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hotflashes and questions - I have "officially" joined "the club"

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Old 01-25-2008, 02:24 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Alberta Canada
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purplefish67 HB User
hotflashes and questions - I have "officially" joined "the club"

Hello to everyone I suspect I will be spending the next 10+ years of my life looking to for suggestions! I am new here.

For the last 11 months my period has been squirrelly. It went from being every 28 days like clockwork (EVEN when under stress, times of change, etc) and then suddenly I would bleed way heavier for twice as long, then not at all for 2.5 months, then 2 days, then 12 days...soaking a pad plus tampon within each hour some days. Wierd pregnancy like symptoms started like chills, tender breasts and nausea only during my period etc. I went to the doctor who did some hormone tests of some sort and confirmed I was perimenopausal. Being 39 at the time I was shocked, until I found out my mother (who is not coherant enough to ask her myself) went into full blown menopause (period stoppage and all) at 40 (according to my dad). Incredible pain and heavy soaking made me beg my doctor for a hysterectomy - which I was promptly refused (maybe it was a good thing - I dont know).

So today I feel I have finally hit the milestone that convinced me beyond doubt - I had not one, but 2 hot flashes! I always wondered if I would recognize one if it hit - believe me I recognized it!!

And after I stood in the front door at -10c with my robe open as far as one could appropriately do - for maybe 3 minutes (felt like forever) I got dizzy, fell down, and cried in fear! Something that I assumed would be a moderate inconvenience was downright frightening!! Even knowing what it was, and knowing that was supposedly normal didn't shake the weird fear I felt!

But I'm okay now - at least FOR now. I know that, like with all other symptoms, this will vary from person to person but does anyone have any idea if this might indicate a daily/weekly thing? Or maybe (hopefully) today was an isolated incident? Do they come randomly or generally in a cyclic manner? I am menstruating this week (if you can call it that - spotting more appropriately) so is it possible they might only happen during those times??

I guess anything is possible though huh?

Thank you all for at least checking out my post. I look forward to getting to know some new people. My mother was mostly incoherant from my teen years on and I didn't have any aunts around for guidance, so you might find me asking really stupid questions sometimes. I apologize in advance for those.

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Old 01-25-2008, 03:53 AM   #2
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Location: emerald city
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rheanna HB Userrheanna HB User
Re: hotflashes and questions - I have "officially" joined "the club"


Welcome to the club! Your questions are not stupid ones -- they're perfectly reasonable ones when our bodies go haywire. We get used to the regular fluctuations of our bodies during our menstruating years, managing to find ways to deal with these hormonal fluctuations and live functional lives. Then things go wacky and it is perfectly understandable to think that we've got some terrible disease (or two or three) and that we're going insane. Hormones are powerful things.

I started the obvious symptoms of menopause whan I was 39. A few years later I went on low dose hormones, and I've been on one form or another of hormone therapy for the last 14-15 years or so (I'm 58 now and definitely officially post-menopausal).

As far as wanting to ask your older female relatives how peri-menopause went for them, I'm of the opinion that it wouldn't necessarily help you to gauge what to expect in your own life. Many women on this Board report that their experiences are quite different from their mothers' or grandmothers'. My opinion (for what it's worth as I have no medical training whatsoever! and I just love to formulate opinions on lots of things!) is that one of the reasons so many women nowadays are reporting far more difficulties going through this time of life than their older relatives is that our diets and environment are different from 50 years ago. Our diets include much more manufactured ingredients, and all around us are products that are made from substances that didn't exist 50 years ago. My current theory is that each of these things (individual artificial food ingredients and individual cleaning chemicals and individual plastics and so on) are not too difficult for a healthy body to adjust to. But we are bombarded by bazillions of these things all day every day. I think our bodies can deal with only so much and then our bodies go crazy when our hormones start fluctuating -- like it's just one thing too much. Our older relatives had other things to deal with.

I am not campaigning that we should all go back to nature and wear only tie-dyed cotton bell-bottoms and eat a vegan diet and live in "natural" wooden huts with thatched roofs. (Yes, I grew up in California during the hippy days!) But I am saying that I myself am taking Vitamin D3 supplements because I never see the sun (partly because I'm a couch potato and partly because the sun just don't shine here in grey depressing drizzly northern Germany!). People nowadays spend lots of time indoors (home and work and car) where they get too little sunlight and too many of those chemicals that I mentioned. I am saying that I don't recall that my own mother went through the physical and mental distress that I am reading on these Boards -- and that I myself went through.

I don't have any magic solutions for you. Hormone therapy can help, but it's not appropriate for everyone. As you read throught the threads, you'll see other recommendations. But most of all, you can come here and read that others are experiencing the same problems and you'll know that it's probably not some horrible disease causing these symptoms. And you'll get sympathy!



