The menopause: everything you were too afraid to ask

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Cory Everson: Ms. Olympia, Actress, and Author
May 8, at 6: I am so confused on what to do next!! Thanks for sharing this. Lost 35 lbs in 2. I would love to hang out here alllllllllll day, grab a drink from your cute bar and plop down with some netflix! Look at my homepage::

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My lips are full again, and my face looks more youthful. I have recently moved to a more urban location, and I am really very surprised to see the number of docs who are specializing in the bioidentical approach. I have been battling chronic fatigue, but found a good website finally about it. Napping is a bad thing to do. Green smoothies are great for energy, fill you up, and give you all those servings of fruit you are supposed to eat in a day without the effort of chewing it all.

Toss in a little kale, and you have a super healthy drink that will fill you up. They are recommending light for fatigue, B, DHEA, and a dab of cortisone cream to offset cortisol loss due to stress…. Nearly every mid-life woman struggles with weight gain and a lot of other menopausal symptoms including depression, hot flashes and insomnia. So, please…talk to a nutritionist or integrative medicine specialist, or a naturopathic doctor to see what they advise and increase your exercise.

The exercise alone will give you more energy and make you feel better emotionally and physically. Thanks for visiting and participating in this discussion. Hi Christine — given your family history of heart disease, I would consult a medical professional — either an integrative medicine specialist or a naturopathic doctor who can suggest supplements to help you through the menopause transition if you are unable to take hormone therapy. I would not take testosterone cream without first discussing this with someone who specializes in hormone balancing.

You may not be deficient. There are also side effects to be aware of like acne, or irritability. Better to spend it on testing first and then use only the products in the right doses that are truly helpful to you. The elimination diet is not a weight loss diet. You eliminate all the possible culprits and then add them back to your diet one by one.

I did this last year and felt so much better that I continue to eat that way, though not as strictly. The foods I eliminated included: I lost all the weight that I had been trying to lose for two years with no luck. After reading all of the comments on here, I am so relieved that I am not alone in my battle to find answers to my belly-fat issues. I was having a lot of the symptoms that all of you are talking about — hot flashes, mood swings, depression, lack of sleep, migraines, but the one that gets me the most is the gradual weight gain.

Which by this point, I probably am! I want to get this under control before it gets worse. I go to the gym faithfully and I eat organic foods. My calorie intake is minimum. There has got to be some answers for us! My parents and maternal grandparents all died early of heart disease. Does anyone know of a natural substitute? I am going to the health store today to get some testosterone cream. What is the elimination diet? Thanks for your comment Jeanne — after two years of weight gain, the elimination diet finally helped me to lose that weight.

It just peeled off. I take synthroid but have avoided any other hormones or drugs. So far menopause symptoms have been rare other than umm… brain freeze and occasional migraine headaches which I never had before. LOL No I am not on birth control it is just funny that at my age because I am still having my period and my meno numbers are not in meno yet that they are concerned I could get pregnant…ALso my husband was fixed years ago….

Cortef or hydrocortizone is a natural steriod and they saved my life 7 years ago when I was really really in adrenal failure…I did not know what was wrong at the time as my nautral thyroid meds would not work so I found the site: So I talke to my doc about it he put me on cortef. The thing is though I was really bad most people it only takes a few months I had to be on it 9 months b4 I felt better and when I felt better I was back to my normal healthy self again.

We got a sailboat this summer and I partied my stupid brains out long nights too much food and alcohol and I was smoking a little too. Linda — I had to read your comment a few times to grasp all that is going on.

How are you feeling? I am also 60 and still having a regular period my mom was 64 when they put her on prempro 40 yrs ago for her period and fibroids and she got breast cancer in 6 weeks My aunt was 68 when she had her last period.. I have been on compounded progesterone cream mg twice a day with testosterone for over 7 years as I am estrogen dom. I also take a natural thyroid.

Itried taking estrogen because I thought I was getting hot flashes this summer but it didnt help and made me gain weight and then I found out that once again I had this 7 years ago I had worn my adrenals out. IMy doc put me back on cortef for a month and all of the symptoms hot flashes, restless legs, nightmares, sleeplessness and fatigue went away so I got off the estrogen and havent had a problem, I do have to say though I stopped my periods last June and they started again the week I got on cortef in August and are still on time every month.

I am very lucky though I have two wonderful docs…. One here in Ohio and one right over the border in Mi. Hi Sandi — I had the same problem with weight gain — I maintained the same trim weight for 20 years until two years ago and then it was as if someone else had taken over my body. Every day I was a pound or two more. The only thing that helped me finally lose it, after two years, was going on an elimination diet.

