Extreme Hot Flashes - Is This the Lupus or Is It Hormone Related?

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Audrey Ann
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 815
   Posted 10/11/2008 11:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Greetings everyone!  I am so sorry that I haven't been able to keep up with everyone here at HW lately.  I miss everyone here so much and I hope all is well.  My new job is going well but I am pretty tired most nights.  The days are long for me right now until I get things organized.  I have been pacing myself quite well, however, and I have been able to stay away from a flare - thank goodness!  I love my new school and the kids and teachers are wonderful!
 
My main issue has been an increasing problem with hot flashes (I think that is what it is) and it is getting worse even as the weather is starting to get cooler.  I had been having infrequent hot flashes since starting my hormone creme prescribed by my family doctor.  He wanted me off premarin when the study on Hormone Replacement Therapy came out and basically scared many women from using any estrogen at all.  My doctor has me on bio-identical estrogen that I purchase from a local compounding pharmacy.  I have had good results with it for over two years now.  Recently, however, it has become more of a problem.  I have hot flashes after I shower.  I have hot flashes whenever I exert myself like take a walk, do any type of household chore, or move my body more than just basically sitting down or watching TV or reading a book.  My hair gets wet, my clothes get wet, sometimes I am drenched and I need to change clothes and dry my hair with a hair dryer.  It is all very time-consuming.  Needless to say, I take many showers but this is usually pointless since I get all hot again from the shower!
 
Anyway, is this something for my family doctor or for my rhuemy?  I cannot tell if it might be hormone related or lupus related.  All I really know is it is driving me nuts!  I turn the air conditioning on before my showers.  I have a large, floor fan right by my vanity where I put my make-up on and fix my hair each day.  My husband is freezing when I am home but I can hardly be comfortable unless I keep it really cold in the house and, even, in the office at school.  I have all of these same problems wherever I go.  I am fine while driving back and forth to work since I can have the air conditioning blow right on me.
 
Well, this is much longer than I first intended.  Thanks for taking the time to read the whole story.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. 
 
Sincerely - Audrey Ann (Please parden any spelling or grammar mistakes - I am really fatigued tonight but my insomnia is keeping me awake!)
Prayers,
Audrey Ann
 
Lupus, RA, and (Maybe) Fibromyalgia and LOTS of Medications!
 


 


mygrljes
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 10/12/2008 7:59 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Audrey,

It seems as though this is just regular old hot flashes. I get them like this when I run out of my hrt and can't fill them for a week. Maybe your cream just isn't strong enough anymore. Have you thought of taking the herbal hormone replacements? I don't know how well they work, I just know they're out there.

 


Robin
 
dix: lupus sle Jan. '99, hypo-thyroid Mar. '06
rx: pred. 5mg/day, plaquenil 200mg/day, levothyroxine .112mg/day, premarin .45mg/day, methotrexate 7.5mg/week, folic acid 1mg/day
 
 
Also a wife and mother of three.


hippimom2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 10/12/2008 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Audrey Ann, it's good to hear from you. I can only imagine how tired you must be with changing jobs and everything else. I'd mention the hot flashes to both your docs, that way all your bases are covered. Your family doc can look at the hormonal aspect of things and your rheumy can make sure it's not lupus related.

One other question is could it be medication related? I know when I increase my prednisone I can get bad hot flashes. I sweat as soon as I start moving.

Take care and let us know what you find out.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; UC 2008; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Doxepin 25-50mg; Prevacid; Evoxac; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Artificial tears

 

Clickable:  LUPUS INFORMATION & LUPUS RESOURCES.

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Co-Moderator: Lupus and CFS Forums



firebabe
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 206
   Posted 10/12/2008 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, just some ideas about your hot flashes.  Could it be the time of month you are ovulating?  I have some troubles with ovarian cysts and when I have a painful one it also brings hot flashes. 
 
Also, have you talked to your doctor about this-hot flashes can be associated with a thyroid problem.  There is a simple blood test that can tell if your thyroid is over reacting or under reacting.  You should talk to your rhuemy about this.  It can be a problem for those with Lupus.  I was tested a few months ago because we were trying to figure out if my overwelming fatigue had something to do with more that my Lupus.
 
