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Hi all. I haven't been on here for a long time as, basically, I am post menopause (had my last period about 2 years ago). I have been through it and came out the other side fine. All those nasty meno symptoms (e.g. hot flushes, night sweats, brain fog, unpredictable and heavy periods, exhaustion) had gone post meno and I felt good. I, however, would like to warn women going through menopause not to just assume that all symptoms are meno related. After about a year of feeling great again I started to become extremely, overwhelmingly exhausted. I knew this was a symptom of meno and assumed it was not quite over yet. Months later I got a painful, swollen toe and assumed I must have banged it and forgotten I had. Then the swelling spread to my whole foot and my other foot. I looked this symptom up and sure enough swelling is a symptom of meno. But, I thought, just in case I'll get it checked - by this time I was having problems wearing shoes. I went to the GP, they did a blood test and it was positive for rheumatoid factor - I had rheumatoid arthritis. Within a matter of weeks it has spread to every joint and I was shuffle walking, unable to use my hands and spent all day lying on the sofa because moving was so painful and I had the horrible fatigue that does with the condition. Turns out the fatigue is often the first symptom experienced. But seeing the GP when I was just at the swollen foot stage got me into the NHS rheumatoid arthritis service and on treatment within the 12 weeks recommended - if you get treated within that time you are more likely to achieve permanent remission. It took 5 months but I am now in remission - not completely back to normal, the RA lets me know it is still there, but not in pain, able to move and the fatigue has gone. RA is more likely in women and is often triggered by menopause.
So don't ignore symptoms and assume they are caused by meno - get them checked.
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