CFS and Menopause

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by TigerLilea, May 18, 2013.

  1. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Member

    I'd be interested in hearing from those of you who have gone through, or are going through, menopause. Did meno slam you, or did you have a fairly easy time going through it? I'm 20 months post now, and the fatigue has just been unbearable. In my 20 plus years of having CFS, I've never felt the need to nap, but since menopause came a calling, I find many afternoons I end up napping for an hour or two. And most nights I am crashed out on the couch by about 8 p.m. and a lot of the time fall asleep watching TV. I was never like this before meno. Oh, and did I mention the snoring?? :mad: I don't know anymore how much of what I feel is CFS, and how much of it is meno.
  2. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Member

    Unfortunately hormones aren't available over the counter here in Canada. There are several products that I would like to try but it isn't possible. :(
  3. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Member

    Jamin, my CFS started after a really bad tooth infection and a cold that would not go away. I have no reason to believe that it is my thyroid that is the problem. Also, when I look at the list of thyroid symptoms, I don't fall into either category for hyper or hypo.
  4. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Member

    I used progesterone cream for three months and felt great while I was using it. However, it turns out my doctor had prescribed too high a dose and then I went from feeling great to having a chronic headache and sleeping 12 hours at night and wanting to sleep all day. Even after taking a break from it, it just never worked the same again.

    Lydia, how long did it take you before you started to feel "normal" once again?
  5. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Member

    Thanks, Julie. Yeah, I think time is probably going to be the answer. I'm impatient - I want my life back now, not a couple of years from now. I feel like I have wasted enough of my life already with CFS, so to be even more wiped out and less able to do things than before just seems hard to take at times. :(
  6. Ronaldo60

    Ronaldo60 Member

    Hi there--as Drs. Baschetti, Teitelbaum, Doyle, Cleare, and Jefferies have pointed out, disruption of our HPA-axis from various stresses, viruses, etc., often leads to a deficiency of the "good" stress-hormone, cortisol, or its receptors. Have you checked your CFS-symptoms alongside those of "cortisol deficiency" lately? Is it a coincidence that 4x as many women have CFS? How can stress-hormones NOT be at the root of many CFS cases?
  7. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Member

    I've had my cortisol levels checked several times over the years. They always come back in the "normal" range.
  8. Ronaldo60

    Ronaldo60 Member

    Hi again,
    The late, great Dr. Jefferies would have probably put you on a two-week trial of low-dose cortisol anyway, despite your "normal" reading. Cortisol receptors might be "burned-out" from chronic activation, so trying a tiny daily dose of prednisone (2.5 mg.) would be my suggestion. If your symptoms include those of inflammation (muscle/joint pain, stiffness) as well as IBS . . .also those of hypoglycemia (fatigue, brain-fog, maybe tachycardia, etc.), what else could explain it all? Not sure exactly what your symptoms are, or some of the current CFS lists of symptoms, but in the old days these symptoms where on most lists and I had them all, including NO SLEEP for literally years. Low-dose prednisone was my accidental cure after being sick for 7 years with no relief in sight and getting progressively worse!
  9. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I am 52 and still going thru perimenopause...have had irregular periods for over 2 yrs now. Longest I went without one was 8 months, and then every 3 mos or so. My last one was in December, hope it was my last!

    I definitely think my FM/CFS/Depr has been worsened by my wacky hormone levels. I've tried Progesterone Cream which helped w sore breasts... but then, after a few months on it, I had a saliva hormone panel done and my Progesterone level was way too high. So, no longer on it. I've had more and more hot flashes over the past 4 months or so...my GYN suggested taking "Remifemin" (an OTC special Black Cohosh blend) and it really helps. My sister also swears by it. I tried a regular black cohosh supplement, but it didn't work.

    I had a headache everyday for many months until recently when I discovered a Butterbur/Feverfew blend. I take 2 capsules a day and rarely have a headache now. If I skip a day or two, my headache comes right back.

    I've had all the tests done, hormones, cortisol, DHEA, thyroid, etc....mostly all normal. I did try low dose T3 and T4 for a short time, but it didn't agree w my sensitive system. I do take Prozac, Trazodone, Ativan and Flexeril as needed. My pain levels are pretty bad lately, lots of leg and foot pain.
  10. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    I must warn anyone who is thinking of taking cortisol or its analogues such as prednisone as has been suggested by some on this forum.
    If you suffer from depression or have suffered from depression, then you must not take cortisol or its analogues.
    Cortisol may reduce your serotonin and melatonin levels and increase or trigger a depressive episode.

