Wish I could be here more, but I'm dealing with a doozy of a problem....

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 3/31/2007 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone.
If anyone has information or advice regarding perimenopause, premature ovarian failure, or early menopause, I would love to hear from you.
Ever since the start of tapering off that seizure med I was on, I have uncovered a plethora of weird and wacky symptoms that ALL look like I'm in the early or mid stages of perimenopause or something of the like.  My doctors think that the medication, which is a tranquilizer and anti anxiety med, has been masking my anxiety, depression etc.  Plus, the symptoms of perimenopause.....
My periods have been wacky long before the medication was tapered down.  So that has been an issue for about 2 years now.  But I didn't have the other symptoms, or at least I didn't know I had them because of the tranquilizer....  I might well have been into the "change of all changes" for about 4 years now.  We just don't know.
My symptoms can also mimic thyroid disease.  We've checked that and I'm fine.  I'm not diabetic either.  My female hormones were checked last week and all came back normal, but that's very normal for someone in perimenopause of POF (premature ovarian failure).  Hormones during these phases change by the minute sometimes!  I just have to keep checking my hormones on a regular basis to see if they change dramatically, or if I caught the blood draw at a really good time. 
According to my doctor, POF is very common in women with lupus.  Lupus will attack the ovaries and therefore, cause them to stop working.  So that is being looked into.  I see my rheumy on Monday.  Another culprit might be my seizures.  Any weird "firing" of neurons near the pituitary gland or hypothalmus can cause an irregularity with ovulation etc.  So I need to see my neurologist too.
Needless to say, the symptoms are horrible.  Hot flashes, insomnia, very bad mood swings, I cry at the drop of a hat and then 2 minutes later I'm laughing about it.... I have the anxiety, depression, heart palpitations, headaches, skin changes, dizziness, increased facial hair, memory loss (bad!), and the list goes on....
I know it's not my lupus.  This feels very different. It's not my fibro either.  I know what those flares are like, and this isn't it!!
If anyone has experience with even their own menopause experience, or anything like that, PLEASE talk to me.  I feel so weird and not myself at all.  I hope this ends soon.  I feel like I'm going crazy. By the way, I'm only 33.  But it's not too soon for these things to start apparently..
Thank goodness I have God in my life.  He gets me through the hard days.  I really need Him!
Thanks gals.  Love you all,
"Thank you God for the storms that blow me right into your arms!"

Diagnosed with lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, anti-phospholipid syndrome(stroke),Sjogren's, Raynaud's, seizure disorder, libman sach's endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, Neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, food allergies
Prednisone, Imuran, Coumidin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, micronor, didrocal, monopril, calcium, Cykolokapron, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Acidophilus

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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 3/31/2007 8:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Ginny, I don't have experience with any of this, but wanted to let you know I'll be praying for you and I really hope the docs can help get this figured out and under control so you get some relief.

We miss you here, but please take the time you need to take care of yourself.

Love and hugs.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Amitriptyline 10mg; Neurontin 300mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Restasis eye drops



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Co-Moderator: Lupus and CFS Forums

Barbara Lee
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Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 2889
   Posted 3/31/2007 9:07 PM (GMT -6)   

First off ((((hugs)))) honey I'm sorry you're having to go through all this. I want you to know that you're in my prayers and I thinking about you. I've gone through early menopause, because of a total hysterectomy at age 32. Of course my doctors started me on hormones the day after surgery. I tried several times to stop taking the hormones and had to deal with the hot flashes and night sweats. I found that when I'd have a hot flash that if I'd take a bowl and put some water and ice cubes in it. Then I'd soak my wrist in the water for about 5 minutes it would help with my hot flashes. I also would make sure that I put a good coating of baby powder on my body, especially under my breasts, around my neck, the back of my knees and the bottom of my butt cheeks. I know this sounds really weird but it helped absorb the sweat during the night sweats.

As far as the mood swings, I just dealt with them and when I was weapy and not real friendly I'd go be by myself in a room and listen to relaxation music. I'm not sure how much help I'm to you, but you could try and see if this helps. I eventually just couldn't stand it and I take the lowest dose of estrogen I can. I've discussed it extensively with my Rheumy and he provided me with just as much data on that estrogen doesn't cause lupus to flare as there is out there that it does. It's a personal choice whether to take it or not. In my case, my rheumy feels the dose I take isn't making my lupus any worse, and my symptoms are way to bad not to take the estrogen.

You're in my thoughts and prayers and I hope they get you feeling better real soon.

