• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About Kathy

  • Rank
  • Birthday 01/23/1959

Previous Fields

  • Your age 45
  • Location New York, NY

Contact Methods

  • Website URL http://
  • ICQ 0
  1. PMS Symptoms?

    Hey Wine! Yuppers, this isn't uncommon at all. Fun, eh? It's all part of the whole phantom period thing we can get -- sometimes you get cramps and the whole nine yards; other times just the emo stuff. It's truly amazing how much our bodies cling to routine! Side note: Great that you've been feeling good and coping well!!! Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com
  2. Strange reaction...

    Hey Bet! First off, YAY!! The fact that you're feeling great....that is great!!! I didn't stop HRT and have things improve, but I did cut DOWN on estrogen and have things improve. (Granted, later on, I cut down more and things got worse, so I bumped up a bit...but that's another story!!) Frankly, it's tough to say what is what, but I tend to think (as did my old doctor who was Ms. Hormone Specialist) that what matters most is how you feel...and if you feel good, then stick with whatever you're on. Or NOT on, in your case. In other words: If being OFF estrogen makes you feel good, then why not stay off it...and see what happens? Nothing is irrevocable. You could always go back on HRT if you feel the need. The only caveat: Do be sure to keep taking calcium etc. to keep those bones strong, especially if you're not taking estrogen! Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com
  3. I don't know how many of you have been aware of this via your virus software or such, but apparently the EM.com message board has been hacked. We're trying (DESPERATELY TRYING!!) to get things back to normal here... but in the meantime: KEEP YOUR VIRUS SOFTWARE ON WHENEVER YOU VISIT HERE!! And KEEP IT UPDATED! We apparently have been hacked by a Russian website that tries to redirect. I frankly don't know what they achieve by this, but...well, it's happening! So far, all my attempts at fixing this have not worked. But I'm still trying!!! As long as you've got your protection there, there oughtn't be any problems. (But man, does this make me mad...) Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com
  4. BLOOD:RH _negative'-

    Interesting! I'm Rh negative. Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com
  5. Hey ho Rene -- VERY late here (Duh!), but you poor thing! All I can do at this point is to let you now that when I tried my short-lived attempt to go down to .0375 about 6 months ago, I went BATTY. I wasn't aware of it, but both my hub and bro noticed that I was getting very nuts and more than a little unpleasant to be around!! Bottom line: I was back where I was before hormones. (EEEK! A horror film!!) The strange thing is that when I did the attempt to drop down in dosage, I felt...odd. I didn't get flashes and such as in the past, but I definitely felt like I couldn't cope. I think that's the only way to put it. I felt....unable to deal. EEEK.. Needless to say, after my month-long experiment I went back to the .05 patch and haven't looked back! (And my husband thanks me! LOL!) Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com
  6. trying to cope

    Ally and Toppy -- Sorry for this late response, but I just saw this post and wanted to say hi to you both. Top -- wow, you are such an amazing person! You were just diagnosed and you're able to write such a supportive and helpful post? I am so impressed with you!!! And Ally: PLEASE don't feel old!! (Yeah, easier said than done, huh?!?!) When you hear about your hormones going all wonky, the immediate reaction is: Me? OLD HAG! (Or crone. Or...well, you get the drift! LOL!) You are NOT OLD though!!!! This isn't the easiest diagnosis to deal with (major understatement!), but it IS something we can deal with -- especially with the help from other women who are going through it or have gone through it. So...I'm glad you're both here! Honestly, talking with others who truly understand can help you sooo much.... It might sound cliched, but it's very true. We are so much more than simple baby-making machines. Yes, our ovaries might not be what they "should" be at our age....but screw that! We're still incredible women!!! I know you guys are, just based upon your posts. So there!! Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com
  7. Swelling in the legs?