    I also urge you to read the article by Michael Maes reinforcing the evidence that serotonin metabolism is seriously dysregulated in at least 65% of ME/CFS and in nearly all people with FMS. With such dysregualtion it would be very risky to take steroids, as I have said many times before.

    Before you take any steroids, read all the literature on the interaction between steroids (cortisol) and serotonin (5-HT) and Melatonin.

    In addition, much has been made of the hormonal differences in women. This does not mean that taking another hormone, such as cortisol will help. That makes NO sense at all.

    The following statements are nonesense or just have no evidence to support them:

    "Cortisol receptors might be "burned-out" from chronic activation"

    "disruption of our HPA-axis from various stresses, viruses, etc., often leads to a deficiency of the "good" stress-hormone, cortisol, or its receptors"
    TigerLilea and bct like this.
  11. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Member

    Ian, I am in total agreement with you. I think too many people unnecessarily use thyroid meds, cortisol, and OTC hormones unaware of the possible damage they may be doing to their bodies down the road. These are all meds that you don't want to be using unless absolutely necessary.
    bct likes this.
  12. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Member

    I started taking an herbal med that contained Black Cohosh, however, about a week later I was diagnosed with dry eyes and my eye doc wanted me to start taking a large dose of fish oil each day, and unfortunately I can't take that along with the Black Cohosh.
  13. Ronaldo60

    Ronaldo60 Member

    Hi again for my final attempt,
    I would simply urge you to get a copy of the medical textbook, "Safe Uses of Cortisol" by the late endocrinologist William Jefferies who was treating CFS for decades before it morphed into all these other entities like FM, ME, & whatever's-coming next. What I've seen on this forum is all the same avoidance of the stress-hormone connection to this illness and the misguided prejudice against supplementing with "dangerous steroids" (regardless of the dosage), and ignoring the fact that our own bodies produce these "dangerous steroids" and that one in particular, cortisol, is so beneficial. Folks around here will continue with all kinds of theoretical discussions, endless detours into areas having nothing to do with CFS, and show special interest in all manner of herbs, vitamins, and talk-therapies. Meanwhile, how many cases of actual CFS are being helped or cured? The several noted doctors I've mentioned continue Dr. Jefferies' work with the CFS-cortisol connection, and I've tried to share my own recovery-experience with the hope of helping others. All the self-styled "experts" out there can keep expounding while avoiding the whole field of endocrinology, so good luck to you....I'm done!
  14. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Member

    My doctor has flat out refused to prescribe cortisol or thyroid meds based on test results and lack of symptoms. My previous doctor talked to an endocrinologist about seeing me and starting me on these meds for CFS. She refused to even see me, let alone prescribe, as my blood work indicated that everything was good. I have looked at symptom lists for low cortisol and I don't fit the description.

    One more point I'd like to add. I find it dangerous when people take the word of one doctor as gospel. When, after many years, mainstream medicine still hasn't adopted these ideas, one would have to think it is because there is no scientific proof of its validity.
  15. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    Ronaldo60,
    Do you know what a glucocorticoid receptor is? Do you know where they are and what they do?
    Read up on it then come back and tell us again that the "receptors are burnt out".
    Tigerlilea is right, there is no research telling us that glucocorticoids will help ME/CFS significantly. The evidence you have produced is from a clinician who has not researched this properly at all. It does not explain the symptoms and certainly does not explain Dr. Maes' results or Prof. Marshall-Gradisniks results - very significant researchers.
  16. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    After getting my saliva test back about a month ago and the results were that cortisol spiked at least 2 times when it shouldn't, I certainly would think that I would be jammed full of energy. Not so.
  17. Soul*

    Soul* Active Member

    Hormones definitely mess with CFS for me. I feel so much worse around the monthly joy... Taking hormonal medication only makes things even worse for me so I stopped all of that. I am wondering if I am in pre menno pause too since I haven't been able to recover from the flare I got in in april and I have had way more hormonal type symptoms throughout the month and periods are getting more irregular though for me I'm just getting more instead of less...