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Is this perimenopause?

(35 Posts)
Happyhappyveggie Fri 21-Apr-17 09:23:38

I am 44. In the last 18 months my periods are have become utterly hideous.
My cycle is now 18-21 days, pmt lasts over a week before where I feel really really low. Periods very heavy- all I want to do is eat carbs and sugar and lie on the sofa for 4 days (which also makes me feel worse as normally I eat well and exercise).

I end up looking pale and haggard too and my sleep is really disrupted for days. The other major symptom is heart palpitations in the build up.

I know some of these symptoms are typical for many and I've always wanted to carb load with pmt but it's just so much worse than ever.

I have had blood tests to see what's going on and all were normal but I don't feel normal at all!! I also had an ecg and results were normal.

Aibu to think this might be the start of perimenopause? I really feel rubbish!

brassbrass Fri 21-Apr-17 09:40:59

Sounds like it may be. Have you had any other changes in your life? Your user name suggests you are a vegetarian. Do you use soya milk?

Happyhappyveggie Fri 21-Apr-17 09:49:08

I don't use soy milk- I do eat a bit of tofu but not very often, maybe once or twice a month- I have read that there are issues with soy milk- is that what you mean?

RiseandGrind Fri 21-Apr-17 09:55:44

Yes, sounds like the beginning of peri. Have a look at the menopause matters website. It's brilliant and will tell you all you need to know.

Be warned though, if you decide to start hrt and go to your GP, be prepared to fight for it and go armed with a copy of the NIHCE (formerly NICE) guidelines, otherwise, he/she may try to fob you off with anti-depressants which are useless and the CAUSE of peri is lowering ffmale hormone levels.

Good luck.

Oh yes, there's a great menopause support thread on mumsnet too under 'Health.'

Bebraveagain Fri 21-Apr-17 10:02:45

Its worth having your iron and folate checked as its likely to be depleted by heavy periods. Low ferritin (stored iron) will make you feel really rubbish and you'll be pale if anemic. I would hope they checked your thyroid too.

limon Fri 21-Apr-17 10:21:52

Sounds like it. Fwiw my go put me straight on to hrt when I went with similar symptoms. No fuss, no fight.

limon Fri 21-Apr-17 10:22:05

GP ffs

ghostyslovesheets Fri 21-Apr-17 10:47:34

I'd talk to a medical professional it could be fibroids or something else not just the go to 'peri menopause ' which it might not be

The80sweregreat Fri 21-Apr-17 10:49:31

I too am perimenopausal ( not diagnosed officially, but i am early fifties) My last period was 3 months late , then lasted well over 2 weeks and was so heavy too.
I am a bit low in iron, but just take some iron that i buy in the supermarkets ( doctor suggested them), they seem to help a bit with the tiredness. My depression seems worse and i still have bloating and spots too ( something i didnt get much as a teen) Sleep is up and down - been a bit better lately, although before i think i might have a period, its really bad and i lie awake a lot. All symptoms and the worst bit is the rage ( normally a placid easy going sort, but now everything winds me up for no reason) I feel for you as your still very young to have your symptoms, might be worth a visit to the doctor to rule out other things such as a thyroid or something like that. I hate it all and cannot wait for my periods to stop once and forever ( some people younger than me havent had periods for years and i am so jealous)

Eatingcheeseontoast Fri 21-Apr-17 10:50:16

It probably is perimenopause .... if so then HRT should be recommended in order to keep your oestrogen levels up to where they should be.

Blood tests for menopause aren't much help till you are through as hormone levels vary so much.

Get checked for thyroid, Iron, B12 etc as others have said.

Look at the links suggested above too.

ClopySow Fri 21-Apr-17 11:03:39

I'm wondering the same. My cycle has gone down to 23 days, periods aren't too heavy but i had endometrial ablation a fe years ago.

I can't get enough carbs and sugar. Interestingly when i went on a low carb high fat diet, my cycle went back up to 28 days.

brassbrass Fri 21-Apr-17 11:09:13

sounds like OP has had her bloods checked. I suppose they wouldn't indicate menopause if still in the peri stage is that right? So no scientific way to prove peri?

Your soy intake doesn't sound too much so you can rule that out I guess.

cuirderussie Fri 21-Apr-17 11:14:37

This sounds like me (I'm 45 and my mum went through menopause at 48, I think it's in the post) -exact same symptoms, it's awful. What I find has helped is taking Krill oil for the PMS symptoms and iron for the heavy periods. I've given up alcohol as I found I was getting horrendous depressed hangovers after only 2 or 3 drinks, it seemed like some other related change in my body chemistry. I've started exercising more which helps with the mental stuff. Not sure about hrt, maybe further down the line. I do sympathise!

HopkinsFaragesLovechild Fri 21-Apr-17 11:16:40

NC for this as I have a similar question to OP. I don't want to hijack the thread but would be grateful to have some insight from someone who may have had similar experiences

I'm 55 and was firmly diagnosed with PCOS (blood tests and ultrasound) way back in 1990.

In my 20s and most of my 30s I only had one period a year. Maybe two. Usual PCOS symptoms.

In the past two or three years my periods have now become monthly for the first time in my life. They are briefer, heavier, and also I feel sick and have digestive problems around the time of my period. I used to get more pain with periods but no nausea at all.

I looked online and saw this is normal for women with PCOS. As they hit perimenopause, periods can get regular and change. So I wasn't worried.

Last month, I went to the dr about the indigestion. It was a new (young) dr in the practice and she took one look at my age and said I might have to have an endoscopy and, rather than eliminate things like coeliac disease, GERD or an ulcer, etc - went straight on to the 'c' word. She gave me a PPI drug but only enough for a couple of weeks. If the indigestion comes back, then we might have to send you for an endoscopy.

