew him out of bed.

My mother recently had a stroke so not sure whether HRT would be appropriate. I will do some research.

RustyBear Sun 12-Sep-10 10:29:00

I don't actually seem to sweat, which I am thankful for, and I've never checked whether my face goes red, but I do get a brief wave of nausea.

I'm not really sure how long I've been without periods, I didn't have them for about 6 months and had hot flushes & thought that was it, but they came back, very heavy, frequent and irregular and the flushes stopped ( thank God, it would be very unfair to have both! grin) Then the periods just stopped again, but I'm not sure when the last one was, certainly more than a year ago. I'm 54 btw.

abouteve Sun 12-Sep-10 10:37:49

Anyone know if the age you hit menopause is linked to the age periods started. I am 49 and hot flushes started a couple of years ago then stopped. Had a coil so wasn't sure if periods were stopping. Had it removed in April, got a 3 week period after that then nothing since. Hot flashes are back with a vengance nowadays so definitley going through it. So is my Dsis who is 2 years older than me. She says friends her age aren't yet.

I notice the average age is 52 so am irritated to be going through this now. Would be more prepared in a few years.

inthesticks Sun 12-Sep-10 11:50:53

Don't think there is a link. My periods started at 11.
I have a mirena coil but I always still had a very light period, regular as clockwork. About a year ago they became less regular and my last one in July lasted 3 weeks.

purplepeony Sun 12-Sep-10 15:43:27

abouteve the average age in Uk is 51 for final period. Over 53 is considered late. Most wmen's have stopped by 55/56. Flushes etc can go on till you are 70s- my poor mum's did.

51 here and definitely going through it as well. Periods are all over the place - but intervals between them are definitely lengthening.

Re hot flushes, one thing I have noticed makes a huge difference is diet. I mostly low carb, and this keeps them under control. If I start eating carby food again - especially sugar - then the hot flushes are much worse.

purplepeony Sun 12-Sep-10 16:05:52

abouteve there is not really a link- an early start does not mean an early finish though. Sometimes an early start ( before 13 for women our age) means a late finish too.

They do say that it runs in families and I see that in mine- my mum and gran were both 50-52 and I am a bit later. Friends whose mothers had an early-ish meno- ie mid-late 40s have followed that pattern.

Mine seemed to end at 53.5 but I have since had 3 very light bleeds roughly 12 months then 6 months after that. I have no eggs left sad as had a scan, but supposedly there is still some weak hormonal activity.

abouteve Sun 12-Sep-10 22:09:21

I was just turned 12 when I started, going through menopause now at 49 feels too young! Oh well just let my body get on with it.

thelastresort Fri 17-Sep-10 22:52:43

I am hot all the time now!!! (am 51 btw)

Started with hot flushes every now and again a few years ago and only when not having periods, but am just now generally hot all the time. Am able to empathise with teen son who never needs to wear a coat in the winter etc.Have never known what it is to be permanently hot until now!

Also break out into sweat at any mild exertion, is that normal????? Still, it will save on the central heating in horrible, cold draughty house......

girlywhirly Sat 18-Sep-10 15:25:52

I'm 52 and started my periods at 13. They started becoming irregular at about 45 and last year I only had two, 6 months apart. The last one was Dec, and I'm wondering if I'll have any more. DH and I are going on a cruise next week, and I'll be taking san pro with me just in case. I think my mum was similarly aged.

My hot flushes are quite brief, and don't seem to make me red in the face or sweat profusely, it's more like a growing warmth from within that then fades away in less than 30 secs. I don't seem to have more in the evening, and there aren't many of them in 24 hrs. However, I do get a sweaty neck, so that even in cold weather I can't bear polo necks or scarves. In hot weather I use a spanish fan to cool me down, and take everywhere which is far more effective than those little battery-powered ones. I remember my mum having soaking wet hair on the back of her neck, too. Oh, well, it could be a lot worse.

jenisurvivor Wed 17-Nov-10 10:02:12

I was 53 (2009) when I had breast cancer and the chemo brought on menopause which was an unwelcome shock. Prior to this I was regular as clockwork. Tamoxifen was a nightmare and made me suicidally depressed so consultant put me on aromatase inhibitors which has given me joint ache and makes me feel like I've got arthritis, horrid.

