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Just for the Women
Old 03-09-2019, 06:15 AM   #1
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Just for the Women

There was a thread a while back just for guys (and I have to admit that I read it, and laughed- A LOT) regarding a health issue. Need some help/advice with this one.

I'm 47 and have started going through menopause or premenopause. I am cannot get comfortable at night. I wake up sweating and then I fling the covers off and I wake up again freezing- and repeat, and repeat. My husband isn't getting much sleep either. This happened several months ago then stopped, but has started again in the last week.

I checked out a book at the library about menopause (the ladies behind the desk clucked in sympathy- LOL) but it left me more confused. My doctor was pretty unhelpful as well. (she pretty much shrugged and said everyone goes through it- take black cohosh- which didn't work)

Does anything relieve the symptoms? Where should I go to get info about this, and any tips on surviving it would be awesome. Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:17 AM   #2
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For me, if I ate pretty clean, especially avoiding sugar, that helped tremendously.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:21 AM   #3
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You need to talk with your gynecologist.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:33 AM   #4
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You're probably in peri-menopause, which is very frustrating:

All women pretty much get it
There is almost no real medical info on it
You weren't probably ever given any info on what to expect
It's different for everyone

You aren't considered menopausal until one full year after your last period. And you will often go months in between, think you're almost over the cliff, and then "oh hi miss me?" You start the clock all over again. You might have periods closer together, or farther apart. Some will be very light, some will make you think something is very wrong...Don't go on a vacation without protection, even if you just had it last week.

In addition to the hot sweats, you might face anxiety, weight issues, etc. I'd personally shop around for a new OB/GYN if yours isn't helpful. But I know that can be hard because insurance will only cover annual visits...Mine basically gave me the same shrug and no more than the advice I have here. Her PA was more empathetic, being a bit older, but more like "oh just wait it gets worse"....

I don't have any other advice (i'm stuck in peri for almost 3 years now, with at least a year to go...) but maybe look into melatonin and/or cbd to help with sleep and relaxation? You are already going to the gym now from your other thread and are in good shape, so I would also keep a strong focus on that as it's important too. I was surprised upon googling how little good quality detailed info there really is published (beside the boilerplate stuff).
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:35 AM   #5
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You have my sympathies. I'm 66 and haven't had significant problems with hot flashes/freezes. I'm pretty lean and apparently it's more common in heavier women, so if you have weight to lose that might help. (Edited to add: never mind; I see from Aerides' post that you're on top of this.) The symptom that I found most annoying was dryness "down there" that made sex painful. Premarin, a topical ointment, has been a miracle but it's not cheap.

On weight gain: YMMV but it's not inevitable. I'm 5'7" and after I married DH at age 50 my eight got up to 147, but that was more because I wasn't exercising portion control and he was a very good cook. I'm now at 122. The usual boring stuff: eat less, move more.

Your gynecologist can discuss the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy. I elected not to go that route because my symptoms were mild and it may increase breast cancer risks, but apparently it's very effective for a lot of women in mitigating the symptoms.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:53 AM   #6
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What I found helpful, you may not find acceptable, so I am not pushing any of it. Exercise, keep weight down, healthy diet, low on carbs, no sugar, little dairy. I also took a supplement Ultimate Woman's Wellness from Procaps Laboratories (also avaiable at HSN) which reduced but did not eliminate the hot flashes. I do take Melatonin.

Lubricants will become your friend. If necessary keep you skin moisturized. Read up on hormone replacement and bio-identical hormones. (I am not pushing anything, but would suggest that you become educated in this area.) Become familiar with your hormones and the different types of estrogen; and hormone balancing. Yes, speak with your doctor, but be aware that not all doctors have the same education/ experience in this area. There is a lot of good information available online - but it will probably take a significant amount of research on your part, don't expect to become knowledgeable in one day.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:38 AM   #7
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There is a homeopathic item called Klimakt-Heel that helps some people. Tablet dissolved under tongue. Start with directions. If it helps, back off the number of times per day and number of days until you find your minimum effective dose.

The MD (also homeopathic field innovator) had me take it for achy hands. No other symptoms. He tested hormones via homeopathic frequency. I have no idea how he knew achy hands were a symptom, but I guess that's why he's a leader/author in the field. Started with three times a days. After three weeks, no achy hands, and eventually found that one tab five days a week worked for me.

Looks like it is sold OTC on Amazon and elsewhere.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:13 AM   #8
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This happens early to women in my father's line of the family. I was just about finished at the age you're starting. My symptoms started when I was 36 and the diagnosis was confirmed via medical testing. My doctor said he didn't recommend any medications unless I started having hot flashes.

