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    Old 09-28-2005, 06:26 AM   #1
    pixiek
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    More on BCP

    I am perimeno and thinking of starting low dose birth control pills mainly to help with my symptom of brain fog which was not helped by my thyroid meds. Hopefully has been great in talking to me about this!

    I have another question: If I try it to alleviate the brain fog, about how soon would I feel if the BCP is helping this symptoms or not? If I do get side effects from the BCP, I want to know if I should stick it out to see if I go longer and it will help the brain fog, or just quit sooner of if I get other side effects...hmmm does that make sense? Brain fog....Pixiek

     
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    Old 09-28-2005, 08:03 AM   #2
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    Re: More on BCP

    Hello Pixiek I'm at home today because of this darn anxiety, but we are talking about you right now .

    It took me about 2 weeks to really start feeling the affect of the bcp. As far as symptoms go depending upon the symptom I'd give the bcp at least 30 days. Now if you are concerned about a particular symptom, you know your body, contact your doctor/pharmacist immediately and then you can determine whether to stop or continue.

    As I shared with you before I tried several brands of bcp before settling on the last one that I took. I recall stopping in the middle of a pack of bcp to switch to another brand. Of course always check with your doctor first.

    Since you are still looking into trying bcp I guess your doctor and you must feel that this is alright to use along with your thyroid medication.

    I know that you are in Japan so if at all possible check with your pharmacist about symptoms and your concerns. This is just my preference, but I feel reassured when I talk with my pharmacist about medications and not just the doctor.

    Besides your thyroid medication are you taking any other medication to help with these peri. symptoms?

    Hopefully, others will post with additional suggestions and words of encouragement .

    Last edited by Hopefully; 09-28-2005 at 08:05 AM.

     
    Old 09-28-2005, 09:52 PM   #3
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    Re: More on BCP

    Thanks, Hopefully! Yes, I also thought the 30 day trial sounded right.

    BUT, I am not even sure if I have a different choice of BCP here in Japan. They are not used much. They do have lots of different varying amounts of HRTs but the progesterone and the estrogens are MUCH higher than what is in the low birth control pills. I still have not decided to go this route yet. My holistic doctor in the states is of course against it, but he is also stating that he has not heard of brain fog being a symptoms of peri....that's not right, right? ??????

    I also have tender breasts almost all month to varying degrees and the many GYN here have just pointed toward the mamogram and don't seem to think it is hormonal related (that is wrong, right???????).

    I think the diet of soy beans and tofu (from studies I have read) that most women eat in daily diet give them less peri symptoms and also I think culturally women tend to not discuss it much with there doctors...that is the sense I get anyway....I know many women in their 30's who have not ever had a PAP.....

    Oh, one more question,I am wondering if I am having anxiety attacks...don't really know what one is, but I sort of feel jumpy...often happens just before I drop off to sleep...and keeps happening many times before I do drop off to sleep....is this anxiety?

    thanks, as always....the quest continues....so does the fog.....! Pixiek

     
    Old 09-29-2005, 03:39 PM   #4
    Hopefully
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    Re: More on BCP

    I've had the dropping off to sleep anxiety before and I think some women have posted here about this same symptom.

    Brain fog and tender breast are related to peri/meno. I think some doctors don't know exactly what we mean by "brain fog". I usually have to say that I feel spacey, sorta dizzy, off balanced...etc.

    Well, today is day two using the CombiPatch and I've noticed some improvement. Hmmm........I just thought of something...do they have the birth control patch in Japan? What about bioidentical hormones, or a compounding pharmacy?

    m in the process of seriously looking into compounded hormones instead of using the CombiPatch. I have a co-worker who used a USP progesterone cream from another country for peri/meno. symptoms and she speaks highly of how it changed her life. She's the second person I've worked with who obtained good results from compounded hormones.

    How long have you been dealing with this brain fog?

     
    Old 09-29-2005, 05:19 PM   #5
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    Re: More on BCP

    I can't believe that dropping of to sleep anxiety could be peri!!!!!!!! I was sure it was thyroid all the time...thyroid can also cause anxiety...that is why I don't know what is what! Interestingly, I am due for my period and I have had the WORSE night last night...off to sleep anxiety and woke up covered in sweat...and I believe I started my period this AM.......this is all NEWw to me and it is hard for me to change my thinking...I have been in the thyroid mode for so long and NOT EVEN ONE #$%&' DOCTOR SUGGESTED WHAT ELSE IT MIGHT ME EVEN WHEN I ASKED...what idiots!!!!!!...