I came on to see what all you other ladies symptoms were like in the naturally occurring world. Thanks to you all you've made me feel like what I'm getting, hot flushes etc. are not entirely down to my drugs. I do find the subject not discussed between women very much and its the 'put up and shut-up' attitude that prevails. Thanks

MorocconOil Thu 18-Nov-10 12:45:38

I just wanted to share a treatment I have been taking as it may help some of you too.
I was having hot flushes, sweats, feeling low and anxious. My periods are about every three months.
I went to see a nutritionist who gives free advice at a local health food co-operative. She gave me PM PhytoGen COMPLEX and 5-HTP. These are help stimultae natural oestrogens and serotonin. Within a month the sweats and hot flushes have stopped completely, and my mood is much better. I also had a period after 3 months of waiting.

The tablets cost me about £25 a month but are definitely worth. I am also taken a women's multi-vitamin she recommended.

Shallishanti Thu 18-Nov-10 21:40:56

Can't remember when my last period was, I guess 18 mths ago. I thought I was getting off lightly as had no hot flushes until about 9 mths ago. I find they come and go, I have had weeks without any, then they return. They seem bad at the moment, and I haven't been taking much exercise lately, whereas in the summer I was running x3 a week, they were better then - co incidence?
anyway, at the moment they are not bad enough to make me want to take anything, I'd prefer to cope naturally if poss. But I don't have any other symptoms...woould re consider if I did.

inthesticks Mon 22-Nov-10 18:45:02

The hot flushes stopped in late September and 2 weeks later my periods returned.
Reading all the replies it seems this is a common pattern.

Garni Mon 14-Feb-11 16:23:37

Just came on here to see your stories about hot flushes and just want to add to the discussion that most of us go into menopause when our Mother's did - though this is by no means definite and can vary because of illness - particularly cancer and chemo etc. Unfortunately my Mum died when i was 7 so no-one to compare notes with as only living female relatives are her cousins. I just want to share one important thing with you. If you have daughters be sure to tell them the age at which you entered menopause as it is something I may have found useful in deciding whether or not to have treatment for fibroid and fibroid related symptoms. A lot of fibroid sufferers I spoke with found when they asked their Mum's they couldn't remember the exact age so not very helpful - maybe I could have just waited until menopause when the symptoms would gradually disappear without medical or surgical intervention. Anyway 4 years on from having UFE Uterine Fibroid Embolisation - couldn't wait any longer for something to be done I am now in menopause at 51 and generally the only symptom is hot flushes - not too much of a problem - but laugh when I read that you should live in "cool" rooms it is 16 degrees C here and I can still get very hot at times! Saves on the heating but have had to buy blankets and flanellette sheets etc for hubby whilst I sit in "T" shirt or lay out side the bed clothes am just dreading our visit to the grand children in Florida at the end of next month. I was never a hot house flower and do not react well to hot climates but this year will be so much fun. Would never consider HRT as it could still grow more fibroids for me and all the natural remedies have little or no science to back them up so maybe a waste of money. One good thing is that recently we were told through a case study that hot flushes may mean you may be less likely to get breast cancer - there's always a silver lining? LOL!

cabbageroses Tue 15-Feb-11 08:54:41

Just want to add Garnie that fibroids are very common- 50% of women have 1. I do and have been on HRT for 2 years. I have a bleed every 3 months with it and it has not made my fibroid noriceably bigger.

I think there is a huge misunderstanding about HRT- taken for up to 5 years the evidence is that it is relatively safe.

I see a top gynae privately so have ages to talk it all through with him-he is not actually pro HRT and likes people to try everything else first. However, my problem was insomnia and taking HRT sorted it in days.

It's worth considering if you are really suffering, and affecting your quality of life.

The website www.menopausematters.co.uk gives a good table comparison of risks and benefits for HRT- worth looking at.

pagwatch Tue 15-Feb-11 08:59:35

Can I reluctantly join you all?

<<sits down and takes off cardi>>

I was having a really crap time but I have found that combination of much much reduced alcohol and natural progesterone cream have made me a very happybunny again.

Thank god.

Guadalupe Tue 15-Feb-11 09:08:40

Is there a link with alcohol?

