I thought I was loosing my mind!

by Debbie
(Indiana)

I'm 48 and have always been basically fine. At 47 I had an endometrial ablation due to heavy long periods and spotting in between. They were always heavy coming every 23 days lasting 7-days and now spotting. ( The black underware club)
I was a little afraid that this would mess up my health somehow but went ahead. It went fine and I have no more bleeding. At the time, my Mother was dying of endometrial cancer and had a stroke which left her unable to speak or swallow, she passed away in May. In August I started having a burning sensation with numb feeling in my right arm and then in both arms. Went to chiropracter, maybe a pinched nerve. Went to family doc, tried prednisone. ( unable to sleep, not hungry) Then all the muscles in my neck,chest, armes legs were burning, I didn't know what was happening to me. ( I was having panic attacks but didn't know that's what they were) Went to the hospital, nothing wrong with my heart. 0 calcium in my arteries. Went to Endo, thyroid fine, vitamin D low, b6 one of the best he's ever seen. Had MRI, went to another Doc, sent me home with Lyrica. Only took one pill, made me feel really drunk. I was not diagnosed with fybromyalgia but that's what I think this Doc decided. Did physcial therapy, tried acupucture, hypnosis, and massage.
During this time I was under extreme emotional stress, I had a "series of unfortunate events" some normal emotional things like deaths and some not so normal things that just don't befall the ordinary person. I quit asking myself what else could happen, I could take no more.
It was time to go back to the Gyno, did a blood test. Not in menopause yet, gave me lexapro. At this point I was ready to be comfortably numb. I do not like taking any prescription meds. I am terrified of them. Did it anyway.
Went out to lunch with friends who brought their Mother. I was having a panic attack and could not eat. ( I had been unable to eat much for an entire year) My friend's Mom told me that I was not going crazy, that it was just peri menopause. I had read Dr. Lee's books and thought I was prepared, boy was I wrong! I had no idea what this could do to women. I thought so, you get a hotflash ( I'm always cold) You can't sleep ( I could sleep 24/7) and you gain weight ( I have never been over weight)
At this point I was in over my head, so tired, forcing myself to eat, anxious, and in pain all of the time.
I found this site and have spent hours reading other stories, I found it very comforting that I was not alone and that women were having success. I have hope that I can quit taking the lexapro and have my life back.

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Apr 20, 2012
I thought I was loosing my mind!
by: Wray

Hi Debbie Ah yes, Peri-menopause! Not a time I like to remember, no dramas like you which sound so awful, but just numbing depression, Hot Flushes, endless crying and tired beyond belief. Plus a host of other symptoms I'd put down to getting older. I'd diagnosed myself as having early onset senile dementia! Luckily all gone now thanks to progesterone. But it did take 6 months to resolve, I now realise due to the low amounts suggested, ie 20-40mg/day. So I now recommend 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. It sounds as if you would need more. We do have a page on Anxiety which explains panic attacks, plus it gives a list of nutrients which help. Inositol is very good at stopping them, progesterone too of course. All your systems are now stretched far beyond normal, your adrenals will be particularly stressed. Pity about the ablation, even though it worked. The heavy bleeding is caused by a lack of progesterone and excess oestrogen and MMPs. It's explained on our Menstruation page. No you are not alone, although it does feel like it. None of us are prepared for peri-menopause, I feel it should be part of the school programme. Some sail through, but too many don't. 40 million American women suffer PMS every month, 19% get PND, 25% if you include the baby blues. How many suffer through peri-menopause I don't know, there seem to be no stats on it. It's largely ignored by the medical profession, who dish out anti-depressants. None of the above need suffer, progesterone is always low. I suspect they all have low vitamin D too, it's a pandemic now, with all of us covered up or working indoors. You say yours is low, in which case it's very low. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml and not the 30ng/ml most labs and doctors regard as adequate. Please increase your level. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. Continued below.

Apr 20, 2012
I thought I was loosing my mind! Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Debbie If you should consider progesterone please use sufficient. I think you will probably need up to 400mg/day initially. The link on peri-menopause gives info on how to use it. Please read our page on Oestrogen Dominance first. I hope you can come off the lexapro too, our page on Natural Antidepressants explains how to do this. I suggest starting on the progesterone and inositol first, plus of course getting your vitamin D level up, this has a huge bearing on depression, see here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Apr 20, 2012
Re-check your Thyroid
by: CamperKat

All of your symptoms sound very similar to those I experienced, and I had "normal" thyroid blood tests. I am now 52.

Long story short, in addition to progesterone cream use, I recently went to a doctor who treats his patients with bio-identical hormones and nutrition. He did my blood work again, and even though I am in "normal" range, he recognized that I had all the symptoms of class hypothyroid (low thyroid function.) As it turns out, the "normal" TSH range is set too high ("in range" is usually 5.0-5.5 on lab values) and in 2003, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists wanted to lower the high range to 3.0--but they have been fighting with the AMA, insurance companies and labs ever since.

