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Perimenopause and SEVERE joint pain - any one else??

Hi

I am 50 and have been in perimenopause for some time. I just wanted to post here to see if anyone else has suffered extreme joint pain as a result of fluctuating estrogen.

Quick history: regular as clockwork from the age of 13 - up to and after the two pregnancies in my thirties. Then aged 47 I started to get very heavy and irregular periods. Then I went for six months with no period at all, then two very scant light periods in quick succession. I have had nothing now for two months but I do feel as if it might happen soon as sore boobs etc.

I have never had a hot flush. I do however have lots of other peri symptoms, including insomnia, heart palpitations and skipped beats, and a strange 'rushing' or whooshing feeling which starts in the abdomen which I think is an 'adrenal' surge. I also have other vague and odd symptoms, dry eyes and inside my nose, and a really vile taste in my mouth sometimes - I mean really vile, like a chemical taste, unrelated to anything I have eaten. I also have odd tingling skin sometimes, which I can only describe as feeling like 'cold' sunburn!

However, about the joint pain. Three months ago I literally woke up one morning with a sore left arm/elbow. Over a few days, the pain then moved into my shoulders, and I got really worried as if was incredibly painful, and showed no signs of going away, it just got worse and worse. It is worse in the morning when I wake up, I am as stiff as a board. It is on my mind 24/7. Doing normal things is almost impossible - I have problems carrying shopping, drying my hair,walking the dog, driving...everything seems to hurt . I have never suffered from arthritic pain, and I went to the doctor thinking I had some awful bone disease, or even polymyalgia. I was told I had nerve pain!! The GP was terrible and made me feel like a hypochondriac and it was all in my mind. I was told I had good range of movement, and no inflammation. But I am in agony, and i am not imagining it. I made the mistake of asking Dr.Google too, which is never a good idea as I scared myself half to death. I never even thought it could be related to hormones or menopause, as the pain was just SO bad and I had never heard of joint pain being a symptom. I mean I have read than meno can be bad for some women, and I expected hot flushes etc, but I didnt realise it meant pain like this.

Anyway - for the last few weeks I have been having worsening pain which has spread from left elbow and both shoulders, into left hip, both elbows and now my knees. All my joints are cracking and popping loudly and even my husband can hear the awful grating in my neck and my knees....I sound like a one man band as I go up and down the stairs!

I went In for my three yearly Cervical smear on Monday, and could hardly get up on the examining couch I was so stiff and sore. Womans health is dealt with by the Nurse Practitioners in our large practice (15 GP's) and when the NP saw my discomfort she asked me what was wrong. It turns out she has a real interest in womens health, and has been involved in HRT trials and research for many years. She informed me that my symptoms all point to fluctuating estrogen, and possible thyroid involvement. She told me a load of stuff about estrogen and cartilage, dry mucosa etc, the details of which I can't remember now but which made so much sense when she explained it - even down to the foul taste and tingling skin I have also experienced on and off for months which are both known side effects of estrogen surge as the ovaries go a bit haywire. Asmall percentage of women are very receptive to estrogen fluctuations which involve cartilage, which mainly manifest as abnormally severe joint pain/menopausal arthritis but it is not an 'obvious' symptom of perimenopause.

I asked why the GP was no help, and she just raised her eyebrows when I told her which male GP it was, and told me to make another appointment as soon as possible with a specific GP (who must be more knowledgeable about womens health.) Going in tomorrow to see her.

I can't do HRT as I have a heart condition, but maybe I can do estrogen cream, or phytoestrogen/soy.) It could last for a long time I guess until I come out the other side !

So i have not yet been diagnosed, but it sounds like it could be caused by estrogen. Sorry this has been so long....but anyone else out there feel the same way I do???

Lesley.