I continue to eat like that, with lots of exceptions. After that, everyone experiences it differently. Thanks for weighing in on this. Susan I totally agree with you. I weighted the same from age 15 to age 49, then the weight started coming on. Have you seen Jane Fonda lately? I have some suggestions for finding a medical professional who can help you. Their website has a directory of physicians who have completed the program. Are you near that town?

Alternatively, check the directory for the American Assoc. There are some listed in the Denver area. Call first to see if they are experienced in hormone balancing. Another idea is to contact a clinic of female doctors in Maine called Women to Women http: They seem to specialize in menopause-related health care and they do telephone consultations. Check out their website — they have tons of information.

Let me know if you have luck with any of these resources. I want to add that I weigh 20 pounds more than I did 2 years ago.

I can live with this. I wish I could find a doctor who appreciates how terrifying it is to feel out of control of your own body like this. I see my story reflected in these comments and I just get more and more frustrated.

Can you imagine if this happened to men? I am wondering, after reading this page, if I am estrogen dominant. I just ordered some DIM online.

If it works I will share. In the meantime, if anyone knows a good doctor in the Denver area, could you post it? My weight was the same from 18 to almost Then my thyroid went crazy.

But my weight — I should say my belly — just keeps growing. Like many women here I eat well and exercise a LOT. The out of control feeling is the absolute worst. Whoa, Ginny — You have got to stop self-diagnosing and self-prescribing and see a physician or naturopathic doctor who can help you with hormone balancing.

Find someone who will do the proper testing and work with you to find the right formula of products that will help you feel better. One way to find a physician trained in integrative medicine is to go to http: Doc 2 had me on Divigel 1 mg and Prometrium 15 days per month. Over the course of maybe 4 months, I gained 15 lbs!!! The last 5 came on all of a sudden, and I looked 8 months pregnant, totally bloated….

Feeling of total fullness like stuffed…as in paralysis of stomach might have been stress-related and lasted maybe 1. Not sure if this create the dramatic explosion or not. My menopause symptoms are leg aches and sleep trouble…no hot flashes, and estrogen did nothing to help with either. Having stopped the estrogen cold turkey, I have had no symptoms e. Makes me wonder why they put us on estrogen at all. Instead, I had some bioidentical progesterone cream and gave it a shot….

It would be so great to enjoy having larger fuller breasts and have this ugly abdomen disappear. And, for hip and back pain, but myself some Skechers and just walking around the house in them a couple days has made a difference. Who says we have to get old and fat!!!!

If you know anything about those products, please let everyone know. I have added compound Bs in cream form. So it increases energy and mental focus I guess. But one of these 3 is making me feel a little itchy. I expect it is the Bs. I want to do this to stop the hot flashes once and for all. Everyone has on a coat and i am in a sweater outside? It is easy enough to change the dosage of all of this because it is in cream form and is prepared just for me. So I am going forward. I think the Bs B12 especially are very important in later years.

I truly believe all could have been avoided if they had kept their hormones in check. I have found that most doctors give the same generic advice to all women, take their money and run. I recently lost 10 after stopping estrogen but I have been dieting.

I had a hyster at 36 and kept ovaries. Stayed slim for 20 years! I was a size at age 56 and had a flat stomach until my doc put me on Vivelle dot!!

In 3 months I had belly fat and was a My symptoms of meno were gone but I was got fat! After a year of that nonsense I started oral estrogen. Still did not lose. My new doc put me on bio progest and estro to see how I react.

She said lack of progesterone was responsible for my 3 miscarriages and now my belly fat!! My doc said her 90 yr old mom is on bHRT and is still practicing law. She said we need bHRT if we want to stay youthful into our 60s, 70s.

One thing about the bHRT, it can be adjusted for you. With the pills or patch, forget it. I will let you know how I do with bHRT. Maybe she is right and I have always been deficient in the progesterone. I read that on proges your symptoms may be worse for two weeks then you even out. I did get a little bump on my face so it happens. Your experience underscores the need to know how experienced your physician is with BHRT and pellets in particular.

And always insist on proper testing prior to taking hormones to ensure that you are being given the appropriate dosage. The GYN had my levels so messed up that I was bleeding everyday for months on end and her only suggestion was to have a hysterectomy!

This did not sit well with me. I was so disgusted by the GYN that I knew I needed to find a different doctor who would try and figure out what was going on with me.

I had my first visit with a Naturopathic Doctor and she was wonderful. She determined I was estrogen dominate and immediately put me on progesterone, the bleeding stopped within a couple of days.

Imagine that, no surgery needed. I have now been on the progesterone only for about a week and testosterone. I had lost 5 pounds just before I started this new program and so far, I have been able to keep it off.

