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Old 11-25-2012, 07:34 AM   #1
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Are my GI symptoms and anxiety perimenopause?

Hi, I am 48 1/2 and just joined. I have only missed one period which was about 6 months ago although my periods come a day or two earlier than they used to (about day 25 instead of 25) and I get some small clots during my period. A few months ago I started having horrendous digestive issues and all the tests the GI doctor have done have come out negative other than the endoscopy showed stomach and esophagus inflammation from acid reflux. I have lost a lot of weight and really can't keep losing like this. I have no appetite, feel full and bloated all the time, burp nonstop, lots of acid reflux that no longer responds to any medication (GERD was controlled well for 20 years on Prilosec and IBS has been in remission for 20 years also). I eat very carefully now but nothing works. I can't sleep more than a couple hours at night. I now am pretty panicky since the doctor can't find what's wrong with me but no one has brought up perimenopause.

I have an appointment with my primary care physician in a few days to ask for an anti-anxiety medication. I can't take an SSRI because they all upset my stomach (tried them years ago with my irritable bowel) and I don't want a benzo like Ativan OR Xanax which are highly addictive. Is there anything else out there that helps with anxiety in perimenopause and may also help me gain weight and give me an appetite? Or should I not seek an antidepressant and ask the doctor for hormone replace therapy first? I hate to do them both at the same time because then you don't know which is working or not working or which is causing side effects. Also, I prefer not to have any more blood tests because both arms are sore from all the pokes I have had in the last month to try to diagnosis my digestive issues. Is there a urine or saliva test the doctor can give me instead. Sorry for this long post!

Marie

 
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:24 AM   #2
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Re: Are my GI symptoms and anxiety perimenopause?

I personally think that digestive issues are simply age related and not hormone related. Most people have something they can't eat at some point as they age. And I would certainly see my gyno and ask about hormones. They wouldn't necessarily have to test your blood as they could just simply put you on birth control pills and see if that helps. I would personally not take antidepressants for a hormone issue. To me, that's like taking a vitamin for a broken foot. Doesn't make any sense to me. And they won't put you on HRT until you pretty much aren't having any periods or are skipping them on the pill or at least older than you are.

 
Old 11-25-2012, 09:56 AM   #3
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Re: Are my GI symptoms and anxiety perimenopause?

Hi Titchou,

I have always had acid reflux and have been on Prilosec for 20 years. But now I am getting a tidal wave of other symptoms which just happens to coincide with my first perimenopause symptoms. Seems like a big coincidence but it could be just that. Except that when I was pregnant, both times, I had similar symptoms for 9 months and could hardly keep any food down (hyperemisis). I also had flu-like symptoms and dizzyness and a bad taste in my mouth all of which I have now. In fact my symptoms are very similar to my pregnancy symptoms. So that is another reason I think hormonal changes affect my digestive system. How does the birth control pill help? I was even thinking of going to a health food store and seeing if I could purchase some progesterone cream but then i don't really know what I am doing and hate to make things worse. We'll see if my doctor would prefer to put me on an antidepressant or whether he will look into my hormones. Thanks for your feedback!

Marie

 
Old 11-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #4
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Re: Are my GI symptoms and anxiety perimenopause?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarv View Post
Hi, I am 48 1/2 and just joined. I have only missed one period which was about 6 months ago although my periods come a day or two earlier than they used to (about day 25 instead of 25) and I get some small clots during my period. A few months ago I started having horrendous digestive issues and all the tests the GI doctor have done have come out negative other than the endoscopy showed stomach and esophagus inflammation from acid reflux. I have lost a lot of weight and really can't keep losing like this. I have no appetite, feel full and bloated all the time, burp nonstop, lots of acid reflux that no longer responds to any medication (GERD was controlled well for 20 years on Prilosec and IBS has been in remission for 20 years also). I eat very carefully now but nothing works. I can't sleep more than a couple hours at night. I now am pretty panicky since the doctor can't find what's wrong with me but no one has brought up perimenopause.

I have an appointment with my primary care physician in a few days to ask for an anti-anxiety medication. I can't take an SSRI because they all upset my stomach (tried them years ago with my irritable bowel) and I don't want a benzo like Ativan OR Xanax which are highly addictive. Is there anything else out there that helps with anxiety in perimenopause and may also help me gain weight and give me an appetite? Or should I not seek an antidepressant and ask the doctor for hormone replace therapy first? I hate to do them both at the same time because then you don't know which is working or not working or which is causing side effects. Also, I prefer not to have any more blood tests because both arms are sore from all the pokes I have had in the last month to try to diagnosis my digestive issues. Is there a urine or saliva test the doctor can give me instead. Sorry for this long post!

Marie
this could very well be perimenopause because it causes a lot of issues that you're having, but...and don't be worried about this....autoimmune disorders tend to develop in the years that a woman goes through the change. talk to your gp and just ask her out of curiosity, if she would do an antinuclear antibody test on you, (a.n.a.). i went through a living hell for years with my docs just telling me it was menopause, until i researched the crap out of my symptoms and asked my doc to do this test on me. sure enough....sjogrens syndrome. not saying that's what's wrong with you, but i was thankful that i found out the real source of all of my illnesses and it wasn't just in my head. the reason i suggest this is because you talk a lot about inflammation and that can be a good indicator of these disorders. best of luck and don't worry yourself because worry can cause inflammation to worsen. let me know what you decide, okay? just a little addition here, since i didn't respond to your other questions. i can't take anitdepressants due to dryness and i don't like the way they make me feel. i take diazepam...2.5mg in the morning and the same in the evening. low dose and easy to get off of. seems that this helps me with pain and jumpy nerves, stress and other issues that i have. for your stomach...not sure if you've tried dexilant or not. it's stronger and time released. it's an upsell of prevacid. they're very expensive though if you don't have a medical plan. i don't, so i opt for prevacid which are not as good. not sure about the urine or saliva test, unless you're being screened for a disorder like sjogrens. hope this helps.

Last edited by boobootwo; 11-25-2012 at 11:09 AM. Reason: typo and addition

 
Old 11-25-2012, 02:47 PM   #5
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Re: Are my GI symptoms and anxiety perimenopause?

Well, peri and menopause are caused by hormone deficiencies - your body slowly stops producing the hormones. Birth control pills and HRT are basically the same thing but you don't have a period on HRT. So, adjusting one's bcp's or going on them often helps. It did for me. My gyno changed my bcp and all my peri symptoms were gone in 2 weeks. When I missed or hardly had periods on the bcp, at age 57, I went on HRT and have been on it ever since. It's lovely here!

 
Old 11-25-2012, 05:22 PM   #6
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Re: Are my GI symptoms and anxiety perimenopause?

Boobootwo, I looked up sjogrens and i don't have the hallmark symptoms so I am pretty sure that's not it (I don't have dryness or drymouth). I started reading the long thread on asking people to list their symptoms and after reading a lot of those i noticed that many do indeed have many digestive problems due to perimenopause. Now I am pretty convinced that perimenopause is behind all this but how to fix it? For the reflux I have tried Dexilant and Prevacid and they give me horrible diarrhea so that was out. I tried Aciphex and Nexium with no results. Now I have Protonix which I don't hold out much hope for. For the IBS symptoms like gas and bloating I will need something and I need something for the nausea also. And the anxiety. If taking birth control pill can solve all this I am all for it. I have never had the pill so I don't know what effect it will have.

Marie

 
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