Menologues

Because stumbling blindly through menopause is less fun than it sounds

What Happens After Menopause? Are you just old? Happy 54th Birthday!

Posted by Robin Donovan
November5

On average menopause starts at age 52 and goes until age 54.  And that can vary a great deal – starting much earlier and lasting for as long as ten years – it’s really anyone’s guess.  I will never know when menopause would have started for me because I went into surgical menopause at the age of 48.  About a year ago I asked my doctor if I was past menopause.  He said there was no sure way to tell because I supplement hormones so some of the changes that would be expected won’t occur unless I stop supplementing them.  And I’m not about to do that.

Right after surgery they put me on the transdermal patch so that I wouldn’t go cold turkey without any means of producing estrogen (they had removed my uterus, ovaries and cervix).  We never found out until over a year later but the estrogen wasn’t getting into my bloodstream.  I actually did fairly well during that potentially dark time.  No close friends, relatives or co-workers were murdered with an ax.  I didn’t pull any day long crying jags – or any crying jags for that matter.  What did happen was that I felt old.  And it wasn’t a good feeling.  I wasn’t me.

Once the blood test revealed that the patch wasn’t working for me (why didn’t I have that blood test sooner!!!)  I quickly pursued another course of action.  And once I was on the right level of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone for me – I started getting younger again.  So whew, I was over the worst of it.  Right?

Well, then there was that pesky old weight gain.  Was it all the fault of menopause or was it my thyroid issues.  I’ll never really know for sure.  But thanks to some serious dieting (and let’s face it this is not the first time I’ve chunked up and had to get serious on a diet) I’m over that phase as well – at least for now.

And today I’m 54.  So I’m going to assume that I’m past menopause and ready to take stock.  It’s been a journey.  I’ve traveled to the land of old and then stopped off in the land of fat and now I’m back.  And what happens when you’re back?  It’s like someone put you in a time machine and took you back to when you really were younger.  There’s a bounce in your step and a gleam in your eye.  You know it and other people comment about it.  It feels good.  And it’s a huge relief to know that you can still feel good about yourself  – like you used to way back when.

RobinFull

Happy Birthday to me!  And look out!

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posted under General | 34 Comments »
34 Comments to

“What Happens After Menopause? Are you just old? Happy 54th Birthday!”

  1. On December 29th, 2009 at 10:00 pm Taru Fisher Says:

    I had surgical menopause (ovaries, uterus, and cervix) when I was 33, and there was no patch, just high doses of Premarin that caused me to have excess facial hair and some weepy rash on my inner thighs. Three months of that and I said, “enough” and did some research on ERT (now called HRT). I decided it was dangerous for me given my genetic background (breast cancer; Mom and all 3 maternal aunts), so I went cold turkey — for years. I did find some natural alternatives that helped alleviate some of the symptoms. Acupuncture and some herbs helped, but it was rough.

    I just found your blog after you commented on mine. It looks like you are doing great work for women who are undergoing this rite of passage. I’ll be reaading and referring!

  2. On December 30th, 2009 at 11:16 am robin Says:

    Thanks for your comments and support, Taru. It’s critical that each of us decide on our path based on how we’re feeling coupled with a look back at our own personal and family history. We need to trust our instincts and not just do whatever the doctor tells us without question. We need to fight for ourselves.

  3. On April 11th, 2010 at 1:13 pm Debbie Says:

    I really enjoyed you comments! I turned 54 12/26/09. This January, 2010 was like a light switch was turned in my body, I felt different all of a sudden! I could not explain what happened, I just knew something had changed! I have hit menopause amazingly quick. My periods just stopped! The first 3 weeks in January I had hot flashes and night sweats. I have never had so much heat come over me at one time! I would have one start and stop only followed by another that would start in a matter of minutes. And the night sweats I could hardly sleep. I was blessed though, one of the girls at church prayed over me and the Lord delivered me from the hot flashes and night sweats! I have not had one since then and I feel great. I must say I experienced menopause rather quickly and I am very blessed! I praise God for his blessings!