    Hey Red! I just saw this, and had to reply. I get those tight calves myself -- super tight, actually -- often. I mentioned them to my PCP and he thought it was just me sitting too long at the computer (diuh!) and eating too much salt. Honestly, I haven't a clue whether he's right or not -- all I can tell you is that I do make a point of NOT sitting in front of the computer for lengthy periods w/out getting up and walking a tiny bit and it has helped. I did not TOUCH my HRT! God forbid!!! I got the right combo, no way I'm playing with that! LOL! Not that I'm saying I'm doing the right thing here....! Kathy Host, Earlky Menopause.com
  8. Hey there Simona! First off, so sorry you have to be among us. Second off (? Hmm...that doesn't sound right!), if you HAD to be here, I'm glad you found us as the women here are totally wonderful. And third, you've got a great attitude, kiddo! This IS a rotten thing to deal with, but it IS dealable. And damn the taboos! The key is TALKING about it -- with others, like everyone else here does!! (As you might imagine, I feel very strongly about this!!) Me? From day 1, I was Ms. Blabbermouth about going through this! (Let me tell ya, this got to be more than a little boring for friends and family! LOL!) Anyhoo....you asked about FSH and temporary meno? Yes, temporary meno can and does happen -- but it's not terribly common. More often than not, once one's FSH levels are in the post-meno range, they stay there. Yes, they can get somewhat lower and, yes, they can even slip into NON-meno ranges. But the usual rule of thumb is the ol' "once you're there, you're there." Again, I'm not saying that it isn't possible to get out of this. There are a number of women on the board who had high FSH, no periods, then -- whammo! -- got pregnant on their own (no IVF or whatev). That's the very strange thing about premature ovarian failure -- it's not necessarily a "this is the end" thing. Yes, it usually is...but it's not an always thing. That said -- as negative as it sounds, chances are once you've gotten that high FSH reading coupled with skipped and/or changed periods, chances are it's EM or POF. Stinks, doesn't it? But it IS dealable! REALLY, it is! I not only speak for myself but for the thousands of other women who have passed through here. And just judging from your very eloquent post? I am convinced you can deal with this in a really positive way! Hang in! Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com P.S. I absolutely adore your phoenix metaphor!!!
  9. dexa scan

    Good for you, Vicki!! I'm w/ Colie in that it's easy as pie. (But why pie is easy escapes me....!) And she described it perfectly -- you just lie there and zip zip zip, you're scanned! But -- again dittoing Colie -- you are best off not just getting your wrist scanned. The best choice is to get your wrist/forearm AND your spine AND your pelvis (the femoral neck) done. You can have normal density in one area and not in another, so it's best to get the major areas done. (For example, my forearm was fab, but my pelvis showed bone loss...) Hope this helped! Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com
  10. What is the BLOATING from??

    Hey Colie! Oh, you poor thing! The bloating sucks the big wazoo, doesn't it? It's one of the most irritating -- and confusing -- aspects of EM/POF as far as I'm concerned. And it's definitely one that plagues me from time to time and drives me totally bonko. The problem? The bloating can be due to: too much estrogen; too LITTLE estrogen; too much progesterone; too LITTLE progesterone. Clear as mud, huh??!?! (Yeah, I thought I really cleared things up!!! LOL!) See...the prob is that we do tend to put on weight in our midsections when our estrogen levels are low....theoretically because our androgen (male hormone) levels rise in ratio to the lower estrogen. In other words, our androgen levels don't actually rise, but the proportion rises in relation to our dropping estrogen. The result: we pack on "apple" pounds more like men do, as opposed to the ol' female "pear" thing. So that's one reason for weight gain/looking fatter. BUT....there's also the ol' water weight bloating lovely thingie that might be happening -- which can be a side effect of estrogen. Sometimes when you're getting too much estrogen (or if your estrogen levels are high in relation to progesterone -- which might be your case, if you're waiting on the progesterone part of your cycle), your body gets a little.....larger. On the plus side, if this is the case: when you take your progesterone, this goes blessedly away! OR you can cut back on your estrogen to see if that's the culprit. AND...there's also the bloating some women (I'm one of them...) get from progesterone. Actually, it's more common with Provera, the progestin, but it's not uncommon w/ natural progesterone like Prometrium as well (in spite of all the press that natural progesterone gets!). This is one of the reasons I switched to vaginal -- I was a water retaining blob on oral Prometrium! Okay. So I'm running on and on and not giving you a straight answer...primarily because there ISN'T a straight answer. (Dammit!) Honestly, your best bet is to just kinda figure out when your body went bloaticious. Keep track of it -- does it get better when you go on Prometrium? Does it stay bloated? Etc. Since either estrogen OR progesterone could be the culprit, you have to be a detective of sorts. On the plus side, I'm sure you'll figure it out! (Isn't this just SUCH fun?!?!) Hang in! Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com
  11. Prometrium Experiences?

