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Symptoms of perimenopause/hormone imbalance?
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Symptoms of perimenopause/hormone imbalance?

Okay, ladies...

Since I developed a health problem in August (2012), I've been working through theories about the cause.

What began it all was, three months ago, while super-relaxed, sitting my couch, I suddenly felt as though I was losing consciousness, my heart started pounding (but not racing), my vision went blurry, I felt like I wasn't getting enough oxygen (but not shortness of breath), muscle trembling, chills followed by whole body shivering, nausea, and diarrhea.  

It lasted just a few minutes.  The longest episode lasted 10 minutes.

I only had these full-blown episodes for the first 2 weeks, but have had daily symptoms since then.  Other symptoms include difficulty focusing, headache, urgent need for a bowel movement after severe symptoms (typically diarrhea or loose stool), suddenly cold hands/feet, chest or abdominal pain, "fuzzy" brain, pressure in head/neck, and tingly/numb scalp.  Although I can feel generally "off" all day, most symptoms are transient in nature, lasting only a few minutes to a few hours.

HISTORY: I've been in excellent health my whole life.  I do have (seemingly) symptom-free PCOS, however.  I am a happy, relaxed person, by nature.  Because of this issue, I've had many tests, to date.  (CBC, EKG, blood cultures, 24 Holter monitor, 2-week loop monitor, thyroid, stool analysis, & echocardiogram.)  All (incl. numerous checks of temp., HR & BP) have come back normal.

The current theory is perimenopause-related hormone imbalance.  

I'm skeptical.  Sure, I'm almost 50.  But I've never had the more common symptoms of perimenopause, such as hot flashes or night sweats, and my periods are as regular as clockwork.  

I'm curious if anyone has experience with hormone imbalance (HI) related to perimenopause, and if the sometimes erratic symptoms of HI could include the symptoms I've described?  

Thanks!
4 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? It is good that the initial diagnostic test results were fine. How about the hormones  FSH and estradiol? Changes in the hormone levels may be affected by factors such as stress, nutrition, too much exercise, being overweight, ovulation time or gynecological issues like polycystic ovary syndrome. Aside from the usual hot flushes or insomnia,  menopause may also present with palpitation, anxiety, joint aches and pains. If these symptoms recur, check with your doctor also to rule out other factors  such as  gastrointestinal issues. Take care and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you, so much, for your reply, Dr. Santos.  It is appreciated!

Now that my symptoms have generally tapered-off to the more annoying end of the spectrum, rather than terrifying and all-encompassing, I'm wrestling with the degree to which my life is disrupted by them (most importantly, the visual disruption), while simultaneously recognizing how many people have it much worse.  Still, I went from being extremely healthy my whole life, to suddenly having blurry vision, mild headaches, upper abdominal pain, near-fainting, and too much transient, daily weirdness to list.  This just isn't normal.

I misspoke when I said my periods have been like clockwork.  Several years ago, around age 40, I suddenly started gaining weight and my periods became monthly (my PCOS usually meant periods 1-3 times per year, prior to that).  THAT was a massive change in my periods.  In a more recent post, I detailed the amounts of time between my cycles, for the last several years.  Although essentially monthly now, they're not as "clockwork"-like as I'd thought.  They range from 21-45 days between periods, but mostly 27-33 days, lately.  (They're getting more and more regular, over time.)

My new GP insisted I have a mammogram, as part of the diagnostic process, and I agreed to a breast ultrasound.  Initial results are negative.  I await the results of a more comprehensive serology report.  I have a brain scan scheduled for January.  If the bloodwork and brain scan come back negative (which I hope they do), I don't know what could be left to do, in terms of figuring out what's wrong with me.

I would love for these symptoms to be due to perimenopause.  I've read that PCOS can cause periods to become more regular, but have found no respected sources to back that up.  If it is true, it means I've been in perimenopause since age 40.  ...No explanation for the sudden symptoms beginning in August.

I will say that on days wth mild symptoms (minus the ever-present-now blurry vision), I have felt the same way for several years, and just didn't understand why.  I'd feel "off" and might try eating something, which was no more or less likely to improve how I felt.  I would be lethargic or just "not right" with no explanation why.  So, now, since the severe symptoms began in August, I recognize the days with milder symptoms as being similar to days over the past few years, where I've been baffled as to why I felt "off".

Sure wish I knew what this is.

I've read that the only way to confirm perimenopause is to do hormone testing on the same day of each menstrual cycle, over a few months, for comparative purposes, and that even this can be unreliable with PCOS.  Any thoughts on this?
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Avatar_f_tn
  
  I will be interested to learn what you find out? I have been going through this too. With a lot of same symptoms and more. Mine hit me at 41 though and I am still  having them at approaching age 48 in a month. At least your just getting them now. I too was completely fine one day and it was like a switch turn on and never shut off. I hate it. My memory fog is the worst along with hormonal migraines. I had my hormones checked and they are super low. I want to do bio identical hormones but I am scared. I am also tired of feeling like crap. Best wishes to you. Hope you get some answers.
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Avatar_f_tn
tlcha, If you have a moment, could you list the symptoms we share, along with any others you're experiencing?  It would be helpful to me to know exactly which ones are not (seemingly) unique to me.  :)  I'm having a very difficult time with this, since I don't know if it's (welcomed) perimenopause, or some kind of serious or degenerative disease.  

Will this go away on its own?

Will it get worse?

Will I have to live with this for the rest f my life!

Is there anything I can do?



I can't know any if that 'til I know the cause.  :)
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