Symptoms of Shakiness/Sweating/Pain/Faintness

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megindallas
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/13/2005 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi.  I'm new to this site and was just diagnosed with IBS.  I'm not sure that is what is wrong with me because of a couple of symptoms that I haven't seen in posts here.  My doctor has prescribed Librax, but I haven't taken it yet.  I've had a colonoscopy, abdominal ultrascan and recently a Hida Scan (all normal).
 
There is a dull ache in my stomach most the time, but every month or so I have an episode that includes severe cramping pain in my upper abdomen/shakiness/feeling faint and clammy and sweating profusely that is absolutely terrifying.  This is usually accompanied by loose bowels.  I end up in the bathroom (usually on the floor prostrate in agony) and the only thing that helps is to douse myself with cold water.  I've actually turned the shower on myself and just laid in the bathtub thinking I was dying as my vision became black around the edges.  I'm wondering if the water helping means I'm getting dehyrdated during the episode.  When the episode ends (usually after about half an hour) I feel almost eurphoric with relief! 
 
My doctor (GI) doesn't seem to understand me about these episodes and, in fact, mentioned it would be very helpful if I went to an e.r. during one.  I told her that would be almost impossible because 1) no way could I drive during this time; and 2) I would not be able to fill out forms once I got there (too sick).
 
Having mild stomach aching I can live with.  But I worry about the bad episodes because it is the closest I've ever felt to dying.  This all may sound overly dramatic (and long) and I apologize.  Just wondered if anyone had similar symptoms or advice to give.  Thanks.

dbab
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   Posted 9/13/2005 8:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi megindallas,
I have anxiety/panic disorder as well as having IBS and I have had panic attacks brought on or triggered by intense pain. It sounds to me that you are having occasional panic attacks that seem to be triggered by a very bad episode of abdominal pain. Anxiety disorders are not uncommon for people with IBS which is usually brought on by simple anxiety of knowing where a bathroom is at all times and it can escalate further. Have you spoken to your regular doctor about these episodes? I would definitely bring this up with your other doctor.
Des (dbab)
IBS, Diverticulosis, GERD, Disc Degeneration
"If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it" - Mary Engelbreit
 
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megindallas
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   Posted 9/13/2005 8:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the quick response!
 
Yes, I've mentioned what happens with my doctor but neither she nor I talked about it being an anxiety attack.  What an awful combination that must be, to have the severe abdominal pain and anxiety attack at the same time! 
 
What medication do you take?  Do you think the Librax would help this?  There is usually only about a 10-20 minute warning when this happens.  Many years ago (early eighties) this happened (isolated event with with no symptoms until a couple of years ago) and my then-husband took me to the emergency room.  We thought it was food poisoning.  Whatever they gave me there in the form of medication was something they said "paralyzes the stomach muscles" and it worked beautifully.  But I don't remember what it was.
 
Interestingly, this has never happened during the daytime, but did happen once recently on a first date with someone.  After 5 minutes I knew I had to get home quickly.   I was too embarrased to say what the problem was, just that I wasn't feeling well.  Driving home that 15 minutes I was filled with terror that I wouldn't make it.  The more I think about it, you may have hit the nail on the head.  Thanks so much!

Keriamon
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   Posted 9/13/2005 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   
What are your loose stools like? Yellow? Burning? Do you ever get sick after eating something--feel too full even when you haven't eaten much, or nauseated? Hurt into your right arm, shoulder, or shoulder blade? Does laying flat on your back make it worse? Do you have these attacks in the middle of the night?

I don't think your liking water on your skin is linked with dehydration. Most people, when they are nasueous, are too hot. I have always felt better when sick with the stomach flu or whatever to have a wet washcloth to wipe my face and neck with. My mother uses it too (learned it from her). When you're having an episode, you might want to take all of your clothes off and turn some fans on. Overheating can make nausea worse, but because you're nauseated, you can't tell you're overheated; kind of a Catch-22 there. Darkening of vision (tunnel vision) is only caused by two things that I know of: low blood sugar (usually only applies to diabetics, but even regular people can suffer from it too when they go without eating too long) and overheating. I'm betting you're getting too hot. It's not something you're doing, it's just that your body seems to be failing to regulate your body temperature correctly while you're sick. When you start to feel that way, by all means cool yourself off and quickly.

megindallas
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/13/2005 9:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Keriamon:
 
The loose stools are almost completely liquid and it sounds like I'm urinating.  Immediately afterwards is when the pain is the worst.  None of the other symptoms you mentioned match, though.  Thank you so much for the comments about hydration.  I will follow your advice about the fans, etc.

Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 9/13/2005 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   

megindallas,

Has your doctor by any chance done a urine test for 5-HIAA?  I ask because you're having flushing symptoms with your diarrhea and this is a very easy test (collect your urine for 24 hours in a big jug) so they can check for carcinoid syndrome.  It is highly unlikely that you have it - it's very rare - but with the flushing episodes, they might want to check it out.  How often are you having diarrhea? 


Puddin
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Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/13/2005 12:26 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi there Megindallas :-)

I am an anxiety sufferer, and the sweats you are talking about I have suffered with.  I hope it makes you feel better that someone else has the same thing! 

I don't link my anxiety with my sweating though.  My sweats are like an extreme illergic reaction and my body is trying to get rid of something in my system. It gets to the point where I can actually feel the sweat running down my back when I'm sat on the toilet (can't sit anywhere else because the diarrhea is so bad!)

You can sweat through sheer pain too.  I know I have. By sweating you are reducing your body's sugar and salt amount at a very fast rate, which can cause the blurred vision and feeling faint.  Low sugar can also be linked to migraine, which can cause visual disturbances too.

Just some ideas.  The thing I would suggest is deep breaths, try and slow your breathing down as much as possible to relax, and see if that helps.  If it does, then its highly possible that it could be stress related.

Take care xx


megindallas
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/13/2005 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you! Though I'm sorry you have this too it does make me feel less alone. What you describe sounds very logical as to what is happening. I'm just wondering if at the time this occurs it would help to try to drink some Gatorade or something to replace what the body is losing with all the sweating. I've actually looked like I just got out of the shower after these episodes, am just sopping wet!

CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 9/14/2005 6:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Meg,
I've noticed that when I get sudden diarrhea, I have some of those other symptoms too.......sweating, nausea, feeling light-headed. I'm so sorry that you feel so bad at times. I know what it feels like, to think you're dying, and it's very scary. (((((((hugs))))))))
Sometimes, when I experience something like that often enough, I learn that it's a real pain, but it doesn't kill me........and that gives me a little comfort to not freak out so badly the next time.
It sounds like you suddenly release something into your bloodstream that causes you to suddenly evacuate your bowel, and maybe dilate all your vessels. Have you had a good physical exam recently by an Internist? I would want to make sure that all your labs were normal. Do you have any other symptoms?
I have alot of really loose stools all the time. I started taking Calcium 1200mg a day, and it really helped alot. I don't seem to have those unexpected sudden bouts of diarrhea now. So you might consider Calcium.
Are you on any other meds for anything else? Do you keep a food diary, to see if this happens consistently after certain foods, or combination of foods? How old are you, and are these episodes related to your periods?  You said that it happens about once a month.   Around the time we have periods, our prostaglandin levels can be high........and that can cause symptoms like you have.  I'm wondering if you took an NSAID for a few days before an expected period, maybe it would help.......since NSAIDS block prostaglandins.  Might be worth a try!

Post Edited (CathyA) : 9/14/2005 7:52:10 AM (GMT-6)


edwocb
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 9/14/2005 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm also new.  My daughter has IBS & is taking Pamine.  The same thing happens to her.  I didn't understand the blacken vision when she told me.  She said that sometimes she feels like she is going to pass out.  When I read your post to her she was in shock.  She said Mommy that happens to me the same way.  Now my question is can you actually pass out?

CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 9/14/2005 8:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi edwocb,
I think it all depends on your system. It sounds like there is a sudden fluid shift when this happens, and fluid leaves your vessels, and goes into the GI tract. It's almost like a blood-loss, just in terms of the vessels losing an amount of fluid. Some people have vessels that immediately constrict, to make that lesser amount of blood volume go further, and they might not pass out. But if someone is low on volume, and a little dehydrated to start with, they might pass out. I think that's a reason to always drink lots of water and have enough salt on board. You probably already know that when you feel like this, it's best to lay down, and if you can't, try to flex your leg muscles alot, which squeezes the blood upward to your brain.
I'm wondering........I mentioned a possible menstrual cycle connection with this happening to Meg, and now I'm wondering about your daughter. When did her cycles start up, and does it seem to occur in relation to that??
    I'm in menopause now, but around my periods, I would get diarrhea, and feel faint alot.  I think prostaglandins and our hormones can cause our vessels to dilate, and make us feel like passing out.   Isn't it fun being a girl?????

megindallas
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/14/2005 8:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi again. Thank you all for wonderful input. As far as menstral cyles I don't have those anymore as I had a hysterectomy when I was 23 years old. But interestingly, when I did have periods before it was the same type of thing! Very horrible cramps, diarrhea, having to lie prostrate on bathroom floors in agony. There must be some underlying vessel dilation problem as you mentioned above. I'm not sure if passing out can really happen, but at the time it sure seems like it can!

megindallas
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/14/2005 8:54 AM (GMT -7)   
CathyA:

I just read your first posting to me. The Calcium is a great idea and my internist has recommended it strongly. I'm 53 years old and had surgical menopause at 23. For years I took HRT but hated it and after finding that my adrenal glans were doing quite well as far as producing estrogen my doctor said it was ok to quit the HRT.

The problem I've found with both the internist and gastroenterologist is that when I describe my symptoms they look at me like I'm crazy! That also happened before when I told my internist I had restless leg syndrome, which a lot of doctors evidently don't know about. I'm not a hypochondriac - if anything the opposite, as I avoid doctors unless absolutely necessary. It seems anymore that having a medical issue and going to a doctor doesn't mean you will find relief.

CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 9/14/2005 8:55 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Meg,

   May I ask how old you are now?  I'm discovering that even women who have hysterectomies, still have alot of stuff going on.  I've heard it's because periods involve 3 systems......the uterus/ovaries, the pituitary, and the hypothalamus.  Even if you don't have the first system, I think the other 2 are still doing their thing!  For example, some women who have cycle-related migraines have hysterectomies, thinking that will help......but it doesn't!   Some times, they have to wait until the age that they would have had a natural menopause, to get relief. 

    Can you take NSAIDS?   I would suggest trying to see if you can predict when this will happen each month, and take the NSAIDS (motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, etc.) just a few days before.   The NSAIDS block the prostaglandins.  It's the prostaglandins that give us the period-related diarrhea.   I don't think it would hurt anything.  And it would be great to know there's something you can do about these spells!


CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 9/14/2005 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi again Meg!
I'm sorry I missed one of your posts to me before the last one. Yes, calcium has done wonders for me. My stools are still soft, but there usually aren't any more sudden surprises! Be sure to take about 200-400mg of Magnesium with the calcium. Sometimes Magnesium gives people diarrhea, but you can adjust the dosage, once you know how it effects you.
I'm 55, and I also was on HRT for about 6 years, and finally quit it. ......not an easy task for me!! I'm still positive that I have cycle-related funkiness, even though I don't have periods. I still have some migraines around what would have been my period, and my GERD acts up alot around those times too! I've learned to never underestimate the power of those hormones! .....even if you're not having periods.
May I ask how long you've been off the HRT? I seemed to age overnight when I stopped mine!
about the doctors not knowing things.........get used to it!! I'm just flabergasted at how many doctors don't seem to have picked up any common knowledge along the way!! Old doctors used to be so good at learning things along the way, and being aware of so many things. Docs today just seem to be closed books, and don't learn much beyond what they were taught. I always get so excited when I finally come across a doc that picks up on these lesser-known things! I had gone to a gastro-enterologist for several years, and it was on a forum like this that I learned about the calcium! Now why the heck didn't the GI doc tell me about calcium????

I have fibromyalgia......which has soooo many funky symptoms, so I get lots of those looks from doctors! And I'm like you.......I'm not a hypochondriac, and do all I can to NOT go to the doctors! I'm discovering that so many women in their 40's and 50's start getting all sorts of funky symptoms. I have restless leg syndrome off and on. I seem to get it if I eat anything in the evening! Isn't that weird? My son also has it. I hope I haven't given it to him through genes!

