Iím not sure where to start,ÖI have so many symptoms and so many questions!
Ok, here goes: I am 43 years old and have been very healthy all of my life with the exception of Degenerative Disk Disease and two herniated disks, one disk of which I had very successful surgery for in 2004. But, my back problems are mild compared to what ELSE has been going on.
Basically, for the last year, I have felt horrible! I have gained about 30 pounds after being thin all of my life. I have mood swings that range from a blah feeling (no severe depression, just Ďblahí) to almost euphoria. My periods went from 2.5 days, with only the second day being heavy to 6 or 7 days with 3 heavy days. My skin is so dry it flakes unless I put lotion on twice a day. I can no longer eat any dairy products or fried foods or I get severe stomach pain. I have night sweats, heart palpitations and hot flashes also. My breasts are usually swollen and painful and my libido is non-existent.
The worst symptom though is migraine headaches. I had migraines in my late teens and early twenties but they stopped around the age of 25. I do remember though that birth control pills made the headaches worse and I could not take them anymore. I suddenly began having them again about a month ago. Sometimes though, I just have the odd visual aura and no headache, the visual disturbances can be so bad at times that I cannot read or drive.
Also, I have problems focusing or thinking clearly. I am a graduate student (computer science/ algorithm analysis and design) and without my brain in full cooperation, I canít do my work and it is starting to show.
I have a Drís appointment in October which is my yearly Gyno exam. In the meant time, I ordered the home hormone testing kit (not sure if I am allowed to mention the name here) but it hasnít arrived yet. I also did the three-day home thyroid temperature test, it was normal, so I am fairly certain my thyroid levels are OK.
As for supplements, I take a multi-vitamin, B-6, Calcium/Magnesium, Vitamin C, Alfalfa tablets, and a multi-oil formula that contains primrose, borage, fish and flax seed oils. I also crunch a few acidophilus tablets at least twice a day. This regime I have done though for about 5 years so Iím not sure if it needs to be changed or if any supplements need to be increased or added. If so, which ones????
I also walk for 3 miles a day on a treadmill and do 30 minutes of light weight training and stretching four times a week. Mostly this is for my back problems but Iíve read that it should help with menopause symptoms also. But it did not prevent the 30 lb weight gain.
I am so sorry this post is so long,ÖÖÖ.I am just so frustrated. I have always been an advocate of natural medicine and remedies but nothing seems to work for this. Here are my questions for those of you who have read this far (thank you!):
1) Does hormone therapy whether natural or prescription help with the migraines? I am worried that because birth control pills made the headaches worse before that any hormone therapy will also make the headaches worse now.
2) Are there any supplements that I am missing?
3) Is there ANYTHING that can help with the weight gain? I have NEVER weighed this much in my life and not only is the weight making me feel worse about myself but it is making my back problems worse also.
4) What other questions or tests should I ask my Dr?
Thank you all sooooo much for reading this far. And thanks in advance for your help.
Sorry you are having all these problems - you sound like you are at your wits end! Well, welcome to this club that no one wants to belong to! I think it's great you ordered the hormone testing kit - I'm assuming it's the saliva type. Be sure to follow all the directions for timing in your cycle. It will be great to have the results to take to your gyno in October. It's very possible your hormones are off balance.
I have suffered from migraines also from my early teens. They actually got better in my late 20's when I changed my diet (got away from triggers like msg). In my early 40's, they returned more frequently although not as severe and sometimes with just the aura (all of which was most annoying). I haven't had much problem with weight gain, but did with fatigue which caused me to reevaluate my diet. I got completely off caffeine and really cut back on high carb foods like sugar, white flour, etc. And I started eating more protein, which was low in my diet (I don't eat beef or pork).
When I started having more severe peri symptoms last year, I also started taking supplements including magnesium. I later read that extra magnesium can help reduce migraines. I take 400mg per day and have noticed a definite decrease. I hardly ever get the auras at all where as before I was getting one per week and a headache about once per month.
I also did the saliva test and found that my hormones were all low. I found a gyno that treats with bioidentical hormones and have been using them for about 8-9 months now. I never asked about the connection with migraines, but I have not noticed an increase since I've been on the hormones.
It sounds like you are doing quite a bit of exercise, so unless you've changed your eating habits, I would guess that hormones could be the culprit. I'd also have your gyno do thorough thyroid testing. In fact, if I were you, I wouldn't wait until October - that's a long ways away!
I might now have the answers that you need, but I'm glad to share my experiences. First of all I'm taking compounded progesterone and recently have began having migraines. I woke up with one last week which subsided when my period began that afternoon. Supposingly, declining estrogen can trigger migraines. I'm hesitant about adding estradiol to my mixture, but I will discuss this with my doctor next week Monday.
Like so many others I've put on quite a bit of weight since going into perimenopause. I've noticed recently that I have to cut back on carbs, eat small freqent meals, and exercise in order to shed a few pounds. I've read posts from women who are post menopausal who stated that they now found it easier to lose weight, but it still required diligence and perserverance.
From your list of vitamins I can not suggest any other supplements...seems like we are taking the same combo. of vits .
Before being diagnosed with perimenopause I had a variety of test that came back normal, thank God. I've since learned that continual hormone testing is rather useless when dealing with constant fluctuating hormones. For example...the last series of hormone tests I had done showed that I'm post menopausal...yet I'm still having periods.
I'm sorry that you are going through this, but rest assured that you are in good company and in time this will all pass. Keep posting and asking questions.
Thanks to both of you for your wonderful and informative replies! This board has been a miracle for me!
I started taking the magnesium twice a day for the migraines and also added some CO-Q10. I'll let everyone know how they work out. I'm also going to eliminate the 'bad' carbs and see if I can shed a few pounds.
I was going to try and move up my Dr.s appointment but then figured if I keep it in October, that will give me four months to try anything and everything on my own first. Then I can give my Dr. the list of everything I've already tried so she doesn't have me start from scratch.
Thanks again and I'll be sure to let you know if I make any worthwhile discoveries!