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Perimenopausal nightmare

(25 Posts)
lizzieoak Wed 10-Jan-18 18:44:01

Not literally nightmare, but some days it feels like it.

I’ve had lots of night sweats but am now on progesterone & that seems to help.

I’m wondering if anyone has had success w anything to help the anxiety though? My mad hormonal fluctuations are giving me occasional bouts of bad anxiety. If the most minor thing goes wrong I get accelerated heart, doom in my stomach, and floating worrying about everything.

Exercise, sure. I’m off for a walk soon as I don’t want to melt down in hot yoga class. But what about things like vitamin B? Magnesium? Rhodiola? I’m already taking 500mg of magnesium every day, but no change (except it’s helping with the migraines).

I’m between jobs right now and am quite worried that when I go back to work I’ll start crying or otherwise not cope.

PollyPerky Wed 10-Jan-18 22:08:43

why are you using progesterone for PMS?

Progesterone is what can cause PMS! You need estrogen for night sweats.

What exactly has your GP given you?

PollyPerky Wed 10-Jan-18 22:09:36

I meant that progesterone can cause all the peri meno symptoms.

Why are you not using HRT?

lizzieoak Wed 10-Jan-18 22:44:25

I’ve been told HRT is for menopause, not peri. I’m definitley having estrogen surges so it makes sense to take progesterone. And I had the symptoms for 2 years before caving in and going to the dr - and since he prescribed progesterone the night sweats have almost disappeared, along w a couple of other physical symptoms. The anxiety not so much.

PollyPerky Thu 11-Jan-18 09:18:20

Find a new GP. They are talking nonsense. angry
OF COURSE HRT is for peri.
If they don't know that it's terrible.

You need to find another dr. Sorry but yours sounds like a dinosaur.
See someone else in the practice or change surgeries if you can.

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Thu 11-Jan-18 09:23:07

I'm peri and was given hrt. Unfortunately it didn't work for me, so was taken off. However, the one thing that has definitely made me feel better is taking Vit D. Magnesium made me feel as rough as anything

Deux Thu 11-Jan-18 09:28:30

OP. You need to google the NICE guidelines for menopause that were issued in Novemeber 2015 and show to your doctor.

I’m peri and on HRT and now feel great. I’m a bit stunned you’ve just been given progesterone as progesterone is the moody hormone. Oestrogen is the happy hormone.

lizzieoak Thu 11-Jan-18 18:08:11

I’ll have a look at the NICE guidelines. I’m not in the uk, so thinking may be different here. Personally I think I have too much estrogen and have found the progesterone helpful with the night sweats and insomnia.

But all that is not what I was asking - I’m wondering if anyone has found supplements (from the chemists or health food shop) that help with the anxiety. I’m on magnesium for my migraines and no one will prise that out of my hands as it has definitely helped turn down the pain levels. But these flare ups of anxiety are getting to me.

PollyPerky Thu 11-Jan-18 21:12:53

A lot of the research you posted is based on the estrogen-dominance theory which tries to sell progesterone and is linked to commercial websites.

Anxiety in peri is due to low and fluctuating estrogen.

lizzieoak Thu 11-Jan-18 22:23:15

The link is to the University of BC site (& research facility). It’s a publicly funded uni, so I would not have thought they’d get much out of falsifying data?

Neither here nor there though for me. I’m not wanting to go on HRT, I’m just wondering if anyone has found natural supplements that help. I’ve seen rhodiola, for example, but haven’t tried it.

lizzieoak Thu 11-Jan-18 22:25:39

And you can’t just “find a new gp” where I live. Many people in the cities have no gp, they just go to walk-ins. I’m very fortunate to have one who listens and takes me seriously. I am not jacking him in!

Marv1nGay3 Thu 11-Jan-18 22:30:32

Sometimes the contraceptive pill is effective for perimenopausal symptoms as an alternative to hrt. Could you try that instead if progrsterone only?

Deux Thu 11-Jan-18 22:31:22

I’ve used Kalms in the past OP. I can’t remember the ingredient, I think it’s Valerian. It was during a particularly stressful time. It was a doctor who suggested them after I’d had an adverse reaction to prescription sleeping tablets. From memory I think it says something on the packaging about it may help with menopausal symptoms.

You could also research St Johns Wort and also 5HTP.

I’ve used all of these at some point or other and found them effective. I find amazon useful to read up on reviews.

Also the headspace app may help? It’s mindfulness.

lizzieoak Thu 11-Jan-18 22:34:10

Thanks so much! I’ll look into those suggestions.

Marv1nGay3 Thu 11-Jan-18 22:39:24

Sorry I meant instead OF progesterone only. (Not to take a progrsterone only pill.)

lizzieoak Fri 12-Jan-18 00:00:12

I’m using bio-identical cream.

PollyPerky Fri 12-Jan-18 08:46:24

You should have said at the start you were not in the UK and didn't want HRT. Would have saved a lot of time.

But using progesterone cream IS a hormonal supplement. However, if it worked it would be available mainstream in the UK and elsewhere. It's not because I've been told by my consultant that it's hard to absorb in effective amounts and the amount needed would be impossible to apply.