    Hey Red! I'm not Colie (well, duh!), but figured I'd chime in here since I use Prometrium vaginally myself. I used to use Crinone (aka Prochieve) -- the vaginal progesterone gel -- and absolutely adored it (never had a moment's trouble w/ it) -- so when I had to switch to Prometrium due to insurance nonsense, I was more than a little ticked off. I initially did take Prometrium orally, but wasn't nuts about it that way. No huge problems, but definitely noticed more bloating (just what I wanted?!?! LOL!) and such. To quote Laser, "Damn Prometrium!" Anyhoo, on my own, I decided to switch to vaginal -- and what a difference! The bloat vanished and I felt a ton better! Re the seepage: I use it at night and, honestly, don't see a lot of discharge. Yup, there IS a little (gotta be honest here!), but it's not that bad at all -- and it's usually mainly when I first get up in the AM, so once I've showered and dressed, it's a non-issue. As for applicator -- I just use my finger (charming, no?) ALso -- as I'm on a continuous regimen (Vivelle patch, plus 100 mg Prometrium daily), I just use the 100 mg Prom. just as I would if I were taking it orally...i.e. daily. I'd think that you could well do as you thought -- that is, take it orally for 5-6 days, then switch over. Where's the harm, as you're still getting the progesterone? As for the dosage? Hmm...that's a bit of a toughie, seems to me. Even though ostensibly the vagina delivery provides more (theoretically!) to your uterus, frankly, I'd stick w/ the 200 mg if you're on cyclical just to be sure. OR...you could just try the lower dose to see if you still get the usual bleed. Getting the lining shed is really the key -- the dosages are merely the standard dosages that have been proven to provide the results. So...if you try 100 mg and it works, then...it works! Hope this helps a teeny bit! Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com
  12. Nausea and Headaches?

    Hey ho Wineshop! (Love the name!) I AM on HRT but, like you, also love natural remedies. (Explanatory note: I tried to do the non-HRT route initially, but it did NOT work for me -- to the tune of MEGA symptoms and more bone density loss!! ::sigh:: But natural DOES work for some!!! Just not me...) Anyhoo...where nausea is concerned, have you tried ginger? (I assume you have since you know your stufff!) The other thing that occurs to me (and I might be totally bonko.,..): One gets nausea when when is preg -- which is when one's progesterone level is higher in relation to other hormones. Soo...could this be a weird "estro-progesto" balance problem? I know I'm reaching here...but it seems damn plausible to me. Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com
  13. Really confused

