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turned 50 and HATING it - what can i do to feel better?

(133 Posts)
lastlines Fri 06-Mar-15 17:40:58


I'm so fed up. Turned 50 last year and am constantly exhausted. Wake up feeling hungover (despite no alcohol). I work from home, and find I'm fighting off sleep all day long, or napping. When DC get in from school I'm too tired to do anything and often nap again then.

I have no energy or focus to do anything at all - no desire for anything. But I don't feel depressed (had severe and middling depression before and this feels different. Just a feeling of lassitude. No longer enjoying my work or any hobbies, mainly because I'm way too tired to put any effort into them. (Even a year ago I loved running, walking, painting, did extra tutoring to raise cash for us to go off for the weekend etc. Now I can't be bothered.)

Also feeling anxious a lot. Even in depression I never got anxious. Worried I never see the DC anymore, worried they're glued to screens all day (they are.) Worried I'll drop down dead, never amount to anything, DH will run off. Just general low level pointless fretting. None of it feels like me.

GP no help at all. Done bloods and said they're fine. Said this just happens during menopause.

I'm about 20lbs over weight now, hair thinning, skin sagging. I just look and feel clapped out and ready for the scrap heap.

Please can anyone help? Have you got through this? do you know of any miracle cures? Even just a bit of sympathy would help. (Pathetic, I know.)

defaulttodippy Fri 06-Mar-15 18:11:01

I'm afraid I don't have any answers, but I can totally sympathise!
I am 49 and quite often feel this way. I never used to. I can be exhausted for no reason, completely lacklustre and quite often have that low level anxiousness you describe.
I don't know what the answer is really.I had wondered if I was depressed but it's interesting that in your experience it feels different - so maybe it's not that.
I do know the more I do, the better I feel. It's just summoning up the energy to get going. It sometimes feels an insurmountable feat.
I do wonder if there is some vitamin that would help- primrose oil type thingy maybe. I know you can get them for 'menopausal women' and although I don't hold out loads of hope, I guess it's worth a try.
I'll be interested to see if anybody else comes along with some practical advice. I need some help too!

Orangeanddemons Fri 06-Mar-15 18:20:29

I'm 51, constantly exhausted after work. Absolutely wiped out. Want to nap all the time too

SirVixofVixHall Fri 06-Mar-15 18:30:19

I'm 51. I feel just the same. It is ghastly. I have a thyroid condition which I assume is mostly to blame but maybe it is as much to do with peri-meno?
Natural progesterone does help with the anxiety, I was having mini panick attacks and they went away on using it. (I saw Marion Gluck at the Marion Gluck clinic about my thyroid and she suggested and prescribed the progesterone).
I think I need more hormonal advice and am trying to get an appointment with someone good, as if I am going to use HRT then I'd like to go down the tailored nature identical route. I'm still having periods but they are more erratic. My friend who went on (nature identical) HRT feels great and looks wonderful.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 06-Mar-15 18:31:11

Der..PANIC. not panick, where did that come from? (brain fog is another issue..)

lastlines Fri 06-Mar-15 18:39:36

Thanks for the replies.

Orange sorry to hear you feel the same but glad it's not just me.

SirVix (great name) I'm nervous of HRT. A close friend went on it and had heart problems brought on by it that were life threatening.

Default I now take liquid iron which helps a little bit (still feel shattered, just don't actually nod off at desk), and bought some v high dose vit B tablets which didn't seem to do much tbh. The evening primrose is worth a try. Interesting that you feel better the more you do. I was like that last year, heading towards fifty but just gave up. If I went even for a twenty minute jog at 7.30 am, it would make me so tired I'd lie down and wake up again at 4pm just before the kids get back from school, then nod off again by 10pm. It's no life. sad

There has to be something more we can do.

pinkfrocks Fri 06-Mar-15 19:57:53

HRT. Investigate and try OP.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 06-Mar-15 20:01:36

Have you had your thyroid tested? I assume they did that when they ran bloods?
Nature identical hormones (that you use on your skin rather than oral HRT) have different risks, so it is worth finding out more about them, even if you still decide they aren't right for you.
I have several friends way past menopause who have much more energy and joie de vivre than me. They are mid 60s, so maybe it gets better!

pinkfrocks Fri 06-Mar-15 20:01:54

lastlines There is an awful lot of misunderstanding about HRT and if you are considering it then maybe look into it all a bit more and read about it?
There is lots of recent research. What is now agreed is that HRT before the age of 60 has a protective effect on the heart. unless someone has existing heart problems then HRT does not cause them.