I started drinking flavored soy milk regularly, just a glass a day, to help regulate my moods. After several years, my moods evened out, so I stopped drinking soy milk (I was getting so tired of it), only to find that they had been keeping the hot flashes at bay! So, you might want to try drinking some soy milk at a level that works for you.

P.S. I decided to put up with the hot flashes. One night in the winter, waves of heat were radiating off my body for at least 2 hours. In desperation, I opened the bedroom window and stuck my face out. The cold blast in my face was like someone flipped a switch in my body. The hot flash stopped instantly and I was able to go back to sleep undisturbed for the rest of the night. I berated myself for not thinking of it sooner.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:16 AM   #9
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For sleeping better, I found that not eating for a couple hours before bedtime seems to help. Also, sleeping cool, which might mean putting thinner blankets on the bed and having your husband lay an extra layer on his side, or something to that effect.

Anxiety was a surprise symptom for me. I'd always been pretty carefree and confident, then suddenly my head started getting all twisted up around issues that I'd never given much thought before. Especially at 2-3 am when they combined with hot flashes to make for some hellish early mornings. Meditation helps with getting those monstrous thoughts under control, though it can require some consistent and disciplined effort.

Exercise and doing FUN things helps a lot. Fun physical activities have been one of the best medicines for me and some other women I know, they get the youthful juices flowing in the body and mind.

I had my last cycle three years ago, and the symptoms have been easing up the past couple years. Didn't try HRT, but as has been mentioned here, menopause is different for everyone, and HRT does help some women so you might look into that if you can't find sufficient relief otherwise.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:18 AM   #10
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I was taking bio-identical progesterone (ultimately using a topical cream) a several years before I entered menopause due to excessive estrogen and some endometrial changes. It really helped with sleep problems and eliminated a very general chronic low-level anxiety I had been experiencing during perimenopause.

I did start developing hot flashes/sweats as I got closer to menopause, but I think that the progesterone helped keep them from being too strong. I definitely went through swings however. Now the flashes are super mild if even noticeable, although I often wake up warm in the morning - a little sweating but not flashes.

My gynecologist monitors my hormone levels at least once a year.

My menopause was really late. I was 57 when I had my last period.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
I was taking bio-identical progesterone (ultimately using a topical cream) a several years before I entered menopause due to excessive estrogen and some endometrial changes. It really helped with sleep problems and eliminated a very general chronic low-level anxiety I had been experiencing during perimenopause.

I did start developing hot flashes/sweats as I got closer to menopause, but I think that the progesterone helped keep them from being too strong. I definitely went through swings however. Now the flashes are super mild if even noticeable, although I often wake up warm in the morning - a little sweating but not flashes.

My gynecologist monitors my hormone levels at least once a year.

My menopause was really late. I was 57 when I had my last period.


I too was recommended a bioidentical topical progesterone on a cyclical basis, when I was about OP's age.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:18 AM   #12
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The sleep issues and anxiety hit me the hardest. Meditation and valerian helped with that, and I had an rx for xanax which I used rarely. Now I take CBD as needed, as it works much better for me.
Black cohosh and soy helped a lot with the hot flashes. I never wanted to take oral HRT, but
Started estrogen cream several years ago--kind of spendy, but helps.
The hot flashes are the worst, if it happened at night, I would step outside and immediately cool off. When it happened at work, I would do the same if I could.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:28 AM   #13
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You probably don't want to hear this but I am an age 67 female and still have the night sweats on occasion (but not as bad as when I was in my 50s). I am not overweight, eat healthy, exercise, go to a gynecologist who specializes in menopause issues, have tried hormones, etc. My doc says that is just the way it is for some women. The thing that really helps is to keep the bedroom as cold as possible.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:51 AM   #14
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I did read somewhere that menopause symptoms like hot flashes/night sweats can last seven years on average! Discouraging to be sure.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:11 AM   #15
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You probably don't want to hear this but I am an age 67 female and still have the night sweats on occasion (but not as bad as when I was in my 50s). I am not overweight, eat healthy, exercise, go to a gynecologist who specializes in menopause issues, have tried hormones, etc. My doc says that is just the way it is for some women. The thing that really helps is to keep the bedroom as cold as possible.
I had a fairly aggressive menopause...I didn't know what was going on - I had heart racing palpitations (twice went to the ER thinking it was a heart attack); hot flashes, headaches, and a rash on my arms. I had been taking low dose birth control pills and that had helped a bit, but then I got a pulmonary embolism and that ended the pills.

