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Hot and Sweaty Mess

AT 51, I HAD MY HORMONES TESTED TO SEE IF I WAS PAST PRE-MENOPAUSAL TO FULL CRONE STATUS. THE RESULTS CAME IN WITH A RESOUNDING YES!

 
For women are over 50, clothes that make you think you look confident and secure can be a double-edged sword. I am now finding myself trapped in the vortex of fashion dilemmas. At 51, I had my hormones tested to see if I was past pre-menopausal to full crone status. The results came in with a resounding YES! So, off the birth control pill to find myself racing into immediate hot flashes.
I was sitting at my stepson’s engagement dinner party, ripping my pullover on and off at the table a million times—of course, I had a tank top underneath. I’d start sweating, so I’d rip the sweater off right at the table. Then, a few minutes later, I’d be chilled to the bone. You guessed it: I flipped the sweater right back on. The following week, I called and scheduled an appointment for HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy).
I was placed on a low dose for a year, and it was such a relief from the sweating. However, towards the end of the first year, I blew up. I gained 15 pounds right away. I couldn’t lose weight with exercise or by changing my eating habits. So what was the cause of the extreme weight gain? I had my thyroid checked and I was diagnosed with a slight case of hypothyroidism.
I thought, Oh, that’s it! I started taking medication to even out my levels, and with exercise, I should be back down to my fashion-fighting weight in no time, right? Wrong. I was still bloated like a blood-drunk tick! So I went back to my endocrinologist and she said my numbers were down. She even lowered my dosage. Okay, now what is making me all bloated and uncomfortable? I researched my HRT treatment and I read the estrogen side effects and found nothing. Next, I read up on progesterone side effects, and there were several, but the last one read RAPID WEIGHT GAIN! I
immediately called my doctor to help me wean myself off. Now that I am fully off HRT, the hot flashes are back with a vengeance, weight loss is barely happening, and the sweater on-off dance is back on the front stage. How do you deal with the spontaneous combustion of menopause?
Do you go the HRT route or bioidentical? Do you use over-the-counter medicine or an all-holistic route, such as changing your diet and taking herbal supplements such as black cohosh?

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