    To answer your question, I have been dealing with the brain fog since my thyroid problem began when I turned 41....coincidence? Maybe..... That is one reason why I started thyroid meds in the hopes of alleviating it as it is also a hypothyroid problem as well. They have not helped.

    Unfortunately women go though peri at the same time many develop thyroid problems...like me I think...so it is hard to tell......that is what is making it so difficult for me to find relief...I don't want to start too many new things at once, but I am so tired of not feeling well and there are so many choices and pros and cons...it is mind boggling

    Ok, so here is the list of possibilities so far:
    1. Low dose birth control pills - in Japan
    2. Combipatch (prog./Estrog patch?)- don't know in Jpn - The CombiPatch is a combination of estrogen and progestin. with the 20mcg and going up to 35mcg.
    3. Bioidential hormones - don't know in jpn.
    4. Projesterone cream - don't know in Jpn.
    5. Compounding pharmacy - don't know...how would use it?

    BUT, I did find out from another poster who lived in Japan (these boards are great!) that my doctor in the USA can write a perscription and I can get it filled and sent to me by a pharmacy that sends internationally...so I CAN really get anything I need, I think....my doctor in USA is holistic, though, so he already told me not to use the BCP....I might still try it...anyway I am waiting for blood results...but they did not test projesterone as the doc here told me there was no point...only estroidial and LH, FSH.....they really are not up on this stuff....

    I sincerely hope the patch will work for you...looking forward to hearing good news on that! Pixiek

    Last edited by pixiek; 09-30-2005 at 05:47 AM.

     
    Old 09-29-2005, 06:00 PM   #6
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    Re: More on BCP

    Pixiek, I'm new at this compounding hormone "thingy" so I'm waiting to hear from the two difference pharmacies that I've contacted. What I've been told so far is that I have to go through a consultation with the pharmacist, then based upon the information gathered they will fax their recommendation to my ob/gyn. At that time I guess if she agrees then she'll sign the prescription and the pharmacist will develop the compounded hormone cream that I need. Of course some tweaking might be needed.

    I know someone who also has hypothyroid and is dealing with the brain fog. She is taking synthyroid and at times finds relief from the brain fog. Until I spoke with her I did not know how similiar the symptoms are between peri/meno. and hypothyroid.

    How long have you been in Japan and are you returning to the states anytime soon? Your friend is correct about still being able to get medications sent to you by a doctor who is willing to work with you.

     
    Old 09-30-2005, 05:50 AM   #7
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    Re: More on BCP

    I have been in Japan for about 10 years now...I live here as my husband is Japanese and I have a daughter.

    Your info is so helpful to me as I need to know what is going on to help Western Women! Now, I asked this before, but looking for a bit more info. on the amounts of estrogen and projesterone in BCP and HRT and now CombiPatch in USA so that I can compare with what they might thow at me here.

    I am a little confused by the difference in amounts of proj/estrog of HRT in Japan and those in USA as I keep reading that HRTs in USA are lower amounts of prog/est. than BCP! This seems to be the opposite case in Japan where the BCP is much lower in proj/Estro. that the HRTs. in. This is what I have so far:

    1. The CombiPatch: is a combination of estrogen and progestin. 20mcg and going up to 35mcg...how much is estrog. and how much is projst?

    2. HRT:
    In Japan: Projesterone is 2.5 mg, Estrogen is 0.625 mg
    In USA: Premarin is a HRT: a conjugated estrogens (equine) -- 45% estrone sulfate; 55% equine estrogens 0.3, 0.625 (standard), 0.9, 1.25, and 2.5 mg"

    3. Birth Control pills:
    In Japan: Projesterone is 0.5mg, Estrogen is 0.035mg ,
    In USA: Ovcon-35 - 0.40 mg progestin, norethindrone (0.035mg) or 35 mcg estrogen; Provera is medroxyprogesterone acetate 2.5, 5, 10 mg

    4. Compounded progesterone: a bio-identical hormone made at a compounding pharmacy. It is supposed to be exactly like the hormone in my body and not a synthetic.


    (edited to complete my list of possibilities so far....)

    Last edited by pixiek; 10-01-2005 at 05:58 PM.

