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Struggling

(22 Posts)
Mlc22 Wed 16-Nov-16 22:55:56

Hi mums. Just need to talk to someone. I'm peri menopausal and really struggling at the moment. My GP has put me on fluoxetine for PMT symptoms and propranolol for anxiety. I have really bad sweats and hot flushes which are that bad it looks like I've had a shower cos my hair gets that wet and its stopping me going out of the house cos I feel so self conscious about it. I was on clonidine to see if that helped but all that did was stop me sleep. I've been off the clonidine for a few days now. I feel crap ALL of the time. I have an upset stomach due to iron tablets and the fluoxetine and have chronic diarrhoea. I don't sleep much anyway, can't be bothered to do anything, have started getting headaches (don't know if they are medication related) and I feel like I could just cry and cry. I've had to go off sick from work cos I just can't face it at the moment. My OH knows I'm struggling but I don't think he realises how bad I feel. Sorry for such a long post but I don't know what to do next. Will it get better? Can't imagine feeling like this for years ....
Thank you Mums xx

PollyPerky Thu 17-Nov-16 08:02:17

Oh not another GP dishing out ADs for peri meno instead of HRT. When will they stop???
Please read the NICE guidelines ( just google NICE menopause guidelines /diagnosis/ managing short term symptoms) which advise drs not to do what yours has done. The recommended treatment is not ADs, it's oestrogen/ HRT.
Print off the NICE guidelines and see your GP again.

Cherylene Thu 17-Nov-16 13:07:19

www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/antidepressants-a-z/fluoxetine/?o=21060

This is a really good site for explaining mental health meds.

I would go back to your doctor, or preferably see another one and tell them that this is not working for you.

Write a list of what is wrong, and also a list of what has been wrong since you took the medication, to take with you to help you say what you need.

There is menopause info here: www.menopausematters.co.uk/menopause.php Look around at the other pages too, using the tabs at the top of the screen.

80sWaistcoat Thu 17-Nov-16 13:14:12

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng23

I had some very teary, anxious and wanting to jump under a bus times in perimenopause. My GP put me on HRT initially but while helping with other things I was still getting v depressed, I moved back on to the pill - one which is supposed to mimic the natural cycle - and that was working well for me mood wise - but over the past few months the depression has come back when I was taking the progesterone back. That is quite common apparently.

So I've now come off the pill - and waiting really to see what my hormones are doing before going on to probably an HRT patch.

I think what I'm trying to say is that the oestrogen dropping made my moods drop drastically - the pill helped me - and you might need to try a few things.

Go back to your GP or ask for an alternative one.

It's horrible - but with me it passed - I feel much better now - almost back to my old self again.

MarinaSunnyCoast Thu 17-Nov-16 13:38:15

I've found that everything settled down when I was able to address the cause of the fluctuations, but I took a slightly different approach to the HRT route..
For me - it was Omega 3's and Magnesium supplements and adding rocket / arugula to every meal. I feel sane again!
As my testosterone seemed to spike - because the Oestrogen dropped - but not below my Progesterone (which gave me migraines) - a few days of the Omega 3's and Magnesium got me balanced out.
Vitamin C can get things flowing again too if you haven't yet reached Menopause and it's great for your skin too.
Everyone is different, but it's worth looking into the reasons that are causing the symptoms. Niacine is brilliant for depression.
Now I'm on a shake called Mummy Shake - it's got everything I need in it - brilliant - no more pills.
Mlc22 I hope you are feeling better soon.

80sWaistcoat Thu 17-Nov-16 14:08:34

Agnus Castus was suggested by my GP for 'the rage' - and while I was v sceptical - it appears to be helping and I take menopace just because.

PollyPerky Thu 17-Nov-16 16:23:49

It's a personal bug bear of mine that women are being medicated through peri and menopause with mind altering drugs like Prozac. maybe I'm exaggerating a tad but it does being to mind One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest where patients were 'zombified' into submission etc.
Having had a close relative who became addicted to ADs etc through poor management of them - with devastating effects in the long term- it's something that gets to me!

ADs for menopause are only for women who are diagnosed with depression or who cannot take HRT perhaps due to cancer history etc. This is not me saying this- it's NICE.

Cherylene Thu 17-Nov-16 16:33:19

I have a relative who has been through the mental health crisis system. They don't automatically prescribe anything - they do weeks of meeting up and talking, with a visit to the psychiatrist before anything, if anything is prescribed. It makes sense to have a proper diagnosis before prescribing.

PollyPerky Thu 17-Nov-16 16:48:20

I'm sure most of the time people get the right help, but my relative was under the care of the psych team for 20 years including almost being sectioned several times for depression. The initial mistake was being given valium as a short term measure ( 3-4 days) which the drs continued to prescribe long term (mis managed) and they became addicted. They also had loads of input- talking therapy etc- but the initial mistake was over prescribing of Valium and then more potent ADs.

