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perimenopause advice?

Anybody out there have an advice on coping with the symptoms of peri-menopause - particularly the hot flashes/hot flushes/night sweats and migraine-type headaches?

I'm having at least one flash/flush per day/night cycle. Once or twice a week during a daytime hot flash I also have an anxiety/panic attack and I have a killer headache 5 days out of 7.

I'm waiting for my employer's insurance to kick in, so right now I'm not covered and doctor visits are out-of-pocket - ouch!

Any thoughts/suggestions would be great - thanks!


Fri. Nov 3, 6:00pm

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I'm right there with you Sister. I find the flashing is definitely worse with stress. I almost NEVER flash at home, mostly at work. Alcohol is definitely a trigger. I have given up my glass of red wine at dinner because I would flash as soon as I started sipping.

I made up an essential oil blend of bergamot, clary sage and lemongrass. Put it in a spritzer bottle and carry it with me. Last year it would stop the flashes dead in there track. This year it seems to only take the edge off but is still cool and refreshing.

Panic attacks are easy enough...carry Bach's Rescue Remedy with you. It's a flower essence (available at Whole Foods or Natural Grocery Stores, etc) and has been used for decades for anxiety. It can also be put in a spritzer, like the oils (just a little dab will do you for both) with water and spray your home, office, whatever. Good luck and just keep in mind, this is a normal part of life and it will pass.

Friday, November 03, 2006, 8:30 PM

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I feel for you, I've been through the symptoms you describe, and it is not fun. After LOTS of experimentation, I found a couple of things that reliably diminished my hot flashes: (a) regularly walking 30 minutes a day diminished my hot flashes after about the 3rd day, and (b) a moderately low carb diet (I followed the book Protein Power) pretty much put an end to my hot flashes -- mine seemed to be related to sugar and refined carbohydrates, and sometimes even Diet Coke.

I have not experienced migraines, but my husband does. Two different brands of feverfew herb, taken once daily, have reduced the frequency and severity of his migraines. The two brands that have reliably worked for him are Enzymatic Therapy, 100 mg per capsule, and Nature's Way Mygrafew Standardized, 600 mcg per tablet. Lately he has had trouble finding the Mygrafew, but the Enzymatic Therapy brand seems to work as well. He usually orders online at Vitaminshoppe.com. Be particular about the brand you buy -- some brands seem to do nothing.

Good luck, and hang in there!

Friday, November 03, 2006, 8:32 PM

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I agree with the advice of the above poster-diet and exercise can really help. I would also add the following-

50 mg of B-6, taken several times a day (if you are deficient, your liver cannot break down excess estrogen that builds up. Make sure you are taking a multi also-you don't want your B vits out of balance)
Either increase omega 3's in your diet, or take Omega-3 supplement (a blend of flax/borage/black currant oils is good-there is a women's blend found in health food stores)
Magnesium (chelated form, glycinate is best) at night (400 mg)

These supplements made a big difference for me.

Friday, November 03, 2006, 10:00 PM

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let's not forget black cohosh for hot flashes. my hot flashes come and go cyclically-they do end after a few/several days.
stay away from hot drinks as they will trigger sweats/flashes during the day especially the days you are most prone to flashes.
i keep a small fan on my desk at work to switch on as needed and wear layers you can tear off in an instant. ;-)
good luck

Saturday, November 04, 2006, 11:22 AM

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Great thread, thanks for starting it.
Also, any advice for sleeping problems caused by perimenopause?

Saturday, November 04, 2006, 3:35 PM

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OP here - Thanks for the info. I know that this is a natural and normal process, but I'm really young (34) so I don't have any of my peers who are going thru with me.

I already follow a pretty reasonable diet - lacto-ova-vegetarian and get an hour of exercise at least 5 days a week. I learned about layering clothes pretty quickly when I started getting flashes regularly. I have to do the same thing with sheets and blankets too.

To the previous poster: I wish I could help with the sleep problems. I've got them too. I can't seem to wind my brain down or I got to bed at a reasonable hour only to find myself wide awake for hours in the middle of the night or I get plenty (7-8 hours) of sleep only to wake up exhausted.

Monday, November 06, 2006, 3:30 PM

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I'm the 3:35 poster (sleep problems).
I usually fall asleep in a reasonable period of time but then i wake up 5-6 hours later and it will usually take me 2 hours to fall back to sleep. the problem is if I go to bed at 11:30 I wake up at 5:30 and after an hour of tossing and turning -- at 6:30 -- I give up and get up. And then I'm tired all day. On the weekend, when I don't have to start getting up I'll usually fall back to sleep.
Grrrrrr... or maybe Yawn! would be a better expression.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006, 3:31 PM

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