There has been a massive debate about progesterone cream for years and years ever since Dr J Lee started the debate about 'estrogen dominance'. This has been proved to be unfounded, but there are companies still trying to sell progesterone cream saying it will help.

The link you provided is a website set up by ONE dr in ONE university. Her views (and links) are outdated, inaccurate, and highly selective in places. for example:

Estrogen or estrogen/progestin increases the risk for many diseases such as blood clots and strokes, gall bladder disease, incontinence and dementia as well as the more publicized increased risk for heart attacks and breast cancer (30;31). By contrast, these adverse effects are not seen with progesterone or most progestins. In particular, progestins “caused only minor effects on coagulation and fibrinolysis” (Kuhl, Maturitas, 1996) meaning no risks for blood clots that estrogens, especially in a pill form, increase

Recent research has shown no increase in blood clots with transdermal estrogen. There is also research to show it can help prevent heart disease.

You could find as much research saying the opposite of what she believes. The research studies she quotes are probably on very small numbers of women, and are mostly very old.

I think you need to re-think why you are anti-estrogen, but pro progesterone.

lizzieoak Fri 12-Jan-18 17:21:57

In my country supplement tends to be used to refer to over the counter vitamin type things. Which is why I mentioned rhodiola, magnesium etc (yes I’m aware they’re not vitamins). So I didn’t mention HRT because I wasn’t looking for advice on that.

Not sure what not being in the UK has to do with anything? Our bodies are the same. And surely HRT would also be being pushed by the manufacturers as much as the cream? In my country the cream can only be obtained by prescription.

Your consultant has one opinion, my dr has another (shrugging). I am never of the opinion that any dr knows all or that science is complete. So I can only say that the progesterone has helped with my sleep and night sweats, which is what he was addressing. I had anxiety before the progesterone, it hasn’t gotten worse.

I’m not ruling it out, but it seems odd to take estrogen when I can feel the estrogen surges. Wouldn’t it just be adding more to a system that is already periodically overloaded with it? (Musing rather than assuming you have the correct answer).

Studies abound - I don’t know that any of them are definitive yet.

PollyPerky Fri 12-Jan-18 17:37:56

without knowing where you live, it's hard to discuss this. For example in the US the WHI study into HRT has now been dismissed in the UK as being out of date and erroneous. But in the US I suspect they don't say that smile Also in the US they tend to prescribe CEE for the estrogen part of HRT whereas in the UK it's not prescribed that much any more.

In Europe a lot of HRT is available over the counter anyway.

Here, we had a big NICE report 2015 on menopause which is the gold standard guidelines for GPs.

So, location does matter.

I don't know how you can say the 'surges' are estrogen surges? There is no such thing. If it's a hot flush that is due to erratic estrogen and the proof of that is they disappear with estrogen.

lizzieoak Fri 12-Jan-18 18:35:10

I’m not American - if I was I wouldn’t have a problem in finding a gp (just a problem in paying for it).

But my opinion that the idea that your dr trumps my dr is not a valid one still holds. My dr’s training is not inferior by not being British. He may be wrong, or yours may be.

But my intent with the thread was about vitamin store type supplements. Not to debate HRT as I’m not interested in that debate. I’m glad what you’re doing is working for you! While I’m having periods though, I’m not considering HRT.

PollyPerky Fri 12-Jan-18 20:49:43

Look, this is more than 'My dr v Your dr'. That's a bit childish.

The very best consultants have put together the NICE guidelines. That's what I have referred to.

All this stuff about 'estrogen surges' (which are usually actually palpitations and are a recognised sign of peri) as are the feelings of doom and anxiety you mentioned , and using progesterone cream has been raised here and on other forums for years. It's actually a bit 'alternative' and not mainstream treatment because there is very little evidence it works.

If you think it helps, fine, carry on. Some supplements etc work for some people but it's usually a placebo effect and not proven by research.

You might find lifestyle measures help and even things like CBT.

lizzieoak Fri 12-Jan-18 21:40:37

Well, that’s how it came across. I read it that I was being tut-tutted at by someone who believed they knew better, but perhaps that was not the intent. It can be difficult to read tone sometimes online.

Fwiw, the NICE guidelines seem to indicate that a combined estrogen/progesterone cream does absorb.

Medicine science is constantly changing and going “oh woopsy, what we said 10 years ago would not kill you now will and vice versa”, so I tend not to buy into any one pronouncement entirely.

lizzieoak Fri 12-Jan-18 21:42:28

And my problems with anxiety preceded progesterone cream by years, so it’s not causing it - but perhaps that’s not what you meant.

LittleLaura1 Fri 12-Jan-18 21:57:32

Fwiw, the NICE guidelines seem to indicate that a combined estrogen/progesterone cream does absorb.

Can you paste this part here? There is no progesterone cream available in the UK as part of HRT. If there was, I'd be on it!

I think we've reached the end of the line here lizzie. I'm not having much impact on your thoughts on this and it's not helped by your being coy about where you live as countries have different ways of dealing with meno and what drs think works.

Although I did say it's childish to pull rank on drs, you can't really ignore the fact that the UK has some of the world experts on HRT , and it might help if you read their stuff - start with Nick Panay who is a top gynae, researcher .

Good luck with whatever you're hoping to achieve.

lizzieoak Sat 13-Jan-18 20:05:19

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