Needing help, stopping HRT

Posted , 6 users are following.

Ladies I really need the experience of this group.  

I had a horrible time in perimenopause in my mid 40s.  I tried HRT to attempt to resolves the problems.  The HRT was worse than the symptoms.  After trying for two years, I finally gave up, and went back to using nothing.  Continued through menopause in the next 10 years, but  it was a breeze.  Years into menopause I developed vaginal atrophy and dryness, and that's where I drew the line in the sand.

My OB gave me vaginal Estrace.  I didn't like how I felt when I put it in, so I used it ver infrequently.  The atrophy and dryness continued, and got worse.   So like it or not, I started using the vaginal estrogen regularly.  All of a sudden it was like my entire body sprang back.  Slept great, felt great, energy and mood like I was 30.  But then my scalp started itching and my hair started falling out big time.  A dermotologist told me it was the Estrace, and to stop using it.  

Fast forward through seeing a dozen different doctors and specialists.  I worked with a "hormone" expert endocrinologist, who charged "cash only" through the roof.  Patiently hoping this woman would be able to help.  But must admit the side effects of the estradiol patch and progesterone were miserable.  Finally, when she thought by looking at labs that I was adjusted....I QUIT her practice.  If this was "adjusted" this woman is crazy.  

So with that background, can someone, any one, please give me your experience coming off hormones.  It seems that everything has changed.  My skin is saggy and baggy.  My hair is completely brittle, and my nails are the same.  I get strange pinging sensations throughout my limbs.  None of this is fun.  It sure seems that the hormones would have left my body quite some time ago.  Is my body now trying to adjust?  And how does this take?  Will I ever simply feel normal again?  

Love to hear what other woman have experienced when they dumped the bioidentical hormones.  Thanks for your time.

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  • Posted

    Well, when you stop the hormones your body will change and age.  Mine certainly did. I suggest you see a nutritionist, who can help you formulate an appropriate diet or supplements to make sure that you're getting the vitamins, minerals, etc. that you need.  Your problems could be due to the natural aging process; but also to lack of proper nutrition.  Best of luck!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Lynda,

      Do yo mind if I ask how old you were when you started and stopped the hormones?  What changes did you see, and did you get weird sensations?   Were you on the hormones very long and why did you stop?  Oddly, I felt like I was seeing horrible aging changes WHILE taking, and BECAUSE of, the hormones.  Nothing felt or looked right.  Not to mention the side effects.  

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    • Posted

      You're welcome.  I apologize for my somewhat curt response.

      I went into menopause at 40 years of age, because my thyroid essentially died due to Hashimoto's thyroiditis.  I tried HRT for about 10 years, but that was when the estrogen and progesterone mix that they were offering was quite potent.  What they're offering now isn't.  I even tried "Estratest" a mixture of estrogen and a small amount of testosterone.  Woa!  I felt wonderful, strong and confident and my sex drive was amazing.  According to my husband, those were the good old days smile But, I got side effects, facial hair growth, etc.  So went off of it.  I also read that estrogen only works for about 5 years to help women assimilate calcium.  It's one of the many facts that the drug companies don't tell you. (If you need to assimilate calcium, eat 10 prunes a day, they contain boron, which helps more than estrogen.)

      Then, I tired of getting a period every month.  Had other health challenges that made me want to forget about taking HRT.  I also found out where premarin comes from, pregnant marie's urine.  I thought, what happens to all those poor animals?  So, I stopped. Also, over the years, 2 of my friends who were on the patch for birth control and to stay young, got blood clots.

      So, I would say that the drugs they're offering nowadays may be so weak that they don't make much difference--and if you read the side effects (there are websites) and experiece them, you want to quit.  

      I don't doubt that there are some women who believe that HRT helps; but I think that if they realized what it does to your body and how little that it actually does, they'd stop doing it.  

      Hope this helps! xxx   

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    • Posted

      Lynda,

      No apology needed, I didn't think you were curt.  

      I know of women who love estatest, but have never tried it.   I am currently taking a vitamin for my hair and nails that contains boron.  

      If I knew what I know now, I'm not sure if I would have tried the vaginal Estrace.  Problem is, I did it for all the right reasons.  I was having very painful sex, and everything was shrinking.  Left untreated it can cause even more problems in the future.  But boy I've had a hard time getting something that makes me feel normal.

      I know you said your "aged" when you quit, but did you have strange sensations also?  If so, how long did it take to calm down?  This is simply nuts.  

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    • Posted

      Well, I LOVED estratest, but I didn't want to grow a beard!  smile.  Where did you get the vitamin for your hair and nails that has boron in it?  If you could please email me privately and tell me the brand, I'd really appreciate it!

      My vaginal walls are deteriorating, but I haven't had sex in a while (though I am married).  Though sometimes I miss it, and I know my husband does, we both have physical problems that would probably make trying it again more mortifying and dissatisfying than just not attempting it.  Somehow, we've managed to cope and stay close, and for that I'm very, very grateful.  

      I just had a total hysterectomy because of endometrial cancer. The final pathology was good, though.  I got cancer, I think, because I was overweight, and my fat cells were manufacturing estrogen. I had lost about 30 pounds (deliberately) before I was diagnosed.  When I lost that weight, I noticed that my skin was getting more and more crepey (sp?).  

      When I quit about 17 years ago, I did experience hot flashes, some depression, difficulty sleeping, etc. Frankly, I guess that I get out of bed each day and try not to expect too much!  smile  I'm grateful to be alive, and after my final post op appointment in a couple of weeks, I can start to exercise and hopefully, regain some stamina.  

