I'm 43 and like so many others I am so glad I stumbled across this board! Well, my doctor believes I may be in perimenopause. I seem to have many of the same symptoms everyone here is talking about. The ONE thing that has me worrying though is this insane shaking I get. I am taking Mertazapine for the anxiety and one of the "rare but serious" side effects is shaking and rapid heartbeat. I take it once a day at bed time. Because it's rare (1 in 1,000/10,000 people experience it) my doctor doesn't feel that what I'm experiencing is a side effect. So I was wondering if anyone else gets this. I do NOT get this every night, which is another reason my doctor doesn't think it's med related. It's random but only seems to be at night. I can feel it coming on. My body kind of tenses then I shiver. About an hour later I am freezing, buried under blankets with my heart thumping and my entire body shivering. I can last anywhere from an hour to 2 hours. Thanks!
I think it's our hormones going wacko on us. Some women suffer when their hormones drop, but I think I am suffering from high and fluctuating hormones. I don't get hot flashes but I have every other symptom, especially anxiety. I'm hoping that when they drop, I'll be better. I have a referral to a gyno to discuss HRT. I've been avoiding HRT so far because I have a sister who had breast cancer at age 40, but after 4 years of this hell, I'm ready to try anything. Ativan definately helps me feel better, but because it's addictive, I only use it occasionally. If something crazy is going on in my body, I've just accepted it as peri menopause and try not to think it's something more than that. T
I am glad I found your post. First let me say I am sorry you are going through this. For the last two weeks, I have been going through the same thing with shaking...but I am not on any meds.. This started coincidentally on the day right before my period started... Usually I wake up at around 1:00 AM (having slept for about an hour or so) and I am hot and sweaty. Then the shaking starts. Especially if I get out of bed and get cold. I am 44 years old. It scared me so much the first time that I took some antihistimenes to put me to sleep...it did work (the first time) for a couple hours. After several nights of this insomnia and shaking, I decided to try herbs... kava, valerian, still not working. So I went to a medical clinic and they prescribed a sleeping pill...helped one night, then stopped working.
For me there has been a lot of anxiety provoking stuff happening in my family...mainly teenage daughter stuff....and my husband and I don't see eye to eye on ways to deal with her. I think she might be depressed, he thinks she's being manipulative and just being a teenager. This has caused me to start over thinking my life in every way. One thought leads to another...why didn't I ever have a carreer, why doesn't my husband understand me, why can't I be happy....why am I a failure at parenting...why did I choose my husband....how will I cope when there is empty nest...how will I deal with life when my parents leave the earth...why don't I have any close friends...all of this is spinning through my head and on top of it I have sleep anxiety now as I have not had more than 2-4 hours of sleep a night in about 14 days. I've lost 8 pounds and I have dry mouth and am not hungry. I force myself to eat. I just got Lunesta yesterday (which cost me a fortune) and I still only got a couple hours of sleep. But at least I wasn't shaking this morning.
I don't know for sure if I am in perimenopause but I am going to make an appt. w/ the Dr. to talk about things. I don't want any medication if I can avoid it. I don't even like taking this Lunesta - and I know when I stop it, I will have rebound insomnia.
I have never had anxiety and shaking like this before. And I know I have a long road ahead of me with lots of life changing events in the future. I would like to know that I am mentally strong enough to deal with everything. I don't like talking to my husband about all of the details of this because it seems to be contagious...and he has to get up and go make a living for our family. He feels bad for me not sleeping well but he doesn't really understand...I haven't mentioned the shaking. He is against sleeping pills because he knows that once you go off them you have worse insomnia than before. But I just couldn't go another day with this sleeplessness. His suggestion is to smoke one hit of pot before going to bed...I haven't smoked pot since college and even then it was minimal - same with my hubby.
I don't know if your shaking is related to the medication you take but I do know how you feel - it is horrible and draining. For me once the shaking stops, I feel a strange warmth in my thighs. I think mine has to do with uncontrollable adrenaline surges - because I feel like a fluttering in my stomach too. I even shake during the day too...especially if I get cold.