Everyone is different--some people may have a low TSH (which means "healthy" or "normal") but still have hypothyroid symptoms--I am a person who is obviously hypothyroid even though my TSh was 4.8--but you see how high it was? My symptoms are hair loss (what's there is wispy/dried out) joint pain, insomnia, coldness, crazy/racing thoughts, crushing fatigue, brittle, ridged nails, inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, depression, puffy dark circles under my eyes. The doctor put me on natural, desiccated porcine thyroid, and I literally began to feel better within 3 days. That's how quick it works for most people. It has been two weeks now, and I continue to feel better with each passing day. It can take up to a year to get back to "normal", whatever that is.

I've been hypothyroid for at least 7 years and didn't know it. None of my endos (all expensive, board-certified) didn't diagnose me, because they only "treat to the test" and not to the symptoms.

I have suffered needlessly because of the way MDs practice medicine, and I hope you will take this info to heart and get your thyroid values re-checked. If you need thyroid replacement, do not go on Synthroid, which, as the name suggests, is a synthetic thyroid. Only use Armour (brand name) natural desiccated thyroid, or a natural thyroid compounded at a compounding pharmacy.

I suggest you check out these books: "Hypothyroidism Type II" by Dr. Mark Starr, and "Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It" by Dr. David Brownstein. Both are available on Amazon. These books will likely change your life, as they did mine.

And...by the way--progesterone works even better when your thyroid is happy. And here's a scary number: 85% of all Americans over the age of 60 are undiagnosed hypothyroid. Almost 60% of all women ages 45 and over are undiagnosed hypothyroid.

Much luck to you.

Apr 20, 2012
Forgot to Mention
by: CamperKat

Forgot to mention: your burning sensation--I had that, as well as parasthesia--a crawling sensation under the skin.

Fibromyalgia and arthritis are almost always hypothyroid-related, as you will learn when you read the books I mentioned.

I was also on Lexapro--that's what MDs give you when they don't know what else to do. Yes, you must get off of it (doctors aren't even sure how it works--they only know it "takes effect" when you have LSD trippy dreams and can't have an orgasm) but don't do it cold turkey as I did--you can give yourself a stroke it you do. Do a Google search about how to taper off.

You are on the right track with thinking your menopause transition will be helped by progesterone, but you are so likely to be hypothyroid and need natural desiccated thyroid replacement therapy. I have done a ton of research, and your symptoms are truly classic, just like mine. And the best thing is this: most MDs, even those who are PITA and don't listen will likely agree to put you on thyroid on a trial basis, because you will know right away if your aren't by the way your body responds, and it leaves the body within several hours, so no big deal quitting if you need to. If you feel better, you know you are "subclinical" hypothyroid (meaning your blood tests are "normal" according to out-dated values, but you have clinical symptoms.) The MD will start you off on a very low dose of natural thyroid (insist on natural, not Synthroid or similar) usually 1/4 grain two times per day, on an empty stomach. I take mine at 8:00am, then eat 1/2 hour later, and then take the second pill after lunch, and no later than 2:00pm. Taking natural thyroid after 2:00pm can make some people too high energy, especially if the dose is high.

If you AREN'T hypothyroid, you will know it within a couple of hours of taking thyroid--you'll get mild heart racing and sweats, all of which will pass quickly.

Hope this helps.

Apr 20, 2012
Forgot to Mention
by: CamperKat

Forgot to mention: your burning sensation--I had that, as well as parasthesia--a crawling sensation under the skin that feels like insects are walking on/in me.

Fibromyalgia and arthritis are almost always hypothyroid-related, as you will learn when you read the books I mentioned. Low thyroid causes all kinds of symptoms that have been morphed into other syndromes like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. When these patients are put on natural, desiccated porcine thyroid--no matter what their thyroid blood tests say--80-90% of their symptoms disappear. This is according to the books I mentioned, and per my doctor who has been using natural thyroid on his patients for over 15 years--patients who have been misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, mistreated and not listened to for many, many years.

I was also on Lexapro--that's what MDs give you when they don't know what else to do. Yes, you must get off of it (doctors aren't even sure how it works--they only know it "takes effect" when you have LSD trippy dreams and can't have an orgasm) but don't do it cold turkey as I did--you can give yourself a stroke it you do. Do a Google search about how to taper off.