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  • goldfinch

    Hi Lesley I have been reading your post and I am sorry you are having such a rough time. I have just recently 'completed' menopause ie a year without periods and have just started on Livial. I didn't want to take HRT but the hot flushes have become a problem, along with a few other issues, and I too have in the last week or two had pain in my legs when walking. It seems to be centred more on tendons and muscles rather than on joints. I have both hips replaced and they were xrayed recently and all ok. I also had a swelling come up on the middle joint of one thumb which the doc said was a Heberden's node, ie arthritis and one or two of my other fingers are showing slight signs of swelling sad((( It seems more than a coincidence that it is happening right now along with the hot flushes becoming more noticeable. I had read that sore muscles and joints can be one of the symptoms of menopause but yours seems extremely severe and I think your GP should really refer you to a rheumatologist? You mention that your thyroid may be involved. I was diagnosed as hypothyroid at 47 years (I'm now 53) and this commonly occurs around menopause as all the hormones are so closely interdependent. If that proves to be the case with you, please don't use soy products as soy is now known to inhibit thyroid function. I use Viscotears for dryness in the eyes (which I didn't suffer from when younger, and also Vagifem, a suppository for local dryness relief. If you are considering using estrogen boosters please bear in mind that you should also be replacing progesterone, ideally via a progesterone cream, otherwise you run the risk of becoming 'estrogen dominant', which is a risk factor for various problems such as female cancers. I have found progesterone extremely good for panic attacks which I started to have when I became hypothyroid. Hope this helps somewhat. Kate

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  • Fanny Jane

    Hello Lesley, sorry to hear how the menopause is affecting you. I had a terrible time with the hot flushes , muscle and joint pain for five years or so. The hot flushes have subsided at last but I still have the joint pain and severe arthritis. My body felt like it had aged 20 years in five.

    My gp told me it's very common and probably an inherited tendency as women can have very mild short term to very serious and long term menopauses. It's very individual.

    I also have had a underactive thyroid for 30 years, although not connected with the menopause it did get worse and I had to up my daily dose.

    I was unable to try HRT as I also have a heart condition but was able to use a vaginal cream for a while. I had to stop it though after about 8 months due to my system absorbing too much.

    It's a rotten thing for us to go through, who'd be a woman through choice!

    Goldfinch has given you some good advice and personally I think you need to see a rheumatologist at least and possibly and endocrinologist as well, your gp can refer you

    Good luck and hope you get some help and answers soon. Fanny Jane.

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  • Lesley998

    Hello ladies and thanks for the replies.

    Things came to a head last week, as I woke up one morning and could genuinely hardly get out of bed - I had new pains in my lower back and hips that were excrutiating. I hobbled down to the doctor appointment as mentioned and finally this lady doctor listened to me and agreed that it could be hormonal. I was given some strong pain killers - and some blood tests (at last) and I got the resuts a week later, last Friday.

    NO inflammation, no raised CPR or ESR, no rheumatoid signs... but FSH was very high and after some discussion about my cardiac issues (LBBB) the doctor started me on the HRT Prempac-C immediately. She told me it would take from a week, to up to a month to see changes, but I am really not exaggerating when I say that today, three days later - I feel SO much better. I still have the pains in all of my joints, but it feels that way when you have flu, or have had a dental abcess or something, and you know you are on the mend...the pain changes somehow, not so intense.

    Now.... I always thought I had a farly high pain threshold - but I genuinely have never felt anything like the joint pain I have been having for almost three months. It was intolerable. I really was starting to think I had some awful disease, or bone cancer. Just shows you how these hormones (or lack of them) can affect us. I didn't have a lot of other symptoms that women mention but I definitely got more than my fair share of the joint issues.

    As for the cardiac thing - I have a permanent left bundle block, after having endocarditis ten years ago. This means heart disease is something I really need to avoid, and as I know HRT can cause heart disease, I thought I could not take it. However, I could not live with the symptoms I was having , and am happy to take the risk for a couple of years until my body moves into menopause and hopefuly get used to the lack of estrogen. I dont completely understand how it works..I mean, you can't be on HRT forever, and surely when you stop it the body just starts missing it again...and joint pain will come back. But the doc did explain that after menopause, the body recognises the situation and the symptoms are not as bad as peri.

