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Help! I need menopause advice....

(55 Posts)
hellsbells148 Fri 11-Oct-19 13:20:08

I'm 55 and have been tested recently for rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia etc and all my blood tests have come back clear. I think I'm practically over the menopause, I haven't had a period for well over 3 years and I have no more sweats/flushes. I have low thyroid, folate deficiency, restless legs and a lovely range of autoimmune conditions, all under control through medication. I had an emergency appendectomy a year ago, but in the past 2 years I've felt increasingly weak, clumsy, and in tremendous pain in my joints and bones. I'm exhausted a lot of the time, and feel absolutely crap. I can just about manage to go to work and come home, even housework is getting too much. In this time I've changed my diet to a practically vegetarian, much healthier diet, and tried to go swimming as regularly as my depleted energy levels will allow. Given that my blood tests are clear, can anyone tell me - is this the menopause?? I'm terrified because my Grandma died at 63 of multiple myeloma that was undiagnosed until 3 weeks before her death and she was feeling awful for ages but got fobbed off by doctors. Advice please.....(sad)

Smileless2012 Fri 11-Oct-19 14:07:45

I noticed I was feeling more tired and a bit clumsy and put that down to the menopause but no problems with painful joints and bones hellsbells.

Does you GP know about your GM's condition? If you haven't done so already, can you ask to be specifically tested
for multiple myeloma?

I'm sorry I have no real advice or information for you, but I didn't want to not respond.

It seems to me that you need to have your fears taken seriously and be tested asap. The symptoms you've described can be experienced due to stress and you do, understandably, come across as very worried.

IMO you need to see your GP, describe how you feel and also how your GM was 'fobbed off' long before she was given a diagnosis, so shortly before her death.

I wish you wellflowers.

hellsbells148 Fri 11-Oct-19 14:43:43

Hi Smileless2012, thank you so much for responding, it's really kind of you to take the time.

My doctor doesn't know of my GM's illness, I've booked an appointment and will definitely tell her then. Hopefully, I'm the 'worried well', but I can't seem to get to the bottom of what's going on with me.

I find it can be a frustrating experience visiting the doctor - it seems that unless you look like death, wear your pyjamas to the surgery and look like you haven't washed your hair for a week you don't get taken very seriously...I tick the 'overweight menopausal woman' box, so everything is apparently cured by weight loss and depression medication!

Thank you for listening to my woes - very much appreciated. (thanks) (thanks)

Jane10 Fri 11-Oct-19 14:49:25

Good luck*hellsbells*. Sounds like the GP should take you seriously.

Smileless2012 Fri 11-Oct-19 15:31:20

I'm glad you've arranged to see your GP. Be assertive if you don't think they're taking you seriously, but I'm sure when you tell them about your GM they will do.

Perhaps you could come back and tell us how you got on.

Good luckshamrock

starshine Fri 11-Oct-19 15:55:53

Hello, awful to feel so rough whilst trying to carry on with daily life. Hope you get further along with your next appointment. Just wanted to say that my bloods were all normal when my rheumatoid disease was diagnosed but scans of my hands clearly showed inflammation and the rheumatologist got me straight on to meds. Do keep at it until you get some answers. Good luck!

blondenana Fri 11-Oct-19 16:12:10

hellsbells i think it probably is the menopause, those symptoms are vey common, i am assuming you have not
consulted your Dr at all yet regarding these problems you are having, but if so maybe some HRT and advice will help,
Maybe you are getting things out of proportion regarding your health knowing what your grandma had it will be playing on your mind, so i agree tell your Dr and ask her to test you
Is what she had genetic or hereditary?
Even though you think you are over the menopause you could still have some hormone problems it seems a short menopause to me, but most of the people i know have suffered menopausal symptoms for quite a long time,and not everyone has flushes or sweats
Good luck with the outcome

Scentia Fri 11-Oct-19 16:20:40

It sounds very much like it to me. I have recently been taken off my HRT due to some medical problems and I have realised just how ill I felt before I went on it last year. I am desperate to get these medical issues sorted in the hope they put me back on it.

