Menopause & Getting Older

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Every once in a while I get all depressed thinking about getting older. I will get obsessed thinking and wondering how many years I have left. (sick isn't it?) I'm 43 but a lot of people tell me I look 10 years younger. I try to eat right, exercise and think positive....but then I start getting these morbid thoughts again.

It's not fair, we should only be the age we feel. I don't feel 43, I don't look 43, and I don't act 43. How is 43 supposed to look/feel/act anyway??!!

And what the heck happens when I hit menopause? Will I just pack on 30 pounds without even trying? I'm not menopausal yet but I'm hearing horror stories about it and it scares the crap out of me. I don't want to take hormones when the time comes. I see myself kicking and screaming and trying to block the door into old age and definitely NOT accepting it gracefully!

Ok, maybe I'm just having a moody kind of day, or maybe its something deeper, but anyone out there who can offer some advice, books or experience on this, is gladly welcomed.


 
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ooohhh.. i definitely feel what you're talking about... but thank goodness for meditation because that definitely helps me mellow out when i get to thinking too deeply about this stuff... but the key thing is that you aren not giving in to the myths surrounding the fact that you are indeed getting older... i like to think that i'm moving into my older years gracefully... i think that that's much better than the people who are in their 40s and 50s but still shopping in younger/trendier stores talking about the latest boyband (you get my drift).... age is a number... a great number, but a number nonetheless... just live it... i know of a lot of people that i would have loved to see get older, but they didn't have the chance....


Originally Posted by Amethyst Every once in a while I get all depressed thinking about getting older. I will get obsessed thinking and wondering how many years I have left. (sick isn't it?) I'm 43 but a lot of people tell me I look 10 years younger. I try to eat right, exercise and think positive....but then I start getting these morbid thoughts again.
It's not fair, we should only be the age we feel. I don't feel 43, I don't look 43, and I don't act 43. How is 43 supposed to look/feel/act anyway??!!

And what the heck happens when I hit menopause? Will I just pack on 30 pounds without even trying? I'm not menopausal yet but I'm hearing horror stories about it and it scares the crap out of me. I don't want to take hormones when the time comes. I see myself kicking and screaming and trying to block the door into old age and definitely NOT accepting it gracefully!

Ok, maybe I'm just having a moody kind of day, or maybe its something deeper, but anyone out there who can offer some advice, books or experience on this, is gladly welcomed.


 
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I'm 33 but I can relate to what you're saying. It's not so much the age I am but, for example, when I put my e/s on and notice that the skin between my brow and crease is sagging. It's depressing. I eat right and workout but am starting to have health problems and wonder how bad it will be when I'm 43.

I hear the expression "growing old gracefully" and I have no idea what that means.

 

Jen

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I'm 44 and have been diagnosed with an enlarged uterus w/fibroid tumors inside. Of course, my gyn wanted to do a hysterecomy. He wasn't pushy at all but thought that would be the best way to handle this situation.

My family dr. is a DO. I went to him and he has put me on DIM (large doses), calcium glucarate, natural progesterone cream and SSKI (basically iodine). I have just started taking these things. The DO wants me to go back in 6-9 months for a repeat sonogram to see if the fibroids may have shrunk. When menopause hits, the fibroids shrink anyway.

Doctors/surgeons are in business to do business. So, I'm gonna try this other treatment method and see what happens. I can live with the enlarged uterus. It really isn't causing any pain at all. I'd love to not have my period but that is a part of life.

This was kind of off subject but just wanted to add it.

I do feel good and I'm enjoying life! 44 is just a number!


Amethyst, I hope you are having a better day today...let us know.


 
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Originally Posted by Naturally Even more scary is Tamoxifen ..the drug they give to Breast Cancer patients so it doesn't come back ...do you know one of the side effects is that you could get uterine or ovarian cancer? They don't tell you that part! My ND asked a friend of his (an ob/gyn) about it ..and her reply was "we can fix the uterine/ovarian cancers". just want to comment on this really quick (since I can´t take part on this thread cause I´m too young to know what problems women have to go through in menopause but we all hear terrible things about it so sooner or later I´ll have to deal with this too
) and try to find the right words in english for this...and try to translate the medical terms into english as well
I don´t know if Tamoxifen has the same indications in the US, but here in Austria Tamoxifen is only given to patients with matastatizing breast cancer or as an adjuvant therapy in high risk patients....so clearly not everyone is getting it. the cancer always HAS to be hormone-sensitive (there are tests to find out about this) in order for the patients to get this drug (if the tumor is not hormone-sensitive then Tamoxifen would not improve the outcome as it blocks specific estrogen receptors in the breast)

what you said about the side effects is true though. although Tamoxifen blocks the hormone receptores in the breast, it has a stimulating effect to the receptors in the endometrium, which increases the risk of endometrium cancer by the factor 2 (which is not that much...compared to other drugs which work on a hormone level).

so considering the fact that cancer patients who already have metastasis and therefore a lower chance of complete remission (=the complete dissappearance of tumor cells in the whole body) are exposed to a slightly higher risk of getting a secondary type of cancer in order to recover from breast cancer seems like...lets say...a "fair" deal. I know that sounds aweful, I can´t find better words for this, sorry. and because the secondary cancer doesn´t appear just like that (might take a few more years till the side effects of Tamoxifen show, not saying it has to be that way) it gives the patients a few more years to live, which is a good deal for patients with a low chance of surviving that long WITHOUT this drug.

sorry for this being so OT, I just feel like medicine has come so far in the last years and yes there are and always will be risks, and I think every doctor should be upfront about all this and inform the patients about the benefits AS WELL as the risks. these things are always a matter of weighing out benefit and risk, which will always be tricky.

