lupus and menopause

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/7/2007 6:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,
I have a question regarding lupus symptoms/flares and menopause. I am only 42 but seem to have some symptoms of menopause. However, it could also be a lupus flare (which I hope it is not. I have been in remission for 2 years). So I am wondering if my changing hormones are causing lupus symptoms or if they are related to menopause or perimenopause. about two months ago I developed sleep disturbances, waking frequently, unable to sleep through the night, in addition to night sweats. Disabling fatigue, in fact my rheumotologist doubled my Provigil so I could make it through the work day. I am so frustrated though cause when I work I have no energy to do anything at home. Everything piles up and gets overwhelming. Then I get depressed and anxious.
Some other symptoms I have been having include; change in headaches (more frequent and severe), muscle aches and joint pain, increased feelings of anxiety and loss of libido. The rheum has also diagnosed me with fibromyalgia (which I understand is quite common in Lupus patients), as well as irritable bowel syndrome. I also have hypothyroid and have been being treated for depression and anxiety for 2 years (the depression is improving). I was diagnosed with Lupus 4 years ago.
If anyone has any info for me I would really appreciate it. I have been holding off calling my gyno (I see her in Nov.) and/or rheum.
thanks in advance for any help any can offer.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 193
   Posted 9/7/2007 7:56 AM (GMT -6)   
The symptoms that you have could be part of menopause/perimenopause - or could be the lupus. My rheumy told me that the hormonal fluctuations of perimenopause/menopause can increase my lupus symptoms - so I guess it could be a combination of both. I would see your gynecologist. They can always draw some hormonal labs and see what your body is doing in that department. Hopefully your gynecologist will work with your rheumy to see about helping you with some of these symptoms. Someone else here may have better ideas. Good luck!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 9/7/2007 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   

I would think that menopause and/or perimenopause could cause similar symptoms as lupus.  My mother had lupus, and her doctors were constantly trying to trigger early menopause with her because they said after menopause, lupus can go into a semi-permanent remission (so perhaps hormones have quite a bit to do with the cause of lupus).  They were not successful in inducing menopause in my mom, but it was certainly worth a shot.  Maybe you can ask your doctor about that.


Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7723
   Posted 9/7/2007 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I had similar symptoms at a similar age. After investigation by both gyno and rheumy, and the fact that the majority of the symptoms have been controlled by lupus treatment, it has been determined that my symptoms were almost definitely lupus induced/related.

Now, 6 years later (49 yrs old), I am having emotional PMS (never had any PMS previously) and unpredictable menstruation, and the gyno has still been unable to find any definitive menopause signs -- nor has she found any gyno problems, so things are still being attributed to lupus.

In any case, I would suggest that a good investigation by both rhuemy and gyno is a good idea. Lupus can mess w/hormones that mess w/gyno stuff, AND gyno stuff can mess w/hormones that mess w/lupus stuff -- so it really needs to be investigated from both lupus and gyno angles.

PS. My rhuemy prescribed Trazodone as a sleep aid - while you can be very fatigued and sleeping long hours, unless you are getting deep, restorative sleep, you will still feel fatigued. With a sleep aid, I actually sleep less and am less fatigued.

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, SAD, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Piroxicam, Plaquenil, Cellcept, Prednisone, Trazodone, Fosamax, Wellbrutrin SR, Valtrex
Links: DIAGNOSING LUPUS(4of11), LUPUS INFORMATION, LUPUS RESOURCES, Donate to HealingWell, Drug Interactions

Audrey Ann
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 815
   Posted 9/7/2007 9:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I would tend to agree with Lynnwood about it being a bit of both. I actually had my major flares occur AFTER my complete hysterectomy. I have been in a flare for most of the last six years even though I am completely post-menopausal. Before my hysterectomy I didn't realize that I had lupus but, in looking back, I am sure that I had some minor flares and that I was lucky to have lots of remissions. I wonder if the procedure was such a shock to my system that it caused all of this. Just a theory.
Audrey Ann
Lupus and RA and LOTS of Medications!


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