      This is rather long winded, but I hope this helps! xxx

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks Lynda, it realy does help.  OMG do I hate that crepy skin!!!!   I am now to the point where I want fall and winter, so I am covered up.  I keep reminding myself that I'm 60, what do I expect!

      Glad you got over the cancer issue.  I bet that was really hard and very scary.  Puts a whole new perspective on things, that's for sure.

      I'd be happy to give you the name and location for that hair and nail vitamin.  But I don't know how to do the private email thing.  So if you could give me some directions, I'll be happy to do it.

       

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    • Posted

      Just to balance up this debate. I don't believe HRT helps some women. I KNOW it does. It gave me my life back. It is the only thing that I have tried and I have tried many others, prescription and so called natural. I would eat the horse if I thought it would help me so an extract from mares urine is not an issue. I have been vegetarian for 37 years

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    • Posted

      That's good to know Alison.  Glad to hear it helped you.  I wish i could be one of those women.  

      Just curiousity, but how old are you, and why did you start HRT?  And what do you feel it changed for the better?  

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  • Posted

    I did try progesterone and estrogen i did not like it and its not for me since i have diabetes, hypothyroidism, and hypertention so i am taking Zoloft, Trazedone, Lamotrigine and Lorazepam to help me through my menopause

    I was taking the multivitamin One A Day formula for Menopause but the Soy Isoflavons were acting like Estrogen in my body and I started gaing weight, and feeling tired and feeling like I was going to fall out

    I stopped the vitamin right away about 2 1/2 weeks ago and then last week i started having palpitations due to Anxieties, and menopause.

    I feel like its a side effect of stopping that One A Day formula for menopause its a multivitamin over the counter 

    I will never take that again 

    Try your best going off when thing is you have been seeing so many doctors telling you what to take don't see that many doctors 

    You know your body the best so what works with you then do it. 

    My advice is stay away from HRTs because they are no good and stay away from the One A Day formula for menopause because the soy isoflavons can turn into estrogen in your body 

    Elizabeth

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    • Posted

      Elizabeth thanks for your response.  I don't have any additional issues with hypertension, thyroid, and things you have to deal with.  But thanks for the warning about those vitamins, I didn't know they contained soy isoflavons.  

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    • Posted

      Your welcome. I am in menopause i just turned 48 been in menopsuse for a year and a half and its hell palpitations, anxieties and everything

      How long do we have to be in menopause until this settles down 

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    • Posted

      Elizabeth, I have no idea how long.  I'm trying to figure that our myself.  I am not having a good time coming off the hormones.  And it's hard to tell what's menopause symptoms, and how much of it is the bioidentical hormones I was taking.  

      But PS, menopause is a permanent state, it's not like the flu that you get and get over.  We are in menopause the rest of our lives.

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  • Posted

    How long have you been using Estrace cream?
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    • Posted

      It was originally given to me in 2012, about 4 years after my periods stopped.  I didn't use it often because of how I felt.  But then in 2013, I tried to be more regular, as I explained, and then that's when my hair started falling out.  I finally found that hot shot doctor in 2014, and tried patches and vaginal progesterone.  It was low dose, with slow increases. She didn't want me to use vaginal Estrace, so that's when that stopped  (April 2014)   I just couldn't stand the side effects of her mothod.  

       

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    • Posted

      I started using it in 2012 after my total hysterectomy. I attempted to stop using it this past spring after I was diagnosed with Afib. I was off from it about 2 months and every symptom known came back. After 2 months the vaginal dryness was awful so I started back. I usually use it twice a week. Been back on for a couple of months and not seeing a big difference as of right now.
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    • Posted

      Cass, do you think the Afib was because of the vaginal estrace?  And if you don't mind, do you get any strange sensations when you use it?  And how much are you using each application.  I just couldn't do the 1 mg as prescribed.  Also, have you seen any strange weight gain from using it.  

       

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    • Posted

      Definitely have seen weight gain. I am not sure about the Afib. I started having heart palpitations in 2009 when all of this crazy stuff started. It does make me feel not myself.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for that answer Cass. I would feel very strange when I put it in.  Within just a minute I would get this cold sensation on my scalp.  Felt off the day I'd insert it.  But oddly, much better the next day.   I have to do something for the vaginal atrophy and dryness.  I will say that when I was doing the patch with vaginal pogesterone capsules, my downstairs was wonderful.  Wish all the rest of it didn't feel so strange.   

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    • Posted

      I use 1gr a couple of times a week. I do feel very rattled, for lack of a better way to describe it, the next morning. I use it at bedtime. Mornings are especially hard for me anyway. I have never experienced the cold scalp symptom you described, but did experience all kinds of menopause symptoms when I attempted to stop using it. I had to go back to using it because the dryness got unbearable.
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    • Posted

      Cass, this is the problem I'm having.  I know I need something for the vaginal dryness and atrophy.  But I'm not sure where to trun now.  I simply hated the patches.  I got the strangest symptoms from them.  Seriously, i could literally feel fat cells growing on my body.  WTH?  My scalp hair would get super thin.  At times I thought it would just disolve.  And then there were times I would get all kinds of itchy bumps on my back.  Boy that was fun.  

      About the only time I felt even half way normal is when I was using the patch and the vaginal progesterone at the same time.   

      But I'll admit that the atrophy and dryness was completely gone.  But between all they strange sensations and off the wall symptoms, it didn't seem worth it.  And then on top of it all.......yeah then my fibroids grew really fast.  Hardly seems like a good trade off.  And a hysterectomy is the last thing I want.  

      So there's my story.  Don't know where to go from here.  

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