My hot 'nights' [I can't bear to call them flushes] seem to be worse when I'm drinking and it never affected me like that before.

My last blood test was normal, or within normal range but the one before was very raised. I guess it's happening in fits and starts.

maltesers Tue 15-Feb-11 09:10:13

Do you really think Alcohol intake makes menopausal symptoms worse? Botheration, if they do. . .I love a glass of Rose wine at night. !! sad
I am 52yr, (kids are 10, 20, and 22 yrs) so you guys are not alone and I have had only 1 perios since last Feb . . so basically thats it I guess. I am now happily infertile and heading for old age.
I do believe though that keeping fit and eating right helps to relieve the symptoms of Menopause. Especially the keeping fit aspect.

Guadalupe Tue 15-Feb-11 09:18:11

I'm 33, mine is a result of surgery at 30, though as I kept my ovaries the surgeon said I would just have menopause five years earlier than normal.

I have since read that that a high % have menopause within five years not just five years earlier.

Bummer about the alcohol, though maybe that will help with weight gain.

pagwatch Tue 15-Feb-11 13:37:21

I really don't know about the link with alcohol. I just have noticed a link between the two.
But I am quite happy to assume it is just me.
Or it may just be that instead of alcohol I am drinking water in the evenings and that the reaction I am having is from good hydration iyswim.

cabbageroses Tue 15-Feb-11 18:00:47

Alcohol is not good for you. You might like to know that re. risks of HRT the drs say that a glass of wine a day after the menopause equates to the same risk as HRT.
Alcohol is resonsible for alot of female cancers. I suspect it is this and weight gain that has caused the recent surge in breast cancer.

heebeejeebees Fri 04-Mar-11 17:47:59

Just seen this thread and thought I would tell you about my experience. I started having hot flushes about 6-9 months ago and have only had one period in between that time. My hot flushes started off not too bad but by xmas I was getting them every hour or so during the day and more or less all night long. Even in the freezing cold winter that we had before xmas I was lying on top of the quilt soaked in sweat and I am a cold person! Didn't want to try HRT and decided to look at an alternative therapy. I bought from Boots a product called Phyto-soya which is an oestrogen extract from plants and within days my hot flushes had diminished to the point where I hardly get them at all. I bought the double potency and they cost about £25 for about 3 months but so far they are more than worth it.

Starbear Mon 07-Mar-11 11:14:00

heebeejeebees I'm off to the shops now for those.
I'm 47 yrs and have started the night sweats. I've read that 1 glass of wine is good, many, bad. I experimented on Saturday and yep! after maybe 3-4 glasses of wine mixed with water I had a dreadful night sleep.
I have found that exercise in the morning reduces the the problem. But... as inthesticks mentioned I'm also an older Mum of a 6 year old so the two are clashing with working 3 days a week, cleaning house, DH's work schedule and DS's socail life my exercise goes to the bottom of the pile. I can't see myself getting up at 6am to go for a run when I've had such a dreadful night sleep! I always drop off back to slepp around 5am after sweating for a few hours!
I think you'll see me more often on this theme grin wine but only 1 remember

cabbageroses Mon 07-Mar-11 19:22:10

Some experts think that phyto estrogens have the same effect and risks as normal HRT.

EG if you have had breast cancer you would be advised to avoid them- just like HRT.

moonbeam1211 Sat 05-Jan-13 17:01:22

Hi all, I have been having major hot flushes but feeling horrible nausea and palpation's and when closing my eyes going dizzy, not sure if they are related to menopause as I have been having them on and off for months, I have been really down due to those symptoms and feel the doctors has not got a clue, as he stuck me on omeprazole and sickness pill , just had a Hysterectomy 9 days ago due to a very large fibroid and started taking Estradol Valerate 2mg 6 days ago, any help on how long the hrt will kick in and are those symptoms menopausal (THE HOT FLUSHES), any help much appreciated

Cooroo Fri 18-Jan-13 15:03:16

HAha, didn't know I'd find Menopause on mumsnet. I'm 53, last period nearly 3 months ago, and I've been waking 2-3 times a night all burning hot. Have to fling arms and legs out, sometimes lie completely uncovered. And it's freezing at the moment! I seem to cool down and go back to sleep fairly quickly, unless I start 'worrying'.