I have found that, many times, spending time talking to people on forums like this, gets me pointed in a better direction that what the doctors do!

Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 9/14/2005 9:34 AM (GMT -7)   
The post on "restless leg syndrome" reminded me that when I was feeling sick from my gall bladder--be it pain or diarhrrea or just a "sick" feeling in my stomach--I purposefully had a "nervous twitch" in my leg. I found that shaking/bouncing my leg kept helped some to keep my mind off the pain, and also the movement helped diffuse some of the pain and sick feelings. When I had an attack, I paced the floor.

megindallas
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/14/2005 10:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Cathy:

Truthfully, I only took the HRT for about 10 years even though it was first prescribed when I was 23 years old. I took it from about 1986-1996 only because a doctor told me by not taking it I probably already had bone loss. Since stopping it, though, bone density tests are just fine, as are hormone levels! I have an older sister who has fibromyalgia, as you do, and can empathize with you about those symptoms. Here's one for you--I have what has been termed (though not scientifically proven) Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, which was probably active all my life but only since I've gotten "older" has become a Big Deal. I'm a content person, life is great and all that, BUT am only really happy in the fall and winter. Sunlight brings me down and when springtime rolls around I feel like a huge blanket covers me. It must be something about negative ions in the air (you know, like when it is going to rain) but I know this still sounds weird. When it is rainy I feel so alive and productive. The bad news is that there is no cure for this (other than moving to Seattle). People who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder can at least buy those artifical sunlight lamps. LOL! As far as doctors, there are some good ones around, but it is a real effort to find them.

Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 9/14/2005 12:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Meg, you should move to Ireland! Not that it rains continuiously, but it does rain at least part of the day most days (depends on which area you live in and the season, though). And when it's sunny in the sumemrtime, it's not the kind of sun that beats down on you (man, Orlando around the 4th of July--you'd think the sun was about 5 feet from your face). I always said they have a week's worth of weather patterns in just one day, lol. In Connemara on October day it rained, was sunny with rainbows, rained some more, more rainbows (I quit taking pictures of them after a while, lol) with patches of sun and clouds, then hail accompanied by cold wind then--I'm not kidding--10 minutes later it was 10 degrees warmer with the sun shining! All of this on a day's tour. At least your days would always be partially good/productive for you since you'll almost always get some rainy weather. Also, it doesn't get hot there, so you may get tricked into thinking summer is fall (I was wearing flannel pajamas in June because I got cold at night and wore a light jacket out to the pub on the 4th of July. There was one week the whole summer that it was warm enough to need shorts--the rest of the time I wore pants and a summer-weight sweater).

I've heard, though, that the north of Scotland is really the place for rainy weather. Maybe save up to retire there!

edwocb
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 9/14/2005 1:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi CathyA. My daughter has been having problems with her period. She first got when she was 10yrs old. Got it every month at the same time, very heavy. I'd say at 12 she stopped getting it. Now she gets it once in a while and it's more like a discharge. Back in March is when the DR said she Had IBS & Lactose Intolerant.

Flopsie
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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 9/14/2005 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Everyone,
Have been reading this thread ans thought you were describing me. I have had IBS for about 20 years, and I too, sometimes have these episodes you are describing. Most of the time it is at night, when I wake in a panic(I also have Panic Disorder and fibro). Have to run to the bathroom and have terrible pain.

For many years I have only been able to plan activities at places that have an available bathroom. If we go out to dinner, I know I can not leave the restaurant for at least 20 minutes after eating. If we are going on a trip, I do not eat anything before we leave, only when we stop for breaks. I have many times literally run to the toilet in public places and it is humiliating.

I believe the pain and sweating accompanied by loose stool is caused by my panic disorder. Not the IBS, just the episodes. I take Librium, a form of the Librax. The Librax has the anticholinergic, clidinium, added to it. I have done well on this med, almost eliminating the sweaty painful episodes. However, I continue to have my IBS.