Good luck to you and all others going through life changes...times will get better. We have to remember that.
i know what you mean. I got the exact same thing for a while. What I was having were cold flashes,(described to me by my doctor). It would happen mostly in the evenings. I would suddenly get cold and start shivering. No matter how many blankets I threw on myself, I was still freezing. They would last anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours on and off. I don't know if it's coincidence, but it would happen when my anxiety was at it's worst.
Thank you so much for your replies! It eases my mind some to know that others are experiencing something similar. I also have some Adavn and the doctor told me I can take it when the shaking and fast heart rate goes on for more than an hour. He said it's an overload of adrenaline. I haven't taken the Adavan yet..I just try and ride it out. After the shaking the heat does come creeping up my legs too. Lostinwonder....don't ever think of yourself as failure as a parent! I do know EXACTLY what you're going through. I have a 26 year old son that suffers mild depression with occasional anger. He's working thru it. I also have 9 & 11 year old girls. Never in my life had anxiety then BOOM out of nowhere this past October it started. Crying, mild depression, even more trouble sleeping, second guessing my life in general. My mother calls me everyday to complain about my dad. My girls have homework that I have to help with, clothes that need to be washed, dinner to make, bills to pay. It seems to be more than everyday stress of a stay at home mom. Now I have the anxiety and breathing issues piled on top. It's HARD for a husband to fully understand much of what we're dealing with. I often wonder if THIS is what people refer to as mid-life crisis. My doctor believes it is most likely hormone related but recommended seeing someone to talk about anything underlying that could be upsetting me (I haven't yet simply because it's too expensive) I bought a great book "The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook" 5th Edition by Edmund J Bourne. I know I can search the internet but it's nice to have all this info right at hand. It's helped me understand more about anxiety and how to cope. I have the same questions and doubts about my parenting, about the guy I married, about giving up my career to stay at home at raise our daughter's.
I was also having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep (& still do occasionally have trouble, I did last night). Mind racing, heart slow then fast, hot then cold feeling like I can't take a deep breath. My doctor is really against any kind of sleeping pills & doesn't want to put me on HRT just yet. For my anxiety he has prescribed Mirtazapine (also known as Remeron, Avanza or Zispin it's an NaSSA or TeCA). It treats depression and anxiety and it does have a slightly sedating effect. I take it once a day at bedtime. I believe it's in a different category from those I see advertised on tv. While I randomly experience this fast heart rate with the uncontrollable shivering, many of my nights are good. To help with sleep and the jittery feeling I sometimes get I no longer drink ANY caffeine coffee, teas, sodas. I now drink natural caffeine free herbal teas. I can't use any that has Valerian root because it can interfere with my meds because it has a sedating effect. Another BIG help with both my anxiety and relaxing before bed is Progressive Muscle Relaxation. I have it on my iPod and listen to it once I'm in bed. I would recommend this to anyone. Something else I've also found relaxing is sounds of nature. I've also loaded my iPod with nature sounds with music, and then as I'm drifting off I switch to just rain sounds. I guess it's like white noise but it does help! I would also recommend the book Foods That Harm Foods That Heal from Reader's Digest. Warm milk & honey can help with sleep. Tons of good info. I read it in bed.
My neighbors' daughter is going through this too and she's refusing to take any medicine. She's suffering. She's gone to a homeopath but has yet to see any results. That was my next move if meds didn't work. I would really recommend talking to your doctor about weeing yourself off the sleeping pills and looking into something for the anxiety/depression. I seem to have had no side effects other than some weight gain (the Mirtazapine makes me crave sweets). The only other concern I had/have with it is worrying that my shivering is a side effect, which lead me here, and I feel that I can believe my doctor when he's told me it's not the med it's hormones. There's a lot of us going through the same things and hopefully we can all help each other out on here with our own experiences & things we've tried.
Wow, thank you for your reassurance. I feel so alone in this because as the years have gone by and I've been an stay at home mom and a work at home mom, I've sort of let friendships go and been content doing my own thing without the need for consistent friendships. My good, true friends live far away and are busy with their own lives and it feels weird just calling or emailing. I just got off the phone with my mom who was insisting that this is hormonal. She remembers being a basket case for a while at this age. Whatever it is, it is horrible. The worst part is having a hormonal teenage daughter who I am constantly worried about...both of us having hormonal surges...just wonderful....makes you feel like you are going crazy. She won't talk to me about anything so I have no idea if she's ok or not...sometimes she seems fine...other times not so fine. The stress over her issues is what sent me over the top...and my husband (her dad) not seeing eye to eye about things makes it feel hopeless...
