Perimenopause worsens depression and anxiety, can bioidentical hormones help?

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I started experiencing bouts of depression in my mid to late 20's. With medication and therapy I was able to get to a better place each time.  Had a stressful but fulfilling career, and through the tough points I was always able to continue working.  I am now 48...and a few years back suffered the worst and deepest depression along with horrific anxiety and nothing has helped...tried various medications, talk therapy, acupuncture, reiki, breathing exercises/meditations, experimental treatments, aerobic exercise, healthier diet...one dr opinion after another and no one could help. Had a gynecologist test my hormones (thinking maybe at this age the hormone fluctuations can have something to do with this - especially since I feel so much worse right before and during my menstrual cycle.) Was told my hormones are showing pre menopause but nothing out of the ordinary for my age. Only option with great risk would be a birth control pill to help regulate my hormones and menstrual cycle.  I've researched bioidentical hormones and specialists I can try in my area. Not sure if I should be going this route, but don't know what else to do. Thank you for reading my submission, and I would be so grateful for any help or advice.

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  • Posted

    Hi there, felt compelled to reply as your story is so similar to my own, may I ask how your hormones we're tested? Many doctors will simply do a blood test which is not much use if your problem is due to them fluctuating which is often the case in premenopause, I know that my isssues are hormonal but the challenge is in determining what and when, so I saw a really lovely specialist last week who has recommended a siliva test done over a month which should give a better understanding of the changes that are occurring, with a view to adding in hormones to balance things out if required, she is in Iondon and I can give you her details if that's convenient for you, she has also recommended a supplement called stabilium which is totally natural but apparently works wonders for anxiety- I started it today as i felt awful this morning and now it's evening  actually feeling ok now, so it could be something to try....x

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply. You are so right, it seems dr's only run basic blood work, where most often results can show within normal ranges when a more specific or targeted test would show more. It was I believe a general blood test for hormone levels. So nothing shows up outside of some fluctuations that I was told is normal for my age. The dr recommended Evening Primrose Oil which I have not yet tried, I guess because I didn't get that feeling of "yes" we are on the right track. Actually felt more like a dead end. 😞 Thank you so much for the referral...wish I could try - but I am in the US. That supplement you mentioned sounds interesting, haven't heard of it but will read up on it. So glad to hear it is helping you👍 I found a dr who specializes in menopause near by, and I pray to find out more. I will ask about the saliva test too. I really appreciate you're help and support. Will write a follow up after my appt in case anything new I learn can help you too.

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    • Posted

      Glad to be of help! There is so much unknown with hormones - what's normal for one person is not normal for another - we all react differently so you need to track your symptoms as well because this will probably tell a lot more than any test, make a chart or use one of those ovulation apps, there's one call Flo which works for me, just takes a couple of minutes to log symptoms every day, it seems for me that I actually am better when progesterone is high and have had symptoms of oestrogen dominance for years - cysts, endometriosis etc, so I'm pretty sure I know what's out of balance but as is correct, the doctor wants to check further before prescribing which is good practice - as Azzumi said this is not something that is solved over night, but getting it right has proved to be life changing for many women so it's worth being patient - let me know how you get on x

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    • Posted

      My dr appt cannot come soon enough...will definitely be back to post an update on how it goes. I try to imagine how amazing life can be with balanced hormones. I'm hopeful this has been the missing link all this time. One step at a time 👟 ... on the road to feeling better. Talk soon 🙂

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    • Posted

      Karen, i could give you a Hug! I have searched high and low and find few people talking about charting and saliva and urine tests. After 10 doctor visits last year no one could figure out what's wrong with me. I had been charting my BBT for years and one look at my charts let me know something was up. Do u chart temps? I'm looking for other ladies who chart temps thru peri. My temps and charts are crazy erratic. They were always smooth sailing and predictable until all my symptoms started.

      I'm trying to decide if I should fork out the money for the month long hormone test. I can do saliva or urine. I did a 24 hour saliva that showed low hormone levels. I just feel like my hormones are fluctuating so much that i need a better picture thru a month long test.

      You're way ahead of me in this journey. I feel like I'm too young for this. Only 37. I started showing my charts to the Dr's I was visiting hoping they would be able to help but they just looked at me with a state and didn't know what to think of it. Let alone a more thorough hormone test.

      I found a functional Dr. Who is familiar and is going to attempt to help.

      Any feedback would be encouraging!

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  • Posted

    Hi, my worst problem through peri menopause was moods with terrible depression, nervous anxiety, obsessive negative thoughts and anger. I started bio identicals about 7 months ago and it wasn't an instant fix. Took some adjusting but it has helped me tremendously.

