I'm 45 and menopausal, as well. My mother didn't go through menopause until her 50's either, so it surprised me that I was at this age. I have no idea why I'm so early compared to her and my grandmothers. I feel the same as you, "old." I've brought this topic up to other women and am always told "already?" (They're all quite older than me, which makes me feel even "older")
I get PVC's and heart palpitations, too. They just about drive me crazy. My doctor said they're completely normal with menopause. Even though I put it in my mind that it's normal, when it starts occurring, it throws you into a panic of sorts. Wonderful, isn't it?
I can't elaborate on hot flashes. I haven't been plagued with those, but constant chills instead. As for home remedies, I haven't tried anything. I've been doing quite a bit of research and nothing OTC gets promising reviews.
I've read that menopause symptoms can last between 3-10 years.