Are you dressing too heavy for the weather?  I've noticed that in the fall/winter I'm usually the first person at work to ask if I can turn the fan on and the others look at me like I'm crazy.  I feel that I've been a warmer blooded person since before my diagnosis, but I never used to be that way.  I usually just wear short sleaves year round (unless its pushing 15 or below) and take a sweater with just in case.  I don't try to overdo it because I get warmer alot quicker. 
 
I guess you could talk to your rhuemy and ask if there are any other reasons for the hot flashes other than the obvious-menapause.  Good luck!
~Firebabe~
 
"Challenges make you discover things about yourself you never really knew."
 
SLE and Class II Lupus Nephritis


Audrey Ann
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 815
   Posted 10/12/2008 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much, everyone for your input. I appreciate any suggestions. I do dress carefully and have resorted to wearing short sleeves year-round, also. My family doc has already had me double my dose for the cream but the mix of the three estrogens and the touch of testosterone might need to be adjusted since I have increased my stress levels with my new job. I will definitely ask him about that. My family doc has also always suspected some type of thyroid problem with me for the last twenty years, actually, so I think I will ask him to test me once again. My father was just diagnosed with hyperthyroid at age 67 so, who knows, maybe I might have something similar? I had a complete hysterectomy seven years ago and they took both ovaries so I have been dealing with the estrogen and hormone balancing ever since. It is easy for me to jump to the conclusion that it might be my HRT that is causing the problem but, last night I thought, hmmm, this is not like anything I have dealt with in seven years. Maybe it is something else. I will see both doctors in the next two weeks so I will check with both!

Thanks, again, everyone! My prayers are with you!
Prayers,
Audrey Ann
 
Lupus, RA, and (Maybe) Fibromyalgia and LOTS of Medications!
 


 


puccini914
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 10/12/2008 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I get the same kind of hot flashes. I keep my a/c between 70/71 degrees. Any housework and I'm drenched in sweat. I'm cooking when I get out of the shower and if I'm hot too long, I get headaches. I don't take any hormones and I'm 39 so I'm pretty sure it's not menopause yet, though you never know. I do take the occasional medrol dose pack and the hot flashes seem worse, but maybe just because since I feel better I do more. I kinda thought it was more related to the pain pills. I can't take NSAIDS or Tramadol because of hives so I take darvocet or lortab. My DH said that ultram or lortab makes him real hot and sewaty, and not in a good way. LOL Could it be pain meds?

Jennifer

PCP DX Lupus and Fibro, Taking plaquenil, Cymbalta, Flexeril,Claritin, Zantac,Ambien,vitamin B-12, multi- vitamin, Darvocet.  Homeschooling Mom of 2 boys 1 and 6.  Symptoms: Fatigue, joint pain, heat/sun sensitivity, mouth and nose sores, malar rash, migranes, awful hives, positive ANA, and RF.

 

 


AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 10/12/2008 4:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Audrey!! So nice to hear about your new job. I'm glad things are going rather well for you. But ooohhhhh those hot flashes. I have lived HOT for 10 years (I'm 55 now). But that was too hot ALL the time. Now I have true hot flashes and it really does feel desperate. I don't think this will be much help for you because you are at work (and I'm at home) but I keep my grain bags in the freezer and, when I need one or two, I just pull them out and place one on my lap and another on my neck if I need it. Ahhhhhh . . . nice and cool and it lasts a nice long time.

Instructions for making a grain bag are near the end of the "Lupus Resources" thread . . . link at the end of my signature.

I'm happy to hear you aren't flaring . . but sorry you are dealing with 'catching on fire' all the time.

Blessings!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator


Audrey Ann
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 815
   Posted 10/12/2008 9:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Great idea, Rosie! I could have the grain bags on weekends, though, when I am trying to do stuff around the house! Thanks so much.

Jennifer, your description is so much like what I experience. I do take pain medication but I have been taking it for over three years now and it has never been this bad. However, I did increase my prednisone from 4-6 mg to 10 mg and am now tapering. Right now I am taking 7 mg and hope to go down to 6 mg starting tomorrow. Hippi, I never thought of prednisone having something to do with this. but it is plausible.

Also, Rosie, you are right, it is great that I have not started to flare even though I started this new position. I am very fortunate! My hours are much better for me. The extra hour in the morning has made a world of difference. I still work as many hours but I needed the extra time in the AM to get myself going.