I talked to the midwife (the one who helped me birth my son 10 years ago) on the phone and she said a lot of things that really turned me off. Maybe it's because I want answers NOW and of course that's impossible. She was nice enough to talk to me for a few minutes. She said that we can either do a low dose birth control pill or I can go to a physician and they can prescribe an antidepressant. I was sort of turned off because I told her that a couple years ago I had my hormones checked via the saliva testing and my progesterone was a bit low compared to my estrogen. She said the doctors she works under don't even believe any of that and they don't even believe that progesterone cream gets absorbed. Wha??? BTW, I have been using the cream thinking that it would help...probably shouldn't be doing that but at this point when all you read is that progesterone is the "feel good" hormone, it makes you want to use it.
I need to go in for my annual (which I have not done in 4 years- shame on me) and she's booked for 2 weeks. I think I'm going to find another gyno to go to and try to get in sooner.
Thanks again for everything you said...I really have been feeling lost the last couple weeks. Everyone has things in life that are difficult to get through. I have to constantly tell myself that I am not the only one, but in the middle of the night while you are shaking and exhaused and unable to sleep, you feel about as alone as anything.
I bought "What Doctors Might not Tell you About Perimenopause" and "Before the Change". Good books. I also drink warm milk before bed..don't think it helps, but maybe.
If there is any question whether the anxiety, depression, heat surges, cold surges, has anything to do with hormones, just look at our husbands sleeping peacefully. I know men and women think differently but I truly think women are 100% hormones.
Good luck everyone...let's pray for each other through these hard times.
The following user gives a hug of support to lostinwonder: 3sillykidsnadog (03-22-2013)
You know....it never even occurred to me that my 11 year old daughter will be going through some changes soon :\
My sister-in-law is dealing with her changes without HRT. She dead set against it because of all the uncertainty. She doesn't have the anxiety/depression so she's going with the hot flashes taking them as they come.
I think I can handle the cold/hot but for me the anxiety & depression is THE WORST!! It's hard not to worry when I feel the heart racing and shivering though and then I get the anxiety!
I was NOT crazy about anxiety meds but believe me, in my case, the benefits are outweighing the side effects (which at this point I don't think I have any).
As for your daughter, is there some kind of counselling you can request at her school? I see the same behavior in my 9 year old as I saw in her brother. I talked to our school principal and she's now seeing a councilor who helps her deal with things (like when she gets angry).
My doctor is good but it does take a while to figure this whole mess out. I guess if we were closer to 50 they'd just come right out and say "hey...it's perimenopause" It took about 3 months before my doctor decided to put me on the anxiety meds then they take about a month to really see the benefit. It's a long slow progress but work with a doctor you trust and I'm sure eventually you will get some relief! I'm sure I have not seen the worse yet but I'm arming myself with knowledge and hopefully can deal with it if/when it gets worse.
Yeah, my daughter has done some counseling, but she doesn't open up. It's frustrating because I can't force her. I keep offering but she said it makes things worse. So that is on my mind constantly.
I finally got some sleep thanks to lunesta last night...but I took it in the middle of the night after my usual hot flash at 1:00 - 2:00 Am. I couldn't go back to sleep (didn't really sleep prior to that either). But I still feel lousy...
I made an appointment with the midwife....the same one I was sort of put off by. Her overseeing doctor isn't seeing any new patients. I guess we can do blood tests or whatever to find out about hormones...is that what they do? As for any antidepressants, they can't prescribe them. I will have to go to a primary care doctor for that.
So much of this is in my mind, but we all have life stressors...why now can't I seem to handle this? I feel shaky now as I sit here and wish I could just go back to bed. But I know I wouldn't be able to sleep anyway. Have stuff to do but don't know how to get my head in the game.
