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  • Night sweats/hot flashes

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    Old 03-01-2002, 04:31 AM   #1
    Nanner
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    Night sweats/hot flashes

    Either I've had the misfortune to have menopause smack me upside the head while I'm dealing with this herniated C7 disk, or this is related to the spinal injury. In the past 2 weeks I've developed night sweats in a big way.

    I'm waking up a few times a night soaked in perspiration and my spouse notes that my skin is burning up. The sensation passes in less than 10 minutes, but it disrupts sleep, of course.

    The flashes don't occur solely at night, either. I'm probably averaging about 5-7 a day. I saw on a "hot flash" info site that they can be due to spinal cord injury. Is this something that other cervical spine patients have experienced?

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    Old 03-07-2002, 09:56 AM   #2
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    Re: Night sweats/hot flashes

    Hello!
    I'm 34 years old and this started happening to me a little over a year ago, so premature menopause would have been medical journal-worthy! It started, the hot flashes and also amenorrhea (cessation of my period) a month after i started using the Duragesic Patches (fentanyl 100 micrograms over 48 hours), and so i brought it up with my pain doc (well, the NP i see in his office) who told me it had nothing to do with the patches, even though in the info sheet of the patches it mentioned some potential fertility problems).
    WELL, so i thought it would go away and my period would come back, but that didn't happen. You've never lived until you live through a summer in Georgia with hot flashes!
    Finally, i went to a regular doctor, and with a blood check they found that my hormonal levels were not only down, but bottomed out! With early menopause some are down and some are up, but all my levels were way down, like in the range of a five DAY old baby, so i had an MRI (after getting a second opinion which confirmed the levels--can't be too careful) to make sure that i did not have a pituitary tumor that was affecting the pituitary gland which produces these hormones. Before you freak out, these tumors are ALWAYS BENIGN, but some other symptoms would include the possibility of some sight problems, as the pituitary is located just behind the optic nerve there and a tumor would perhaps have some affect on your vision maybe.

    ANYWAY, thank the allmighty i did not have a tumor (although i'm gonna be truthful that if it had been a tumor, then it would have been a simple surgery to get rid of it and all this would be over already).
    Without evidence of a tumor, the endocrinologist (a gland doc) said that for whatever reason, my hypothalamus (which controls the pituitary gland) was not working properly, and while the pain meds were LIKELY the cause, she couldn't say for sure. I have since found a great deal of evidence on the Internet that opioids are absolutely linked to these sorts of problems in women, and some effects in men as well but that there are different symptoms for them, duh.
    So, i sent my research documentation to the doc and hopefully she can say it's more likely than not the meds, and my WC insurance company will have to reimburse me for the $2,000 out of pocket it has cost me for the diagnoses and the medications.

    Now i'm on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) just like Lauren Hutton! Another treatment offered was birth control pills, so that may be more right for you, i don't know. Again, let me reiterate, i am only 34 years old, 32 at the time it started, and it seems if all things stay the same, i will have to take these hormone pills every day FOREVER, and to boot, when i decide to have children it will take a great amount of effort to do so. Funny that the rest of the women in my family can get pregnant if they even shake hands with a man, and now here's me who is going to have to go to a lot of trouble when the time comes!
    I hope this helps in giving you somewhere to start. Go get your blood checked first, at your own doctor, or to save yourself time go straight to an endocrinologist who can give you better understanding than my pain doc who simply said, well, it's not the medicine, so because she didn't seem to care about it, i waited even longer than i should have to address the problem.

    You haven't said what you're taking medication-wise, so i'm not sure what to tell you except that even with the hormones, i still get hot-flashes, which birth control might be better at stopping, i don't know, so the hormones are not helpful to me for the symptoms anyway, but as women we NEED to have these hormones or our bone mass is severely compromised along with a host of other maladies, even fatigue! Get it checked out and let me know what happens.

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    Old 03-07-2002, 12:27 PM   #3
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    Re: Night sweats/hot flashes

    Hi, Since!

    Thanks for the feedback. What you said about opoids causing the sweats in women is interesting. I may be a test case, as I went off the hydrocodone last week due to the itching (if the itching doesn't stop soon, I'll have to look for other causes).

    I'm now on Darvocet, along with Skelaxin (muscle relaxant) and Vioxx. Still getting the sweats so far.

    I am perimenopausal (48) so the possibility that this is just my time for the symptoms to increase is not without merit. As I said, there was some indication that the sweating can be a side effect of spinal cord injury on some web one of very few with that problem.

    Going tomorrow for a third opinion on my cervical radiculopathy. You can bet I'll be asking him about the hot flashes!

     
    Old 03-18-2002, 09:25 AM   #4
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    Re: Night sweats/hot flashes

    I know by now you've already gone to the doctor, but i can't stress enough that just telling docs about the symptoms did nothing for me. They did nothing with the info, even the second doctor i told about it, so it is imperitive that you get a blood test rather than not being worried about it like i was, expecting things to change one day. A blood test is easy and the results speedy. I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know, but i believe at this stage of doctors and my health that if i grew another face say on my thigh that they would say, oh that's interesting, and be done with it without ordering one test! Anyway, if it is hormonal, it doesn't take very long for the absence of estrogen to be debilitating to your bone mass.
    PS-it's funny that you're on Vioxx and are having a rash, because i had been given Celebrex once, back when they weren't entirely cognizant of the sulfa component, and since i took a sample first, my allergy to sulfa wasn't noticed by the pharmacist until i got the Rx filled post-samples. He caught it then and i stopped taking it immediately but the very next day the rash came from what had been taken already. It was horrible! It was like acne but everywhere and not ever having dealt with acne before (i was lucky), i got a special appreciation for those poor teenagers who have to go through it! Anyway, Vioxx is supposed to be safe from that since they put me on that instead!

     
    Old 03-25-2002, 03:43 AM   #5
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    Re: Night sweats/hot flashes

    I went to my regular doc and she did some blood work, seems my estrogen is low and my calcium is high. So on top of the cervical spine problems and menopause, they are now wondering about my parathyroid glands.

    At least the hot flashes seem due to the onset of menopause, which is a natural occurrence. Next stop is sure to be the enodcrinologist. I'm gonna have to start a little black book just for all the doctors!

     
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