Well, tablets ran out and I have had milder indigestion than before but of course my period had come back, so I put it down to that.

Went back this week and her reaction is "OMG! Cancer! You're still bleeding at 55? No-one bleeds at 55! Bleeding at 55 is totally wrong! I'm sending you for investigations for endometrial cancer!"

FFS. So now I'm potentially going to be investigated for two types of cancer when all I went to the dr's for was indigestion and to ask for a blood test I have had done before, to see how far I was off the menopause. (My last dr did this about 5 years ago and said then I was a way off).

She made me make an appt with her next week for a smear test and to see if she thinks I need referring to gynae.

Now the older dr is around my age, and clearly had some knowledge of PCOS, too. So I rang up on the pretext of needing to change the smear appointment and casually mentioned to the receptinist that it was a gynae problem I had originally seen the other GP for, and would it be possible to swap me over to the original GP? I was expecting a fight but the receptionist said "No problem!" The more popular dr has a longer waiting list though so I won't be able to get the smear test til May.

The younger dr didn't listen to a word I said and clearly had no intention of even trying to rule out perimenopause by doing the blood test. I am fairly confident the other GP will do the blood test again and if, after the smear, I need to go to gynae - fair enough.

I have seen a lot of locums and random GPs over the years at this practice and never disliked any of them. But there seemed something odd about this new GP - the slightest thing instantly being possible cancer, and no attempt to rule out other things before referring you to the big guns and invasive tests...

I had been so stressed out with her but immediately feel better I have managed to get back in with the original GP in the practice, with whom I had a rapport.

The overreaction to my PCOS-and-perimenopause symptoms was really odd. She could at least have said "Well what you describe is common with women with PCOS, but let's investigate other possibilities to be on the safe side." But it was this frankly ageist "Eek! You're 55! Definitely cancer!" (To the point she didn't even bother about other possibilities or, let's face it, more statistically likely things) That really shook me.

I presented maybe 5 years ago, maybe less, with identical symptoms to the other GP and it was take bloods and then take it from there...

Husband, older than me, went to another dr in the same practice, presenting with identical indigestion symptoms and no mention of endoscopy or the 'c' word.

I can't decide if she just lacks experience/emotional intelligence/bedside manner - is genuinely alarmist - or just happens to know nowt about PCOS (fair enough she is only a G not a specialist) or er.. 'older' women. Or whether there is genuine ageism at play?

I will see my original dr and go with whatever she wants to do about both the indigestion and the weird PCOS periods. But anyone else experienced similar, when reachng a certain age?

BonfiresOfInsanity Fri 21-Apr-17 11:19:36

I'm 46 (almost 47) and have had symptoms like this on and off for the last couple of years. I had blood test done last year which all came back normal but I think, because the hormones are fluctuating, it was just at the time of testing they were all fine.

The most annoying thing for me is the unreliability of when periods come. They now seem to come whenever I'm on holiday whether they were due or not. angry

flownthecoopkiwi Fri 21-Apr-17 11:22:24

I wonder if I'm going through this. Anyone have any weird bladder or vaginal pain issues as well?

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 21-Apr-17 11:24:13

ClopySow our fat tissue produces estrogen, so may indeed be linked to your cycle....

The80sweregreat Fri 21-Apr-17 11:28:10

I do get the weird bladder and vaginal pain too - needing the loo a lot more, odd discharge, feeling sick a lot more too.
Its got to be linked, but some days i just feel so low and really crap.
No point going to the docs, she or he will only say its age related.
I;ve really changed and not for the better!

user1471545174 Fri 21-Apr-17 11:28:23

Yes, it is - watch out for the tachycardia, horrible headaches, dry eyes and constant need to wee as well. Heartfelt sympathy OP from one who has long passed that stage but didn't have much idea of what to expect at the time.

HopkinsFaragesLovechild Fri 21-Apr-17 11:29:05

flown, not bladder but I have really weird stomach problems never had before in my life. Acid reflux, indigestion and just feel sluggish and vile.

I went to the GP finally as the reflux kept me awake one night. I did tell her it was during my period, but she decided it was nothing to do with that.

I also have had endless itching all over my body and have since found out online that can also be the perimenopause. Also my childhood excema has returned, the worst I ever had it. And decades without it coming back. 'm convinced all my problems are just the perimenopause - made worse by the PCOS. Am hoping the change of GP will lead to some actual investigation of that as well as the various cancers the other GP has randomly decided 'old' people all have.

My mum died before she hit the menopause so I have no idea of the family history for this but it may be easier for those who have a mum still alive, they can ask.

The80sweregreat Fri 21-Apr-17 11:29:59

yes, the headaches are really awful - just come on for no reason and seem to take ages to go away.
Bloody hormones.

The80sweregreat Fri 21-Apr-17 11:31:50

The itching is pretty random, but it seems worse at night and in odd places too ( back of my ear one night)
my hair is all over the place and my scalp also itches a lot more.
had a sore on my face for weeks , when they used to dry up and go away in a few days.
Men dont have any of this to put up with .. grr

HopkinsFaragesLovechild Fri 21-Apr-17 11:31:59

Ah yes migraines too. I have precisely two each month - one before the period starts and another just as it's ending. Forgot to even mention that to the dr, too. Everything seems to be bound up with this perimenopause I think I'm in. Hopefully the next GP will do a blood test as I remember being told the last time I had it, it was quite accurate at predicting how far you are off the menopause.

HopkinsFaragesLovechild Fri 21-Apr-17 11:33:44

Yes, The80s, the itching gets worse at night! I've probably had that for about a year.

The80sweregreat Fri 21-Apr-17 11:34:44

i feel as if a few insects are crawling around on my skin! Its the weirdest thing ever.

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