What is the difference between perimenopause and the menopause? How do you avoid weight gain? Does the menopause magnet work? And ye gods, tell us how to get a good night's sleep! Luckily Gransnet has put together the most useful tips for navigating those muddy menopausal waters. Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns do consult your GP.
Mood swings(24 Posts)
They even change from hour to hour sometimes, is this normal? I feel like utter crap as I type this
hi willie - you are not alone. i have been having mad moodswings for over a year now and only recently put two and two together and realised it was my age (46), i went to dr last year and asked to be put on anti d's (i didn't go on them) but changed my mind, dr never once mentioned my moods could be down to peri'. i have moments of rising rage ie when driving etc. i feel i am permanently pm'd. i also have moments of feeling really frightened or nervy ie i can jump out of my skin over the most ridiculous things. do not despair. i see it as being on a rollercoaster. it does stink though
Fetlock...the moods tend to be more low than aggressive. I can be fine, laughing, cracking jokes etc.. then whooosssh on the verge of tears! Can't go on like this much longer, it's affecting me very badly..
i get that too, as well as angry moments, very unhappy, tearful, nervous, etc. have you seen your gp? i am not planning on going to gp, i want to try and ride it out but symptoms differ person to person and can affect each person differently. perhaps you should see you gp. loads of women go on hrt and swear by it although i don't want to go on it. do you feel it is like a permant pmt? i am 46, are you close to my age? funny, but i was feeling terribly low lying in bed this morning. i am plagued by crazy dreams when i sleep. i am a bit of a depressive anyway so my hormones don't help. the worst way i think i am affected by my what would appear to be bodily changes are my terrible health worries, oh i do hate being me sometimes. do you have anything you like that you can focus on as a distraction? i work and really enjoy what i do so i try and throw myself into that.
ps: i think some women are put on anti dep's. i was on some years and years ago as i had mild pnd, they worked for me, i came off them exactly a year after taking them. is there anyone you can talk to ie do you have a partner or a close friend etc?
Am off to see the GP in the morning, not sure whether to ask for AD or HRT, will tell him symptoms and let him talk me through them. Hmm I also hate being me sometimes, quite a lot these days it would seem. I do work and I lurrvve my job, so yes maybe I should really throw myself into it. No partner I'm afraid, but have people to confide in (and moan to
try to avoid Ads. many good gynaes believe that thousands of women are on them when what they need is oestrogen.
i can't take anything with oestrogen in as i think if you have a family history of uterine cancer you have to avoid it like the plague. i have had moments when i felt like i was having some kind of hormonal breakdown and wanted to go on anti's for a year but then came out of the tunnel and felt 'normal' again. best of luck willie with your dr appointment, let us know how you got on, be intereting to read what they said. i prefer to see a lady dr re womens stuff as they at least (if old enough) may know what you are going through, men ain't got a bleedin' clue
Cabbage and Fetlock...
Saw GP today..young gorgeous man (oh dear, not much help here then) what a pleasant surprise! He actually listened Told him symptoms, especially low mood. He asked questions as to whether anything else could have caused low mood, and yes I had a bad break up 18mths ago. So what he has suggested is...taking AD for a while and when I come off see if it was depression as opposed to hormonal.
Must admit am reluctant to go onto HRT, so will try his suggestion as I can't carry on like this.
hope the ad's work and that you feel better soon x
Well cabbage, I have heard such negativity about HRT that's why I'm reluctant..Fetlock, thank you
i'm gonig to try and avoid hrt like the plague. women have been going through meno' for centuries and come out the other side HOWEVER if if developed really bad symptoms and i was allowed to take it (due to family history) then i might have to but cetainly wouldn't run to take it. i always felt like that about anti's too but one day i really felt i had to take them, and did, and felt much better! however i am going to try and avoid hrt, depends on the severity of symptoms, some women have terribly ones. how are you on anti's? did you sleep last night? first two nights i took them i was wired and lay there wide awake pretty much all night but that is a side effect that thankfully does wear off after a few days. stick with them, they can take a good few weeks to kick and and (hopefully) make you feel normal again
Fet, I take the first one tonight. I know that sleep and appetite (yay!) are affected so will look out for that. I hope they make a difference, sure they will as I've taken them before..
Just to put the other side- been on HRT for 2.5 years and feel great.