    I will continue to update on this pain and how the HRT has helped - but I hope any other woman as frightened as I was about the joint pain and joint changes can take encourangement from this that you are not going mad...it IS your hormones.

    x

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  • Fanny Jane

    Hi Lesley, just wanted to say it's good to hear some positive news for once. I hope all goes well and your joint pain settles down and when the time comes to stop the HRT you have a smooth menopause,good luck.

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  • goldfinch

    Hi Lesley at last you have some answers even if it is a disgrace how long it's taken for anyone to take you seriously! sad It's astonishing what menopause can do and I hope you can tolerate the HRT for as long as is necessary. I have made the decision myself to stop Livial after just a week as it seems to be making me depressed and exacerbating some of the aches and pains I have. So back to the drawing board, possibly going the 'natural' route or discuss other forms of hrt when I visit the menopause clinic soon. One of my enduring questions too is what happens when one stops taking hrt particularly if one has been on it for a long time. At the clinic I was assured that the body goes through the process of adaptation even whilst one is taking hrt and therefore eases the transition period but posts I have seen from many women seem to suggest otherwise. Another school of thought says that hrt is only postponing the situation and one is better off going through the changes in ones fifties rather than, say, ones sixties but that depends on how severe the symptoms are. So Lesley I think you are doing the right thing for now, after all, you can't live your life unable to get out of bed! sad(( Good luck to you from now on. kate

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  • Lesley998

    Thank you both.

    I have to say I am absolutely horrified at how clueless my male GP was - he is supposed to be the 'rheumy' expert of the practice, and yet he absolutely refused to consider any idea that my hormones could be to blame for the pain. He made me feel like a fool for even mentioning it. I pity the next lady of certain age who goes into see him and comes out feeling like a middle aged, anxious hypochondriac.

    However... I have to say, even the internet - the place where I find out most things lol - is not exactly awash with information on 'joint pain and menopause'....it can't be that common. But it happens obviously, and the GP in the next office down the corridor new it! Talk about the luck of the draw. Anyway... thank goodness I saw the NP for my smear and got the go ahead to see another GP, or I would still be in that terrible state of pain exacerbated by worry.

    I can't say I am totally happy at the thought of HRT. I really didn't think I would ever take it. I was a little smug actually, as, up until the day I was poleaxed by this pain I thought I had done quite well and had escaped any symptoms! No night sweats or flushes. But.....finding out that what I am taking is the 'urine from pregnant mares' in pill form doesn't fill me with joy either, but the way I was feeling last week, I would take a tablet made from the poo of a syphillitic warthog if it made me feel normal again. smile

    Kate - I am sorry you feel bad. Can you experiment with patches and creams? I don't know anything about HRT. I just took what was on the prescription, I don't know how the GP worked out what was best for me. As long as I dont have any side effects (probably too early to tell) I will stick to this, but I would probably prefer a patch if I had the choice.

    All I know is today, I genuinely feel like a different woman from last week.

    Best to you both and stay well x

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    • louisa24 »Lesley998

      Hi Lesley I have been reading your posts on joint pain as I am suffering same symptoms and have not had a period for about 18 months to 2 years. I have had this joint issue for over a year now and have even had to quit my job. My inflammation levels are high and they are saying it is osteoarthritis, but I am wondering if it is hormonal as nothing has helped. I was wondering if you are still on HRT and how you are doing.