I ended up just gutting it out. The writer who said using cold weather on your face or your body's own thermo-regulatory propensity with the environment works, too. As well as exercise, eating right, etc.

I have minimal symptoms now intermittently; the rash on my arms will flare up and I will feel a mild hot flash. Usually this happens at night and sometimes when I am more stressed or ruminating too much. I then just relax my mind, ride through the flash and the rash slowly goes away and I am fine.

I did not use any other oral aids. With my engineering background I realized that adding an external control mechanism causes your body to react or over-react sometimes. In the beginning of any changes, there can be a second-order response (decreasing amplitude of an oscillatory response), so tolerating the initial high amplitudes knowing it will ease was my mantra.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:31 PM   #16
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Night sweats have pretty much tapered off for me after about 3 years (knocking wood), but drinking any alcohol with or after dinner can still make them recur. I have no idea if there's any scientific validity for that, it's just an observation I've made, but it's pretty easy to experiment with if you want to.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:50 PM   #17
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I have been going through menopause for 12 years now. Starting at 47 and now 59. I can go weeks without anything happening then all of a sudden for several months I have several hot flashes several times a day. I have not taken anything for them. Seems like everything has side affects and I take 3 prescription meds a day already.

I have recently lost 40 pounds, watch what I eat and none of this has made any differences to my "Hot flashes." I volunteer with a friend who is 72 and she still has lots of hot flashes. You can literally see them on her face when she has them. She turns beat red in her face and starts sweating.

I am just glad that my hot flashes are not that bad. I have learned to live with them and hope they slow down in the next couple of years.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:58 PM   #18
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I started hot flashes at age 38 (!!!) and still have them 25 years later (sorry to have to tell you that!) I still get them, at night mostly, but nowhere near what I used to, so I count my blessings. I use a mild dose of HRT (estrogen and progesterone.) It works miracles for me. (Please note, this is my choice and not necessarily recommended for anyone else!)
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:03 PM   #19
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I had a fairly aggressive menopause...I didn't know what was going on - I had heart racing palpitations (twice went to the ER thinking it was a heart attack); hot flashes, headaches, and a rash on my arms.
OP,

Mine was similar to deserat. If it was just hot flashes, I would have been OK, but I have PVC's (Premature Ventricular Contraction) and my PVC's got much worse to the extent I too thought I was experiencing some kind of heart problem and had EKG's done as well as an ultra-sound to make sure it wasn't anything serious. I'm hyperthyroid (Grave's) and it was well controlled, but those pre-menopausal episodes felt a lot like thyroid storms, and I got a full thyroid panel done during this period too. I could feel a strong jolt (I don't know how else to describe it. It felt like it was coming from my adrenal glands which supposedly sit on top of kidneys) and my heart would start racing and I would get tons of PVC's.)

About this time, I read a book called "Screaming to be Heard" by Elizabeth Vliet MD. I believe this was a textbook type of book targeted for healthcare practitioners. Her book contradicted many books out on the market at the time, but what I read made a lot of sense to me because most of her ideas were backed by previous studies and she explained how she interpreted those studies.

Anyway, I'm sure other newer books are out now, but at the time, this book became like my Bible, and after reading this book (more like studying this book), despite this being the time that everyone was getting off Premarin and Provera due to heart attack/stroke/cancer risks, I decided to try a transdermal bio-identical estradiol and bio-identical oral progesterone.

I'm still on the NHRT. I'm on an estradiol patch of a relatively low-dosage, with 100mg of oral progesterone.

I hope your symptoms are mild enough that you won't have to do much for it. There are too many "do it yourself" remedies OTC, and I must say I went that route first too, but nothing is regulated out there, and without help of an OBGYN, you really can't tell what your hormone levels are (You would need to do research and find out who are menopause specialists doing tests and dispensing medicine, etc) or if you're doing the right thing, so I would not try different OTC remedies blindly.

The only OTC remedy that I could find at the time which seemed to be backed by studies was Remifemin (black cohosh tablets) but they made my PVC's worse.

Another rage back then was Soy Revival which is made with extracts of soy isoflavones. A lot of people get relief, but I am not sure of the long-term effect of consuming something like this.

Anyway, it's an old book, but I still recommend "Screaming to be Heard" if you can find it at a local library.
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:05 PM   #20
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I will be the bearer of good news . Menopause does pass and it seems it takes mood swings with it .Except for a real mild hot flash I haven't had one for many years . I do agree that the vaginal dying is painful so you need a cream to continue comfortable sex . I am 72.
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