  4. On April 12th, 2010 at 11:29 am robin Says:

    Debbie,

    Thanks for sharing. At the risk of being a bit of a downer – have you gone a whole year without a period? Because from what I understand that’s the technical definition of the start of menopause. Until then it’s considered peri-menopause. Don’t be too surprised if some of those symptoms come back for a visit. That said, if you’re over and done – that’s awesome! I’m happy for you! P.S. If things start up again give me a yell – it can get pretty frustrating!

  5. On September 13th, 2010 at 6:59 am Vanessa Says:

    Thanks Robin for sharing your experience with menopause. I am 55 years old and I started going through menopause at age 49. At 50 I had a fibroid removed due to heavy bleeding and it officially put me in menopause with no more periods. However I still got the hot flashes and night sweats and still do experience these symptoms from time to time. What I have also notice is not so much the weight gain but how the fat is not distributed in the same way. It basically goes to the middle instead of my hips and butt which would be better and according to Dr. Oz, much better. You spoke about hormone replacement which has mixed reviews. Have you heard of bio-identifical hormones which are more naturally made and provide less risk? Read Suzanne Somers book to get more info. Again thanks for sharing.
    Vanessa

  6. On September 13th, 2010 at 9:33 am robin Says:

    Yes, thanks Vanessa, I am on bio-identical hormones. I know exactly what you mean about weight redistribution. I never had a gut – now it’s a constant companion. My hormone doctor is suggesting that my metabolism is to blame – hormones or no hormones it’s in a bit of a stall pattern. I’ve also had most of my thyroid removed so I have other hormone issues to address. Getting a perfect balance of everything is tricky. But I honestly believe that being diligent will pay off – if not make the whole world perfect!

  7. On November 2nd, 2010 at 4:19 am Trisha Says:

    Hi, so interesting to hear about your experience and that of others. I still think menopause is a silent complaint, lots in the media about HRT and jokey allusions to flushs and tempers, etc but not how women actually feel themselves about it and the real changes to them. I started with erratic periods at 39 and thought I was pregnant again (after two earlier miscarriages) then hormone tests revealed I was already just starting the menopause. My mother’s started around the same age I later found out, but we had never discussed it before. I gradually felt more and more ill, not flushes they didn’t start until the mid forties, but just ill, heavy like with the flu, achey, shakey, hot then cold, terrrible and more frquent migraines, depression like with PMS, and from 40 onwards, sick every morning as when I was pregnant. I just felt so old and slow and useless too. I didn’t want to take anything as unnatural as HRT but to keep working and keep home and marriage together I had to. It stopped the depression and the ill feeling and sickness within 4 days, but gave me cramps in the arms and legs which woke me up at night (I had prescribed painkillers on top of HRT for this) and made the migraines more frequent (another lot of preventative medication for this). I hated all the medication, but it did mean I could keep on working. A move to another part of the country in the end meant I had to give my job up anyway. I took the oppotunity to go to Art School as a mature student, by this time I was 47 years of age. I graduated at 50 and the same year I felt somehow intuitively that I needed to come off HRT and see what happened. The docs found I was now post menapausal, probably a year, from the readings. I am off all meds now but yes, despite a new career I love teaching art and numerous makeovers, I still feel a lot older than others of my age who are just approaching the menopause. No pains, no headaches, but just slower and more lines, my face seemed to go suddenly. If I could have an alternative to HRT with no side effects I would take it, any ideas of natural remedies that work anyone?

  8. On November 2nd, 2010 at 9:01 am robin Says:

    Wow Trisha, you’ve really had it rough. Everything that helps also hurts in some way. My only suggestion would be to find a chiropractor who is into acupuncture, holistic medicine and other eastern solutions and work with them to find a combination of natural remedies and therapies that will help to balance the good with the bad. It’s not perfect but it might be the closest you’re going to get. My chiropractor has helped me in so many ways. Just her help with the scar tissue from my hysterectomy (advanced endometriosis) has made her worth her weight in gold. I once asked a prominent gynecologist what to do about my scar tissue. She said “get yourself a good chiropractor and a message therapist and NEVER let anyone operate”. I know without my chiropractor’s help I would have had to go back under the knife, and that’s just one of the many ways in which she helps me.

