Lifetime immune suppressants really confusing my perimenopause!

by Louise
(Haarlem, Netherlands)

Hi.

I find your emails with others' questions so helpful, thank you. As I discover more about pre-menopause, I realize how long I've been struggling with it.

I am a 47 year old woman. I had a kidney transplant 4 years ago today. Since then I've been on Prednisone and other immune-suppressant medications. There are so many side-effects from these medications that when I developed a new health issue it made me really confused about what exactly my issues were from and how to address them.

My once high sex drive started tapering off at about age 40. Now it's virtually non-existent. I began having night sweats and insomnia about 4 years ago - also around that time I started having incredibly painful breasts that are swollen for 3 weeks a month. I started losing my hair about 2 years ago. And I began experiencing vaginal dryness and painful intercourse about a year ago. I unwittingly blamed all these symptoms on my transplant medication.

I began using your cream as directed about 2 weeks ago. Since then my sleeping and night sweats are greatly improved. I can't say much for the other issues. Perhaps they will improve with time. I am having vulvitis now, too - and that seems better with the cream.

My doctor has never heard of progesterone cream and told me she thought I should be using an estriol cream. I see there is some advice on line that suggest estriol creams to be used in conjunction with Progesterone. I'm even more confused by this.

I don't have a lot of access to alternative health, as I live in the Netherlands. All of these issues are so confusing. If you can shed any light at all, I will be grateful to learn more.

Thank you,
Louise

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Dec 20, 2012
Lifetime immune suppressants really confusing my perimenopause!
by: Wray

Hi Louise I can understand your confusion, the meds would have side effects of their own, plus obscuring Peri-menopause symptoms, or even worsening them. I'm very pleased your sleep and night sweats are better, progesterone should help those. We do have more info on our page about Hot Flushes. Progesterone also helps Libido, although if the libido drop is due to the meds, it might have an uphill battle. I'm not sure how much you're using, but I've found hot flushes and sweats need about 400mg/day, sometimes more. I suggest applying some of the cream in your vagina at night, it does help dryness and inflammation. We have a page on Breast Tenderness you could look through, with advice on what to do. We also have one on Hair Loss too. This page gives a list of nutrients which help hair growth. These are a few papers on vulva pain here, here, here, here, here and here. Most doctors don't know a thing about progesterone, or if they do dismiss it as a pregnancy hormone. The all seem to know about oestrogen, usually suggesting oestradiol, rarely oestriol. This is a much safer oestrogen, although still has an oestrogenic affect. You might like to get in touch with Julienne via her website here. She lives in London, so is quite near you. Interestingly she only has one kidney. Continued below

Dec 20, 2012
Lifetime immune suppressants really confusing my perimenopause! Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Louise Please have a vitamin D test done, living in the Netherlands you won't be getting much sun to make any. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml (175-250nmol/L) and not the 30ng/ml (75nmol/L) most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although recent research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Jules can also advise you on this too. It's the most important nutrient, low in most of us. It's needed by every cell to function normally. So pleased the comments on the website have helped! Take care Wray



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