Hope you feel better soon,

flopsie


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Post Edited (Flopsie) : 9/14/2005 5:12:05 PM (GMT-6)


CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 9/14/2005 6:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Meg,
Another question about your hormones........do you still have your ovaries?
Are you saying that you had your estrogen level tested and it's still "normal" (meaning like you had ovaries?)
That's wild about your reverse SAD. Hmmm......would that be called HAPPY? hahaha. Do you know other people with that too? I think I have SAD, although I haven't been officially given that diagnosis. Ever since I developed fibromyalgia (after a horrible bout with the flu and pneumonia), I would have these big physical crashes in late summer, and start to feel better in March. I finally bought a bright light..........but I don't think it works for me. Then, sometimes I do okay in winter, and not summer.........so I don't know what the heck is going on.
It's interesting what you said, because my daughter LOVES cloudy days. She's so much happier on those days!!! I'm not necessarily happy on those days, but I feel secure and comfortable when it's overcast. Do you happen to have some social anxiety too? I used to get overwhelming homesickness as a kid, when I was away from home. But....as soon as it got dark out, I would be absolutely fine! Isn't that weird?? Some things you just can't explain!! But I tend to spend alot of time trying to figure them out anyway!
I'm wondering.........maybe you could explain your Reverse SAD with allergies?? Perhaps you have a funky type of allergy that goes away in the winter?? In trying to figure out why I crash every fall, I did read that for some people, IBS gets worse in the Fall, and they were suspecting some sort of allergy. Anyhow..........I'm great at forming totally useless theories........so I'll try to work on a theory for your Reverse SAD!!

Edwocb......has your daughter seen an OB/GYN??? I would find that very curious that her periods were fine and now they're not. I would definitely look for another problem. I'm wondering about Polycystic Ovary Disease, or some other endocrine problem. Has she been gaining weight too?

MollyB
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 9/14/2005 8:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Meg, I've been reading all the threads, hope things get better.  I too agree that when you get hot, nauseated and sweaty, try the cool, wet rag on your face and neck.  Just keep yourself cool, and the deep breathing always helped me too, along with the endless prayers to God to end the agony lol. Librax has also helped me alot, along with Lomotil.  I hardly have any flare ups, but it's funny that Cathy mentioned the menstrual cycles, b/c I think that's when I'm having my flare ups, around that time of the month.  Also, If your doc thinks your crazy, get another.  My first doc kept telling me that i had food poising.  Finally on my third visit for the same symptoms he happened to ask what I ate, I told him pretzels, and they left my system about 20-30 minutes later, he told me that was impossible and it that it takes 48-72 hrs for food to move thru the system.  That was the last time I saw him.  He finally set me up with a great GI doc and that's where I've been for the past 3 years.  Hope you get some answers soon!  Molly :-)

auntiebarb42
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Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/15/2005 9:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, This is my first time to respond to a post.  I have been reading messages for quite some time now and have finally found someone else who suffers the same symptoms I have.  The sudden onset of weakness, sweating, horrible cramping.  Like you, all I want to do is lie on the cool floor. I have passed out 3 different times while experiencing an attack.  Once at work and they called 911.  By the time I got to the hospital I had started eliminating my bowels and the attack had passed.  They just rehydrated me and sent me home.  I don't have the attacks as often as you do.  I have had maybe 4-5 in the past year.  Mine occur usually mid morning.  Management has finally learned to keep an eye me when I am in the bathroom at work till it passes.  After the attack I get really cold and shiver to the bone.  Plus my nipples sting for an hour or two afterward.  I feel sorry for anyone that has this disease.  It sure is life altering.  Just wanted to let you know yes, you can pass out during these episodes.  Thanks for listening........

dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 9/16/2005 4:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi auntibarb,

I just wanted to welcome you to Healing Well :) This has been a really good site for me and many others and I hope you keep posting.

Take Care
Des (dbab)
IBS, Diverticulosis, GERD, Disc Degeneration
"If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it" - Mary Engelbreit
 
Please help Healing Well continue to help others by donating  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 
 


edwocb
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 9/16/2005 5:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi CathyA
Sorry I just found what you post. I spoke to her Dr about the periods & she said that is normal at this age. The hormones are crazy & they are trying to balance themselves out. I also learned this in school and you should aleast wait until they are 16 to see if the hormones got themselves together. This was 4 yrs ago & learned this. Anything could of changed in that time. I'm going to speak to her Dr again just to make sure. Thanks
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