You are on the right track with thinking your menopause transition will be helped by progesterone, but you are so likely to be hypothyroid and need natural desiccated thyroid replacement therapy. I have done a ton of research, and your symptoms are truly classic, just like mine. And the best thing is this: most MDs, even those who are PITA and don't listen will likely agree to put you on thyroid on a trial basis, because you will know right away if your aren't by the way your body responds, and it leaves the body within several hours, so no big deal quitting if you need to. If you feel better, you know you are "subclinical" hypothyroid (meaning your blood tests are "normal" according to out-dated values, but you have clinical symptoms.) The MD will start you off on a very low dose of natural thyroid (insist on natural, not Synthroid or similar) usually 1/4 grain two times per day, on an empty stomach. I take mine at 8:00am, then eat 1/2 hour later, and then take the second pill after lunch, and no later than 2:00pm. Taking natural thyroid after 2:00pm can make some people too high energy, especially if the dose is high.

If you AREN'T hypothyroid, you will know it within a couple of hours of taking thyroid--you'll get mild heart racing and sweats, all of which will pass quickly. So no harm done, and you can rule out your thyroid and move on to exploring other potential diagnoses. You may ask, "why haven't my MDs been able to figure this out?" well, that's the problem so many people have with current medical practice in the U.S. MDs are trained by the pharmaceutical industry. They are trained to read blood tests and they don't listen to clinical symptoms anymore--not since around the late 1970s when blood tests became the "gold standard" and listening to patients was phased out.


Apr 20, 2012
Forgot to Mention
by: CamperKat

abnormal sensation, and it’s a symptom of metabolic disorders like hypothyroidism. For me, it is a weird tingling sensation, as if a bug is crawling under the skin on my back, but it can also be burning, tingling, numbness.

Depression, horrible “general fatigue”, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) Fibromyalgia and arthritis are almost always hypothyroid-related, as you will learn when you read the books I mentioned. So are psoriasis, rosacea, eczema. When a person starts studying the thyroid, one becomes amazed at how much that little gland is responsible for—and when it starts to fail, how it impacts so many different parts of our system. Low thyroid causes all kinds of symptoms that have been morphed—by doctors--into titles of other syndromes like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, when it’s really been low thyroid all along. When these patients are put on natural, desiccated porcine thyroid--no matter what their thyroid blood tests say--80-90% of their symptoms disappear. This is according to the books I mentioned, and per my doctor who has been using natural thyroid on his patients for over 15 years--patients who have been misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, mistreated and not listened to for many, many years. He himself is on thyroid, and said after he got his TSH from 4.9 to 1.3, that he had more energy than he had in 20 years (he is 54) and that his terrible fatigue and low energy and depression literally went away.

Regarding antidepressants: I was also on Lexapro--that's what MDs give you when they don't know what else to do. Yes, you must get off of it (doctors aren't even sure how it works--they only know it "takes effect" when you have LSD trippy dreams and can't have an orgasm) but don't do it cold turkey as I did--you can possibly give yourself a stroke it you do (I “just” had “brain zaps” as if I was getting static electric shocks deep inside my brain—way too scary.) Do a Google search about how to taper off.

Cont'd

Apr 20, 2012
Part 2 Forgot to Mention
by: CamperKat

You are on the right track thinking your menopause transition will be helped by progesterone. But you are very likely to be hypothyroid and need natural desiccated thyroid replacement therapy. Your symptoms are truly classic, just like mine. Good news: most MDs, even those who are PITA and don't listen will likely agree to put you on thyroid on a trial basis, because you will know right away if your aren't by the way your body responds, and it leaves the body within several hours, so no big deal quitting if you need to. If you feel better, you know you are "subclinical" hypothyroid (meaning your blood tests are "normal" according to out-dated values, but you have clinical symptoms.)

For subclinical hypothyroid patients, an MD will likely start you off on a very low dose of natural thyroid (insist on natural, not Synthroid or similar) usually 1/4 grain 1 or 2x per day, on an empty stomach. If you AREN'T hypothyroid, you will know it within a couple of hours of taking thyroid--you'll get mild heart racing, jitteriness and perhaps a wave of mild sweats, all of which will pass quickly as the thyroid pill dissipates from your system. But know that these reactions could also mean your dose was a little too high to begin with, so work with your doctor on dosing. In either case, there is no harm done other than some odd and very temporary discomfort.

Why haven't my MDs been able to figure out that the thyroid is responsible for so many different illnesses? Well, they used to know this. Back in the 1920s, natural thyroid was used to treat arthritis and eczema and worked beautifully. But with modern “progression”, the current medical practice in the U.S. means that MDs are basically trained by the pharmaceutical industry. Doctors are taught about medications and how to prescribe them. Virtually all medications are patented Big Pharma products. Very few MDs will use natural or bio-identical (i.e., not patented) medicines or tell a patient to use something from the health food store. Doctors are trained to read blood tests and follow the standard level values as diagnostic tools—period. Patients think their doctors don’t listen to them, and they are right: doctors do not listen to clinical symptoms anymore--not since around the late 1970s when blood tests became the "gold standard" and listening to patients was phased out.