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    • Posted

      Hi. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Yes...everything you mentioned...just what I've been feeling too. I am so glad to hear the bio identicals are helping you. That is very encouraging...and gives me some much needed hope. I can handle an adjustment period...just knowing in time it could get better. Now I am looking forward to my dr appt coming up. Thank you so much for your reply...I really appreciate your help. 🙂

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    • Posted

      Hi Mary, I'm almost 12 months into bios now and finally feeling quite normal. Had them adjusted 3 times, the last adjustment would be about 7 months ago so even with what I'm on now its taken a lot longer than I expected to actually balance me out. Can't remember what my levels were but my problem has always been super high estrogen and very high testosterone. My body converts everything to estrogen so its been super hard to sort me out. I'v been on progesterone only and dim for past 7 months and it seems to be doing the job. The progesterone bought back my hot flushes big time but helped my moods tremendously. The hot flashes stopped about 3 weeks ago so I'm hoping I'm getting to the end of all this but who really knows when hormones are involved.

      The last couple of years of this menopause stuff has absolutely been the toughest i'v ever been through.

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    • Posted

      Yes I wonder if I may be having same issues..did you ever take testerone too ? How much prog are you on now ? I wish I had only tried one hormone first and not 2 so I have not been able to tell what's causing the issues. Do you rem what yoir testerone level got to be? It's been 8 months now and I am still not right ans they have adjusted stuff too and I still don't feel well. I don't know what to do or think anymore

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    • Posted

      Also what adjustments have been done to yoir and why were they done ? Thanks for yoir help. I just want to feel right again..my main things are the anxiety i still have that this was supp to help and some times issues sleeping and sweating in am
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    • Posted

      Was on estrogen, progesterone & testosterone for my first two troches then he dropped me back to progesterone only first with myomin then I switched to dim. I'm on 2mg progesterone a day taken each morning as a troche that dissolves in my mouth. Can't remember what my levels were but I know my testosterone and estrogen were very high and my hormone doctor said its most likely from conversion. It probably took me 7 - 8 months to really start to feel normal. Maybe even longer.

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  • Posted

    Can I have details also as I have this problem as well .many thanks .Debi

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    • Posted

      Hi Deb. I am so sorry you are going through this too. I know, it is not easy 😞. I'd be happy to share anything you want to know. I struggle with fighting the depression and anxiety daily. I am currently taking some anti-depressants which help some but do not offer any stability...I have moments in time where I'm feeling normal...then the depression will creep up at any given time and most often without warning. It seems to worsen tremendously just before my cycle starts and continues through the entire period. I am at the tail end of a cycle now and feel slightly better but it's still there...feeling so tired during the days, not sleeping well. Feel sad, tired of fighting, my body achey painy. Everything I do feels like it takes so much effort. I almost feel the hormone shifts...and they are drastic. One day I am doing ok...and the next just cannot function. Getting out of bed and getting dressed is such a struggle when it gets this bad. There is so much irregularity with my mood and I've tried so many treatments for depression and anxiety, none completely successful. They each provide moments of feeling better, sometimes hours, if I'm lucky a few days...but then it's back. This and the severity during my cycle is what leads me to believe hormones must be playing some roll in this. Had standard blood work done for hormone levels at my gyno, being told there is some fluctuation but is normal for my age...and no course of treatment suggested except if I wanted to go on "the pill" where the benefit does not out weigh the danger of going on it. I had to research further and fight to find a better quality of life. Next I am going for a consult w/a dr who specializes in menopause and it's symptoms, and he uses bioidentical hormone treatments. So I am going to find out more about it, to see if it could help and of course if it is a safe option. Anything else you'd like to know please feel free to ask. I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

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    • Posted

      hi thanks for your reply, its obviously hormones shifts for us causing the problem as I'm exactly like thanks for your reply, I found GP's can only do so much ?  like you am going to find specialist as gp's don't know much and fob you off with HRT, many not knowing anything of bio identicals etc.    Do you have any other symptoms?  It really is doing your own research for this terrible problem, do you take any supplements also?  I'm trying everything but have noticed no change at all.  Can we keep in touch as it will help feeling you aren't alone, and good to talk about it all,  none of my friends are suffering like we are so its good to find people who can relate to this.  I don't mind supplying my email if that's possible/ok.  debi