Love you,
dx fibro, SLE, glaucoma, cateracts, bells palsy, depression, migraine headaches, gastreopaersis, chronic anemia, MDS (Blood Cancer). Mediport and tons of meds.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 3/31/2007 10:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hippimom, thank you for your prayers.  That means more to me than anything else.... I'm a very spiritual person and God is the source of peace and joy that I need.  Thank you so much.  I miss supporting everyone here.  This is my home and has been for so long.  I just don't have the energy to do much "talking" right now.  It will get better.  All in God's time.  ((((hugs))))
Barbara, I'm all teared up.  Thank you for what you said.  I'll try the relaxation music when I'm in a flap! It's the emotional side of all this that is causing the most grief for me.  I can deal with the odd hot flash (as embarrassing as they are sometimes), but the anxiety, heart palpitations, worry, depression and sadness that is so debilitating sometimes.  I can't and won't take an anti D.  They do nasty things to me.  I have enough problems with this dang tranquilizer! I can't take estrogen because of the stroke I had in 2002.  Too much of a risk for me to go on it. But I'm on blood thinners, so I might be able to convince my rheumy to give me a small dose if needed.  Thanks for telling me about that.  It's hard to keep it all straight in my head.
So you know what this is like and you were my age when it all happened to you.  You have been through so much Barbara and yet you have all the energy and love in the world to give us encouragement and prayers.  You are a very special woman.  I want you to know that..... We all think you are VERY special.  God bless you Barbara.
I'll keep you posted as things come up.  I just need some time away right now to absorb all this and figure out what is going on.
love you all,
"Thank you God for the storms that blow me right into your arms!"

Diagnosed with lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, anti-phospholipid syndrome(stroke),Sjogren's, Raynaud's, seizure disorder, libman sach's endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, Neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, food allergies
Prednisone, Imuran, Coumidin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, micronor, didrocal, monopril, calcium, Cykolokapron, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Acidophilus

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 3/31/2007 11:05 PM (GMT -6)   

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2608
   Posted 4/1/2007 1:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Ginny, Some people fly through menopause with no problem, and others of us have a rough time. Mine was pretty awful, especially for my hubby and my daughter because of my terrible mood swings. I was lucky that mine started around age 48 or 49 and went on till I had a hysterectomy. I have to tell you that I tried everything imaginable and finally got relief when I went on estrogen. Those of you who have had strokes or breast cancer can't take hormones and it can be so hard for you. There is an over-the-counter product that helps lots of women. Your pharmacist can tell you what it is. Soy is great for menopause but you have to be careful not to eat too much soy when you have lupus. Do you have a good woman gyno? Women gynocologists can be pretty understanding and helpful during menopause.

By the way, I started taking Cymbalta last year after my parents died, and I LOVE it. I've tried other things over the years but never stuck with them because like you experienced, they did awful things to me. I've had no side effects from the Cymbalta. Just food for thought.

Good luck, Ginny. I'll be praying for you too. When you get edgy and find that the relaxation music isn't helping, come here and rant and rave and get it all off your back. We'll cry and laugh with you.

Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, osteoarthritis, fibro, ibs, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision.

cellcept, neurontin, prednisone, plaquenil, synthroid, triamterene, cymbalta, tramadol, lunesta, actonel, meridia, tricor, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 4/1/2007 2:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I have no experience with this at all.. I did want to mention that a lady I know from a group I particpate in (and if I recall she is 36) was feeling the same way you are. For nearly a year she had extensive thyroid testing done, including a biopsy of some sort. All of that came back normal and the next step seemed to be an early menpause. As a sidebar, she was also tested for lupus and that was negative. She had the hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, very irregular periods.. the whole nine yards. Just recently she saw a new dr. and after more testing was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. She was told CFS can mimic both menopause and thyroid disorders. I know very little about CFS but I just thought I would share to perhaps open up a new route of testing for you. I do know she was tested via the blood but I do not know the specific tests. Hope all is well for you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 8198
   Posted 4/1/2007 6:18 AM (GMT -6)   
  I'm sorry you are dealing with this problem on top of everything else....((Hugs)). I had my uterus and cervix removed when I was 28, then my ovaries when I was 38. I have been very fortunate in not having to take estrogen since then. I do have some of the symptoms of menapause but thank God they aren't too bad.
  I hope this gets alot better for you soon. Hang in there and take care. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
                                                       Love, Babs
 Co-Mod: Lupus Forum
 Lupus,RLS,RA,Asthma,Fibro,Sjogren's,Raynaud's,Divertic, Stroke,Atherosclerosis,Seizures,Sensory Polyneuropathy
mirapex,advair,foxamax,donnatal,folic acid.
JOB 5:18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.

