Not to be dramatic, but...

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I am so happy to find you guys.  I feel like you're my people!  I am dying from menopause, or at least I think I am.  Here's my story, as brief as I can manage.  Six months ago I had my neurotransmitters checked because I was having increasing insomnia and the Bhrt I tried seemed to make my anxiety skyrocket.  Five months ago,I went from New Year's Day until the 11th sleeping an average of 2-3 hours a night.  Some nights not at all.  It was an absolute nightmare.  The weirdest thing was, I wasn't tired even during the day.  I was revved up constantly.  My neurotransmitter testing showed I was super high in adrenaline and low in GABA and Serotonin (among others things,but those are the main ones)  After 11 days, I told my dh I couldn't do anohter night.  I either had to get to the doctor or I'd be going to the ER that night.  No way could I stay awake another night, I was melting down.  Finally got to the doctor and got prescriptions for Remeron and Ativan (both of which I've taken successfully several years ago)  That night, I slept 7 hours.  I was absolutely *terrified* to take them, but I did and it worked fine.  The weird thing is, instead of being exhausted the next day (which is common after starting Remeron) I was fine.  Like nothing was happening.  Clearly I was burning that stuff off with ease.  As the weeks passed I got good, reliable sleep, but I didn't wnat to be on anything.  Got sent to the therapist to learn some new behaviors (has really worked, imo), went off the Remeron after 3 months. Take the Ativan every third day or so. Everything was working fine, but the anxiety started back up for real last weekend.  I have done a ton of research on this and I completely believe it's reactive hypoglycemia. Asked my ARNP and she scoffed that menopause would cause hypoglycemia (really?  Cuz the Mayo clinic on their website says otherwise) and that hypoglycemia would cause anxiety as bad as I was having it. Really? Then how come I get anxiety whenever I eat?  

I tried keto, to correct it,but my gallbladder went crazy. Spent a month with that being on the brink of trying to kill me, it has finally settled down to almost normal, praise God.  Let's see, what else.  Insomnia, anxiety, gallbladder, stiff neck and shoulders, sore tongue...  God, it never ends.  I read the sore tongue is related to gallbladder.  

So, what have I tried that I can pass on?  Well, first, I have to say, I'm taking Remeron tonight as the insomnia is creeping back to the point where I fall instantly asleep, wake up in 2 hours, am awake for 2 hours, then fall back asleep for about 3 hours. Don't get me wrong, I'm utterly grateful for that broken 5 or 6 hours, given where I came from.  But I am not a person who can go without sleep. Someone's going to get hurt and it's probably not going to be me.  

Okay, here's what I've had good results with.  I am slowly, carefully, with great apprehension trying to work my way up to a full dose of otc progesterone cream.  I'm not even at a quarter of a dose.  I can't tell if it's causing any problems, but I'm so scared of everything that I won't go any faster than I am.  Up until last night I did think it was working, at least on calming me down a little.  Now, I'm just not sure, so am in a holding pattern on my dosing.  For the insomnia I have the Remeron, and the Ativan, which I will try to rotate around.  HOnestly, they both work terrific for me (fingers crossed this holds) but I dont' want to take anything.  (sorry I'm rambling, just trying to get everything down)  Meditation, which I didn't think would work but it honestly does.  The blood sugar issue... berberine.  I honestly believe this is working.  I still get anxiety when I eat, but it goes away pretty quickly.  I also only eat once or twice a day because the more i eat the worse it gets.  Gallbladder.  I kid you not, beets.  I was *shocked* when the very first time I tried them my stomach was so happy it wasn't even funny.  A couple bites of beets, or a small glass of beet juice, twice a day and everything is lovely.  Problem is, while I like beets, I do not love them, and I jsut can't eat them twice a day. Just ordered some Standard Process BetaFood, which is beets in vitamin form.  Digestion in general.  Digestive enzymes, Betaine with pepsin (which is capsule hydrochloric acid), and a little gem I found called Dr Berg's gallbladder formula.  Worked really well, but now I just use the beets.  Will still use the formula though, if I eat a big meal, for instance.  I have found nothing that works on the hot flashes.  Inferno flashes more like it.  How can a person get that hot and not burst into flames?  