I will keep you posted. Hi Juliette- I recommend that you consult a doctor — one who specializes in integrative medicine or naturopathic medicine and will do the proper testing to determine your hormone levels. With that information in hand, a holistic-minded physician can prescribe a combination of supplements, diet and perhaps hormones that will make you feel better.

The symptoms you are experiencing are very typical of the menopause transition, so please…get some help! I am 51 soon to be I have lost about 8 pounds but think it is due to menopausal bone loss. However, it appears that I have gained inches around my waist. I now look sick because with the frame I have I need to have more weight, just not around my belly. I work out but not consistently. I was on premarin, it made me feel bloated therefore I stopped taking it.

I now have problems focusing, staying asleep, remembering and lots of sweet cravings. Any comments and suggestions are welcome. I exercise regularly roughly 6 hrs in the gym, weights, cardio, yoga and time outside the gym as well playing hockey. After years of working hard to maintain my weight and shape, this is incredibly frustrating feeling like I am out of control.

Thanks for your comment and your great research. I appreciate your sharing these valuable links. When I can, I always point out conflicts of interest in research that I write about or link to. The way I now read and write about research studies is that they are biased until proven otherwise. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention. So, the following links are very very informative. Up until now I was under the mistaken notion that the medical journal sites that I liked were published unbiased data from clinical trials.

But there is one problem. There are some that are heavily biased by those selling products that will then further influence the physician— who in turn influences YOU. So much for trust! One day, looking at an articles footnotes for additional reading, I recognized a name.

I discovered the doctor involved in testing this wrinkle cream was promoting it in this article but he was part of the group profiting from promoting it as this amazing wrinkle cream. It was a wake up call for me. That brings me to my second link s from the University of Mass. Here you will find the clinical trials, many related to estrogen, that are brief, accurate.

There is no vested interest other then to report the data and explaining it. In otherwords, it helps yo make up your own mind, based on trust worthy information.

Compare this to the first link re: This is a site I found that has good summaries of clinical trials that may help you make decisions in regards to estrogen. I have yet to look through them all as I wanted to post this first. But first we need to be educated with the truth. Not med companies that lie to you.

My goal is to find out what journals and sources are reliable and how do they screen. Effects of conjugated equine estrogen on health-related quality of life in postmenopausal women with hysterectomy: Symptom experience after discontinuing use of estrogen plus progestin http: There are some that are heavily biased by those selling products that will then further influence the physician who intern influences YOU.

So much for trust. Looking at an articles footnotes for additional reading, I recognized a name. I discovered the doctor involved in testing this wrinkle cream has. It was a wake up call.

In otherwords, I believe it to be trust worthy information. Compare this to the first link about how Pharmeceuticals have been altering. It sounds like you are going through the perimenopausal transition and need some help with hormone balancing. Supplements help with some symptoms of menopause but not all and for some women but not all.

And trial and error can cost you A LOT of money. I have no health insurance, so I need to know if any herbal supplements worked. Hi Sarah-Thanks for your comment. A lot of women have been in your shoes. Mood swings and weight gain are very common symptoms of menopause. It sounds like the estrogen that your doctor prescribed did not solve your problems.

You may also want to consult a doctor who specializes in holistic or integrative medicine. They will do the proper testing and work with you to get your hormones balanced and perhaps prescribe additional supplements.

Hello, I am a 29 year old female and had a complete hysterectomy at the age of 27 due to cancer. Since then I have gained 25lbs. I used to be extremely motivated to work out for an hour a day. I have no energy for it and my appetite has skyrocketed since this surgery, especially for sweets and salts which I NEVER ate before.

I am currently taking. Has anyone been in my shoes…I am desperate! I too seem to continue to gain weight no matter what I do. I have not had my period for almost a year now. I dont believe in drugs …what else can I take that is natural and will eliminate belly fat.

Thanks for your comment Karyn. Thanks for all this information. In addition to night sweats, and a period gone AWOL, my belly looks like a basketball sitting out front. Good news is, even with the belly, the exercise has kept my heart strong, risks of diabetes low, and my blood pressure normal.

I do think there is something to be said for coming to some level of acceptance with our bodies as we age. I really hope to embrace this new phase of my life with some measure of grace… rather than trying to scramble back to what I once was, or drive myself crazy worrying about the way I look.

After reading all of these comments, I too had a hysterectomy 8 years ago and have been on. Thanks ladies for sharing all of the information here.

