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Hormone question Hormone question

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Unread 12-07-2007, 12:13 PM
Hormone question

How do the doctors determine what hormones, if any, are needed after surgery? Why are some only given estrogen while others need a combination of hormones?
Is this guess work based upon the doctors experience, or are labs drawn, or is it dependent upon symptoms?
Any sisters in the know or anyone more medically astute to direct me to the proper knowledge base?

TAH/BSO ... pending probable HRT
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Unread 12-07-2007, 01:26 PM
Hormone question

I am not sure but I believe age and the onset of menopause has something to do with it.

I was in the beginning stages of menopause before surgery so I am on a very low dose estrogen patch. He said probably for only a couple of years at the most.
Unread 12-07-2007, 01:57 PM
Hormone question

My doctor went on my symptoms and case history. I was having hot flashes and bad insomnia but because of endometriosis he didn't want to start me on estrogen for six months. So he had me try progestin to see how that would work for my symptoms until he thought it was "safe" to start the estrogen. Then he took me off of the progestin.

I think a lot is trial and error too.
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Unread 12-07-2007, 03:06 PM
Hormone question

I had surgery over 12 weeks ago -- hard to believe it was really that long ago.

I have not taken any kind of HRT. My doctor and I decided that due to my age (46) that i might not need anything and WHY TREAT SOMETHING when you do not know how severe the symptoms would be or even if there would be any symptoms.

it is a personel choice -- but talk to your doctor about your feelings and what is their standard pratice.

For me -- I hate taking medicine. I figured if I had not had the hysterectomy-- that I would have dealt with the symptoms and probably not taken anything. SO why take something just in case?????

For me --Ususally I am freezing since this surgery but i have had a few flush moments -- where I take off my sweatshirt-- then put it back on then take it off again -- there are a few nights where I wake up and am very warm -- so I kick off the covers for a bit --
I figure that I can live with that-- some people can not. if things get worse -- I may look at going on a HRT -- but do not see a need for it now.

I have read through quite a few posts where people go on HRT right after surgery -- and then have problems regulating it -- could it be that there are reserves that the body needs to used up before a replacement is added?

Again it is a personal choice.
Unread 12-07-2007, 03:09 PM
Hormone question

there are blood tests taht they can do to see if you are menopausal and can make judgements from there --
not sure how a sugically induced menopause effects those blood tests.
Unread 12-07-2007, 07:29 PM
Hormone question

Every body is different genetically, and then we all eat differently as well which contributes to differences in hormone imbalance symptoms. Many hormones are stored in fat, and your fat content will also influence onset of symptoms. Some people have history's that make them a higher cancer risk for HRT. So, unfortunately, there aren't any "standard" treatment that is a one size fits all. Even without surgical menopause, symptoms and treatments vary widely with everyone and you just have to identify what symptoms you are having, what you can live with, and experiment with what works best for you.

Are you having any menopausal symptoms now?

Hope this helps,

TAH/BSO 11/13/2007

Hope this helps.
Unread 12-08-2007, 08:18 AM
Hormone question

Thanks for your reply, Patty. It's difficult to answer your question re: symptoms as I have underlying clinical depression as well and it is almost impossible to know to which entity symptoms should be attributed. Nonetheless, I have just begun to experience some weepiness (I had a rather "flat" emotional affect until yesterday), I am absolutely freezing, have noticed a change in memory and ability in finding words to express myself (this is driving me crazy), and I've noticed some skin and hair changes as well.
Pre-op I was pre-menopausal, with a 2 year history of pre-cancerous endometrial hyperplasia (multiple D&Cs, biopsies,etc.) resistent to medical management secondary to exacerbation of my depressive symptoms.
I do have an ample supply of "fat content" ~ does that normally delay onset of symptoms because of residual supply? I've always found endocrine study rather fascinating, so any info you can send my way would be most appreciated. Thanks so much!
By the way, I see your surgery was the week before mine. How are you doing?

Unread 12-08-2007, 08:33 AM
Hormone question

Thanks for all the info .... I have been wondering about the same things. I am 43... TAH/BSO.. I came out of the surgery (literally) with a hormone patch on my tummy. I didn't even realize it until the next day when I took a shower. I have seen the doctor at 4 weeks post-op but really didn't have a lot of "hormone disucssion"... I am making a list for my next visit at 7 1/2 weeks post op. To my knowledge, they have not taken any blood test to determine my hormone levels.

But... I have had a lot of the cold/hot/cold going on and quite a bit of trouble controlling my emotions. So... I'm thinking HRT was definitely the right decision.

Anyone notice any "inappropriate" laughing.... my DH has been very frustrated with me. I seem to starting giggling when he's trying to kiss me passionately... this has been prior to resuming sex. Think I'm just nervous? or out of control!
Unread 12-08-2007, 10:00 AM
Hormone question

Hi Sharon!
I know this whole recovery process is frustrating and scary at the same time. We have so much going on with our bodies right now, the shock, the healing, the meds, etc that it's expected to be in a bit of a funk, both mentally, emotionally and physically. It's just hard to remember that when you're going through it, and you're anxious to be better. Hopefully, we're not suffering spiritually too!

As for me, I am 50yo, and previously had night sweats and stuff, but from thyroid issues, not menopause. I've had a few complications while in the hospital and am dealing with a hematoma that kept me basically in bed for the first 3 weeks. This is the first week that I can actually sit normal and walk without both hands holding up my very heavy and swollen pelvic area. I can't remember a lot from the first week or two, and I think that's mostly due to the pain meds, although I know I cried almost every day the first week and was getting night sweats almost immediately.

I will tell you that I try very hard to do things as naturally as possible through diet, exercise and massage therapy, so I tried drinking soy milk which has phytoestrogens in them, and I found that when I drank 2 glasses a day, my crying stopped... and with three/day, I stopped having night sweats. I do however, get hot/cold/hot, and at night flip the covers on and off, but I'm not sweating so at least I don't have to wash sheets every day- YEAH! In general, I think I feel cold most of the time (before I was always hotter than everyone else) except when I get the temporary hot thing going on. Even though I have lots of energy, I also feel sorta flat, just not really motivated to do a whole lot of things... seems I'd rather sit and think about them instead of do stuff, but then again, every time I get up, I'm in pain. For me, pain and depression go hand in hand... I haven't studied it, but I'm almost positive there is some neuronal link in the brain. (I am a biochemist who studies cellular mechanisms and cancer, but I'm always trying to steal a peak at how the brain chemistry influences our thinking and emotions... nerdy, I know!)

Anyway, I know it will take some time to work things out and be back on track again. My friends who had hysts/bso at a very early age told me that it took them about 6 months through trial and error to find what worked best for them, so I'm not expecting to be at the top of my game for awhile, and I've basically warned everyone who knows me that I might be a maniac for awhile-LOL!

The best thing I can tell you is to pay attention to what you do and how that impacts how you feel, whether it be with prescribed HRT or with alternative solutions to what you are experiencing. And make sure to discuss things with your doctors because they know your history which will give them the best ideas of what to try first. (Just remember, doctors are trained to prescribe pills- a little sarcasm here!)

I personally look for small improvements every day to keep me hopeful that life will return to normal again. And I remain hopeful... it IS slowly getting better...;-)

Blessings to you and your progess... I'm adding you to my prayer list. Please let me know how you are doing.

Unread 12-08-2007, 10:05 AM
Hormone question

I think it's great that you are laughing! Just claim temporary insanity! Thanks for making me smile

TAH/BSO 11/13/2007

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