Painful Joints
Shooting pains in my whole body
Hot flushes
No sex drive
The list goes on and all these disappear when I am on my HRT
Go to your GP

beautybumble Sat 12-Oct-19 10:33:34

My daughter had a blood test for iron with the gp and it came back normal, even though she had been very weak for a long time. She decided to go to London to a specialist and he eventually did an iron infusion. She's felt amazing ever since. I don't know if your iron needs looking at but its a consideration. As for your aches and pains, its great that you're now a vegetarian but I strongly suggest you read 'How Not To Die' by Michael Greger and 'Eat To Live' by Joel Fuhrman. I'm sure this will give you a lot of help and your health will improve. Good luck.

sandelf Sat 12-Oct-19 10:42:15

Hi Hellsbells I've been in this place - frustratingly there can be lots of contributing causes all at once. Agree with the others re making GP aware of your family history. Meanwhile - (hard learned lesson) read up on how healthy people live and check where your life is very different - work on that. I found very useful as my diet had been poor for years. Hope you are feeling better soon.

nettyandmasey Sat 12-Oct-19 10:43:31

Fibromyalgia doesn’t show up in a blood test. So may be worth persuing. Need a Rhuematology appointment for that. Your symptoms could definitely be that xx

Van-Nan Sat 12-Oct-19 10:46:17

I would go back to the GP. Ask again about those blood test results. Check if everything is within the expected range. Red/white/platelets etc. Is there anything that they didn’t screen for that they should have? My husband had very slightly low platelets at the beginning of this year. No sign of illness. There was very little concern from the GP but we pursued a referral to a haematologist. Turns out that he does indeed have something rare and sinister. He’s still well but it’s a waiting game. Just check that all bases are covered. GPs are a jack of all trades and master of none. So, you might need referral to greater expertise.

LJP1 Sat 12-Oct-19 10:55:39

Vegetarians can become low in iron and vit B12. Have you had these checked?

How about Thyroid deficiency?

Good luck, I hope things get sorted out.

jenni123 Sat 12-Oct-19 10:55:41

I have been unwell for a few years, I am 77, I had knee replacement (arthritis) I am diabetic type ll on insulin. have really bad breathing problems, cardiac people say it is respiratory and the respiratory people say cardiac. in the past couple of years I was in agony with my back, could hardly walk, was rushed into hospital the week before Christmas last year for emergency surgery, they did not do the surgery and sent me home Christmas Eve still in so much pain, I was taken back to hospital early January and they did nerve blocking injections into my spine rather than surgery, this has worked. However in this last year I am virtually housebound, I was feeling so ill, every time the doc visited he gave me more and more pills, I used to ask him did I need them all, he said yes. I got worse and worse, managing to crawl from bed to sofa and staying there all day. All I was saying to everyone was how ill I felt and I couldn't seem to get any better. one Sunday about 3 months ago I got to the sofa and felt so ill I honestly thought I was going to die, a friend called in and went and called my daughter saying 'Your Mum looks so ill I don't think she will be here for long'. While laying there I thought what is the point of calling 999, I have seen many hospital docs and I am still just as ill. I then for some unknown reason, started to think about my medication, I worked out I was taking 212 pills per week, and if I took pain relief that added another 56 pills. I decided there and then that if I was going to die why take any more pills, so I stopped all of them. Within 2 days I was back to eating, sitting up and walking in my home. after 2 days I reintroduced medication that I really needed, ie diabetic, blood pressure etc, so now even tho I am still fighting for breath all the time I only take 6 pills per day instead of 28, I do not feel ill, such a relief to feel so much better. Informed doc and all he said was 'so let me know what you are taking.'. doctors do not always know what is best.

Tigertooth Sat 12-Oct-19 11:03:52

My mum was so bad with the menopause that she had to sit and muster the energy to take her sweater off in the r endings and she ached all over. She suffered for a couple of years and sprang back to life once she went in HRT - she’s 87 now and still on it, still a size 12 and fit as a butchers dog.
Maybe try HRT?

Louise5 Sat 12-Oct-19 11:07:25

I wonder if the medication you are on is causing side effects like joint pain and tiredness. Perhaps go and discuss with your GP

Tigertooth Sat 12-Oct-19 11:08:14

Tell your GP that you’re not happy and ask to see a phlebotomist - they can see far more in your bloods than a general screen. Don’t accept a fob off.
Good luck.

Brigidsdaughter Sat 12-Oct-19 11:19:43

I feel for you as I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and low platelets so vulnerable to auto immune issues
SANDELF has hit nail on the head. Get copies of all recent blood tests. You need to be 'optimal' which is way higher in the range than just in lr low in so called normal.
VIT D a big one too. I dose up daily on Vit D all year round esp Winter. In good weather I sit facing the sun for half an hour without cream.
I'm now on Levothyroxine plus T3/ Liothyronine. T3 saved me. Also on Citalopram which takes the edge off low mood.
Ageing is tough too...

grandtanteJE65 Sat 12-Oct-19 11:23:28

I don't know whether all or any of this could be due to the menopause, but in your place I would ask (demand) a referral to a gynaecologist as she or he seems to be the obvious person to answer whether any or all of these symptoms have anything to do with it.

I would also change my GP as the one you have doesn't seem to be doing you any good at all.

It is a very real possibility that the various drugs you are taking are conflicting with each other and causing some of the trouble. Doctors write prescriptions without bothering to check what medicine the patient already is on.