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    • Lesley998 »louisa24

      Hi Louisa.  Sorry to hear you are in such pain - I do not how awful it is and I sympathise with you.  I was only on HRT for six months.  It definitely did help my joint pain for a while, which was no coincidence - my joints/tendons were bady affected by the sudden drop in hormones.  I had to come off HRT as it was giving me new migraines and visual disturbances.  The pain did come back, but not as bad...and I have to say, a couple of years on from my first post I am feeling 80% better than I did.  I still have some hip and shoulder pain, and bad cracking and stiffness in my neck, and signs of osteoporisis (loud crunching in joints)   I was very sills as a young girl and was on low fat diets for years - no milk or cheese.  Probably buggered up my calcium levels and my bones. Anyway - to conclude, I don't think the HRT did a LOT to help me, as I have been off it for over a year and feel fine.  I also had NO raised CPR or ESR, no inflammatory markers, no inflammation, heat or redness in the joints.  If your inflammatory markers are high, it does sound to me like you have something other than hormonal issues going on.  I hope you get it resolved.  x  

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    • louisa24 »Lesley998

      Hi Lesley thank you so much for your prompt reply I am going back to see my rheumatologist at the end of July as this is getting worse and pain is unbearable. I just need to be out of pain so that I can at least smile again as I am usually a very bubbly person.

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  • Fanny Jane

    Hi Lesley,

    I thought I'd drop you another line after reading your post this evening.

    It's all a bit of a lottery with the NHS these days, dear old Dr Finlay and dedicated doctors are generally a thing of the past. I have a couple of nasty conditions that I have to live with and I can assure you I've yet to meet the doctor who knows as much as me about them, a lot of other people say the same.

    As to HRT. My sister is in her second year of the HRT patch. She has a very responsible and demanding job and although aways swore she wouldn't succumb to HRT has had to. She became very low with every symptom possible when her menopause suddenly kicked in, she was 53 at the time. You may imagine how it began to affect her work performance and to an extent her home life. Within a few days of starting the HRT she was blooming again and hasn't looked back since. She just says now is more important to her than whatever may not happen in the future because she took it.

    I also have a great friend who took HRT for ten years. Her doctor then said she could no longer take it and had let her have it for longer than recommended anyway. She almost immediately went into menopausal shock. At 66 that was not funny and she begged to go back on it but wasn't allowed to.

    However the flushes/headaches/general bad feeling/hair loss did slow down after about 6 months, although I think she felt it was a great deal longer than that. She is now nearly 80 and as fit as a flea.

    Loads of my friends have tried it, no one actually had any bad reactions or became ill on it. Some gave up quickly and a few soldiered on.

    I've never had HRT and had five years of pure hell. I used to wear a tea towel round my neck at work to wipe my face with and dripped sweat onto my keyboard and very embarrassingly used to get off my seat with a wet patch on my skirt. I had to wear black all the time to try and hide it, it was that bad. Looking back I've no idea how I got through it with my creaky painful joints, bright red shiny face and hair stuck to my head. However I did, my colleagues were great and my husband even greater. I used to get through 3/4 nighties a night and slept, when I could sleep that is, on bath towels. Once it started to slow down we had to buy a new mattress and although I still have the odd flush it's all done and dusted. I'm very surprised that I still have a nice skin and look a lot younger than I am, I was expecting to be a wrinkled old prune by now.

    I wish I could have taken the HRT and would have done without hesitation- I may have got promoted earlier! I laughed out loud about the warthog bit!!It's nice to talk about it all, even nicer to know it's behind me now.

    So whatever happens, whether you stay on the HRT for years or decide to stop and face the music, I promise you one day it will all settle down, unfortunately you will find yourself catagorised in that 'older women' catagory. As I still feel about 6 inside, sometimes I have to have a second look in the mirror as the person looking back at me is someone I'm not sure I know.

    My very best wishes to you and Kate, hope all works out for you both - we old girls have to stick together x

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  • JaneFlag

    Hello Lesley,

    I have been going through peri for about 6 years now-started at 48. I don't know what my mom would have gone through with peri-menopause since she had a hysterectomy(sp) at 41 years old. I beleive she was on HRS at the time too. I was worried when I got this joint/muscle pain that I was getting the arthritis my mom has now and what my grandmother had (my mom's mom). My grandmother passed away at age 83 because she had osteoarthritis and would take aspirin constantly for the pain. She finally died of a bleeding ulcer from the aspirin.