  9. On November 7th, 2010 at 11:39 pm Nessa Says:

    Hi according to my docs I am in menopause! I was always very irregular but I haven’t had a period in about 3.5 years and went through about 2 years of hot flashes starting about 4 years ago! My question is what happens after menopause? Should I expect weight gain and painful intercourse? I have an autoimmune disease and have just turned 40. I have a good diet, great bone density and exercise frequently so hoping to keep any weight gain at bay but I worry about post menopause symptoms I may experience that just aren’t very clear to me at the moment! Am I through the worst of it and dies it become a bit more plain sailing now? I know everyone is different so just looking for generalities!
    Thanks
    Nessa

  10. On November 8th, 2010 at 10:45 am robin Says:

    Good question. Menopause is a little different for everyone. If you’re taking bio-identical hormones it’s tough to tell when it ends because they test your hormone levels in order to know its over – and if your hormones are supplemented they can’t tell. Once your hormones start changing you can have symptoms on and off for the rest of your life (sorry). My Mother went off estrogen in her 70′s and started having hot flashes again. So hormone related symptoms and menopause are not always a cause and effect. It is likely that you’ll have some vaginal dryness which could make things less comfortable during sex – but they have great products on the market (from estradiol supplements (prescription) to over the counter gels). The key is that there are things you can do for any symptoms – some things will work for you and some won’t. For each new symptom that pops up you have to decide how much you want to get rid of it – talk to smart people for advice – and keep trying things until you get it right. There are natural solutions to eliminate or at least alleviate almost anything. But you have to be diligent to find them. Asking just one person – even if it’s a trusted doctor – is often not enough. But don’t give up! Keep asking!

  11. On March 29th, 2011 at 7:11 am Carole Heath Says:

    Robin is correct when she answered Debbie’s question regarding the menopause my doctor told me the same thing as i went to his surgery with sleeping problems he asked me when was my last period. I said when i was 53 years old and he said at 60 years old you should really be out of the menopause. But i personally don’t altogether agree with that utterance why do then some women still get symptoms after the menopause is suppose to have stopped, i know women in their 70′s who still get hot flushes etc. My menopause has been quite good i did suffer migraine at one stage but that has improved greatly of late, my sleep patterns have changed but i try to keep positive and catch up with a nap when i can if i have problems sleeping during the night. I do still take a herbal course of tablets which contains calium for the bones etc, i keep active with swimming, aqua aerobics, walking, and Yoga, o know this time in a woman’s life is not always easy but i think a positive outlook is good and you must look at it as a new era in your life and not a spiral into old age in my opinion.

  12. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:29 am robin Says:

    Thanks Debbie. I have observed all the things that you have observed. My own Mother experienced hot flashes in her 70′s when they finally took her off estrogen. It’s difficult to separate menopausal symptoms from others sometimes. I’d like to know if menopause is over – but I’m not entirely sure it makes a difference if I continue to have a variety of symptoms.

  13. On August 31st, 2011 at 3:06 pm marian reid Says:

    i recently had blood tests because i was very tired.i have the coil implant in and doc said we may not get a clear reading because of it.however yesterday he informed me that i had in fact completed and was over the menopause now,and that when time is up i can have coil out and that will be that.i have for some time been telling doc that i had problems down below with dryness and itching, headaches flushes etc.will i be ok when coil comes out?what can i expect to happen.i am 53.i have been experiencing very bad mood swings and depression.the doc has now prescribed an antidepressant.please advisr thank you