A referral to a specialist in palliative medicine is going to be necessary to to sort that angle out.

You seem to have considered allergies in as far as changing your diet, but have you given any thought to the clothes you wear and what you wash them in?

I get joint pains if I wear anything made of or even containing polyester and have to wash all our clothes, bed linen etc in allergy tested soap powder, plus can only use a very limited range of toilet soap, make-up and the like.

Unfortunately, these days you need to be strong and determined to get doctors or hospitals to do anything, starting with actually listening to what you are saying. Take a friend or relation with you who can jump in if the conversation gets off course.

I hope you get rid of some of these problems that are besetting you without too much of a struggle.

pinkquartz Sat 12-Oct-19 11:27:49

I was a vegetarian for decades and had to be pushed back to eating meat I had become very low on B vitamins especially.
Perhaps rethink the diet to include red meat once a week?

I agree with other PP that this could be menopausal.
Ask your GP for hormone level tests and HRT.......I find the skin gel or patches is much easier to get along with than all tablets.

i am also low thyroid and this seems to be a never ending one to check and recheck. Perhaps you need to be retested and given a higher dose?
When I was taken into hospital for a heart condition they put my thyroid meds up, the GP had not. It is always worth rechecking your levels.

Jaycee5 Sat 12-Oct-19 11:28:12

Testing is much better now so if you have had a thorough check they are less likely to have missed anything although it is surprising that they didn't ask about your history while doing it.
I spent a day at A&E on Wednesday because I had really bad chest pains on Tuesday and felt very unwell Wednesday morning. I was very impressed with how thorough they were. I had 2 blood tests (one general, one spefically or heart problems) 2 ECGs, on chest x-ray. At every stage they explained what they were testing for and showed me the x-ray while discusssing it with me. They decided that it was caused by a problem with the cartilage around my ribs which can happen from lifting something heavy and told me to take paracetamol. I think they decided that just because they had excluded everything else. They gave me a detailed discharge not which listed everything which I did not get when I was last in hospital.
As others have said, see your GP and explain things as you have here and hopefully he will want to get to the bottom of it. They can't test or everything but it is amazing what they can check do.

rocketstop Sat 12-Oct-19 11:36:55

Could I ask if you have had any antibiotics recently ? In the last few months ?

Nannan2 Sat 12-Oct-19 11:40:57

Yes as other poster said,can they test you for that specifically,due to your gran having it previously?But,im just 56 and i too,have some autoimmune problems,which apparently they think are NOT linked to each other,just bad luck ive got all at same time(im not convinced but hey oh,im not a doctorhmm) however I DO have an underactive thyroid,and fibromyalgia,which went undetected for many years.and was missed on many blood tests,so if you're not happy with the explanation,return to your g.p! And nettyand masey is correct,fibromyalgia doesnt show in blood test,i was referred to rhuematology for pain,and lady there said I've all the descriptors for it,one of which is extreme tiredness,& the muscle pain.But ive a heart murmer too,and there could be an underlying problem with that which ive noticed is making me more breathless& easily exhausted! Also the thyroid problem makes me weak& tired,but I've noticed myself that the struggle of continuing to do things daily with osteoarthritis also wears me out,but a lot of medications I'm on state " can cause drowsiness" so if you're in same boat with medications,that could also be a factor?If i were you id return to g.p,and insist you have further tests, blood or otherwise,and see if you can get to bottom of it.However knowing doesn't always make it easier, i know about my medical problems,but it doesn't make me any less exhausted, in fact more pills may be contributing,so we still have to just get on with living& managing said 'conditions' best we can.i do sympathise though,as at our (younger?) ages you just don't expect it.hmm I didn't,especially as I've never smoked either,and am not a big drinker,maybe we've both just run around in past& have worn ourselves out hellesbelles!grinwink

Lesley60 Sat 12-Oct-19 11:47:25

So sorry to hear about your pain and lethargy, I can empathise with you as I’m 61 and suffer from arthritis and fibromyalgia amongst many other things, and feel as though I have no energy although all blood tests came back ok.
My small piece of advice for what it’s worth, if you haven’t done so already is to take someone along to your GP appointment with you, your partner or someone, as in my experience the GP tends to listen more and take you more seriously, I know this shouldn’t be the case but sadly in my experience it is.

Nannan2 Sat 12-Oct-19 11:50:11

Sadly not everyone can take HRT either,it depends what other medications youre on- but yes you definitely need to explain about your Gran,and also ask for some scans of some some kind,as well as more bloods done perhaps. Im only on a lowest dose of thyroid medicine due to other medications,and so im still struggling with extreme tiredness,so if you have same problem with other meds,it is probable you'l never have full energy levels you used to have.sadhmm