Hi BeeBee — thank you for your comment. It makes me angry to hear about doctors who are quick to write a prescription without a proper work-up. See my blogposts on how to find the right doctor. Nice to find this site. I was postmenopausal at I had symptoms of irritability and the doctor put me on zoloft, never suggested a hormone work up. Has anyone had success with this? I hate my belly! I recently had all my blood chemistry checked by my Dr. I was high in testosterone, plenty of estrogen in the belly fat , low in progesterone and estridol and vit D.

I think Vitamin D is probably the initiator which starts the domino effect. I would suggest just getting the blood work done so you can get on the right bio-identical hormones replacement therapy. Plus your insurance will pay for the bloodwork. I found the pharmacy and called and they told me the Dr. Get tested for dhea and cortisol also your vitamin D levels. I have the belly fat and will be able to get this taken care of with mixing of estridol and progest.

By the way, thanks for the DIM information. I had seen it but did not think it was to reduce estrogen in the belly fat. Yes, I can relate alot to many of the comments here. I have suddenly develpoed a thick middle and belly fat after a lifetime of being slim and having a good metabolism thanks to my ancestors. I also developed muscle pains, sleeplessness, and depression. Who is this person?

So I started taking DIM. Wow is all I can say! It has changed me for the better! Pesticides are the culprit and can hide in non organic prepared foods as well as flour, grains, etc. Plastics also leach hormones into foods and liquids. Vitacost has some good deals on DIM. There are lots of different brands and blends to choose from. I feel like a different person… No more hot flashes used to wake up all night with these!

Be patient…it may take awhile for your body to readjust. I totally agree that a drop in progesterone is one of the major aggravators of the belly fat problem. Essentially, it give the tongue more muscle tone. When on their backs, the tongue falls back due to gravity, but when the jaw is smaller, it falls back even more. Chronic sleep inefficiency causes weight gain via all the known physiologic mechanism. Weight gain narrows the throat even more, and the vicious cycle continues.

I had an elective surgery 3 years ago… and it up the balance of body totally i told the doctor the next day …that i was not me … I truly felt changed immediatly after surgery… I was not menopausal or had no symptoms the day before the surgery..

Even the surgeon urged me to go else where I explained all of this in agonizin grave detail to my gyn.. Its menopause deal with it… Menopuase overnigt….

My life partner for years has moved out … been put out some combination there of… because i am no longer at all the person I used to be …. I will share everything…. I am not naturally overweight. I practically had to force her to put me back on Norethindrone and pull a blood sample to check my levels. Will keep you posted. Just wondering if you have any further results to report yet with trying the Estratest?

I take the Vivelle Dot and Prometrium too. I am 40 now but went into early menopause at age 37 and also had a complete thyroidectomy. SO, I have some things stacked against me. Let me know if you think the new medication is making a difference! I rapidly gained 40 lbs.

He prescribed Estratest and Norethindrone. I lost all 40 lbs in 4 months. Three years later I decided to go BHRT creams and the weight started coming back, not to the same extent, but mid-section weight. I just started back on Estratest, but switched to Prometrium for progesterone. The Prometrium does help me sleep better. Some remarkable changes in my body, I am very happy with that.

I am 50 and on very low doses of testosterone, estrodial and pregesterone. I too have added over 20 lbs. I am 52, have always been a size 8 or Within 3 months of using Vivelle patch I am now a size I have never had a huge belly have never had children either and it is really depressing. No doctor I have spoken with has a clue either!!! Since I had the thyroid killed I went from an size 12 to I tried every diet I can find and was told by my GP that I have no chance to lost this fat belly because of the thyroid being gone, plus the hysteredtomy.

Plus I just had two spinal surgries two years in a roll. WOW I need to get any advice on how to rid myself of this belly? I am 35 years old. Had a complete hysterectomy 5 months ago. I take estradiol as well as testosterone. I have always been physically fit but am now seeing my belly protrude and about 8 lbs heavier. Glad to know I am not alone. I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. M Do you just take estrogen, or are you also taking testosterone and progesterone?

I am taking all 3 compounded together. I decided to take over the counter estroven with soy and black cohash. We will see if that works. Hi Barb — I will be interested in knowing if your symptoms re-appear with the reduction of estrogen. By the way — I believe the lowest amount of the Vivelle Dot patch — which is estradiol only- is.

Thanks for your comments. My estrogen is the lowest,. I have decided , on my own, to decease the amount that I apply daily to see if it makes a difference.

I tried that a week ago. It may be my imagination, but I think my middle is getting less thick. I have even eaten more with the holiday and all. If I start feeling hot flashes and such, I will go back to the original amount. I had a complete emergency hysterectomy 2 years ago.