  14. On August 31st, 2011 at 3:32 pm robin Says:

    Marian, If I’m not mistaken the coil implant has hormones – that means any and all of your symptoms could either get better or worse when its taken out. You won’t know for sure until it is out. My guess is that, even if some things get better once the implant is out, the bulk of your symptoms will stay the same or even get worse. Many doctors are afraid of hormones; a lot of the ones who are afraid prescribe antidepressants. My suggestion would be to find a doctor who understands bio-identical hormones (through friends, pharmacies, websites, etc.) and ask all of your questions. Once you’ve done that you may decide to try supplementing hormone levels. When done right – your blood is tested and the hormones are compounded based on the exact level that is missing from your body. No one wants extra estrogen floating around in their bloodstream. If you do decide to try the bio-identical hormones, the correct level will help to improve many of your symptoms. As far as dryness and itching goes – there are vaginal lubricants on the market that can help with that. Some practioners also provide an estrogen compound that is inserted vaginally every night for two weeks. That does take care of dryness. You should be just fine, Marian, as long as you don’t listen to one person (doctor or friend) who is giving you advice that you’re not confident about. Keep searching until you find the answers that make sense to you. And even then, be willing to adjust if necessary. You’re on the right track – doubting and asking good questions. Don’t quit until you’re satisfied. Good luck and let me know if I can help in any way!

  15. On September 16th, 2011 at 8:01 pm Linda Says:

    53 burn up here and there, bad day one time per month where everything bothers me, joint aches and pains, some due to past fitness classes I taught, can’t make decision/concentrate at times, not as happy as use to be, normal is what I guess I am reading others stories but how to fix this without meds would be nice as exercise isn’t doing it anymore….mainly it is that one bad day per month, the burning up, moodiness, want to be happier….thank you for having this webpage

    My endrochronologist frowned upon bioidenticals, why? Possible interference with Osteoporosis pending in the future?

    Not sure what vitamins to take anymore or anything else….thank you, have a blessed day

  16. On September 18th, 2011 at 9:10 am robin Says:

    Linda, the AMA frowns on bio-identical hormones because they don’t bother to truly understand them. I would talk to someone who does and make your decision based on information from more than one person. You might still decide not to take them – but had I listened to the majority of my AMA practitioners I wouldn’t be taking them – and I’m glad I am. There are also some natural substances that can help – and they might be enough for you. Black cohash is supposed to be wonderful – I don’t know that firsthand though. It’s worth having a conversation with someone on the holistic/eastern med side of the medical profession. It’s a big pain always having to balance both sides – but some of my AMA guys seem to be coming around – a bit. They’re just not comfortable with what they don’t know – and many are a bit too lazy to do their homework on these emerging substances that are often thousands of years old. If an AMA doc recommends nothing or heavy estrogen pills or anti-depressants – run do not walk to your nearest natural alternative!

  17. On October 10th, 2011 at 6:28 am ann Says:

    I’m 51 and have been going through menopause for at least three years maybe longer? I had a hysterectomy when I was 35 years old. I still have my ovaries. And even back then, when I was approaching 40, I was experiencing night sweats. I only hope it will end soon. Hot flashes are not fun but I’m used to them. I really don’t care to take anything for my symptoms. I just would rather tough it out!! My main problem is the weight gain. I have gained 25 pounds in the past 3 years!!!! I’ve always been good about exercising and diet. But nothing seems to work. After reading Robin Donovan’s post above, that has given me hope. I want my body back along with my size 4 levi blue jeans. Thank God I have a great husband who still loves me the way I am. I will continue with a good sense of humor about menopause, keep exercising and dieting and know that soon this will all end and I’ll be back into my size 4′s!!!!! Thank you for this web page.

  18. On October 12th, 2011 at 2:06 pm robin Says:

    Ann – you can do it! Its hard work but once you’re geared up you will block all of the bad foods and focus on eating healthy. And seeing just a few results are enough reward to keep you going. Make sure you know what clothes fit you now – and which ones are just a bit too small. Use those as markers of your success. Nothing feels better than fitting into something you couldn’t a week or two ago! Best of luck, Ann! And it sounds as though your husband is a keeper!