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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1042
   Posted 4/1/2007 7:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I really have nothing to add, as all these ladies have pretty much covered it for you.  I just wanted you to know that I am so sorry that someone so young as you are, is going through all of this.  Plus, I do hope you will follow the advice and come here and rant and rave when you need to.  When you are at a low, this is one of the best places to be because everyone genuinely cares for each other.
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers
God Bless,
A/Fib, diagnosed Aug, 1997, R/A diagnosed in Sept. 1998, Pericarditis and Lupus in Dec, 2003, Diabetes, diagnosed march, 2004
sotalol, digoxin, coumidin, plaquenil, prednisone, metformin, diamacron, wellbutrin,fenofibrate

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 4/1/2007 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
(((( Ginny )))))) I don't have any experience with the problems you are having, so I have no advise to offer. I just wanted to let you know you will be in my thoughts and prayers. I know you are a strong christian woman and you believe in one that can do all things. Lean on him and he will give you the strength and comfort you need to get your through this, he's already brought you through so much, he's certainly not going to leave you now. We are all here for you too, lean on us when you need to.

We miss you around here but understand exactly what you are going through, we've all been in the place where talking wears us out, I'm there often. We know even though you aren't "here" posting messages you are "here" with each one of us through prayer. Hugs and love to you!

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Hashimoto's 1999, Celiac 2003, Raynaud's 2004, Costochondritis 2004, Lupus 2005 and Sjogrens 2006
Meds:Imuran, Plaquenil, Flexeril, Sulindac, Levoxyl, Folic Acid and magic mouthwash (as needed)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 4/1/2007 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I was told about 8 yrs ago that I was experiencing peri-menopuase symptoms as well-if that be the case,how did I end up with my 3 yr old I asked?! I had a bunch of stuff to take for awhile,then it seemed better,but have mood swings,sweats,dizzy/faintness,hot flashes,heart palp,irregular periods-either nothing or sometimes 2x a month,ovarian cysts,anxiety,depression,headaches,memory loss (forget how to spell name even) and skin changes as well as 3 persistent man hairs on my face! Even my hair has changed-it could be the stubborn gray wanting to take over!
I am 38...now they say it is not perimenapause-urg,wish they would make up their minds! all I know is my symptoms are worse since our 3 yr old (but I wouldn't trade that blessing for the world). my husband actually admitted that woman have far more things to deal with when it comes to our health-'' all that girly plumbing'' LOL! He is starting to understand nothing seems to help a hot flash!
YUP, our ''plumbing'' sure does weird stuff to us! Take care,I understand where you are coming from,it's not fun,but we can all get through it with faith and each others support! crystal

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 4/1/2007 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I don't really have much else to add than what the other ladies have said, but I wanted to tell you that I am in the process of being tested for all of the above as well.  (I am 35).  I haven't been dx with Lupus, but that is one thing that they are trying to figure out.  I have only had my period about once every 2 months for awhile now, (not that I was complaining about that!) and when I do it is very light.  And, I have been having the weird "sun rash" on my face that they can't figure out, (possibly related to lupus, they don't know yet).  When it happens, it feels like my face is on fire, and the dr thinks perhaps it is some type of hot flash.
Anyway, I am like you.  Trying to figure out what is going on with my body.  I hope you find answers, and if you do, please let me know.  I'll do the same for you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 4/1/2007 5:46 PM (GMT -6)   
You ladies are so wonderful.  Thank you so much for your tremendous support, prayers and advice!  I really, really love you all!
I'm having a good day today.  Church was excellent, and even though I did get a little emotional during some of the singing, I know that it was because I love my Lord and Saviour so much!  Today has been a good day!  I'll deal with tomorrow, when tomorrow comes.
I see my rheumatologist tomorrow morning and this will be the #1 topic of conversation with her. She might refer me to a reproductive endocrinologist or something.  I'll make that suggestion anyway.  I'm quite positive that I'm not ovulating.  I have absolutely no breast tenderness during PMS anymore, and from what I've learned, a lack of breast tenderness is a sure sign of no ovulation occuring.  So we'll just have to see.  I have my yearly physical and pelvic exam on the 9th, so my doc is going to check for any vaginal atrophy.  That's another clear indicator of low estrogen.
Crystal, I have man hairs all over my chin!!!  I pluck those suckers out but they grow in so fast!  Good thing they're blond! Hehe!!  The facial hair thing is bad!  Sorry you're dealing with that too!
Hugs to all!
"Thank you God for the storms that blow me right into your arms!"

Diagnosed with lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, anti-phospholipid syndrome(stroke),Sjogren's, Raynaud's, seizure disorder, libman sach's endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, Neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, food allergies
Prednisone, Imuran, Coumidin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, micronor, didrocal, monopril, calcium, Cykolokapron, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Acidophilus

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 4/1/2007 8:25 PM (GMT -6)   
BIG'BIG HUG to you too Ginny!
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