1. Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling (related to increased activity in the autonomic / sympathetic nervous system)
2. Bouts of rapid heartbeat (related to increased activity in the autonomic / sympathetic nervous system) Note: Along with rapid heartbeat (palpitations), women can experience skipped heartbeats, irregular heartbeats. These are generally normal vasomotor responses experienced during menopause - usually due to fluctuating hormone levels. However, if these problems continue, it's always a good idea to be checked by your health care practitioner. An echocardiogram is a common procedure to tell the doctor what he needs to know about your heart. If your health care practitioner doesn't suggest it, ASK FOR IT!
3. Irritability. Note: Along with irritability, a host of "anger" problems can develop during menopause. Just as a perimenopausal woman can find herself suddenly crying for no apparent reason or provocation, so can she find herself reacting to given situations in an angrier manner than she normally does. This anger can sometimes feel like "rage." Again, this is hormone-induced, but for some women, the anger can become inappropriate and a woman can feel like she's out of control.
4. Mood swings, sudden tears. Note: Mood swings can include anything from mood shifts (happy one moment, depressed the next) to sudden bouts of crying when nothing overt has occurred to cause the crying. Mood swings can and have been misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder because one can feel such extremes of emotions due to hormone imbalance. Anxiety, depression, panic attacks and even feelings of agoraphobia aren't uncommon during menopause. The panic attacks often can develop with the onset of hot flashes. For some women, hot flashes can be severe and quite frightening.
5. Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats). Note: This can develop into insomnia or just waking at 2 in the morning for an hour. Relaxation and breathing exercises can be useful at this time
6. Irregular periods: shorter, lighter or heavier periods, flooding, and phantom periods. Note: A phantom period is when you experience all the symptoms you're accustomed to having before you menstruate -- but... no period comes. This is a common experience during perimenopause before a woman's period actually stops.
7. Loss of libido (sex drive). Note: Not every woman loses her libido entirely during perimenopause, although some may temporarily. Many women simply have a decreased interest in sex - often it's simply because they generally don't feel well and sex is the last thing on their mind! Also, bear in mind that there are many medications that can affect one's libido, including the anti-depressants some women take to cope with the depression and anxiety associated with menopause to anti-hypertensives.
8. Dry vagina (results in painful intercourse) Note: Click here for an excellent article about vaginal dryness, sexuality and midlife relationships.
9. Crashing fatigue.If you can, try to find time to grab a nap. I feel comfortable in attributing the fatigue relief a better diet. There are various vitamins, such as those in the "B" family, that can help with fatigue as well. Also, increased amounts of vitamin C.
10. Anxiety, feeling ill at ease.Note: One of the biggest complaints during menopause. Read the Anxiety/Stress Forum
11. Feelings of dread, apprehension, and doom (includes thoughts of death, picturing one's own death). Note: It's possible that this can be a manifestation of depression associated with menopause, or possibly feelings that come from going through daily discomfort through a difficult menopause transition that can last anywhere from 3-12 years.
12. Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, & mental confusion. Note: Forgetfulness during perimenopause is often referred to lightly and humorously as "brain fog" but it's not always funny.
13. Disturbing memory lapses. Note: See #12,
14. Incontinence -- especially upon sneezing, laughing: urge incontinence (reflects a general loss of smooth muscle tone).
15. Itchy, crawly skin (feeling of ants crawling under the skin, not just dry, itchy skin Note: the feeling of ants crawling on your skin is called "formication") Visit the Your Skin: Dryness, Itching, Vaginal Dryness, Disorders, Discomfort Forum
16. Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons. (may include such problems as carpal tunnel syndrome). Note: Osteoarthritis can develop during perimenopause - and those with existing arthritic and/or rheumatic pain may find it's exacerbated during the menopausal transition.
17. Increased tension in muscles.
18. Breast tenderness. Note: Breast swelling, soreness, pain.
19. Headache change: increase or decrease. Note: Many women develop migraine headaches during perimenopause. However, if one doesn't have a history of migraine headaches, they're generally a short-lived experience of perimenopause.
20. Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea. Note: For nausea, try some ginger or, as I use, boiling hot water with a few teaspoons of lemon or lemon juice concentrate in it. Many women also develop acid reflux (Gerd). For some, it can be an uncomfortable feeling of severe burning sensations in the throat. If it persists, see your health care practitioner.
21. Sudden bouts of bloat. Note: Bloating, water retention are common complaints during perimenopause. Also, Acid reflux and heartburn are very common during perimenopause. Treat them as you would if you weren't going through menopause.
22. Depression (has a quality from other depression, the inability to cope is overwhelming, there is a feeling of a loss of self. Natural hormone therapy, ameliorates the depression dramatically for some).
23. Exacerbation of any existing conditions. Note: Often, conditions women had prior to entering perimenopause become exaggerated (worse) during the menopause transition.
24. Increase in allergies. Note: Many women who suffer from allergies develop worse allergies during the menopausal years. Many women who've never had allergy or respiratory problems may develop them for the first time. Many people don't realize that histamine levels are affected by hormone levels. Women can develop wheezing, coughing and a host of respiratory problems. This generally disappears as the hormones level out once a woman becomes menopausal.
25. Weight gain. (is often around the waist and thighs, resulting in "the disappearing waistline" and changes in body shape.) A good read, Weight Gain and Fitness Issues
26. Hair loss or thinning, head or whole body, increase in facial hair. Note: There is often a loss of pubic hair during menopause. Many women are more comfortable simply shaving their pubic area instead of having patches of hair.
27. Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance. Note: Although common complaints during menopause, I always recommend anyone suffering from dizziness, disequilibrium have her blood pressure checked just to be on the safe side. However, women can experience these symptoms during perimenopause without having hypertension.
28. Changes in body odor.
29. Electric shock sensation under the skin & in the head ("take the feeling of a rubber band snapping against the skin, multiply it (exponentially, sometimes) radiate it & put it in the layer of tissues between skin & muscle & sometimes a precursor to a hot flash.")
30. Tingling in the extremities (can also be a symptom of B-12 deficiency, diabetes, or from an alteration in the flexibility of blood vessels in the extremities.)
31. Gum problems, increased bleeding.
32. Burning tongue
33. Osteoporosis (after several years)
34. Brittle fingernails, which peel & break easily.
# Dry skin / skin changes
# Internal shaking / tremor-like feelings.
# Acne and other skin eruptions
# Itching wildly and erratic rashes
L.O..L, These are the same symptoms, I have from Tx. I had asked my Dr. If Evening oil of Primrose would work, because it was a wonder drug for me through menopause. She told me, it may have worked for menopause, but these symptoms are from tx, so the evening oil won't work. I may give it a try if she say's it's okay with tx meds. Man anything is worth a try.
I know huh? even with just having symptoms from hep, (if you do) if youre a more *mature* woman lol, its hard divvying what from what...anyway, hope youre okay...!
LMAO --- uhmmmm anything else?
Sheesh -- no wonder men are men.... LOL!
Okay, but what are the good things that come from going through the change???
I was told months ago that tx probably pushed me into menapause...but I also was having trouble with my thyroid..same sx's...after my tsh level was normal for about a month felt better, then tsh went crazy again and started having symptoms again...
I know after going through the change, no worry about more kids!! lol, no birth control, so better sex,and a womans limbido actually increases...we are our best in the 40's...this is what I heard...and honestly I can say being 41 now my symptoms are not there and I have a good drive even on tx...I know I can't stop talking to young, cute guys...innocent flirtations lmao...but still its fun and no I'm not a dirty old lady,lmao....just want to see the good in going through the change...no more accidents,buying plugs or pads, being a royal B*t*h, losing your weird cravings for chocolate, bloating,pms etc....wishes to all of us going through this....hugs :)shelly
Hi, I get your point. Like HCV, menopause effects every woman differently, some women (like my mother, lucky woman, who only had 2 days hot flashes and that was it) have relatively no symptoms at all...
some women have some of these symptoms, or a few of these symptoms, some women have almost all of these symptoms...and the lucky ones like you actually feel better and have more of a sex drive (forseegood with her hands on her eyes, waaaaa! lol.)
I just posted this cause I have heard various women complain about similar symptoms to these, and I just wanted to make the point that it might be menopause as well, or maybe only menopause.....or Hep mixed with menopause, or treatment mixed with menopause, or just hep, or just treatment, lol....