Now I have so much weight around my mid section. I take a small amount. I too have way-excessive middle. Simultaneously, when thyroid went down, adrenals over-worked. Gallbladder removed 15 yrs ago. I still want to know from anyone if the hormones that I have been given since my hysterctomy see above , are causing weight gain.

It just came on all of a sudden since January when I had my surgery. I had the same experience. After two decades at the same weight, my weight creeped up in a matter of weeks and like you, the weight seemed to land in the middle.

The book I mentioned in this blogpost should give a good explanation and recommendations for keeping it in check. We might have to just re-calibrate our attitudes about self-image and aging.

Not easy, I know. Thanks for you comment. To add to my last comment, the inches I have gained are all around my middle. It just hangs there.

I have never had this issue before. I had a complete hysterectomy 5 months ago. I am taking a combination cream of estrogen, progeterone, and testosterone. The estrogen is for menopausal symtoms that would happen since they took my ovaries.

The testosterone is for muscle loss that could happen since I am not making the testosterone from ovaries. They said that I need progesterone to help balance the hormones. All 3 are combined in a cream that I apply daily. I have not gained any weight according to the scale, but I have gained several inches. I work out a lot and eat healthy. Does anyone have any idea about the inches I have gained? Even medically-supervised very low-calorie diets have a high failure rate when it comes to keeping the weight off.

To lose weight to become eligible for weight loss surgery, for example, these diets may be effective. For long-term weight loss, they are not. The safety of weight loss through extreme calorie restriction is also an important question. For most healthy people, a short period of extreme calorie restriction is unlikely to be acutely harmful, especially if the food that is consumed has sufficient protein.

However, these diets can be harmful to people who already have a medical condition, or if they are continued for any length of time. Another side effect of extreme low-calorie diets is the yo-yo dieting problem. Weight cycling, which is the proper term for yo-yo dieting, involves gaining and losing weight repeatedly. It has been proven to be bad for your health, and each cycle may make losing weight harder. So, from this perspective, it may be easier for a person to lose a hundred pounds if they have never been on a diet than if they have repeatedly been gaining and losing weight.

Weight cycling also results in about one in three dieters ending up heavier at the end of each cycle than they were before, which is entirely counterproductive. Because dieters lose both muscle and fat when dieting but tend only to put fat back on, there is an overall increase in the percentage of body fat when weight cycling. For people who have a hard time sticking to a diet, the 5: A variety of forms of this diet exist, but basically, dieters eat how they like five days a week and fast or eat very few calories the other two days of the week.

Because it does not ban any foods and the deprivation aspect of the diet is only in effect for two days of the week, it is easier for many people to stick with. It may cause side effects during fasting days, and some people are prone to overeating on other days to make up for the loss of calories. There is not a lot of scientific evidence on this diet.

The Paleo diet appeals to people who want to eat in a less processed, more natural way. Again, there are a variety of forms, but this diet involves eating like cave dwellers were purported to have eaten. The only food that can be hunted or gathered can be eaten, which eliminates grains, dairy and processed foods. The South Beach diet is a good plan for people who want advice on how to eat a balanced, healthy diet that does not rely on severe restrictions.

The first two weeks of the diet involve eating lean protein, unsaturated fat, and vegetables, but after that, it broadens into a diet plan that incorporates low glycemic-index carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein. There is the potential for side effects during the initial phase of restricted eating, and it does not offer a simple list of prescribed and prohibited foods like some diets do, but it meets the criteria for healthy eating based on scientific evidence.

Slim-Fast makes a line of prepared foods and shakes that make it extremely simple for dieters who want this kind of structure. In the beginning, dieters are advised to eat only Slim-Fast products , which provide all essential nutrients. After a while, the plan broadens into eating a meal replacement shake, two Slim-Fast snacks and two healthy meals a day.

This kind of diet requires that the dieter enjoy the Slim-Fast products, or they are unlikely to be able to stick with it.

In addition, careful planning is required to meet the recommended allowance of fruits and vegetables every day while on this plan. Weight Watchers offers a support system for dieters as well as the diet plan itself, which can be appealing to some people. Meetings help keep dieters accountable and may increase motivation to stick with the diet. Weight Watchers revolves around a point system, where dieters are given a certain amount of points to spend each day, plus a safety net of a certain amount more points for the week.

Every food is given a point value based on calories, fat, fiber and protein content. Fruit and vegetables are unrestricted, and no foods are off limits.

However, learning the points system can be tedious, and the program may not teach dieters very much about the principles behind healthy eating.

Atkins 20 or Atkins 40 maintains many of the familiar features of the previous form of the diet. Dieters are started on an extremely low-carbohydrate allowance of grams per day.

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