    Hi Sherrell! Of course your head is spinning. Even if you've thought there's something going on, it's a very different thing to have a doctor confirm that there's something amiss...and that the "something" is EM or POF. It's a toughie, no question about it, and I doubt there's any way to really be prepared for it. That said, you're doing all the right things by doing research, asking questions and so forth. This is defintely one case where knowledge is power -- so more power to you! What questions to ask? Hmm.... Frankly, I'm not a Prempro fan, although there are many, many women who take it and love it. As far as I'm concerned, though, the main problem is that neither hormone in Prempro -- the estrogen and the progestin -- are the same as our bodies make, so you're taking something that is just approximating the hormones, not literally replacing it as other forms of HRT can. So, personally, I'd ask about other options in terms of HRT. For example, any of the estrogen patches are bioidentical estrogen. On the progesterone side, you can take Prometrium, or compounded progesterone. And speaking of patches -- if you're a smoker (as I was until just this past December!), DEFINITELY consider a patch versus oral estrogen. When you smoke, your liver is doing one helluva job dealing with all the toxins from cigarettes, so it doesn't do as good a job metabolizing the estrogen orally (since oral meds. go through the liver on the first pass). Patches deliever the estrogen right into the blood stream, so tend to work much better for smokers. As for the "should smokers be on HRT" -- naturally, as a recently former smoker, this is a topic near and dear to me. And, as you'd expect, theres a lot of debate about it. Many doctors will say if you smoke, no no no to hormones. But many OTHER doctors will say it's okay. The one thing most agree upon is that the normal heavy-duty bcps are NOT a good choice for smokers! (It's higher dose, a different form of estrogen)/ HRT though seems to be a difft. story. This is one area I researched for personal reasons -- and, for me, at least, I came to the point where I felt that HRT was a good choice for me. Re the smoking, as I mentioned yesterday to Trish, a key point is that smoking depletes estrogen....so it's even more important to replace it. Hmm...honestly, there are probably about 109 questions that are good to ask your RE, but I am soo tired right now...they elude me! I'd bet, though, that some other women will come along w/ brilliant comments (questions and answers!) In the meantime, hang in!! Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com
  14. Hi Trishy! Adding my welcome as well! You've already gotten fab input from the other women, so I'm pretty much just chiming in to agree with everything they said! Re the smoking: I hear you on that one since I'm a former smoker and was smoking both when diagnosed AND for quite a while on hormones. Some doctors will say you absolutely must quit if you want to go on hormones. And, frankly, while quitting really is a good idea (well, duh!), smoking definitely does NOT mean you can't go on hormones. In fact, smokers are even more in need of estrogen than non-smokers, since smoking depletes estrogen. So don't think that being a smoker means you should avoid HRT. It's not the same as birth control pills and smoking. One caveat, though: If you're smoking, it's best to opt for a patch form of estrogen rather than an oral form since smokers tend not to metabolize oral estrogen as well. (Presumably this is because your liver is already hard at work dealing w/ the toxins from cigs...) Also, while hormones tend to be highly recommended because we who go through menopause early are facing years of low estrogen -- which isn't the norm, as Nellie pointed out many women DO handle EM and POF w/out hormones, but w/ natural remedies instead. So you do have options. It's a very individual choice -- and you can and should take your time to figure out how you want to proceed. On the whole, the main reason hormones are recommended for young women dealing with this is the host of problems that can arise from having low estrogen levels prior to the "usual" age of meno (i.e. age 50). Bone loss, changes in elasticity of arteries, etc. are the biggies. Where bones are concerned, definitely think about starting to take calcium and Vit. D. at the least. It sure can't hurt and can make a big difference to bone health. And I'm w/ Scout -- it's def. not a bad idea to get a bone density test just to get an idea of how your bones are now....which can help you decide what to do in the longer term. But I'm going on and on and on. I chiefly just wanted to say welcome! I wish you weren't going through this, but I'm glad you've found all the wonderful women here for help! Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com
  15. VERY interesting info there, Prudence! Thanks! And Colie -- actually, bone loss (as in osteopenia or osteoporosis) doesn't hurt -- one of the reasons it's called a silent problem -- so joint pain typically isn't associated w/ it. BUT (hey, there's ALWAYS a but -- as in pain the butt!) when it comes to EM/POF -- there IS often pain w/ arthritis and the like -- and joint pain is sometimes one of the symptoms of lower estrogen levels. (Let's just face it. At this rate, nearly EVERYTHING is associated w/ lower eatrogen levels. ARRGH!) Seriously, though -- joint pain isn 't uncommon w/ low hormone levels. Maybe it's part of the lower collagen production issue? Personally, for joint pain (although I'm this old middle-aged hag now so a lot of my pain is plain ol' age!), I'm having great success w/ glucosamine/chondrotin/MSM -- and when I don't take it, MAN, do I realize that I haven't! Might be worth trying? It can 't hoit! Kathy Host, Early Menopause.com