The school is wonderful but it needs a lot of work. I have learned the value of taking things slowly, however, so as not to make myself ill, but I do try to push it sometimes and I am reminded to slow down. I am reminded by my body to slow down, anyway. I really swell up (fingers, knees, ankles) if I do too much in a day.

I use the weekends to really catch up on my rest. Thank goodness my son (David II) and my daughter (Elizabeth) are away at college so they are mostly on their own. I seem to be able to handle picking up and cleaning up after my hubby. But, he does a lot for me, too. He cooks and helps me with errands and shopping so it is a fair arrangement. The house is certainly not as clean and spotless as it was five years ago, but, it is passable and it does not smell (at least I hope not - ha, ha).

I did go into the office this afternoon but my hubby was like, "Hey, aren't you sick? Remember, you have lupus. I really would hate to see you burn yourself out and I would like to keep you around here with me for as long as possible. So watch it - you need to rest on the weekends." Pretty cool, isn't it? He really made me stop and think. It's nice to know someone cares.

Anyway, thanks everyone, for your kind words and your suggestions! I will be seeing my docs very soon and I will bring up my new concerns. I just hate being "drenched" when I am trying to fix my hair or put on my make-up. Yuck!
Prayers,
Audrey Ann
 
Lupus, RA, and (Maybe) Fibromyalgia and LOTS of Medications!
 


 


AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 10/12/2008 10:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Your welcome Audrey. Don't forget, you can take those frozen grain bags to bed with you too!! Another thing I use is a bottle of drinking water. If you pop it in the freezer for a while, then wrap it in pillow case, it won't sweat and you can place them anywhere to cool you off. I like to use them under my neck or at the very top of my legs, or one on each side of me. They last a long time if you freeze them. If you get too cold just tuck them under your pillow and pull them back out when you get a hot flash. Taaaa Daaaa !!! Sadly, we don't have air conditioning . . . so I've become pretty resourceful.

Yes, its great that your hubby is supportive!!! What a blessing!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator


oldhippyrebel
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 10/12/2008 10:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Audrey Ann
Back in my late 30's I started having major problems with hot flashes, really hot flashes. I was seeing a male Dr at the time and of course he put me on hormone meds. I started having other issues. I tried to talk to him about it but he didn't seem to listen . I finally gave up and found me a new female Gyno Dr. She listen to my issues took me off the hormone meds and then tested my levels. I had more than enough for having just 1 overy, something thing else was causing the hot flahes, She told me a lot of other things can cause hot flashes. I don't think we ever figured it out, but I did stop having the hot flashes and when I did start going though the change hot flashes weren't a problem. In fact I have more problems the other way. When I get chilles that won't go away, it is so hard to get warm again.

Lynn
Fibro since 97, Lupus since 99, neuropathy and other nerve damage.
On to many Meds to list, Finally got a date for SSA of July 1 after to many years of fighting for a hearing.


redrose77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 10/13/2008 12:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Audrey Ann,
I have had serious hormone issues due to birth control causing an autoimmune reaction. I studied and so did my gyn. We both found something called monk's pepper/vitex/chasteberry (3 names for the same thing) that can help the body self regulate hormones even in menopausal women. My rheumy was fine with our trying it because of how bad the horrid hormone problems were affecting my lupus. For me it took a year of supplementation for my hormones to regulate themselves again but when they did I felt much better. Heck, I hadn't ovulated in 5 years despite no longer taking birth control and began to ovulate again- the result was my son. I am back on it because pregnancy messes with the hormones- I wiated 2 months to start back on it but now after 3 months my periods and hormones are almost regulated again. I have no idea if your doctor would be okay with it or if you would be willing to try it but I recommend at the least considering it as it might help your body regulate/process the hormones from the creams better. I usually avoid herbal remedies but gave this one a try out of desperation. I do know I will never take artificial hormones again after what they did to me and my disease, though I also know not everyone experiences the problems I did- in fact very few do I seem to be one of those rare oddball cases in just about everything to do with how my lupus has reacted and progressed.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sjögren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, exema
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Tramadol, Singulair, Skelaxin, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Prilosec, lasix, Evoxac, Celebrex, Darvocet when things get too bad, prednisone again, various vitamin/mineral supplements

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