Stiff neck and shoulders.  I have recently started working out (an optimistic term for what I do)  I have started walking/running on the treadmill (mostly walking, only a mile), I have a short yt video I do for aerobic stuff, and then I do stretching (lots of it), both on a bolster and on a yoga wheel.  I have tendinitis in my shoulder (out of the blue), which makes it difficult to sleep since I'm a side sleeper.  Started to be both shoulders (those were miserable nights) but the stretching and working out freed up one shoulder so I at least have the one side to sleep on. Again, praise God.  

Oh, here's a nice bonus.  My cholesterol is so high that my ARNP is freaking out.  Suggested statins, I declined, so she put me on the berberine (same stuff for blood sugar).  Berberine works as good or better as Metformin on blood sugar (in clinical trials) and lowers cholesterol.  Bingo!  Two for one shopping.  I'm sure there are other things that I'm attributing to menopause, but honestly I can only take so much.  

Now,some questions that I'm sure you've all answered a million times, but cut the new girl a break  smile  First off, I'm 56, I'm almost 2 years post-menopausal (in September) and my symptoms are not only not getting better,t hey're getting worse.  WHEN will they start to taper off?  I'm dying here.  How long after your last period does this crap end?  No one I know is having what I'm having.  I have one friend who doesn't even have hot flashes.  I want to kill her, but i like her so I don't.  I can do just about anything if I know how long I hvae to do it.  Does anyone know the answer to this?  I've looked and looked and I can't even find a ballpark. Everything starts from peri-post... and that's great, but how about from post-forward?  Not everyone is in peri at this moment in time, medical people.  Also, what happens next?  Do I have to live like this forever?  Is it going to level off?  Am I going to improve?  Seriously, what does my life look like from here?  When I finally get beyond it, what does that even mean?  I obviously know people past it, but no one talks about it, they all act like they barely even remember it, and while they're living their lives I can't tell if they hvae residual problems or what the story is.  I'm not sure how much you all can help me with this great mystery because clearly people who don't have this problem aren't posting here.  But, dude, like everyone else, if I could just get some real, solid information, some ballpark numbers.  I don't need to be 35 again, I just want to feel good.  Not even great, I'll settle for good. 

Anyway, pleased to meet you all.  I appreciate your tolerance.

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  • Posted

    Hiya Hotgirl

    I'm new to the forum too but it's been really useful, if only to help me feel less of a lunatic! So much info in your post, some I can relate to but some I'm sure someone else will support you with their experience. So, I had the same issue with blood sugars and was told it was unrelated but I don't believe that one bit. The endocrine system is responsible for controlling it and when your hormones are hay wire it doesn't stand a chance. I'm on bht for just over 3 months now and it is helping. I'm on sandrena cream, utrogestan capsules and a bit of testogel for good luck and a small moustache. It takes about 3 months to get into your system, I used half the cream for 2 weeks and then moved up to the full dose... Sometimes like ripping a plaster off. Had terrible trouble sleeping too and have gone years on a few hours, I sleep better now and my hormone levels have balanced where they should. Still have anxiety so am taking amitriptyline which us kicking my butt with side effects. All I'll say is a) you're not on your own b) none of us are the same and it's awful when everyone is living a normal life with it and you feel like you died c) try and go with it. I think we are very similar and are trying to seize control of something which is so random it's ridiculous! Hope you get the support you need, sending you much love, Sara xx

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    • Posted

      @Sassyr12a  >>>I'm on bht for just over 3 months now and it is helping. I'm on sandrena cream, utrogestan capsules and a bit of testogel for good luck and a small moustache. It takes about 3 months to get into your system, I used half the cream for 2 weeks and then moved up to the full dose<<<

      Sassy, this is a great idea.  I've been going way slower than this, but I was thinking about it today and someone said that menopause is withdrawing from hormones.  The symptoms for withdrawal from drugs (taht affect your brain) are very similar to menopause symptoms/side effects.  So, if that's true (it's at least a good a theory as anything I've heard from any doctor I've talked to), then the two viable options are cold turkey, take nothing and let it play out, or replace the hormones to functioning levels.  The way I've been doing it is such a little amount at a time (to hopefully avoid side effects) really just drags out and withdrawal.  Similar to if I were addicted to drugs but was only getting enough to scrape by each day.  I have to decide which option I'm going to go with,and right now I'm leaning towards the functional levels of hormones.  I'm only taking progesterone, plan to leave the estrogen alone.  