This I can live with. I also seem to be much more anxious than I used to be, I don't know if that's connected. I eat well, following a 5:2 fasting diet. Cycle every week (or so...). Generally healthy. I'm suspicious of herbal remedies and reluctant to go to the doctor for anything.. but I do feel my quality of life is dragged down by the anxiety. It's not a huge thing, but I could be better.

guffaw Sat 26-Jan-13 21:47:04

had my ovaries out at 49 - flushes started immediately, with an intensity I did not expect - I go very red and literally drip yeuk! night sweats are vile, so bad I have to change bedding.

cant remember when I last slept through the night. have tried going caffiene free eating apples and soy products, othing works!

may have to cave in and go to gp. friend told me a blood pressure medication instantly cured her.

not anxious but my memory has completely vanished!

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 15:14:32

That's shocking medical care angry

Why were you not offered HRT at 49? I suppose they thought you were near ish meno age so didn't bother to offer?

Not good though- you were still 3 years off age of average meno in UK- and should have had the choice of HRT for a while to give you a graduall meno not an overnight one.

Go back to drs?

What do you want to do about it?

guffaw Mon 28-Jan-13 00:02:31

to be honest I dont want hrt - dr told me that I'd have to go through meno eventually anyway, so hrt would just put it off for a while. I'm more distressed about the weight gain - rocketed from 9.5 to 12 stone ! and I 'm sure its nothing to do with my eat drink and be merry lifestyle grin

Missbopeep Mon 28-Jan-13 15:28:08

I'd rather have some quality of life in your shoes for a few years- HRT is safe for women under 60 for a good number of years, than put up with dripping and no sleep.

seewww.menopausematters.co.uk
Go the the HRT part of the menu and look at the scales.

Re. the weight gain- after meno you just have to eat less and move more. Your metabolism completely changes.

skyblue11 Tue 12-Feb-13 16:38:06

Ah the flushes, they are driving me mad. Started about 18 months ago I am now 51 and need to have my desk fan on at least 6 times in the course of a day at work. At night it wakes me up, I use a aerosol water spray like evian in a can from boots, that helps. I have also tried Black Cohosh (gave me stomach ache) and also isoflavines but they brought back my hypothyroid symptoms, not sure of I can take HRT due to thyroid meds but I don't really want to. Next I am going to try Sage, my last period was last July, nothing since then. My aunt who is 78 still has hot flushes, I don't think I can bear this for that long!

Greekescape Mon 25-Mar-13 18:16:28

unfortunately I have to agree alcohol does increase hot flushes, but so does hot food, big dinners, tea and coffee.I'm not about to give up on any of these so I just have to wear layers. I'm 57 and 9 years on am still having hot flushes. I have noticed however that they do stop if I'm under the weather for any other reason such as a cold or a migraine.Just think of them as your personal summer time

Bellaciao Tue 02-Apr-13 20:58:51

Hi there

I agree with quality of life over minute risks anyday. I couldn't stand the flushes and went onto HRT age almost 54. Now nearly 60 and have never looked back. I would urge anyone to go down this route - the health benefits are also being recognised more and more.
You don't have to put up with them!
I use bioidentical oestrogen patches and micronised progesterone capsules - all on the NHS and haven't had a flush for years (except stopped a couple of years ago for 3 months and they came back). Doc is happy for me to continue.
You can take hRT with thyroid meds - just need a bit of juggling sometimes.
This is what menopause matters says about thyroid

Hyperthyroidism, due to either overactive thyroid gland or over-replacement of thyroxine in under active thyroid disease, leads to an increased risk of osteoporosis due to excess bone loss. Consideration should therefore be given to screening for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women who have a history of hyperthyroidism and offering bone protective measures. HRT does not worsen thyroid disease and in fact may be particularly helpful because of the bone protective effect. However, patients taking thyroxine should be monitored by having thyroid function rechecked 3 months after starting HRT since the thyroxine dose may need to be adjusted. Similarly, thyroxine requirements may alter if HRT is stopped and thyroid function should be rechecked 3 months after stopping HRT

www.menopausematters.co.uk/atoz.php#GlossT

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