5 years ago (I was 51 yrs old) I had episodes of what I would call "fight or flight" or "hormonal rush". My heart would race and my blood pressure would go out of control, and then when it passed, I would start to cry.
My periods had started to be irregular. I had 3 EKG's in one week, saw a cardiologist and he (who was young enough to be my son), said, "I think we're chasing menopause, here". A doctor put me on a beta blocker and I wore a holter monitor, but eventually it passed. I hated being on the beta blocker but my family history is very strong for heart disease. (My father died of a stroke at 67 after having heart bypass surgery twice. My mother is on medication for hypertension, high triglycerides, high cholesterol.)
I stopped the beta blocker after 3 days. I sought help at a local "natural pharmacy". The pharmacist there gave me "holy basil" and felt that my adrenals were probably stressed. He also suggested I try some progesterone cream. I tried it a few days, but then, like I said, the episodes passed and eventually resolved. That was until 2 months ago. I am 56 years old. Still have a period. I occasionally miss but the longest has been three months without one.
Then, along come the episodes again. This time I was prepared! I have spent the past 5 years reading about bioidentical hormones. I went for a physical on Jan 28th and by blood pressure was up. The doctor put me on Benicar and felt that a low dose was probably not going to work. My heart was racing again. It took me a few days to realize this was the same condition. I was reading everything on your site. This was "estrogen overload"! I made an appt with a GYN doc and specifically asked about BHRT before I made the appt. (By the way, I'm a registerd nurse, exercise regularly, am not overweight, do not smoke or drink). They assured me that I would be able to get BHRT.
My blood pressure was so high at the appt, I wouldn't let them tell me what it was. My heart was racing. My husband had to drive me to the appt. The doctor explained that there was no difference between "natural" hormones and "synthetic" hormones. She said it was probably my thyroid and she couldn't give me anything until my blood pressure came down. She told me that any hormones she would prescribe would just make me bleed and increase my blood pressure. She wrote up a lab slip and sent me on my way.
These episodes were so scary, my heart raced for weeks. I would lay in bed in the morning and think, "I'm not going to stroke, I'm not going to stroke!" I have also had "spotting" in between my periods for years.
I started the progesterone cream (expired in '07, but it still worked!) and followed the directions in the package. I felt a change in two days. My pulse went down, my blood pressure lowered and the episodes subsided. I went to see my brilliant pharmacist and he looked at my lab work and felt I would be helped by prescription progesterone. I feel much better right now, just using the OTC cream. I no longer have any "spotting". I have an appt with another doctor in that practice who will prescribe "BHRT". If not, I will continue with the OTC.
Thank you for your very informative website. It has been so helpful to me. You have equipped me with enough knowledge to help myself when the doctors were not willing to listen. By the way, that consult with the GYN was $182.00 and I will have to pay another $182.00 for the next consult. Our insurance does not cover doctor visits. The progesterone cream costs $26/month.