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Old 01-25-2008, 05:14 AM   #3
liverpool sue
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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liverpool sue HB User
Re: hotflashes and questions - I have "officially" joined "the club"

as usual rheanna, an interesting and informative post. for what it's worth, i also believe we are more open these days about not just menopause and what we women go through, but a whole host of other things which were never talked about in the past. so we share information, and talk and talk and talk about stuff. i don't necessarily believe that we have a worse time these days in menopause, although your arguments are very sound, but that we talk about it and aren't ashamed or embarrassed in the way our mothers and grandmothers were, so it may appear that we're suffering more just because we don't suffer in silence. knowledge is power, and in this instance gives us the power to take control of our health and decide for ourselves what route we'll take. thank goodness we have those choices.
as for the hot flashes purplefish, you'll find they'll change all the way through this journey. they vary in intensity and length, settle down for a while and then come back with a bang! you'd be very unlucky if they stay the way you've experienced them so far. you may get 30 a day for a while, then only a couple, then none, then 50 of the worst you've ever had. but always remember, they do (for most ladies) stop eventually, they just need to be lived through. good luck.

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Old 01-25-2008, 07:02 AM   #4
I C Hot
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I C Hot HB User
Re: hotflashes and questions - I have "officially" joined "the club"

Welcome Purplefish67,
You have found a great place to post and ask questions (and they are not stupid questions by the way.) I am sorry you are experiencing the things you are. You are not alone if that helps.

I agree with the other ladies here (rheanna and Liverpool Sue) their posts are full of good information. In addition to those posts remember that our milk, eggs, and meat are full of added hormones that we really don't want. And in this day and age of the internet more women can share what is going on and be more open and ask questions.

As for your hot flashes, unfortunately it sounds all to close to home. I was having about 6-10 a hour and thought I was going crazy, no I thought I had gone crazy, when I finally went on a HRT and got my life back. I only wanted to stay on it 1 year but ended up on it over two years and just recently weaned off it. I am back to the hot flashes and night sweats among other things but they are not as bad right not as they once were. I am going to try and tough it out this time and I am using a good progesterone cream. The HRT is not for everyone and there are plenty of natural things you can try first. So stick around and ask those questions.

Have a great day!

Last edited by I C Hot; 01-25-2008 at 07:04 AM. Reason: grammer

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Old 01-26-2008, 05:32 AM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 2
purplefish67 HB User
Re: hotflashes and questions - I have "officially" joined "the club"

Thank you for your warm welcomes!

I had another today - but just one. I was a bit more prepared for it in some way...noticed an odd tingly feeling starting in my feet and thought "oh oh" and them BAM. I did the only thing I could think of - all that breathing stuff the nurses hollered at me during labour LOL!! It wasn't as bad - but I don't know if I can attribute it to forethought or if it was just , not as bad.

Tonight my husband said "isn't there something you can take for that?" I was half amused and half angry about it - as though he were saying "just take a pill and talk to me when you're better". The thing is - I am already on a bunch of meds for bipolar2. When I discussed options for the menstrual craziness last year with my doctor he said he was 'VERY reluctant' to go the route of hormone therapies because of the bipolar stuff (still not sure if it was the illness, or the meds for the illness that caused concern). Granted, at that time it was *just* because of the bleeding. Perhaps there is a threshold that would render such treatments the lesser of two evils at some point.

In anycase, for now I think I will sit it out and see where it goes. I did a bit of an internet search and found a lot of stuff on natural and herbal relief but sometimes even that can cause interaction issues with meds. Thankfully I have a good pharmacist - in some ways better than my own doc - who I just may pay a visit to next week. One thing I read in my search though is that there is *some* evidence that prozac has played a role in decreasing hotflash issues - this might turn out to be good news, since that's one of the meds I take already.

Thank you again for all your support! I think I will like it here. I feel very welcome.

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Old 01-26-2008, 11:24 PM   #6
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Mamasan2007 HB User
Re: hotflashes and questions - I have "officially" joined "the club"

Hi Purplefish
I have been having hot flashes for the last 8 years, I'm 50 now. My periods have been coming every 45 days or so for a year now, This month- 28 days then suddenly a period, then spotting for 10 days.
My hot flashes appear for months and then are gone for months.
Its so unpredictable, thats the really hard part for me
And when I have had the hot flashes it is like I'm going crazy- they have no rhyme nor reason! That part drives me CRAZY!
Now I'm not having them, which is really nice and helps me to know I'm NOT crazy!
Were all here for you~

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Old 01-27-2008, 09:03 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Calif, USA
Posts: 1,533
Mel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB User
Re: hotflashes and questions - I have "officially" joined "the club"

Welcome to the "cool" club, though I should say hot club. Gives new meaning to hot chicks. I wont take the hormones, mom had breast cancer, and I am not active enough to prevent the blood clots associated with some of the HRTs. I had read the drugs only delay the symptoms anyway, so I thought I would tough it out like my friends. Well, they didn't go through anything like I do. I get drenched and red. So and I claw at getting anything off my neck. I seem to avoid turtlenecks these days. I have to say after 3 years now, I am doing better at night. I haven't been sleeping on a towel for those night sweats. I wonder if eating low-fat, less processed foods is helping.
I would suggest, if I may, talk to your doctor about the amounts of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium levels to prevent osteroporosis. No one said anything to me and I was lazy about taking vitamins. Last year, I asked my doctor about a scan and he said I didn't need one for 5 years after menopause. I went to my OBGYN and asked him for the test and he thought it was a good idea. Well, I have moderate osteroporosis. Now I take my vitamins and large amounts of calcium etc. but it is a bit late.

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