I really don't think there is any way of telling for sure about some of this stuff, science isn't that sophisticated to come up with something to gauge, this is exactly that, or this is exactly this over here....
personally, I theorize that my hep might be making my menopausal symptoms worse....since the liver has so much to do with hormonal balance....all of these glands and organs work in unison and it would stand to reason that if one of them is off, it might have repercussions on the something else...
.I don't want to scare you Shelly, but I had noooooo problems at all till I turned about 50, ha ha ha! But you might be one of the lucky ones that goes through this like a breeze.... I certainly hope so! And even though I have certain of these symptoms, I still talk to young cute guys, I'm menopausal, I'm not dead! HA HA HA!
And I just remember before I started investigating some of these symptoms, and studying up on menopause, I had doctors tell me that that these symptoms don't exist for women in menopause (of course they were all male, WHATEVER!!!!!) Just like I've had hepatologists tell me that many of the symptoms hep c patients complain about are not attributable to hep c....YAWN!!!!!
As much as I value our doctors, and believe that they are saving lives every day, I still think clinical medicine is more of an art then science, hopefully, in the next years that will change and diagnostics will be come far more advanced...cause with so many variables, I think, it's really hard to pin-point things exactly and finely distinguish exactly what is causing what symptom...some things are pretty cut and dry, but not all....
I am hanging in there. I placed my age at 101, because that is the way I feel somedays. I did the menopause thing a few years back. I am 56 now and not very mature! I keep thinking the good thing about tx. is we can get better. If this was all do to aging there is ZIP/ Nil chances of getting younger!
I am woman , I am strong.
i am woman , hear me roar...LOL...oh wait , thats the ribavarin....LOL....
I don't entirely understand why everyone bad mouths hot flashes.Maybe mine weren't so bad. I didn't mind them even in March schlepping up and down ruins in hot, dusty Cambodia. So you take a cold shower, sit in the shade, easy. I kept a folding fan and a handkerchief in my purse. In cold places I'd wake up at night all hot, and think, 'great, now its time to use the bathroom before I get cold again.' Its the emotional stuff that I found hard. And the fact I had no idea I had HCV, let alone cirrhosis. I thought all my symptoms were from menopause.
In Asia I took ginseng and d()ngkwai. They were easy to find in Chinese pharmacies. Here, I took Vit. E, sage for emotions, oat everything, and bioflavinoids. I probably did other things but my memory is still groggy.
I'll take balding and farting any day - and heck, the farting's even fun....
As if tx were not enough, this to look forward to. Just shoot me now! ;-)
Remember, not all women get all these symptoms, or even any....they are just listed so women can see it "could" be a menopausal symptom, but one should get medically checked out anyway< I go to this very good menopause site Power-surge if anyone is interested.... to me, the hep and menopausal symptoms kind of overlap...with women especially...so I think they both are tag-teaming some of us gals....OH, it was fun imagining you hiking in Asia, I've never been to Asia, and I've always wanted to go, maybe some day huh? Been to Australia though, biggest bugs Ive ever seen!!!! Worse then New York! he he....
Goofus flatulatus: Oh, guys have hormonal fluctuations too, just hang out at this board for awhile and you'll catch a clue to that, ha ha ha ha! Shoulda known you'd be the one with the cajones enough to post on this thread....sheeeeeesh!!!:))
I just read "The Female Brain" by Louann Brizendine, MD; I highly recommend it to all to read---- yes, you too, Goofy! It goes into the neurological explanations as to why we do what we do. Fascinating, really.
Yes I do agree that perhaps I did not go through the change and alot of my symptoms could be related to tx...If this is the case I am not looking forward to it !!! I just want it all ripped out ,take hormones, chill out...What a curse we have..its bad enough we have to deal with our men;) and also be hormonal....and riba rage...etc. I did have pre cancerous cells back in 2003 on my cervix..had cyroblation done and so far haven't been in to be checked since after my first normal pap post cyro...I was told to wait until after tx to go for a good check up.....ugh women stuff...My Aunt passed away at John Hpokins from cervical cancer at 44? left behind 3 kids..just can't worry about that stuff right now...one day at a time..