Cherylene Thu 17-Nov-16 17:05:37

Ah yes - my mother had valium in the 70s. It was quite a cure-all. She came off them after my little sister helped herself.

There are changes taking place but time will tell. My experience was very recent - they are supposed to do the talking bit first now. It is a bit variable as to where you live though. We had a reasonably good experience, but relative was glad to be signed off and leave them behind.

Mlc22 Thu 17-Nov-16 21:05:59

Hi. When I was prescribed the fluoxetine I asked if they thought I had depression and was told it went hand in hand with the menopause and I wasn't offered the opportunity for confirmation of this diagnosis.

I have an appt with a different GP next week, fingers crossed we can find a way forward without unnecessary medications xx

PollyPerky Fri 18-Nov-16 08:27:11

Depression doesn't have to go hand in hand with the menopause and the menopause doesn't have to cause depression.

If women have low mood or anxiety during the menopause, NICE suggests hormone therapy because the symptoms are being caused by loss of hormones.

This is the extract from the guidelines

Psychological symptoms
1.4.5 Consider HRT to alleviate low mood that arises as a result of the menopause.

1.4.6 Consider CBT to alleviate low mood or anxiety that arise as a result of the menopause.

1.4.7 Ensure that menopausal women and healthcare professionals involved in their care understand that there is no clear evidence for SSRIs or SNRIs to ease low mood in menopausal women who have not been diagnosed with depression (see the NICE guideline on depression in adults).

The last part should be in 3ft high letters in all GPs offices!

Cherylene Fri 18-Nov-16 16:06:53

Hope your appointment goes well for you.

Everything will be much harder to handle with the lack of sleep you have been experiencing too.

Look after yourself. If you have that luxury, pretend you have had the flu and give yourself good food, fresh air and exercise and rest, until you get to that appointment flowers

Badders123 Fri 18-Nov-16 16:22:51

I'm struggling too sad
Tiredness - so exhausting
Heart issues - am having to have ecgs
Am on a different hrt now and am going back to see the dr in 2 months

whoosh Fri 18-Nov-16 16:38:27

Mlcc22, I sympathise and suggest, like others here, that HRT might be worth a try. You can ask for a trial-period of it. It doesn't suit us all though ....I suffered with peri- and menopause - sweats, anxiety, rages, palpitations - it was a horrible time. Initially, I asked for a trial of HRT. I found the oestrogen part of the cycle lifted my mood really well but when it came to taking the progesterone I felt dreadful - v low and teary. So after trying a different combination which left me with the same down-spell - I gave up on HRT. Two years on and I feel ok, I still have the sweats but I'm glad not to have those awful downs. I wish there was a way of having HRT without the progesterone but know that if you still have a womb, you need to take it to prevent cancer of the womb. Has anyone found anything?

PollyPerky Fri 18-Nov-16 16:41:36

whoosh -the only other option is the Mirena coil as the progestogen part of HRT. Some women find it great. There are around 4 different types of progestogens, so if you've not tried them all maybe consider?

whoosh Fri 18-Nov-16 16:59:55

Thanks PollyPerky for the advice. It's much appreciated. I think I would worry about having the progesterone released through the coil in case my mood got so bad and I had to wait to get it out ...but worth considering, as is the idea of trying a different one. Just been reading on Menopause Matters about how the lack of oestrogen can bring joint stiffness - which I am getting despite being pretty fit - so I am thinking of going back to some kind of HRT.

Cherylene Fri 18-Nov-16 17:48:55

If you are aching, it is worth looking at your vitamin D levels too. A lot of people have low levels of vit D and it seems to make matters worse during menopause.

You can get tablets cheaply at supermarkets and sprays and things from the usual more expensive health food store. Go for higher strength 25ug/1000iu rather than the 10ug ones.

Sardines are good too. On toast.

Badders123 Fri 18-Nov-16 17:55:08

I'm low in vit d and take viabiotics 1000mg a day
yes for pains and aches!
I'm 44 and feel 94!

whoosh Fri 18-Nov-16 19:50:16

Thanks Cherylene, good thoughts; extra vits seem like a good way to go for me. I've got the black cobash from an earlier spell of low mood so might try that again too.

Cherylene Fri 18-Nov-16 21:01:56

I will look for that Badders - I usually buy the Sainsburys one because it is cheap but it contains calcium carbonate (as many do) and I am not supposed to do that because of kidney stones. I don't find the sprays work for me for some reason.

I prefer to get my vitamins from my diet, but it is very difficult to get enough vit d from your diet alone. And since I have felt the effect of not having enough, I take the tablets! Omega 3 is also a good one for aches/inflammation, usually in the form of fish oils (but not cod liver oil which contains too much Vit A).

I also try to get exercise outdoors in the summer. It is funny how lifestyles have changed. I have avoided sun for a number of years because I burn easily and that probably contributed to my low levels.

Badders123 Fri 18-Nov-16 21:11:25

That should read vitabiotics

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