  19. On October 13th, 2011 at 9:53 pm Darla Hymes Says:

    I have been on bio identicals for almost two years, no period for 18 months. If I go off and get symptoms again, will joint pain get worse and…

  20. On October 14th, 2011 at 9:23 am robin Says:

    No period for 18 months means you are officially in menopause. If you have a medical professional that you trust – I would recommend having a blood test before going off bio-identicals cold turkey. That way if there is some kind of aberration it can be addressed with the least amount of trauma. See if your physician recommends easing off rather than dropping them completely. Before discussing this with your physician make sure that you know your own goals: are you trying to deal with specific symptoms, or are you looking to get off of hormones in general. If someone is pushing you to get off get a second opinion. Don’t walk away from something that works without double checking your source – especially if your instinct is making you skeptical.

  21. On October 23rd, 2011 at 9:15 pm mary lembi Says:

    I am 65, at 37 years old had to have a surgical Hysterectomy, Ovaries out
    too, at age 60 years started a horrible menopause, to where I needed a new
    OBGYN, doctor, who gave me my life back, with Permarin Estrogen Cream
    and ever so small amounts, and I have been on it for 5 years now, at 70
    years I pray I will be done with the Menopause, so I am waiting for 5 more
    years to come so I can be done with it, mine new OBGYN check me out every year, and says to me you are normal, on all your test, she says keep
    useing it, only against your vagnial dryness.
    Which I get really bad. And with the cream I am totally normal. Sincerely
    marylembi@ymail.com

  22. On October 24th, 2011 at 10:33 am robin Says:

    Mary,

    It’s great to hear that hormone cream has done so much to help, and that your doctor was open minded enough to explore that option. There’s no reason why we have to age prematurely and be miserable over symptoms that can easily be controlled by providing our body with what it naturally requires. Just be advised – my Mom went off estrogen in her mid-70′s – and the hot flashes came back!

  23. On December 30th, 2011 at 6:26 pm another Ann Says:

    Its great to read all of these comments. It really helps to hear from real women instead of my silly doctor who just wants to give me drugs and doesn’t even warn me about the side effects. I had to look it up before I decided not to take HRT. Several close female relatives died quite young of heart disease and stroke, so blood clots are a real concern.

    I started April 2008 all at once. My periods were normal and regular and then, that month, they just stopped. Hot flashes and insomnia immediately ensued. My cholesteral and blood pressure, which have always been low, rose dramatically. I developed RA within the year and have gained 30 pounds. I’ve found that exercise helps both the RA and the insomnia a bit. Heavy weights, though! And a LOT of aerobic. Like at least an hour of elypticals. A trainer told me it increases blood flow and that helps everything in your body get healthy.

    I still have really bad nights, though. I’ll wake every twenty minutes. I get the adrenalin rush and heart palpitations along with the hot flashes, so I wake up wide awake and like I could run around the block! And then I can’t go right back to sleep. By morning I feel absolutely awful but I have to somehow get through the day. Happily, I haven’t had the memory or emotional issues yet. So its been almost four years. I PRAY that it won’t last the rest of my life.

    I should say that the gym has helped somewhat with the weight as well. Including that awful tummy fat that just appeared like an unwanted pillow one day. It takes a month to lose a pound but I don’t mind as long as I’m losing and not gaining.

    I recommend weight training for the aches and pains. Just be careful that you don’t strain your joints.

  24. On January 3rd, 2012 at 5:38 pm robin Says:

    Thanks for sharing your comment, Ann. Clearly, you have a lot more to deal with than those of us struggling through menopause. RA is enormously challenging – so congratulations for finding ways to deal with it positively. If you find a doctor who will help you and in whom you can trust then you’re ahead of the game. If not, its worth it to keep looking. The right doctor can tie all of your issues, RA, hormones, etc. together and make everything work at an optimum level. It’s finding that doctor that’s the challenge – but I know they’re out there! Good luck to you, Ann!