     
    Old 09-30-2005, 03:20 PM   #8
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    Re: More on BCP

    Hello Pixiek . Let me try to answer your questions. Hopefully others will jump in and give additional information an add their experience.

    (Is this an HRT?: you wrote:"Premarin is conjugated estrogens (equine) -- 45% estrone sulfate; 55% equine estrogens 0.3, 0.625 (standard), 0.9, 1.25, and 2.5 mg" Premarin is a HRT.

    What I have read for the USA is that if you are still producing some hormones than you take BCP (which is higher in hormones than the HRT) to shut down your own production and regulate yourself... where as the HRT which is lower is used as a bit of replacement for someone who is not producing any or very, very little amount of hormones....so in the USA the BCP is a higher amount of hormones than the HRT, but in Japan it seems that the BCP is LOWER than the HRT...I am all confused... I was also given the same information about bcp being better for perimenopausal women because we still are producing hormones. When I first began having severe peri symptoms I was placed on a HRT (I didn't know the difference back then between a HRT or bcp) and it provided some relief, but cause horrible mood swings.

    But given what we know so far about what is available for me, what would you recommend for me so far? Pixiek (hope you are not sick of me yet!) You keep asking all the questions that you like, believe me I won't get tired of you . As you can tell from reading other posts I'm here almost everyday asking a lot of questions. This board and the women here have been a Godsend. I've really been blessed. I know that your holistic doctor doesn't believe in using bcp, but how does he/she feels about compounded hormones? Is there another doctor here in the states that will work with you? Would your doctor in Japan order a lower dose bcp for you? If it's safe for you to take bcp along with your thyroid medication I think it might be worth trying the lowest dose bcp possible, realizing that you can stop if you are not satisified or feel uncomfortable.

    Last edited by Hopefully; 09-30-2005 at 03:25 PM.

     
    Old 09-30-2005, 06:28 PM   #9
    pixiek
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    Re: More on BCP

    Hey thanks! You are right, these boards really help with information, consultation, and advice...I don't know what I would do had I been going through this in Japan 20 years ago! I am still thinking of trying BCP here in Japan for one month....I should know by then if it is helping from what you and others say....and my holistic doctor need never know! Pixiek

    PS> compounded hormones? Are they especially made according to your body needs? Is that the same as the combipatch? (have the feeling they have never heard of this here!)

    Last edited by pixiek; 09-30-2005 at 06:33 PM.

     
    Old 09-30-2005, 08:29 PM   #10
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    Re: More on BCP

    Hello Pixiek . My consultation is Monday at 4 and I'm really looking forward to talking with the consultant. I pray that I'll have the same positive benefits as the two women that I personally know who have been using compounded hormones for awhile. One lady is about our age and the other is in her late 50's. After the consultation they present their recommendation to my ob/gyn and if she agrees then they mix the hormones. I'll report back next week.

     
    Old 10-01-2005, 06:06 PM   #11
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    Re: More on BCP

    Great! I look forward to the report! Pixiek

     
    Old 10-21-2005, 09:49 AM   #12
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    Re: More on BCP

    I took Mercilon in the UK, and Mircette in the US for perimenopause. Both are very low dose birth control pills. I tend to be hypersensitive to all med's and these did not give me trouble. But I still had brain fog from time to time. I took very low dose Effexor to help with that, and that really seemed to work. Still .. the fog can come back at times. But much less.
    That jumpy you feel before falling to sleep sounds like it needs attention. I get something like that when I don't eat enough, especially in the starch category. My days can get so stressed and hectic that every time I sit down to eat, I just feel too stressed to eat much. Then at bedtime I get that jump stuff.
    I learned while living in the UK, that my US doctor could prescribe, and hometown pharm. could fill the prescription, and then a friend could pick it up and mail it to me.... But I did not find that my US doctor's prescription could be filled in another country's pharmacy.
    Brain fog is a common CFIDS (or CFS) condition. There's dozens of ways to try and treat it. It's not often considered to be a hormone related condition. Be sure you have untainted air in your home and car --- that's one of the most common ways of getting brain fog and just not realizing it. I cook an egg and eat it, and if it gives me a lift immediately ... then I know I need the vitamins in it ... there's more than vitamins in it, which can help. I drink an ounce or two of orange juice and see if that helps for an hour .. then it's sugar related. I eat liver and see ... if it works ..then it's iron related. Well, there's just a few things to consider on your own ...
    Hope you find relief.

     
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