Symptom flare up in (peri)menopause, what about HRT pros and cons.

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I’ve been ill for more than thirty years now. I have always had huge problems with my hormones and my periods, always dreading that time of the month. I’ve been diagnosed with severe PMS but sometimes wondered if it wasn’t PMDD.

For the better part of my life I’ve been on some kind of birth control, additional progesterone therapy and finally I had a Mirena IUD for years. All of it helped, at least some or at first. As with everything I take, prescriptive or non prescriptive, it works for a while and then it seems to do me more harm than good. Quite often without me realizing this, ending up with sometimes taking stuff for months or years, only to notice after quitting what a stress it put on my system.

As I told in my introduction topic Link (not that I expect you to read it all, ‘cause it is embarrassing long) I recently changed anti-seizure meds and that messed up my system a lot. They say: never change a winning horse, but I wasn’t exactly in a winning situation.

So it is hard to figure out what is going on. But at least part of it (not sure how big a part) feels hormonal. I’ve been on HRT for a couple of months but recently quit the hormones, cause the treatment didn’t feel right to my body. But even to me that sounds subjective and I have no idea how to sell this to my gynaecologist. Over the years I’ve learned to trust my own instincts, but not being able to proof things makes me, at the same time, very much doubting my instincts.

Hence several questions:

1) Has any of you experienced a flare up of symptoms in peri-menopause? If so, did it subside once being officially menopausal.
2)How did you deal with it, what was helpful or what aggravated symptoms?
3)What about HRT, do any of you have experience with it? What are the pro’s and con’s if any?

Hope someone has some helpful comments.

All the best to you all,

Garf
 

taniaaust1

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I keep wondering if perimenopause is my issue too.. i see my gyno again and will find out on Tuesday. I have severe PMDD.

As far as hormone replacement goes.. i can only quote a well known CFS specialist Dr Myhill

"Care with female sex hormones. The Pill and HRT worsen CFS in the long term and certainly predispose to getting CFS because they suppress the immune system and induce nutritional deficiencies. " http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/CFS_Checklist_-_start_off_and_check_your_treatment_regime_here
 

Mya Symons

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I am not experiencing perimenapause or menapause yet (I hope), but I do dread my period. A few days before my period my symptoms get 10 times worse. I am suppossed to get an IUD soon by I am wary about getting it. I do not want things to get worse and not enough is known about the connection to hormones yet. Whatever causes this disease (XMRV or something else), I think the fluctuation of hormones is definately tied in. If XMRV mimics progesterone as was discussed in another post, you would think that with menapause things would get better.
 
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I am not in perimenopause because I am in full menopause. I take .25mg of estradiol. I tried going off of it when I knew I was XMRV+ but I start getting hot flashes and that is worse for my cfs than taking the medication. The estradiol does not seem to be causing any of my symptoms. I was already menopausal when I got cfs and at that time I was taking premarin and prosgesterone. I have sense had a hysterectomy and now only need estrogen.
 
Before doing anything, I would try doing essential fatty acid supplementation.

Specifically that would be 2-12 grams of pharmaceutical grade fish oil and 1-12 mgs of GLA from a bowl of pin oats/steel cut oats or evening primrose oil/black currant oil/borage oil. Note that the GLA amount the primrose etc. capsules is way more than the amount you'll need, so you'll have to figure out a way to dilute it down.

If you can't find pharmaceutical grade, molecular distilled is the next best. The reason is due to mercury etc. in fish due to our polluted waters.

Your PMS could simply be EFA deficiency. I have zero PMS any more. Also the EFA's taken as described will greatly help with pain - menstrual cramps, headaches, whatever. Also arthritis, mood in general, heart health, etc. etc. etc.

It's just a good all around thing to be doing.

It also helps if you're controlling your blood sugar by not eating too many high glycemic carbs and getting enough quality protein. See Barry Sears book The Zone, or the Omega Rx Zone for how and why this works.
 

Sallysblooms

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I take many great supplements guided by my doctors. I also take bioidenical hormones (gel) compounded, that I order. They are fantastic. You just need the right ones and the right amount. Guided by a good doctor. Most doctors know very little about hormones. Even Gyn's! I have found Integrative MD's are the best ones. They know about supplements and hormones. Everything I have taken has me on the right track.
 