  25. On August 27th, 2012 at 9:31 am Lou Says:

    I have just been told by the doctor that I am post menopausal I am 44. There is no reason for me to go through it early. I am feeling better than I have for the past four years. I am sleeping properly again, feeling calmer, like my old self less hot flushes and night sweats. My body shape has changed and I have put a bit of weight . I am hoping my sex drive will Come back this wld please my long suffering husband. I have found being post menopausal early is very strange as I dont feel old does anyone else feel the same?

  26. On December 27th, 2012 at 6:01 pm Lynne P Says:

    Today marks one year and so I guess I am officially post-menopausal. No HRT for now; tried it before and it caused bleeding issues. I do feel old; gaining weight in the middle and it seems my face has aged five years in one. Hot flashes and brian fog seem to be lifting. Diagnosed with osteopenia in lumbar spine, even though I do resistance training and cardio.
    What to do now?

  27. On March 5th, 2013 at 3:16 pm Wanda Says:

    I am 56 and have been postmenopausal for over 3 years and still having hot flashes, night sweats and many other symptoms. Have been on bioidentical hormones off and on. My progesterone has been below the standard level with estrogen higher and my docs refuse to increase the progesterone which I think is causing the problem. I have the stubborn belly fat and weight distribution. Any suggestions?

  28. On March 12th, 2013 at 9:20 am neeters Says:

    Wanda you can purchase a good Progesterone cream online , I use Source Naturals or NOW brand, both work very well. I to suffer from low Progesterone, at first my GP put me on estrogen patch which caused all sorts of problems and chronic fatigue due to estrogen dominance. I tried bio identicals but the compounded progesterone doesn’t work for me. the Store bought one definitely works and I am feeling better. you can order from iherb.com or if you live in US most good drugstores carry them, Emerita Progest is another one. start with the smallest amount of 1/4 tsp twice a day, increase if you need it.

  29. On April 3rd, 2013 at 6:31 am TJ Says:

    My family all have fairly early menopause, mid-late 40′s. I actually discovered I was in pre-menopause when I saw a doctor to see about getting pregnant. She flatly told me I had some vaginal atrophy occurring and was entering menopause (she was not nice at all), then proceeded to prescribe a full equine-based HRT. Needless to say, I tossed that prescription in the trash.

    About a year before my periods completely stopped, I suddenly developed horrific migraines. Had never even had a real headache before. These lasted about 5 years, numerous hospital trips (I had the worst kind – blackouts, constant vomiting, even the intraveneous pain killers they give terminal patients barely touched them) – and then on the last hospital trip, a doc gave me a shot of Imitrex, and it was like magic. I never got another migraine after that. What’s discouraging is how many doctors still don’t know there’s a connection between menopause (and/or puberty) and migraines.

    I had rare, mild hot flashes, only aggravated by drinking ginger ale (lol)…but never had the soaking night sweats; all the usual symptoms were pretty mild. However – I feel like crap, and honestly, have for the last ten years. Sex went out the window completely; I don’t have dryness issues, but the tissues are too fragile now. I tried a European hormonal (estrogen, I think) gel compound for a few weeks, and that was working some magic, physically, in that area…but then I felt like the migraines were going to return, so I stopped that. :(

    Now it’s years of insomnia, or falling asleep and waking up every fifteen minutes, my former-life’s always-cheerful mood is long gone, brain fog happens a lot, I’ve developed agoraphobia, can’t drive anymore (LOVED driving all my life), hair and skin is crap, fat tummy (I wore my high school size 3′s literally all my life until menopause; I couldn’t gain weight if I tried before meno), heart palps, achy joints, former physical strength gone, and I’ve aged 20 years in ten…really, I’ve told my husband if this is how I’m going to feel for the next 20 years, just shoot me now. lol

    I have SO considered HRT, but conventional docs really don’t seem to know much about our hormonal systems (I’ve tried a dozen different docs), and I do so fear those migraines returning. I don’t know where to turn, or what kind of a doc I should look for that would work with me and my individual hormonal needs. I would just like to wake up and feel somewhat ‘normal’ again – I don’t expect to feel like I’m 20 again, but really, this is no life at all. I don’t believe I’m depressed, just all the ‘feel good’ hormones are gone.

