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Flashes and flushes and heat, oh my!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

This is old woman stuff, and will be somewhat embarrassing and TMI for some folks, just warning anyone who might be offended.

OK, so. According to the hormone levels, I am officially in menopause. Like I didn't know from the hot flashes and all. Did you know the drs office calls them "flushes? It's stupid cuz it's on you in a FLASH and feels like you're on freaking fire. Like a ball of flame has erupted in your chest and spreads like lava up and over your whole body. Then a sheen of sweat is coating every inch or you. If it's at all possible, I toss all my clothes off and lie under the fan on high, or get in the pool. If not, I drink something with ice in it or put something cold on my chest. I have heard of women putting their heads in the freezer. My head isn't the worst of it. When it hits in my sleep, I wake up drenched and either hot to the point of smothering or freezing cold. It's been going on for a few weeks and at the worst was a couple times an hour, sometimes back to back...really hard to sleep, ya know?

So...the dr says hormone replacement therapy [HRT]. I balked right away, because of the studies linking it to heart problems and breast cancer. He says those studies were done on women using oral synthetics and that now they use the patch, or a gel on the skin that absorbs in a way more like the ovaries excrete...right into the bloodstream. He said this administration method minimized the clotting issues and that they start it right away and end it before 5 years is up to avoid the breast cancer issue.

I told him I would think on it. I have to go back Monday for more tests. A trans vag sonogram and an endometrial biopsy. Not sure if that's normal or not...but I guess I'll find out then.

Since my symptoms started with such a vengeance, I looked for supplements that might help. One called i-Cool and another called Promensil Menopause have cut the frequency, at least, to once every few hours. Two soakings a night instead of all night. It's only been about 10 days or so, and maybe it would ease more with time. But if not, do I want to keep having these and whatever else comes in the way of symptoms...? Or take whatever risks might be associated with HRT?

I have no idea. So, I was hoping to get some opinions and experience from others here. I appreciate any and all. Thanks.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • NATNOEL
    I just passed the 1 year mark since my period stopped, and my hot flashes have almost completely disappeared. Every once in a while I will get one. I am 52, and had them for about 2 years. I did not do any HRT. I feel for you. I used to have a huge fan pointed at the bed everynight. The husband and the dog used to be shivering. lol
    3423 days ago
  • CALGALFOX
    Welcome to the menopause club. It's strange to flash, isn't it? Mine would hit the hardest after a glass of wine. Already warm from the wine and then FLASH - weee.

    I did the research on HRTs and have found that what your doc is saying appears to be true. When I first started flashing I tried all the natural remedies and found that red panax ginseng coupled with lef's low dose DHEA and Natural Female Support. http://www.lef.org/Vitamins-Supplem
    ents/Item01221/Natural-Female-S
    upport.html

    After doing the research I decided to go on HRT and did the Vivelle Dot for awhile. After doing more research I switched to Biest which is a cream that you rub on twice a day. It's kind of a pain, but I have found that for me it's worked the best out of everything I've done.

    Good luck on finding what works for you! If I can be of any help, I'm happy to talk to you about it, or send you research.

    Carol
    3423 days ago
  • EVELYN5877
    I am 60 now, and it's more or less finished. I didn't take HRT, and I still had breast cancer! Taking it does not cure the symptoms, merely postpone them, sooner or later you will still have to go through it. My personal opinion is that as long as it is just physical symptoms, the hot and cold flushes, then cope with it, my husband said it was like being in bed with a demented seal! On a practical note, several small bags of frozen veg, peas are best, in the freezer. When flush starts, put one on the back of your neck. If you start getting the mood swings and irrational behaviour, which I never did, then you may want to consider taking it. You still will have to go through it though at some time.
    3423 days ago
  • CYNDIDAVISUSA
    LOL Thx. I am leaning to taking the HRT, but wanted to see if anyone here had info or opinions...you know? My online friends are more numerous than my IRL ones.
    3424 days ago
  • THESHELBSTER
    I no nothing about menopause. Including when I can expect to possibly get it. But I am sorry you are going through so much discomfort. Sorry I can't be of any help but I am hugging you through the screen right now and hoping that the yuckiness goes away soon.
    3424 days ago
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