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    • Posted

      Hi Deb. Would love stay in touch. I feel the same...no one else really understands. And it does help so much to talk to someone who can relate to exactly what we're going though. Not sure what rules they have in the forum for giving contact info. Is there a way to send a private message to each other through this site? I'm new here so I haven't looked for that option yet. Yea GP's and many other docs just don't look further beyond basic blood work. And there is so much more that can be found through more thorough testing. You are so right, we must do our own research and be our own advocate. I don't like to take..."sorry there is nothing we can do or find" for an answer.  Then we won't have hope of getting better, right?! those are my worst and most severe symptoms. but I do have trouble with sleep and have for years...experience very regular bouts of fatigue, some memory and concentration, irritability, but I do think each symtom effects the others too. I am looking forward to this new dr appt. for a specialist opinion. Although it is hard not going into any dr a bit skeptical that they will offer anything more than I've already been told. But I am trying to stay hopeful that I will find out something new and/or that bio identicals can help. I will definitely share what I find out. What other symptoms are you experiencing? I'm sure we can find a way to private chat.

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    • Posted

      hello to you,

      ?This is my first post/reply on a forum... My story is like this:i am a 45 year old mother of 3 human 19, 17 and 14 all beautiful great people. the females in my family have all had hysterectomies and no huge issues with hormones that they know of. I got my period at 13 and my teenage years were tough - I was a bit wild and had bouts of insomnia and ditching school trying pot and drinking....( standard I suppose)

      ?2012 started feeling 'unusual' couldn't focus my attention, gained weight, eyesight kinda funky at times, super tired ALOT!! but was diagnosed with post traumatic stress and post viral fatigue...

      ?2013, decided to take time to heal and relax and took my kids to Europe or a break. felt really good in Greece but that was it! still fatigued, felt like "fraud". had days where I could barely get out of bed and had random complaints but nothing too much other than rage and tears at the drop of a hat

      ?2014 separated from partner and fell madly ( over the top) in love with a new fella. we formed a great friendship and started to see each other in 2015, ridiculous sex life) noticed I was weepy and 'not myself' at times either depressed, fatigued or apathetic. noticed I did better with magnesium supps and mega b's...at end of '15 I travelled to India but felt super super uncomfortable there. I contracted dengue fever and came home to recover. broke up with partner and entered into strange heartbreak depression which seemed quite excessive. focused on my family but noticed that my periods were different, still pretty regular give or take but very light - almost no pad required - then every couple of months I would rage or be irritable out of the norm and would have a 'normal' period. we rekindle our relationship Sep '16 and life was grand ( we were bonking like teenagers, actually more so, it seemed I was insatiable at times would wake the poor fella up often( I know think this was testerone induced). a few life stressors of decrease in income etc in early '17 then 2 nights before my 45th birthday I had a UTI ( that I thught had cleared up 2 weeks before, and I don't usually get UTI) took antibiotics for and thought I was having an allergic reaction so rushed to hospital where they told me it was likely an anxiety attack. surprised I was by this news. back to hospital 1 week later with same experience ( I was sure it was allergic reaction so starte dto become nervous about everything I touched or ate). then full blown anxiety on an epic proportion became my everyday. lost 10 kiols in 8 weeks which I have now thankfully regained 5 of bt quite quickly actually, just 6 weeks. had moments of feeling better during july- became interested in life and love and sex again. in august we found out I had CIN# and was pregnant. what a harrowing week. miscarried naturally beginning august and had surgeru=y 1st spetember for CIN#. get results back tomorrow. I have just recently realised that I maybe perimenopausal..perhaps since 2012. the anxiety seems to be HUGE around the time of ovulation and period and I have NEVER had anxiety before. I have other odd symptoms that come and go. back in April I had insomnia for a few nights and have had that these past 3 nights too...need help to fall and stay aslepp by way of ocean sounds or sleep meditations. also get weird sensation of spaciness and feeling like I'm on an earthquake machine and each step is really bumpy, get blurry vision, sometimes strange tingles in my face. nausea when I have my period ( I thought this was because I was pregnant last month but its come back this month and i remember having it in may) Dr has suggested a sleeping pill and an AD or AA but I am really really reluctant.as I have bouts of feeling pretty good ( hesitant but good) inbetween these intense times.i am fearful I am going mad or dying a horrid death most of the time and I'm even frightened for myself. have NEVER experienced anything like this  am I perimenopausal? how do I find out??

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    • Posted

      Wow what a story! I'm not a doctor but I can relate to your symptoms and think we would all agree that you are in peri menopause! Might be an idea to get your hormones checked, though that won't tell the whole story, keep track of your symptoms over your cycle, also look into natural supplements- I'm just discovering that there are a lot of supplements out there that people swear by to help with these symptoms e.g. Dim, maca etc, so maybe one of these would help you get back on track - that's what we're all aiming for...some normality!! and it will happen we just need to look after ourselves and ride this out x

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