See a fantastic gynae privately so have bags of time to talk.
He advocates natural and complementary stuff first- and as well- but I did everything I could- have a good diet, loads of exercise etc etc- but had bad insomnia and hot flushes every hour.
It's not really true to say women have been going through this for centuries- most women were dead by age 40-50, until the last 100 years .
Our bodies were not designed to live for another 30-40 years without hormones.
In time- 1000s of years- we might adjust- but not in our lifetime!
If you want to read about AD versus HRT I'd recommend Prof John Studds website. ( he is not my dr BTW!)
from prof studd's website
PROFOX - The post HRT nightmare
The imaginary hybrid drug PROFOX is an anxious prediction of a therapeutic disaster for post menopausal women who need treatment for low bone density, depression , pelvic atrophy and vasomotor symptoms but are denied estrogens.
Physicians and psychiatrists have been slow to accept the clear benefits of estrogen therapy in the treatment of osteoporosis and depression. Is it an honest fear of side effects, ignorance of hormone therapy, misinterpretation of the data or simply a territorial hold on the condition which then condemns women to sub optimal therapy?
Although estrogens have been proven to prevent fractures in a mixed risk population and that the benefits on bone density and histology are dose dependant it has been relegated to a treatment to be used if others fail or if the woman has severe menopausal symptoms. This protection from estrogens effects not only the skeleton but also the intervertebral discs which make up one quarter of the length of the spinal column. This latter benefit is not produced by bisphosphanates. This failure of physicians to familiarise themselves with estrogen therapy has, in their minds, been justified by the results of the WHI study and by the regulatory bodies who have advised that estrogen should not be first choice therapy for osteoporosis. But in reality the physicians objections to estrogen therapy antedated the WHI study by many years. Specialists are a product of their training which for non gynaecologists does not include the subtleties of the use , the dose and route of various estrogens , gestogens and occasionally androgens.
Updated information and interpretation of the WHI study indicates that HRT, particularly estrogen alone, is both safe and protective in the younger postmenopausal woman below the age of 60. Such therapy is associated with fewer fractures , less colon cancer , fewer heart attacks , possibly less breast cancer and certainly fewer deaths. It should, in the minds of many workers, be first line therapy in this situation. However, Fosamax Once Weekly is an inexpensive alternative recommended by NICE as first line therapy and preferred by physicians. It produces lesser skeletal and systemic benefit than estrogens but it does not confuse the medical attendant with hormonal side effects such as bleeding, mastalgia and occasional PMS symptoms. These are problems that can be dealt with by any competent general practitioner but have not been learned by specialist bone physicians and rheumatologists who also seem to be complacent about considerable long term side effects of bisphosphanates.
A similar turf war occurs with the commonplace depression in perimenopausal women. These women with estrogen responsive depression often have a history of postnatal depression and premenstrual depression which have all been shown to be effectively treated by transdermal estrogens in good controlled trials in the most prestigious journals . It is therefore surprising that none of these studies have been repeated by those mostly responsible for the treatment of depression in women. This neglect is either due to the unlikely belief that these studies are perfect or because psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry do not want to show the benefits or even the superiority of estrogens. For example there is only one placebo controlled study demonstrating that transdermal estrogens are effective in treating severe premenstrual depression by suppressing ovulation but there are now 50 similar studies showing that SSRIs are useful. Why should the industry fund studies that reveal that their high profit in patent drug is less effective than the much less profitable estrogens?
Psychiatrists almost invariably refuse to accept these data relying upon psycho therapy , SSRIs and even ECT particularly in the private sector. Once again it is to the disadvantage of the women that psychiatrists have not chosen to become aware of this modality of treatment. It is commonplace to see women with perimenopausal depression who have been taking many mood stabilizing drugs for many years .They claim to have been last well during their last pregnancy after which they started or recommenced antidepressants for post natal depression , later pre menstrual depression and climacteric depression. It is difficult to obtain precise data but antidepressants are now used by about 30% percent of women in the UK and there is even a move to use this drug for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms. It is barely effective but it is becoming a new indication for SSRI therapy.