 
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Oh lord!
This is what I'm talking about.


Heavy bleeding! Hormones out of whack! Hot flashes! Increased cancer risk! Fibroids!


Jeez, I really hope you're all here to calm me down when I start going through all this.


 
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Oh ok. I didn't know I had a choice. I thought it was inevitable. That's what's getting me down too - thinking about all this stuff to come.


My sister is 53 and she must be a drama queen because she made menopause sound like the devil took over her body and she couldn't get through it without hormones. The doc took her off the hormones and she was back to square one again. I don't think I'm going to listen to her. I like your way of dealing with it a lot better.
And Natural is better.


 
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Wow - this is really great info!

Ok, about the Dong Quai. I recall reading some time ago that that particular herb is dangerous for the heart. I have a congenital heart murmur so I gotta be careful about what herbs I take or drink. Does Dong Quai have - something like a caffeine effect?

My main concern (and again I'm ahead of myself worrying about this) are the stories I hear of heavy bleeding, prolonged menstrual periods...I find that mine seem to be getting lighter as I get older instead heavier. But my sister was saying "oh that can change direction any time".


I think I can deal with the hot flashes when the day comes that they start. Although - you never know. I shouldn't be so confident in that perhaps.


 
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Hi, i have been thinking and worrying about things like this as well and it does really depress and worry me. I am seeing my Mother who has always been wild and vibrant (and she still is) but sometimes we sit and talk to each other about getting older and it's frightening. I would imagine this happens to everyone when they see the changes that take place. I am especially terrified about the Menopause.I worry about my hormones and even my Mother's as she is on HRT. There is a good book out about hormones that i would love to get, its called The hormonally vulnerable woman by Geoffery Redmond. I have been changing my diet to include soya milk as that has natural estorgens in it.

I am even thinking about trying HGH but i would need to totally research it first, but there are some natural homoepathic one's.

 
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Thanks for that info Kim. I must let my Mohter read this, i know she will be pleasedto learn about the books and that info on the soy. Thanks a lot.

 
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Thanks a million Kim! I better get reading and i will forweard those links to my Mother. ThanksxXx
 
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Ooh thank you for starting this thread Amethyst and Kim for the good infos!!

I need to pass this to my mother. I wish she have internet connection at home so she can read this.

 
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Amethyst - I think it is only normal as youth provided us with so many things, one being the feeling of immortality. The good thing about being older is being wiser. I won't lie, I get anxious about it once in awhile but what the heck - the journey of life and there is so much more to enjoy so why cause another wrinkle by worrying or getting anxious. You are already ahead of the game by "thinking young".

Kim - many thanks for the great info and I am with you on the herbs and holistic practices. U r a gem! BTW - hope ur brother is doing better.

Maph - that's a cute avatar! I'm such a sucker for animals!

 
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I was also experiencing problems with heavy bleeding, and long periods, sometimes lasting as long as a month. My Dr. also wanted to prescribe hormones, but I refused. I wanted to go a more natural route. Felt much better after using the progesterone cream and herbs. I am also 49, and have gone through menopause. I feel pretty good. People tell me that they can't believe my age. I stay active, and try to eat healthy. I have to be careful with soy products though, because of my thyroid.

 
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Doesn't it feel so liberating not to have your periods anymore? One of my friends disagrees. She is 51, and wants to keep cycling as long as possible. She had a hormone health assessment done by a dr. He prescribed a progesterone cream in a custom blend for her chemistry. She told me that she could possibly keep cycling till she is 80. The dr. told her that he had patients still cycling in their 70's! I don't know how healthy that is? I talked to a compound pharmacist in my area, who told me that she didn't think it is very healthy to have periods past age 55, because of cancer risks.

 
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My friend's periods were horrible. She was bleeding profusely, and she had terrible cramps. She first went to her regular GYN who wanted to put her on the birth control pill. She didn't want any part of that, especially at her age. She later found another dr. that was interested in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. She was more comfortable going that direction. She has been pleased with her results of the progesterone cream, which was almost immediate. She said it also helped her thyroid, and she was able to go off thyroid medication. I also don't know why she keeps cycling, but maybe she won't for long.