Know that you can be low in progesterone/menopausal and have a low functioning thyroid at the same time--the two aren't mutually exclusive--they actually play off one another, as both are hormones. I continue to use 120mg of Natpro per day, and my doctor says I may even need to use more--we are awaiting the results of my saliva tests.

Like progesterone, natural desiccated porcine thyroid is cheap and not patentable--my 2x per day dose costs me just $25, and that's before I even submit it to my insurance company.

Hope this helps.

Apr 21, 2012
Re-check your Thyroid
by: Wray

Hi CamperKat Your replies are so detailed, bless you! Where do you find the time? I'm so delighted about the new doctor you've found, seems to really know his stuff. Pity he's so busy as I'd love to refer people to him. Please ask him to set up a website with an ebook for people! Take care Wray

Apr 21, 2012
Thank you CamperKat!
by: Debbie

CamperKat, thank you for your advise! I will read the books, I love reading. I will check into the thyroid again. My hair also is growing in wispy, fuzzy and brittle looking, it breaks easy. My first TSH was 0.356 august then 0.972 sept. The first time I fasted, skipped coffee and because the lab changed it's name ( my order had the old name, same address) they wouldn't draw the blood. Needless to say, I was angry. When I went back, I had just started prednisone(bad experience) when the test was done. The Endo ordered a new test because the predisone can have an effect. I thought he told me I was on the hyperthyroid end. He also told me most likely I would end up hypothroid at some point. My D3 was 34.9 aug and 29 in sept. Was taking 2000 iu until I started reading this site, 10,000 now. I take fish oil, B-complex, acidopholis, C 1000, magnesieum 250 mg.
The burning did start out as skin crawl. Most of the time if feels like my muscles are over worked. It's not bone pain. also had muscle twitching all over, sometimes I could see them move. Since lowering my lexapro I am having weird flashing in one eye for about 10 mins then gone. It looks like I am looking through water with bright blue and yellow lights flashing on and off really fast like a neon sign. It's only happened twice, but is really weird.
I don't know anybody who has symptoms like mine, I wondered if part of the panic attacks were because I felt something was wrong and nobody could find what it was. I really don't like being patted on the head and sent home with an anti-depressant. I watched Docs do this to my Mother.
Thank you for all your help, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

Apr 23, 2012
Thank you CamperKat! and Wray
by: Debbie

It seems I've had my tyroid checked over and over. Aug it TSH was .356 ( was on predisone) Sept .972. My hair does look terrible, fuzzy, breaking and is much thinner than when I was young. However I was not eating well for a very long time , no appetite. I assumed it was from that. I've been back on the progesterone cream for a week now. ( started with 80ml twice daily, today started 200ml twice daily) I have noticed that my eyebrows look better. I was getting these transparent hairs growing in odd directions causing my brows to lay improperly. Also had some lashes growing in the opposite direction. I don't know if this has anything to do with hormones.
I did use progesterone cream in August and quit just in case it was causing the burning. I tried it again in Feb and some in March. I can't be sure, but I'm thinking I had panic attacks each time. I was trying to use it according to Dr Lee's directions and wonder if it was from using too little. Being that I had the ablation, I was having a hard time trying to figure out when to use it as I have no bleeding anymore. Which is what led me to this site.
I take fish oil, b-complex, vitamin D ( 10,000 after reading this site) magnesium and acidopholus. My D3 was 29 in Sept.
I am going to try the 400ml pc for a while and see if it helps with my symptoms.

Apr 23, 2012
I will gladly read the books
by: Debbie

I wanted to say thank you, not sure if my response made it.

Apr 24, 2012
Wow, way too many posts by me!
by: CamperKat

Wow, you can see I had trouble with posting my responses, so it looks like I sent them through like 4 times! Hope they made sense, sorry for any confusion--it really was just 2 postings!

Apr 25, 2012
Wow, way too many posts by me!
by: Wray

Hi CamperKat Well it did make me chuckle! But they were each slightly different, so I thought I should publish them all, but if you wish I can take off some. Take care Wray

Apr 25, 2012
Thank you CamperKat! and Wray
by: Wray

Hi Debbie We do have a page on Hormone Testing, not sure if I gave it to you. Normal values for TSH are 0.4 - 4.0 mIU/L, so yours is in range. Progesterone, vitamin D and a few other nutrients help hair growth, all listed on our Hair Loss page. Delighted you're taking the 10,000iu's vitamin D, 29ng/ml is very low. I hope the 400mg helps, but if you take those nutrients listed on the link above, I think you'll find they help too. And don't forget to have a vitamin D test in about 3 months. Let us know how you get on. Take care Wray

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