    I work in a warehouse, where I am expected to lift over 40 lb objects and some are much more than that. I already had a documented disability with depression and when perimenopause hit, it hit the depression really hard. I am getting special accommodations on my job, but one of the core duties of my job is to be able to lift at least 40 lbs and deliver mail and packages. I have been trying to get another job, where I can just sit at a computer and get up every once in a while and stretch.

    Now the reason why I am writing is because it feels like I am not the only one out there with this joint pain. My boss was gone for a few days last week and I really had a lot of items to pick up and deliver and I did over do the lifting. I started feeling bad on a Friday and the next weekend I was hurting in my ankles, some knee pain, wrists, shoulders and lower back. I just felt awful during the next whole week. I would just come home and not really feel like eating, which a big thing for me not to be hungry, and would just lay on the couch as my whole body was just aching like when you have a cold or flu. I spent the whole next weekend on the couch. I felt better to come to work on the next Monday, but I still have the incredible soreness going. I have been experiencing my muschles getting tighter when I try to stretch as I have always try to do. I figured it was because of the lack of the hormones in my system. The OBGYN Physcian's Assistant put me on progerterone for 14 days of the month to help my mood swings (that were not helping my job situation either.)

    I called my PA about this pain and she called back and said "we never heard of this problem with anyone in perimenopaus, so go to your regular GP. They do not seem to want to deal with anything that is other than hot flashes or mood swings. As many women mentioned, some doctors or PAs think you are a basket case and crazy things other than the "normal" perimenopausal are the only things they deal with. So closed minded or they just do not have time for this, I don't know.

    I am trying to take some natural herbs and other remedies I can research, along with eating better and exercising. I have read many places where it states that the older you get, the more you should still keep active, maybe adjust activity to what you can do and not overdo it. It does hurt to move and we all get stiff from non-movement, but I still don't want to be lifting heavy packages and furniture as I have been doing since I got this job when I was 46. At 46, it was not too bad, but now I might get a not too estatic reaction to my problems with lifting items and help with getting another job. Jobs are hard to find now and my company has been trying to help me, but they just might think I am trying to get out of doing my job and not believe me even with a doctor's note, since I have gone through a lot because of the mood swings and they have been very good to me by providing some accommodations which have helped. Taking the progesterone seems to have helped the horrible crying moodswings and depression along with the anit-depressants I take. If I tell my supervisors I have this problem, they may either get angry with me or take me off the job right away instead of wait and help me get another job. In my situation I can request to have another job that I am qualified for as a non-competative candidate, but that does not mean that I will get another job. So I am between a rock and a hard place with the pain and still having to lift heavy objects everyday. I can't lose my job as my husband is disabled with a hearing loss.

    But the main idea of this web site is to see what other women are experiencing and I really appreciate what everyone has shared, it helps immensely. I will keep following everyone's responses and if I find anything that works, I will mention it also.

    Thank you all so much and I hope everyone has a better experience or finds a way to relate to it differently so that it won't be so hard. Good thoughts to all of you!

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  • debi1961

    Hello everyone

    Firstly can I offer my sincere thanks to all of you as prior to reading your blogs ( by chance while playing with my new Xmas toy) I really was getting very worried & stressed that I had some kind of major illness.

    History - like all of you I am at that age (51) when you know the menopause is around the corner so just get To get on with life I have always been good for my age , not overweight , do not smoke or drink heavily but over the past few years have developed a number of common systems - mainly night sweats , tiredness, headaches, weight gain and for about 2 years jount pain - I first approached my GP about 2 years ago when it got so bad that I was unable to move my left arm. ) I was then referred to a caropractioner whom I visited every week for a year. The systems lessened but did not go away .

    Then last year I went through a very stressful personnel trauma that resulted in living with the pain via any painkiller I could get m hands on i even started to think I was going mad as the pain was moving around my joints ( my GP 's face tells me that he thinks I am making this up) but that is not the case.