This is a very brief summary from the IMS but the most important part is in the first few paragraphs.

lastlines Fri 06-Mar-15 21:12:17

pinkfrocks thanks for that. It's interesting. Maybe my friend had a pre-existing heart condition but she had the heart failure very young - before 50.
Doc says no thyroid problems, even though they run in the family and both my grandma and my aunt suffered from them.

SirVix I have older friends like that too. Half way through their fifties, they suddenly lose all the weight they gained and get really energetic again. I can't wait!

SirVixofVixHall Fri 06-Mar-15 22:19:07

If there are thyroid problems in the family, ask what your levels were, and post them on one of the thyroid threads here, as what a GP calls "normal" might really not be good enough.
Personally I am as fed up as you, feeling like this all the time. My mum is 83 and in a care home, and I feel my life is not terribly different from hers, in that I just flatly sit about a lot, which is really depressing. I had a bad year last year, one of my best friends was terminally ill which was hugely stressful, she died five months ago and I am really grieving, not helped by the fact she left a baby and there have been all sorts of stresses around that. I did live on stress and anxiety the whole year, and as I am worn out and barely functioning anyway, that has hit me very hard now. I've put on over a stone and a half, I have nothing to wear, and I'm totally lacking in motivation for anything, least of all losing the weight. Everything seems like too much effort. I have young children too, so I feel like a terrible parent always too knackered to do things (my youngest is only 7).

DramaAlpaca Fri 06-Mar-15 22:22:55

No advice but lots of sympathy.

I'm the same age as you & feeling much the same. I regularly come home from work & take a nap on the sofa.

I think I mainly need more sleep, but can't get into the habit of going to bed earlier.

Hassled Fri 06-Mar-15 22:27:21

I agree you should do a bit more research about HRT. It's given me a whole new lease of life - I am evangelical about it, and slightly terrified about the fact I'll have to stop taking it at some point. It really has made me feel myself again.

marriednotdead Fri 06-Mar-15 22:49:17

I could have written Hassled's post! I've been on HRT for almost 2 years (I'm almost 49) and the difference in how I feel is incredible.

A change of diet has also been a great help, I eat far less refined carbs these days and no bread or gluten at all. I'd be lying if I said I never got tired, but it's way better than before.

Don't give up looking for a solution flowers

pinkfrocks Sat 07-Mar-15 08:14:56

Bio identical HRT- which may your you all- is available on the NHS and always has been. You may have to learn about it so you can tell your GP if they are not clued up, but there are many women using Oestrogel, oestrogen patches and natural progesterone with great success. Some women cut their patches in half to get the right amount if they need less than the lowest amount available, and with gel you can use anything from half a pump to 4 pumps daily to get your own correct regime. The advantage is that these products are made to high pharmaceutical standards- not made in a private lab which could be unregulated.

lastlines Sat 07-Mar-15 12:31:22

I'm going back to the doctor on Monday.

Elliptic5 Sat 07-Mar-15 18:33:20

This thread really touched nerve with me; 6 years ago I was suffering with all sorts of menopausal symptoms that even HRT hardly touched - the worst of all being excessive bleeding that left me constantly drained and tired. At the time I was doing a university degree and can't imagine how I coped.
The help fom my GP was limited and it wasn't until a MRI scan for a prolapsed disc at a private hospital also revealed a cyst on my ovary that I got any real relief.

