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.
New and needing some advice(8 Posts)
Hi all, have been reading the threads to get as much info as I can. Am in peri-menopause and suffering more and more. Am starting to feel a bit desperate. GP has suggested Mirena coil but I am not convinced - I've never had kids and heard it's really painful in that case. Also, GP thinks it will help my heavy periods - but I tend to have both light and heavy periods these days so am not sure it's really the best thing. GP won't put me on oestrogen alone, which I think would help me, but said she would consider adding oestrogen after the Mirena. Is this a good route, do you think?
I have hot flashes, nausea (feels like morning sickness, as someone described on another thread) exhaustion, insomnia, brain fog, headaches... I also have an underactive thyroid and PCOS, so it's highly possible that it's all just a bit complex, but GP doesn't seem to make an effort to understand and I feel like I'm just left alone to deal with it all. Am working hard on my fitness but struggling to lose weight, which I also think would help. Any advice on how to go about getting some help? Or can anyone recommend what's worked for them? Thanks in advance!
Ask to be referred to a menopause clinic or see another GP at the practise who has an interest in women's health.
FYI, it's oestrogen dominance as a result of the lack of progesterone that's causing the bulk of your symptoms, so going on oestrogen alone will not help you, and why the Mirena has been recommended.
Sorry, can't help with the medication side of it, but taking magnesium, a multi-vitamin, vitamin D and doing the MN low carb bootcamp reduced my symptoms drastically. A new bootcamp just started.
I've found that evening primrose oil helps me alot. Take it in the morning when I feel rotten and it eases my day.Lots of early nights too and somewhere in there I'll have a good few days. Insomnia nights don't help though. I've also improved my diet and taken on board some of the peri menopause/menopause diets online , so things like cutting out sugary things. Eating more fish like salmon. More veg. Upping brocolli and spinach. Find that a portion of spinach with my meal my body relaxes, and I feel less anxious. Also, I read somewhere that the more anxious you feel about this, the more these symptoms perpetuate. So things like relaxation techniques, 20 minutes of quiet mind a day, time off, light exercise, walks. I read an article about ulrika jonsson and her menopause and she didn't even twig that she was going through menopause, for years! She thought she was going through dementia! So it's brilliant that you've pinpointed what you're going through!
Hi if you have a uterus then you cannot have oestrogen alone as it will thicken the lining and be an increased cancer risk hence you need progesterone to keep the lining thin. I have a mirena and love it as it's got rid of my periods totally, I also have oestrogen patches which have also proved to be amazing and have go rid of all of my meno symptoms!
The mirena is fine if you haven't had children, millions of young women worldwide who haven't been through childbirth have them. I haven't had a vaginal birth (had c sections) and although fitting was uncomfortable it wasn't painful and over very quickly.
There are lots of alternatives to mirena for progesterone, you could have combined patches, gel and micronised progesterone or combined pills. take a look at the Menopause Matters website, it lists all the options.
If your GP is rubbish print out the nice guide to HRT and Menopause and take that to your next appointment, you have to be firm and say you want HRT.
These are really helpful answers, thank you!
On the diet and nutrition side, I am already very much on top of that as have had to be over the years to alleviate PCOS and thyroid symptoms, also coeliac disease. I do low-ish carb (no processed carbs), but full-on low carb or fasting not recommended for women with thyroid problems as it stresses the thyroid and raises cortisol (the last thing you want if you're trying to lose weight!) There's a brilliant book for women athletes called "ROAR" which goes into this stuff in some detail, if anyone's interested.
That's good to know that it's oestrogen dominance that's the problem. I totally go that the wrong way around! I wish the GP would have explained some of this to me. It sounds like the Mirena might be a good option for me in that case.
Your high cortisol levels are also due to your lack of progesterone, it's all connected. Hormone function is a complex thing, and if something is out, then you'll feel it. Thyroid issues goes hand in hand with perimenopause/menopause. Additionally, if you're struggling with weight gain in the form of abdominal body fat, this body fat also raises oestrogen levels so the oestrogen dominance continues.
My GP didn't explain and of this to me. It's only now that I've gone to see a specialist that I've found all this out. Like you, I thought it was my oestrogen levels that were causing all the issues, but it wasn't.
I've started to take a thyroid supplement (Wild Nutrition Thyroid Connect) and also a Dim supplement, and these combined with low-carb and heavy weight training and swimming have finally enabled me to lose 6 kilos of the 15 kilos I've gained over the past two years.
Good luck OP!
Thank you, StellaRockafella and well done on the weight loss! Am on it with the weight training, too, which I hope is helping. I didn't know about the progesterone connection, so that's helpful. Yes, it's really complex! I found a lot of stuff that was working great for me now seeming less effective as menopause has thrown me out of balance. I take natural dessicated thyroid which is great (after I was really ill with thyroxine) but maybe I need to review/increase the dose of that, too. Aarrgghhh it's so complicated, I feel like I need a degree in endocrinology to figure it all out!! But really appreciate the ideas and suggestions in this thread - thank you all!
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