    I still have the night sweats & at present the pain isi in my right shoulder & is worse at night or if I do any exercise or even lift my arm up suddenly.

    But now I have read what you have wrote I have researched peri menopause & my symptoms of joint pain is not in my mind and is actually there I feel that I now want to see what I can do to decrease my symptoms

    1 thing at this stage I do want to pass on is ( my children think I'm mad ) is that for about a week now I have slept with a cold wet flannel wrapped around my shoulder joint - this I have then covered with a drytowel to stop the pillows getting wet and also had to hand another cold wet flannel for my head - the pain has decreased enough to allow me to sleep until the night sweats start but the cold flannel has reduced the. timespan so at least I have got some sleep.

    And no pain killers so far

    So ladies fingers crossed we can do this & thank you all so much

    Debi

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  • Lesley998

    Debi,

    Hi....what I think you have is what I have also been diagnosed with...and this is a frozen shoulder, or 'adhesive capsulitis'. There is a board here for it which I have also posted on!! I now cannot move my left arm more than a couple of inches in any direction. It is agony at night. Sudden movements cause complete agony for a moment where think I am going to pass out (I almost slipped on ice the other day, put both arms out to balance as you do and got this pain so bad I thought I was going to be sick.) Hanging up washing, drying my hair, even washing under my arms is difficult as I have such limited movement from the shoulder. I am getting physio for it, but it can take a looong time to go away. I advise you to read up on it.

    MY GP tells me it is probably because of the low estrogen and how it affects my tendons. Some women (like us) are particularly prone to tendonitis from menopause...it is more the tendons causing the pain than 'joint' pain. it is absolutely hellish. I am now on double strength hormones, and I have to say I do feel an improvement in the rest of my body, although this frozen shoulder is still very sore.

    Sending my best wishes to all who have posted...and Jane, I feel so sorry for you in a lifting job. There is NO WAY I could lift with this pain. it is all I can do to type!!

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  • karen8

    I have just been to the doctors this evening - I can't do the night sweats any more and wanted to discuss HRT. At the end of our chat I asked if she might take a look at my shoulder - totally unrelated - I thought!!! but the pain has been constant and sometimes excruciating particularly at night. She told me it was probably due to the fact that I had recently moved house with all the lifting etc, and continue taking the ibuprofen.

    She gave me this site to look at regarding information about menopause etc and I couldn't believe it when I stumbled across your comments! I thought it seemed a bit strange that the shoulder / neck pain seemed to start at around the same time as the sweating!!

    Thanks so much for the posts - it makes sense now. Will have to enlighten my GP at next appointment!

    Karen

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  • natalie2

    hi everyone... i googled joint pain and this post popped up and its given me so much advce so thank you smile ... the joint pain i've been suffering wit hhas been terrible the last few weeks first started in my shoulder and now its almost all over, the only difference i have is that im only 22, but i've been thinking since i had my son nearly 2 years ago that my hormones have been all over the place, i've been disonosed with PMS, and my monthly's are now irregular but before i had my son they were so regular i knew exacly what day i was due. i can now ask my GP about it thanks smile Natalie

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  • Lesley998

    Hi karen8

    Might be worth having a look at the 'Adhesive Capsulitis' board on this site. Just enter it into the search box in patient discussions. In there is a thread called 'Menopausal Frozen Shoulder' which will give you more info. (I tried to post direct a link but the site would'nt let me!)