The nightmare for the future is that postmenopausal women with hot flushes, depression , sexual problems and low bone density, who need estrogens perhaps with testosterone, will be given a SSRI and bisphosphanate combination . PROFOX, a Frankenstein combination of PROzac and FOsamaX . As these two drugs are now available as cheap generics they are already being prescribed together. Unfortunately this warning of a single preparation is not a fanciful aberration as we already have close to the market a combination of a SERM for osteoporosis combined with oestrogens to prevent the symptoms of oestrogen deficiency. This was a joke comment at a British Menopause Society debate 10 years ago but has now become a reality. Unless the regulatory authorities consider the current safety data in the under 60s and modify their resistance to HRT the spectre of PROFOX will be upon us. It is a vision of the future which must be avoided.
Cabbage, the GP suggested AD as it hasn't been a year since my last period, so not really sure as yet whether full blown menopause, would that make a difference? I'm so new to all this so do appreciate all advice given
I don't think it makes any difference how long since your last period if you are having symptoms.
I started on HRT roughly 3 months after what I thought was my last period. Prior to that one I'd had 4 months with none, and missed a couple in the previous 9 months. My gynae described it as a stop-start pattern.
After my "last" period i then went on to have roughly 4 more bleeds over 18 months, one after a long gap.
There ae different types of HRT- some for women who are still having irregular periods and other types for women who have stopped altogether.
It's worth remembering that most ( not all) GPs are pretty clueless when it comes to options for the menopause- they seem to know little about the options.
My gynae gave me oestrogen gel instead of pills or patches, because a) it is supposedly safer and has fewer risks and b) you can adjust the dose very easily to get the right amount that works.I also take progestins every 12 weeks but he beleives in keeping these to a minimum, as it is the progsterone which they now think causes breast cancer, not oestrogen. ( Women who have had hysterectomies and take just oestrogen have practically no more breast cancer than women who are not on HRT.)
If I was you I would be asking for a referral to a meno clinic or a gyane with an interest in menopause.
willie - if you are going to go on hrt pls check with yr family first as to whether or not your family has a history of uterine cancer. my mother is just getting over this and my grandmother died of it. turns out that she should never have been on hrt because of the oestrogen in it. can't believe her dr didn't ask her before putting her on it if her family had a history of uterine cancer. perhaps it was her fault for not mentioning it, no, i think it was the dr's fault as why should my mother have known about the corolation between the two. i am really paranoid now about what i take. my hormones are RAGINGLY TERRIBLE but i will try and sit it out
Fetlock- can I just query what you have said here?
My gynae has written a book on the menopause and in it he gives a red-alert list of conditions that preclude taking HRT, and an amber-alert list, and a list of other considerations. Uterine cancer in relatives it not included in any of those lists.
Breast cancer yes, and a s trong history of heart diisease, liver problems, and other conditions.
Women who ake HRT also have to take progestins as well as oestrogen. These stop the overgrowth of the lining of the uterus which would possibly otherwise develop cancerous changes.
I am not your mum's dr obviously, but it is possible that the HRT did not contribute to her cancer and that it was caused by something completely different.
In your position, if I was really suffering, I'd try HRT but ensure I was monitored with regular scans to look for overgrowth of the womb lining.
cabb - i don't think hrt contributed to it, i think it was a mixture because it is in (sadly) our genes (as i have done my homework and when it comes to cancers there are two that are often hereditory, namely uterine and one other which i cannot remember, something to do with a faulty gene passed on), the other thing was (equally relevant to her getting it) she had been taking some creme stuff to (tmi but...) put on her vagina i think for intercourse (!) and it turned out one day for some reason she looked at the leaflet inside (i always look at this befeore i take anything) and it said in bold NOT to take if have close relatives that have had uterine cancer. i think that cancers can have alot to do with taking certain medicines. my friend who has breast cancer and thinks it was to do with the ivf she had told me her views on the evey i was about to embark on some invasive infertility treatment, kind of her but i went ahead anyway, my heart ruling my head. i don't regret it and i did the treatment twice but even then i was never happy with the shite i was injecting into myself. i still try and avoid, if i can, taking anyting although i will take something if i am desperate. being unable to sleep and with sweats must have been totally horendous!!
Your mum was probably using an oestrogen cream in her vagina which lots of post meno women do- me included. What she ought to have been advised was to take progestins every few months to have a withdrawal period. They should also have offered to scan her now and then if her family history was known.
if she did not tell her dr her family history- and he/she should have askd- then this is why is may have happened.
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