I don't know how old your daughter is but I wonder if it would help YOU if you just let her know what you are REALLY going through. When my son was 17 I finally had to tell him that I had to worry about ME but I would always be there for him when he needed it. We've had some VERY tough times. He went down hard in 2011...absolute bottom. Crying, said he just didn't even want to wake up any more. He was emotionally and physically exhausted. He got some help and seems to be doing better (he's 26 so it's been a long journey) As long as your daughter knows that she can come to you and talk to you and that you have an open mind that seems to be all we can do as parents with teens. My son is 26, lives on his own and I STILL worry about him! Sometimes our kids just need us to listen and not say anything. THAT has been a tough lesson for me to learn. I really do hope you can get the help YOU need! Maybe you can make a deal with your daughter like I made with my son. He made me a promise that he would never hurt himself, and that he would come to me when he needed help and in return I would listen and only offer advice when he asked. That might be all you can ask for from her at this time.
Thanks for your words of encouragement. I have told my daughter that I am here for her...she hates when I talk emotionally. Deep down she is a sweet person, but she's closed off. Hopefully she hears me.
I tried to talk to my husband about how lousy I feel again. He gets very frustrated because he doesn't know what to do. It's hard to talk to him because of everything else going on. He worked from 7- 6 today and he's hungry and tired. It's like they don't have anything else to give when they are gone all day working. He is not a talker and would rather give me back massages which he does and I do for him too. I should be lucky to have someone willing to give very long massages...instead I dwell on the fact that he's not talking like a woman...emotionally. Of course he also is deeply concerned about our daughter...but I think as mommies, we take things so personally and harder than men. If I put myself in his shoes I would be frustrated too. I wish there was a women's support group in my area for those of us going through hard times (whether emotional or hormonal or both). I can't seem to find anything. I am going to keep trying to get into see a doctor. I got an appointment with the midwife for May 2..earliest they have!!! I can't wait that long.
Our situations are so similar! If you do need to talk just jump on here! I really do understand how it is to have virtually no one to talk too. I had my son when I was 18, which means I eventually lost contact with all the girls from school. I am fortunate enough to still have my best friend to talk to and one of my sister-in-laws is going through some of what we are. I wonder if your OB doctor would know of any women's groups? If they don't they why not try starting your own. I'm sure there must be other's in your area. I am just now starting to reconnect with a few girls from school through facebook. I met up with one last week and guess what...she's going through this too! Also been talking to my long time hairdresser...she's got the anxiety! I'm not embarrassed about being open with people about what's happening to me. Of course I leave some of the family stuff out & I don't blurt it out on a first meeting, but I'm finding that as I see people and we reconnect and talk that it is surprising how many are starting to see some of these same changes!
I'm very open with people too about what's going on too...shows maybe that I'm desperate for something because I don't want to disrespect my daughter, but I have to talk for my peace of mind. I need to know that there are others out there dealing with these type of issues and struggling...especially when you don't have any one else to talk to on a regular basis (I do have my husband but seriously, he's not a woman and just doesn't have the patience or ability to understand what we as women go throught). I could get therapy but seriously...our insurance doesn't cover it so I would be paying hundreds of dollars for something I could be working out on my own if I just had people to talk to. I will ask the midwife if she knows of any women's groups. There is a women's "meetup" for ladies from 25 - 49 years old and they do different things. I've thought about trying that out.
Well, I went to the immediate care clinic again yesterday....I described everything AGAIN to a different doctor. He said I was having panic/anxiety attacks....the shaking, hot cold...ets. He gave me a presciption for Avitan and Trazodone (for sleep). After the first Avitan I felt like my old self again...the anxiety was gone. I have never been on anything for anxiety and didn't really know if that's what was going on. Last night I slept for 8 hours...no shaking, no racing mind. It was a god send. But I'm still tired today and have a mild headache probably from the trazodone.
I am still want to have my hormones checked because if they are imbalanced, they might make the anxiety worse...I know something is out of whack because (embarassingly) I keep getting more and more whisker type hair on my chin...big black ones...almost more than I can keep up with plucking.
Starting a women's group is an interesting idea...I have been trying to reach out to some of my "neighbors" (we live in the boonies) for walking dates. One lady is a very young 60 year old who has two grown daughters...she's great to talk to about this stuff. The other neighbor is in her thirties and has a brand new baby girl so we are at such different stages in our lives...but that's ok. Baby steps. It's never too late to make new friends...but it's hard.