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Thanks for all your comments!

I do remember reading somewhere that birth control pills and HRT are not a good option in CFIDS. But sometimes we have to make impossible choices, because what is helping us is often simultaneously hurting us. So we end up choosing between Scylla and Charybdis over and over again. We simply have to, cause doing nothing is quite often not an option either.

For me it is hard to read my body and mind nowadays, there is a lot going on and figuring out what ‘s what isn’t easy. I do know that hormones were always a bitch to me. I’m also discovering that that’s the case for many CFIDS patients. Menopausal transition can even be hard on a healthy female, let alone on us being sick, sometimes for decades.

I didn’t know that XMRV mimics progesterone, that is an interesting one! Will that leave us better off after our menopausal transition? I sure hope so! I also hope that the XMRV virus discovery will render us hope and a possible cure/treatment.

As I said I was on replacement therapy for a couple of months. I used Femoston 1/5, which has 1mg oestradiol and 5 mg dydrogesteron in it. I first asked for natural progesterone which my gyno refused. I try to do without now, but I’m currently experiencing real bad night sweats. If I will be able to do without the HRT: time will tell. I’ll try anyway.

I did started supplementing again, so I’m currently taking fish oil capsules (twice daily) and I’m using flaxseed oil and sacha inchi oil link in my morning yoghurt. Sacha inchi contains omega 3,6 and 9. I’m indeed reluctant of taking omega 6 supplements because the lowest content seems to be 500 mg.

Hormonal fluctuations can be hard on CFIDS. I hope we can keep this topic open and help each other. Sometimes we find something that works for us and then it becomes so common in our daily routine that we are no longer aware of it. So if you come across something do post it here, in that way we might be able to help each other.

For those still suffering with monthly hormonal turmoil or menopausal symptoms: my thoughts are with you!

Garf
 

November Girl

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I took Omega 3-6-9 until I found that our diets are very high in Omega 6 already. I also took EPA for awhile, which did help with my PMS, but not eliminate it. Like others I had horrible periods. Besides the symptoms healthy women experience, my brain took a hike for a few days - real pea soup brainfog.

Like so many things, I think perimenopause is harder on us than most people - perhaps because our baseline is already so low.

I've read that hormone supplements as we age are not a real good idea for anyone, whether bio-identical or not. But there was no way I was going to put up with hot flashes, especially when they messed up my sleep as well. I used a hormone patch for a few years, and would use it for 20 years if I needed it. My doc felt that hormones applied to the skin were a lot more "natural" than anything we swallowed. I couldn't afford the bio-identical, just used the type my insurance covered.

I also had horrible hot flashes and night sweats when I was about 30. I think that was just part of the ME/CFS.
 

Sallysblooms

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I would never be without my hormones. I have Dr. Dzugan that is wonderful. I have benifitted from having them all balanced. Tri Est, Progest, testosterone, 7 Keto DHEA, Pregnenalone, Thyroid. All are checked twice a year.
 

Calathea

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Quick note: I was put on Depo Provera for six months when I was 22 and didn't know enough about ME to distrust the Family Planning Clinic when they assured me it would do no harm. As well as causing a general ME deterioration, I also experienced many of the symptoms of the menopause while I was on it. I've similarly had trouble when tried on Cerazette for the PMDD I developed six years later. EFAs haven't made a blind bit of difference to the PMDD, although they have at least made my menstrual bleeding lighter. I use a copper IUD for contraception, as it combines extremely high efficacy even in typical use with no hormonal interference. The actual menopause isn't an issue for me yet, I'm only 34 and don't have premature menopause in my family.
 

Sushi

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I use a copper IUD for contraception, as it combines extremely high efficacy even in typical use with no hormonal interference.
Copper toxicity is a common problem in ME, so you might want to check your levels. It is something my ME specialist warned about--not to take copper.

Sushi
 
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hello im not sure if doctor has told me im in peri menopause...my memory is so bad...but im guessing i am because of my age...i have ovarian cyst and during my menstrual i will sometimes hurt so bad i swear it feels like labour pains...i have fibro/cfs and i have become sensitive to everything it seems..from sights..to smells...emotions...and of course pain...