 
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Okay, I just have to add my post as I'm 63 and can't remember when I actually began the "transition" or when I came through it! Ha! My advice is to just quit worrying about something that may never be as bad as you think. The hot flashes were minor and short-lived for me. Thanks to my hair colorist, I'm always told I don't look or ACT my age. Still have a good time and make the most of each day. I've changed my diet and exercise more, love this MUT and have learned how to use makeup to enhance my age, not overdo it. I've never taken hormones and really don't feel much different than I did in my 40's. Your health is the most important thing, and if you make changes in your diet and keep active, you will probably always be "younger than your physical age."

Carol in Houston

 
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A good tip to live by: You are as young as you feel. If you are going to worry about aging, you are going to age faster just by worring


 
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Originally Posted by Springchicken Okay, I just have to add my post as I'm 63 and can't remember when I actually began the "transition" or when I came through it! Ha! My advice is to just quit worrying about something that may never be as bad as you think. The hot flashes were minor and short-lived for me. Thanks to my hair colorist, I'm always told I don't look or ACT my age. Still have a good time and make the most of each day. I've changed my diet and exercise more, love this MUT and have learned how to use makeup to enhance my age, not overdo it. I've never taken hormones and really don't feel much different than I did in my 40's. Your health is the most important thing, and if you make changes in your diet and keep active, you will probably always be "younger than your physical age."
Carol in Houston

Thank you Carol from Houston!
 
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Hi all, I may have a different attitude toward the big M, but my advice right now is to take any trips you want to take, and do whatever you want while you still feel like it. After enduring a lifetime of periods and cramps and having a hard time getting pain meds, I almost couldn’t wait until all that stopped, since I would finally start feeling better. The only good thing about it is the freedom from all that. Granted, we don’t all go through the same problems, but all in all M is no fun. Although I don’t have to hassle with periods every month, I now hassle with a whole different set of problems. First, delibitating hot flashes. They are horrible. My dad and husband will be sitting here in the house all but freezing, and I have to wear a headband because it’s like there are 2 faucets at my hairline that just pour water. You can’t believe how uncomfortable that is. Long sleeves and polar fleece make me just cringe. The winter is especially rough because I’ll start sweating under a jacket and have to rip it off and then freeze, then put it back on, so I can’t wait to move to a place to where I won’t have to wear a heavy jacket.

Most of us at work who have passed M have fans going at work, otherwise we’d pass out from sweating.

Next thing are the aches and pains, they just sort of show up slowly. I feel dumb asking my dr. about all this, but I’m not used to hurting in areas I’ve never hurt. They make you feel like an idiot for asking. Then I got arthritis which I’m fighting, and had plantar fasciitis for 5 years so badly that I could hardly walk. I began to notice the slight roundedness in my back, the beginnings of osteoporosis. Next came the extra weight. I weigh 30 pounds more than I’m used to weighing and that aggravates the conditions in my feet, even though I do the treadmill, elliptical, and swim a few times a week when I can fit it in.

My doctor gave me this thing called the O-Ring to help there. I took one look at that thing and said there is no way I’ll ever be able to wear this thing, and threw it away. I got sick just looking at it. I really get stiff as a board from sitting at work and not moving much. The hot flashes are especially bad when you just stand like in line, and not move much.

I really thought M would be the end of a lot of problems, but no, it has introduced a whole new set of them. I looked in the mirror one night and figure I looked good enough to be on the front cover of a National Geographic magazine if you know what I mean, and now my body feels like it’s reversed. My jeans would probably fit better if I put them on backwards. This is all not fun at all.

I began to feel like I was getting ready to just fall apart and then just disintegrate into a big heap of dust, and had to do something fast. I put on 10 years of age in no time at all and hated that. I’m just not the matronly type. The very worst wakeup call and the biggest surprise of all was then I went horseback riding a few years ago. I didn’t even have the strength to get on the horse and couldn’t hoist myself up there. How awful.

I tried everything, working out, natural stuff, herbs, teas, nothing helped, and I sweat enough to fill a bucket. So I had to go on low-dose Prempro, one every other day. I have to say that helped right away. My poor deflated and flattened chi-chis filled back out, I got enough energy to feel like living again, and although I still sweat, it isn’t as bad as it used to be. I’m going to say that Menopause is certainly not a party and it is not the end of one set of problems like I used to think. I really started realizing my mortality and was feeling like boy what an awful joke this all is. This is not exactly the funnest part of life, especially since I have to still work fulltime, and take care of a house. I’m kind of glad we don’t have kids, because I would not have the energy to deal with them. It’s like I don’t even have the energy to take a fun trip anymore and be the fancy-free person I used to be. I still try though. I pray a lot, meditate, and just try to stay happy. If I see something I want, I’ll buy it, because it honestly is not a picnic going through this stage of life. As for the low dose hormone therapy, I figured what the heck, I want to feel as good as possible for as long as possible and they have helped in that regard. I do feel better with them than without them. Alas… we each have to find our own way. My mom passed away 7 years ago and I miss her more than ever. I wish I had her to at least help me through this. One of my chronic worries is that I’m beginning to feel like I just can’t handle fulltime work anymore and need a break something fierce. But if I don’t, how will I ever be able to afford a doctor if I need one? Not a pretty picture, unless you’re lucky enough to be rich too.

 

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