Menopause & Sex Hormones in CFS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by jasminetee, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    I was reading the following and wanted to share it with the board as it may give others some insight into what's going on with them. My symptoms are worse than ever but one thing that gives me hope is that maybe I'll start to feel better again after I go through the changes from meno and my hormones mellow out again. If you're around this age and female there could be hope for you too.

    "Why women get this disease more than men – is an important one that’s hardly been touched on. Dr. Boneva wanted to know if women with chronic fatigue syndrome differ gynecologically from healthy women. Since the disease peaks at about 45 in women – just as they’re entering menopause – it’s possible that hormonal changes help to trigger it.

    There’s much ado about ‘stress’ triggers in this disease but If ME/CFS was the result of accumulative stresses building up over time it should become more prevalent the older we get. Instead it peaks in women at just the time their hormonal systems are undergoing a massive change. Throw in Dr. Moorkens' finding that pregnancy kicks off the disease in a significant percentage of women and you have to start looking closely at the sex hormones. In fact an earlier study suggested that estrogen availability may be different in women with this disorder. Were estrogen levels different in the women in this study? If the CDC knew, they weren’t telling yet; according to the abstract the CDC did measure sex hormone levels in this group but that finding did not show up in this report.

    This study found several gynecological abnormalities in women with ME/CFS: they entered menopause about five years earlier, more of them had had their ovaries removed and they were more likely to have had a hysterectomy."
  2. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I know that my levels of estrogen and testosterone are so low, they could not find ANY in my blood, and I am also very low in several other hormones.....I am still in my 30's, though
  3. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    >>>they entered menopause about five years earlier, more of them had had their ovaries removed and they were more likely to have had a hysterectomy<<<

    None of the above applies to me, however, I have found since going on Progesterone Cream (10%) that I sleep through the night without waking up. I have always blamed that on CFS, however, I am now wondering if that wasn't more of a hormonal issue. I now sleep like I did back when I was in my 20s. However, I do not wake up feeling refreshed like I did back then. I've only been using the cream for two weeks so it will be interesting to see if I notice any other changes.
  4. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    AuntTammie- When I was 35 I saw a CFS Specialist, Dr. Rosenburg, who said that my hormones had all crashed. That was when I entered perimeno. You may be interested in looking into that online, is a great source.

    Tigerlilea- Some women find that Progesterone Cream really helps them so hopefully it will help you. There are others who say they feel it gave them more anxiety and made them gain more weight on their bellies.

    Btw, you make kefir right? Do I need an airtight glass container to ferment it?
  5. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    It depends on whether you are using grains or freeze-dried starter kits and also on the weather. For grains, if it is cold then I usually tighten up the lid a bit, however, when it is really warm you want to put the lid on loosely. You have to remember that the milk is fermenting and when it is really warm the lid can actually blow off of the jars. For the freeze-dried starter kits you won't get the same kind of fermenting action.

  6. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    The kefir I'm making is from freeze-dried and it just says to cover it. We don't have jars to ferment it in. Do you think I can try fermenting it in a casserole dish with the cover on?
  7. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    That should work. Just never use anything metal as some metals will stop the kefir from fermenting. Also, if your water is chlorinated, be sure to dry everything well so that you don't get chlorine onto the kefir.
  8. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    I'm reading that metal is not ok. It seems that I have to store it in an airtight jar though is that correct? If so, pouring back in the rinsed out glass milk bottle with the plastic lid is a bad plan right?
  9. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    thanks for the info....I probably should read more about it

    even though there are about a million reasons why it would be a really bad idea for me to have kids & lots of reasons why I probably could not have them even if I wanted to try (ME/CFS being the most obvious one), I have been still clinging to the idea that all hope is not gone on that front and my age has been one reason that I have been able to maintain that bit of denial

    so thanks a lot for destroying my hope! ; ) yeah, I am kidding about the last part of that - I do appreciate the info
  10. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    I know exactly how you feel. I love kids and not having them was a choice made for me as I sprained my back on my Honeymoon and from there developed severe FMS, my mild CFS became severe and I went into perimenopause.

    But you should know that you will still be fertile during Perimenopause so it doesn't really destroy your chances of having kids. Perimenopause is not experienced by all women but is a common problem for women who are chronically ill or just have unlucky genes. It causes about 34 symptoms, many of which are similar to FMS and CFS but concentrates more often on hot flashes, and mood problems like rage and anxiety. Basically it can be like having PMS 24/7 especially as you get closer to meno. It has been that way for me but other women just sail right through this time in their lives.

    Just reading about it and reading the message board at Power Surge helps me a great deal even though I cannot take hormones. Although I do use some otc Progesterone Cream.

    I went through a long period of mourning about not being able to have kids but I am now at peace with it.

    With perimeno you can have regular periods and then your cycle may start changing before you go into menopause which for me seems to have just started at age 45 but it's different for every woman.

    [This Message was Edited on 10/11/2009]
  11. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    The jar doesn't have to be airtight. In really hot weather I only have cheese cloth covering my jars to keep the fruit flies out. The glass milk bottle should be okay.
  12. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    Well, I'm turning forty this week. I've got fibroids and they found I have one embedded in my uterine wall. I was told they absolutely cannot remove it unless they take out the uterus. And I said NO. Even though it has caused me to bleed out twice severely for weeks at a time. I've gone the birth control pill route.

    I'm into my second pack on the pills, so far, they are NOT doing anything for my energy or pain. And they are blowing me up with fluid. In fact, I'm more fatigued than ever and actually getting depression. But I think it's also related to the Levothyroxine thyroid hormone I'm on.

    I have heard that after menopause, some women said they went into remission. I have no clue.
  13. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    What serendipity that you just happened to be on when I was looking at making the kefir. Thank you for your help. We decided to just go ahead and buy jars after all if we can find them as they're good to have for other things and should make storing and pouring the kefir a lot easier and I like how you can leave the lids up a ways while fermenting.

    Can something please go right for you? This is so unfair! I'm really sorry to hear your news. I have read that the BCP can be hell for some women. A lot of women at Power Surge are on or have tried them for perimeno. My prayers go out to you.

    Hugs All,

    [This Message was Edited on 10/11/2009]
  14. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I'm sorry that you have had to deal with this, too. I am not even married, and I would not have a child alone......and with my current state of health, not to mention the fears of passing this along, it would not be at all fair to a child for me to be its parent, either....and money is a huge issue, I said, lots of reasons why it probably is just not going to happen, but having children is something I have wanted as long as I can remember, and it kills me to give up on that

    I do have 3 beautiful & precious nieces, although they are too far away so I rarely get to see them

    still it is nice to know that you understand, and I do truly appreciate the info you have shared re perimenopause....I already went to the site and bookmarked it, too

  15. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    I so understand what you're feeling and thank you for supporting me too. You have us here and we can help you get through this if you find the going rough. I think your age is a very tough one for women with CFS and/or FMS. Come into Chat too, it's usually a nice place for support and friendship.

    I do have to say that I'm grateful I didn't have children because my health really took a dive this last decade and I would be feeling non-stop guilt I am sure about my lack of.... everything.

    One saying that helped me get through that mourning time was "Let Go and Let God." And you never know, life may have surprises in store for you that you weren't expecting or that don't seem feasible right now.


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