Since they are all the same symptoms of tx and I completely stopped having my friend come to visit for all 72 weeks I treated I had really really thought maybe I'd gone through it all early ... but no luck. It looks like that wasn't so and that makes me so mad - I don't want to go through all of that stuff all over again for any reason waaa.
It's a double whammy if you ask me - and by the way why don't MEN get something like this? Why is it just us? So not fair!!!!!!!!!!
I do know a man suffering from male menopause. He has terrible anxiety and hot flashes, panic attacks and high blood pressure. It might be a wrong diagnosis. I'm not sure. He and his wife never had kids.
I'm 65 so I went through it a long time ago. But when I was 40 something I started having hot flashes after I lost a pound a day for a week following a separation. Whenever I had a hot flash I would put a 400 I.U. of vitamin E under my tongue it would melt and the hot flash would vanish. First I would put a little hole in the vitamin E so I wouldn't have to eat the capsule.
guys do go through some hormonal things as well...seen more then a few in the 40's and up with the disappearing wastelines, ha ha ha! It's just not us...and what about the dreaded mid-life crisis? do we go out and get 20 something boyfriends when we think we're approaching middle age? well, some of us, but do we???? ha ha ha ha!
I wonder if those who had a lot of pms symptoms also have lots of menopause symptoms. Also, are some people just more sensitive to their bodies' reactions to pms, menopause, and Hep C treatment? Are some people just less able to cope with the physical symptoms and uncomfortable sensations. I remember my mom observing to me when I was a little girl, "you notice every little thing" referring to my latest complaint of some bump, bruise, or pain. Maybe it is just part of my nature to be super sensitive and that every thing is a sign of something dangerous that needs medical attention. I can hardly comprehend when people say "I never get PMS", or "I didn't have any menopause symptoms", or "I didn't have any side effects from treatment". What?????? My latest thing is tingling in my hands and feet 4 weeks after stopping treatment. Did I develop diabetes? Do I have restricted blood flow to my extremeties because I have a blood clot? Do I have a B12 deficiency? I am afraid to talk to my family doctor about my latest obsession.
I read this long Newsweek article a while back where it said they were doing these studies on pain, and that some people can deal with pain a lot better not just because of stronger characters, or mind control, (although those things factor in of course with some people)
but that they actually have less or more pain receptors for a variety of reasons, genetics, etc...so that's why I think it's hard on someone to accuse them of being too sensitive out of pure neurosis (though, of course, that can be the case with some people)
Some people actually have more pain receptors, and feel pain much more keenly...I remember playing with kids, and I'd feel if a little aphid would be on my arm, and the other kids would ask how i could even feel that? tons of stuff like that...
where I had a friend who'd get these big bloody gashes on her leg from sports, etc...and she wouldn't even feel them till someone pointed them out to her....you've raised some really good points, in the coming years they will be better able to sort these things out....
49 years old
sparks - NV
i am woman , hear me roar...LOL...oh wait , thats the ribavarin....LOL....
OMG - I just spit my whatever the heck it is I'm drinking out.
Sigh generics... I think it's supposed to be a cola... who the heck knows...
But --- Forsee --- if there were a yummy 20 year old around when I start my uhmm mid life crisis... Sure --- why not? LOL!
It might even be fun!
But 20 year old guys just don't KNOW how to DO anything...
And I don't want to be a teacher... I wanna be a practicioner... (practice practice practice)
And other than looking good --- HAVE you talked to a 20 year old lately? I mean --- really talked?
They don't have conversational ability past music, cars, hot bodies and high school memories.
Sheeesh --- give me a good lookin' 30 year old any day... And in 5 years... it will be anything over 40.
Cause as I get older --- I'm noticing a lot better looking men. And you know what? It isn't all about the shape of the body any more either.
Weird... I AM GETTING OLD>... AGGGGGGG.... LOL!
Oh well life is certainly getting more amusing the older I get.
goes to show youre a woman, cause I know plenty of older men who wouldn't care a tick if a beautiful 20 year old had "conversational abilities" ha ha ha...we're just made differently, now I'm just making some observations on a few men I know, not all...
ROFLMAO -- not all... sure... sure.. not all...