      >>>Had terrible trouble sleeping too and have gone years on a few hours, I sleep better now and my hormone levels have balanced where they should.<<<   Good for you!  I wish I could get there.  Do you think it's the hormones creating good sleep for you?  That's supposed to be a side effect of progesterone, and I have to admit when I take mine it does make me sleepy.  I don't have trouble falling asleep,I just can't stay asleep.  Last night, I slept for 2.5 hours, was awake for 3 hours, then slept another 3.5 hours, for a total of 6 broken hours.  It makes me crazy, but remembering back where I was several months ago I'm grateful for it.  At this point I just wish I could get 6 hours in a row.  

      >>>Still have anxiety so am taking amitriptyline which us kicking my butt with side effects.<<<  Well, God bless you.  I understand, though, you'll take anything to make it stop.  I am having excellent results with the berberine, but you have to be careful and make sure you can find a brand that actually includes the berberine the label claims.  

      >>> I think we are very similar and are trying to seize control of something which is so random it's ridiculous! <<<  Girl, I am coming to this conclusion myself.  It is starting to dawn on me that this is going to happen whether I agree, whether I like it, or not.  There is no stopping it.  I've also been thinking about the people I know and it seems to me that the ones who are more inclined to accept things that come along have an easier time, while people like me, who try to "fix" or fight everything have a hard time.  I think I have some behavioral issues that need altering.

      Anyway, thanks for your response, Sassy  smile  

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    • Posted

      Hi hotgirl

      Thanks for the response., we are like 2 peas in a pod! I think you're right about the doseage, not sure you're getting enough into your system to get any benefits at all but you're still getting the struggles. I've done both, tried it and then backed out only to get return of the original issue and this time I've seen it through and I have hope that the old me is closer than ever. For me, this ain't gonna go away so you've nothing to lose by trying.

      It's definitely the hormones helping the sleep. Don't get me wrong it isn't perfect but it's much better than it was.

      I'm a born worrier but you know, when it hits the fan it's never what I thought it would be.... So now I'm trying to trust that this will get better and it is. I'm looking at it as a process, and every day I take the bhrt is a step closer to really having control back. Sometimes you just have to surrender to something you can't possibly control and put your efforts into accepting how you feel rather than fighting it. All good in theory but I have to remind myself of this most days! Keep your chin up hon, take a chance for a few months and see how you go.... You've nothing to lose xx

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  • Posted

    Hey hot girl, you sound like so much fun... Keep the humor going it makes the ride a bit easier... Wow you said a lot, as far as how long it lasts really everyone is definitely different.. I've heard many woman say after meno when periods ended they felt their symptoms rev up, because it took a while for their estrogen to decline. I most definitely get anxiety after eating its awful I don't know why blame it on the hormones.. But I get it.. And the weird thing is sometimes I get it immediately or sometimes the next day.. Not from everything but from most ... So many things I can't eat so I keep my diet really clean to avoid the anxiety, that's just the way it has to be, no more alcohol wine beer none of it😥no more processed foods I cook everything from scratch.. Focusing on fruits vegetables lean meats nuts and seeds gluten free all that helps big time, will I ever be able to have the other stuff again well who knows.. Just have to wait n see,. It all sounds about right on everything from the not sleeping to the foods causing anxiety to the feeling like someone's feeding you 17 cups of coffee with caffeine the wired feeling to the frozen shoulder all the joint pain, yep I'm going through it all some days it seems really really bad and as time goes on not so intense but still gets wonky sometimes, its a crazy ride for sure your hormones that are leaving you control everything in your body so nothing is functioning like its suppose to.. I'm getting the gallbladder spasms now because I added extra olive oil some cheese and some extra seeds and nuts to my diet to try and get some extra fat and calories from foods that don't bother my anxiety, so I had to slow a bit on them for a day or two then gallbladder calms down then I ad them again.. I don't know how long this crap will last its such a subject no one ever talks about, why I don't have a clue, I certainly tell everyone how bad it is, they all think I'm overreacting like I'm nuts, unless you've been thru it they will NEVER understand its I silent nightmare we have to endure, even these doctors think oh she's nuts give her some anxiety depression pills she be ok life must be bad for her right now causing her to freak out, its all so rediculous.. Can't wait myself to feel better again.. I'm 47 no periods because of hysterectomy so have no idea if I'm peri or post but do know this has been very bad for 2 years straight and feels somewhat not so intense as it use to.. This is a great forum of woman and all their own stories they can share with you, a real life saver so welcome to the group 💓

