This is my first post on these message boards and I’m looking for a bit of advice and maybe some shared experience. I’m 46 and paralysed from T1. Lately I’ve been suffering from stomach bloating and my periods seem all over the place – they last longer and are more frequent – and my mood is not good. I think I might be going through the change. I’ve got a Dr’s appointment on Friday but does anyone have any experience of going through the menopause that could help me.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this and I’d be really grateful for any advice xx
Hi. Sorry its taken me a while to read this.
I am 56 and have had a few stop start issues with the menopause. I had a lot of night sweats about ten years ago and thought then that I was probably peri-menopausal. They lasted for 6 months and then vanished all by themselves. I think I am coming out the other side of the menopause now and don’t have the issues you are having with periods as I had to have a hysterectomy when I was in my 30s. However, I notice that my sleep pattern has changed and I can’t get the same number of hours as I used to, which can be a pain as it leaves me feeling drained. About 2 years ago I started getting a lot of hot flushes and again night sweats. having tried a lot of things including acupuncture and shiatsu my friend put me in touch with a Chinese herbalist who took a through history and prescribed some herbs. I was very sceptical but within two weeks I wasn’t getting the same ferocious hot flushes just the odd minor one and no night sweats. Additionally taking the heat out of my body, which is what the herbs did, stopped the burning sensation due to neurological damage, I had had for 20 years, in my legs. My back pain altered too and although it didn’t go entirely, some of the heat was taken out of it. All this in turn helped me sleep better.
I think you need to investigate different options for your health whilst going through the menopause and find the one that fits. I just didn’t want to go down the HRT route, although there may be benefits if you aren’t weight bearing. I just didn’t take anyone’s recommendation on face value but researched it all as far as I could, which is laborious but you have to be happy with what you are putting into or on your body. Also you need to work out what your disposable income is before building your hopes up for a particular remedy only to find out you can’t afford it as these things don’t come cheap. However, not being able to sleep and having problems with your periods like dysmenorrhoea is utterly exhausting on top of everything else.
For lightening or dealing with mood fluctuations there is good science coming out about the benefits of ‘mindfulness’ training, which I know seems to be “the thing” to do. I’m a practising Buddhist so have been using some of the techniques I use in meditation to manage times when I feel uncharacteristically stressed or when I can’t sleep at night. At least its not going to do you any harm! Lots of places offering classes in various mindfulness techniques.
Finally there was a week long series on R4 Woman’s Hour about 2 or 3 months ago, looking at the menopause and you’ll find the podcasts on the BBC web site. Well worth a listen to if you haven’t already heard them. And finally finally, you’re not alone and every woman goes through it to some degree or another. Although it sounds like I was having problems with the menopause for 12 years, the issues have come and gone and sometimes returned again slightly differently only to go again. It doesn’t last but if you just want to let me know about how you are getting on and talk about any issues, I can’t promise to be able to give pearls of wisdom but I can empathise and support you to work out what your options are.
Best of luck.
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