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  • clare7

    Hi I'm extreamly glad I found this thread, I was diagnosed with PM when I was 38 I was put onto hrt

    And I stopped taking it a few weeks ago I'm now 42 and have the same symptoms with

    The joints as well as stomach, I also have M.E. which I have had since 1991. Which the symptoms

    With that are also the same, and I get told by doctors its just the m.e. but you know

    Your own body and this is different, I also have the hot flushes whilst u was on the

    Hrt but off it I don't,

    I am having test for lack of vitamin d, which also gives the symptoms, but reading here

    I think I'll ask my doctor about this, the doctor never really explained the menopause to me

    Just said you have it and you can't have any more children. I had to explore the internet

    For answers, still not a 100℅ sure on it all, and find myself crying a lot and feeling as if

    I'm going mad. so I'm so glad to find this is kinda normal. And also sorry

    To you all for the fact you all have to go through the same. Hope you all get well

    And the help you need. Thanks

    Clare

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  • Lesley998

    Hi Clare

    No, you are not going mad. menopause is something all women have to go through...I just wish it was more well know what absolute hell it can be for some women. So many people suffer pain and worry and their GP's do not link it to menopause. You will find your GP is either sympathetic to it...or completely dismisses any connection between joint/tendon pain and menopause/hormone fluctuations. I personally have noticed changes for the better on HRT - in other words, I am not crippled anymore - but HRT has not been a magic wand. There needs to be more research done, us ladies should not have to suffer like this and be made to feel like we are going mad. Good luck x

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  • katie13

    Thank you everyone for making me feel soooo much better, like you all, I have been having excrutiating joint pains. Difference is I was on HRT for 17 years following a hysterectomy at 38, now have been off HRT for 5 years but still hot flushing etc in fact had to give up work as symptoms so bad, and now the joint pains.First in the fingers then feet then shoulder then hip.I thought I was going mad.NSAIDS and paracetamol no help at all.

    I find the only thing that really helps is swimming. I am not a very good swimmer but in the water all pains just disappear and even the next day are better.

    I am now hoping that all will calm down when my hormones are sorted. I can not face trying any more drugs for this. I caution everyone about long term use of HRT.You are only putting off the inevitable, and for me the cold turkey is definitely worse than the early menopause I would have had.

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  • linda39

    My friend found this thread for me after doing so much research for me. It is amazing to see how many people are suffering like I am.

    Two months ago very suddenly I had awful joint pains to both of my inner elbows, after a few days the pains were in my knees but a lot worse, this also seemed to be attacking different parts of my body as in shoulders, neck, whole of legs etc. Then three weeks after it first started I was in agony with my ankles and my feet were very swollen.

    So with both my knees and ankles I was having trouble walking at times.

    I decided it was time to go to the doctor: he intially thought it was arthiritus and done blood tests, these all came back as normal. I was then sent for knee & ankle x-rays, but once again -normal.

    Further blood tests were carried out for Thyroid and Vitamin D - to which he intially said were all ok, but has since called me to say I need a vitamin D supplement.

    He suggested referring me to a rhuematologist to which I have an appointment at the end of this month.

    On reading all these messages above I have gained a great insight to my problems.

    I hadn't ruled out a virus due to the way it was attacking the whole of my body and lingering.

    But now I have more information from all you other ladies in the same situation this has really helped.

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  • katie13

    HI Linda,

    Interesting that you mention Vitamin D. I have been taking supplements of Vit D since I read research on the benefits in reducing risk of Multiple Sclerosis and how low the levels of Vit D are in British people because of the lack of sun in our climate recently. It certainly has made my nails and hair grow and made any of my SAD symptoms less severe this winter. But I wondered if taking the supplement had made my joints ache, so stopped it for a week, but no change so have started it again.

    I will be very interested to know what the rheumatologist says. I have not been to the doctor. I am a retired nurse and hope to heal myself!! ( or may be bury head in sand!?)

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  • linda39

    Hi Katie,

    Well I only started taking Vitamin D yesterday, I had to buy the 1000mg dose and he wants me to take it for 2 months.

    So in my case this would not of actually affected my joints initially as my pain has been for 2 months prior.

    Glad it did not affect your joints as it seems to be helping you somewhat!

    That was my problem I kept burying my head in the sand saying oh it'll pass, but in the end I had to give in.

    Although I did have nearly a whole week last week where I wasnt in actual pain, but it has started to creep back a little now along with the stiffness.

    Yes the rheumatologist visit will be interesting, although I am not holding out much hope!

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