    Meh.

  30. On April 3rd, 2013 at 8:59 am Robin Donovan Says:

    TJ,

    That really sucks. Unfortunately, it’s not at all unusual. One piece of advice I will offer, take the time to find a doctor that understands hormone replacement therapy and make sure they understand all of your issues. I took a full year of searching and asking before I found the doctor I’m using now – past experiences were not ideal and the doc I LOVED left the market. This new doctor helping me in many ways. My regular AMA docs (although she is a gynecologist herself – she doesn’t live and die by AMA dictates – which makes a huge difference) want no part of HRP – and that’s probably best.

  31. On May 31st, 2013 at 4:22 pm Beverly Says:

    I am 49 years old. Just recently I found out I was in perimenopausal. Why our mothers never mentioned is baffling to me! I am a bubbly person and never really felt depressed, maybe temp a sudden during periods. All of a sudden BAM! I didn’t know what hit me, weight gain overnite! depressed & wanting to cry, but for what? forgetfulness, sudden onset of heat, That’s HOTFLASH! wow!!! now what? sometime help, even my husband didn’t know what was wrong…I have tried “ESTROVEN” nighttime. worked 1 nite.

  32. On May 31st, 2013 at 4:45 pm Robin Says:

    Beverly,
    With those symptoms, you need to find yourself a doctor who specializes in HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). Make sure it’s a real doctor and he/she comes highly recommended by other women. Take a few months to find the right one. They can help you in a million different ways. Mine watches my thyroid, my adrenal glands, my diet and everything else. She makes sure I’m balanced and feeling good physically and emotionally. I won’t lie – the problems don’t fall away like nothing – but you’ll have expert guidance and with a little hard work there’s nothing you can’t do. Don’t go to a GP who may give you anti-depressants – this should be treated by removing the cause – not masking the symptoms. I know what you’re going through and it sucks. But you’re not alone and it’s far from hopeless. That Estroven stuff – it’s for lightweights – those of us with real symptoms scoff at a lot of those natural remedies – some are nothing more than camomille tea to calm us down – I don’t think so! Good luck, Beverly – let me know how you make out! I have successfully lost weight – but right now it’s back on – I’m NOT giving up! Nor should you!

  33. On January 8th, 2014 at 12:53 pm Deb Says:

    My experience feels different than others I’ve read on various sites. I was post menopausal by 50. I had some hot flashes, a bit of emotional mood swings but dealt with it and it was over within a year. I thought wow was I lucky! But now I’m 59 and various symptoms- some that I never even had have arrived. The insomnia, vaginal itching, mood swings, face has fallen, weight gain in the middle, joint aches, forgetfulness almost dizzy feeling, low energy too! I have consider some kind of hormone therapy but will try really focusing more on diet and exercise first. Have they come on because my hormone levels are that depleted now? Or could they be more age related symptoms? My philosophy is that this might be nature’s way of slowly getting us used to old age. But this site always lifts my spirits and renews my resolve to be the best I can be and to focus on the good things in my life. It’s always so trying dealing with this- thank you all for your comments. It helps!

  34. On January 8th, 2014 at 2:26 pm Robin Says:

    Thanks Deb. I really appreciate the support! I started menopause surgically when I was 48. I’ve noticed that symptoms are cyclical and I’ve been on HRT pretty much since then – although that too has fluctuated based on my doctor du jour. Your body changes and fluctuates over time. In addition, there are some other things that occur as we age that can mimic menopausal symptoms.

    A few years ago a 40-something woman asked me when menopause really ends. Without thinking I said “Never. Menopause marks the loss of certain hormones and other components in the body – and they NEVER come back naturally.”

    I think the medical community marks the end of menopause as the advent of our moving into another – even older and more decrepit phase. It’s not like a cold – there for awhile and then gone. There’s no gone!

    Sorry, that’s not very encouraging – but I hope it helps!

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