The private doctor suggested I tried a Mirena coil with oral Elleste Solo. This really turned the corner for me and for the last 4 years I have been symptom free, less tired, more energy, and I have recently started cycling, swimming and fitness classes, and my body shape is better than it has been for a long time.
As Hassled I am dreading having to have the coil removed and coming off the HRT. I was told the Mirena has a 5 year life span and, as I can no longer afford private treatment, I am gearing up for a battle with the NHS.

By the way the cyst on my ovary was not responsible for any of my symptoms but it was lucky I had the initial scan as that prompted my problems being sorted.

Definitely don't give up on getting help with the menopause, we all deserve the best possible treatment to help us carry on our lives without debilitating symptoms.

TheFarSide Sat 07-Mar-15 22:05:50

I am 52 and feeling the same - there was a thread on here a while ago where the OP said "all my get up and go has got up and gone" which summed it up perfectly for me. I think hormone changes are responsible, and read a lot about declining testosterone in women being partially responsible. However, I'm holding out on the HRT for now on the basis that I'd have to stop taking it one day and then face all these meno symptoms at a later date. Blood tests showed a slight vitamin D deficiency and taking supplements has helped a bit, as has eating lots of veg and walking a lot. Basically though I'm just trying to ride it out as I have heard things improve when the hormonal turmoil comes to an end. Good luck - you are not alone.

pinkbraces Sat 07-Mar-15 22:16:40

I could have written your thread about 6 months ago. I did a lot of research and with some help and advice from Pinkfrocks I went to my GP armed with so much info about bio identical HRT that I totally baffled the doctor! I then had to wait whilst GP did her own research.

I've now been on patches for three months and feel so much better. The fog has practically lifted, I have more energy and don't feel like hiding in the corner sobbing.

My advice would be do as much research as you can as most GP's really don't know that much.

I hope you get it sorted and start to feel better.

pinkfrocks Sat 07-Mar-15 22:19:53

It's not a given that anyone has to stop HRT - some drs will prescribe it indefinitely. I know someone in their mid 70s who uses it and have heard about women in their 80s on low doses. The new guidelines say there is no time limit or cut-off point- it's down to each person's risk and benefit profile.
Secondly, it's not a certainty that anyone will have to go through all the symptoms of meno later- some women don't, some women have reduced symptoms- not as severe as before HRT- for a while, and some women do find it harder- but there is a range of experiences.

I think many women would rather have 10 good years ( or more- or fewer) with HRT then make the decision over what to do after that. There is little point holding out when treatment can make life easier and the future is unpredictable- we could all fall under a bus tomorrow!

pinkfrocks Sat 07-Mar-15 22:21:21

Hi pink <<waves to another pink>> so glad you are feeling better and have got something to help smile

thenightsky Sat 07-Mar-15 22:25:09

HRT has been my life saver tbh.

I will kill anyone who suggests I stop it anytime soon angry

thenightsky Sat 07-Mar-15 22:27:14

pink I too have a friend who is still taking low dose HRT patches at age 73 and is lively and energetic. She started taking it around age 48.

SirVixofVixHall Sat 07-Mar-15 23:16:55

I think I really need to do some research then, on HRT. Have a big family history of stroke on the maternal side, and I have thought perhaps because of that I wouldn't be a good candidate for full on HRT. But i agree with the 10 good years. My dds are 7 and 10, I really don't want to be like this for the rest of their childhood and adolescence. sad

pinkfrocks Sun 08-Mar-15 08:01:52

Sirvix Try to find the latest press info on HRT from the International Menopause Society- Jan this year.(If I can find it again I will link) That shows a decrease by 50% of plaque in the carotid artery for women on HRT for 10 years. The carotid artery is the one which leads to the brain and if it's furred up you are more at risk from a stroke.

Transdermal HRT ( patches or gel) is not linked to blood clots or strokes. And the risk of these for anyone under 60 is negligible anyway.

Your family history of stroke- especially if they were older when it occurred- should not be an issue. My gran had a stroke in her 70s and my mum had a minor one at 80- it's never even been raised as an issue with me by my consultant. It's your own history that counts and you can do a huge amount with lifestyle to keep healthy- strokes are not inevitable- most are lifestyle-related.

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