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    • Posted

      Gypsy  >>>I've heard many woman say after meno when periods ended they felt their symptoms rev up, because it took a while for their estrogen to decline<<<  That seems to be my experience.  I'm almost 2 years since my last period and the last year has been a nightmare!  Just constantly getting worse, and more side effects.  Yesterday,I did manage to find a couple articles that actually said that symptoms start to decline 1-2 years after your last period.  Was that so hard?  I'm not looking for a guarantee, just a guideline.  Is it 10 years or 40 years?  What are we talking about here? Honestly, just say it, y'know?  I also asked a friend of mine how long after her last period did she start to feel better.  She said she's 5 years out and while she can't remember specifically started to get better, she said now she will still get symptoms but they are weak, don't last long, and rarely come along.  I will be glad to get there.  

      >>>So many things I can't eat so I keep my diet really clean to avoid the anxiety, that's just the way it has to be, no more alcohol wine beer none of it😥no more processed foods I cook everything from scratch..<<<  Agree.  I try to avoid carbs because for years they hvae caused problems for me.  My test results come out normal, but as I told my doctor last week, "Yeah, those are fasting numbers. When I'm fasting I feel great.  It's when I eat that I feel bad".  How can they not get this?  

      >>> to the frozen shoulder all the joint pain,<<<  Wow. Do you know I never put those two together?  But of course it's a type of mild frozen shoulder, isn't it.  Tahnk you, Gypsy, now that it has a name I can deal with it better.  

      >>> I'm 47 no periods because of hysterectomy so have no idea if I'm peri or post but do know this has been very bad for 2 years straight and feels somewhat not so intense as it use to.. <<<  Well, that goes along with the article I read yesterday that said 1-2 years after your last period it should start to lighten up.  I'm so hoping I follow the averages.  It'll be 2 years for me in September.  

      >>>This is a great forum of woman and all their own stories they can share with you, a real life saver so welcome to the group<<<  Thanks, Gypsy.  I hope you'll have a good week.  

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  • Posted

    Hi  can i ask when you say beets for your gallbladder is that beetroot? Ta x
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  • Posted

    I'm new to this forum and I'm glad I found it, I'm telling everyone to try meditation because it helped me and I don't see people mentioning it.

    Or try some teas

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    • Posted

      Hi Helen

      I use mindfulness via an app on my phone, and it can be a godsend. Sometimes I struggle to apply it when I'm in the grip of lunacy, but for the most part the breathing and creating a space in your mind is really good. I've said in other posts that it also works for me when I'm active. Otherwise I Would be nailed to my sofa in the brace position, watching judge judy. I walk every morning, cycle a few times a week and I hope to join a gym when I'm braver xxx

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    • Posted

      I know, and I love his voice.  He seems so friendly and sensible.  I like that it's not all magic and rainbows, but just practical advice.  I fall asleep during them sometimes.  LOL  The other day,I fell asleep so hard my head dropped and woke me up like I fell off a cliff.  I was so shocked, I couldn't even remember the last hting he said!  I rarely drop off like that, it's normally a slow progress but that was like slipping into a coma.  At first,I had to struggle to stay awake the whole ten minutes, which sounds so silly, but he says it's super common to fall asleep when you first start.  wink

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    • Posted

      Glad you find it helps too. You will manage to stay concious as you progress smile I've been doing it for a while now, and I love that it has loads of options for whatever you need so I just pick and chose. If I'm in a flap, the sos is really good and it's quick but I've also found the sessions on acceptance useful. It's well worth the monthly subscription, I haven't been sorry once about paying that bill! X

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