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Questions about Hormone tests (with ovaries) and peri-menopause Questions about Hormone tests (with ovaries) and peri-menopause

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Unread 04-18-2003, 11:08 AM
Questions about Hormone tests (with ovaries) and peri-menopause

OK, here I come, taking baby steps in the As some of you will know, I had a TVH over two years ago, kept my ovaries. Almost from the start, my ovaries have been playing games with me: I go from having hot flashes and night sweats to having extreme PMS symptoms, all at the same time.

I had blood tests on Wednesday and I have a few questions about those:

Among other things, I was having my thyroid and hormone levels tested. One of my questions involves the hormone levels tests: I'm pretty sure that I was PMS'ing that day since I had terrible lower back pains, was cramping and had terrible mood swings... all things that occur at that time. Will having PMS symptoms at the same time as the tests were done change the results? I'd hate for the results to be high just because my ovaries were working overtime that day.

Also, I seem to have the PMS episodes a lots more often than I normally would: I'm sure I had them just 2 weeks ago!!! Would that be an additional sign that I'm going through peri-menopause? BTW, the vaginal dryness is also increasing dramatically, even when I'm having PMS episodes.

Another thing that is troublesome is my BP: I'm having it checked anytime I happen to be in the drugstore, because my doctor told me to have it monitored. It's really out of control: somedays, it's on the low/normal side: 117 over 78 or lower. The next time it's in the high/normal side: 136 over 96 or it might have been 86.

Since there is a huge medical history of strokes and cardiac disease in my family, I am forever concerned of reaching menopause and the fluctuating BP is just about driving me crazy.

Any insight would be appreciated
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Unread 04-18-2003, 12:36 PM
Questions about Hormone tests (with ovaries) and peri-menopause

Hi (((Dany))) I'm glad you finally got in to get those tests done!

You're right, when you still have your ovaries and are cycling, where you are in your cycle will affect the results of hormone level tests. In one way, going when you're having your PMS symptoms isn't good because it's not how your levels are when you're feeling more 'yourself'; OTOH, it will show what your levels are when you feel really yucky which can be helpful too.

Perimenopause symptoms can come in different ways to different women, but the increased vaginal dryness (signalling lower vaginal estrogen levels) and change in frequency of your cycles are pretty typical. So are night sweats and mood swings... got those ? I was perimenopausal before my hyst and the night sweats were the worst part of it.

Lots of us have had the blood pressure problem... I saw (((Kim's))) post on your thread over on the Road about hers, too... and mine shot up at about six months post op, and just now came down again when I had this most recent surgery I have the same concern as you, because my maternal grandmother had a long history of strokes. Also, low estrogen levels can cause high bp in many ladies. JMHO, but I believe it's a response to stresses on your body, whether they be from physical or chemical (hormone) ills or emotional issues... all will affect your bp.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you'll get some validation from your hormone tests. When you get the results, make sure to check to see what 'reference range' they are trying to compare you to. If they use 'post menopausal', and claim your levels are 'normal', try comparing your values with those under the premenopausal range (usually it's age 30-40 or 35-45). That will be more telling.

If it turns out your estrogen levels come out a bit low (I'm guessing that will happen), you might want to ask about the estradot patch... that is the Canadian equivalent of the Vivelle dot and it comes in a very low dose (.025) in case they want to start you on just a minimal amount to see if it helps.

When do you get your results? Inquiring minds want to know!
Unread 04-18-2003, 02:16 PM
Questions about Hormone tests (with ovaries) and peri-menopause

Thanks for all the insight (((((Linda)))))

I will be sure to ask all of those questions when I next see my doctor. I see her on May 22nd, since she asked that I book the appointment at least 4 weeks after my blood tests, to give her time to receive them: everything about the medical system is slow around here

BTW, yes I get hot flashes and night sweats. I also get insomnia and those annoying dizzy spells. While I thought those might be hormonal in nature, they could be from the high BP.

My concerns about menopause, and the main reason I kept my ovaries, is because of the heart problems in my family: my dad had a heart transplant in 1990, his sister and cousins had bypass surgery and his father died of a heart condition. As if that wasn't enough, both of my maternal grandparents died of strokes and my maternal grand-mother also had a massive stroke, but was able to survive and actually made an unbelievable come back

The high BP, for me, is just the first sign that I might not be able to avoid these conditions, despite a dramatic change to my life style
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Unread 04-19-2003, 05:55 PM
Questions about Hormone tests (with ovaries) and peri-menopause


Those symptoms of yours sure do sound like low estrogen to me (insomnia, night sweats, flashes, dizziness). I will be curious to hear how your blood tests turn out.

I was in peri-menopause when I had my hyst---had my ovaries taken and just did not get on the right track until I started Vivelle Dot .05 about 3 months ago. I suffered thru 8 months post-hyst taking oral estradiol with persisting symptoms ( thought it was all in my head and kept telling myself, "We'll I AM taking estradiol"!). Had my estradiol level checked 3 months ago and it was non-existent Switched to Vivelle Dot and turns out that system (transdermal) works MUCH better for me. So, if and when you come to that road (depending on your tests), I'd definitely inquire about Estradot, as (((Linda))) recommended.

I relate to the coronary disease worries. My father had his first bypass surgery at age 52-----had two more bypasses, plus several angioplasties during the 12 years following his first cardiac episode. He passed away at age 67 from lung cancer of all things---quit smoking at age 52 after his first surgery. He never had high BP tho----just really bad coronary artery disease---the plaque would build right up again within a few years of his last surgery.

Do you take good heart supplements---Vitamin E. CQ-10, baby aspirin a day? I have incorporated those into my daily regimen--gives me some measure of security in hopes that I am warding off heart disease. I went thru an espisode while I was peri-menopausal where my BP was running 130-40 over 90. Totally unheard of for me----I've always been a 110-20 over 70-80 gal. It's been normal ever since my surgery---so go figure.

One more thing, I've read recently a recent study showed that a C-Reactive Protein blood test can be a good indicator about impending heart disease (maybe even more reliable that cholesterol levels?). You might ask your doc about it---I'm going to ask to have one drawn when I go for my annual exam in June.

Let us know how your blood tests turn out!

Unread 04-20-2003, 02:05 PM
Questions about Hormone tests (with ovaries) and peri-menopause

Thanks for all the insight (((((Shelley)))) It's amazing all the things we have in common: same birthday; same cat; dad with heart conditions and my dad also passed away when he was 67

I do not take anything to prevent a heart attack, yet: still kind of hiding in the sand, if you know what I mean

Thanks for the info on the C-Reactive Protein blood test. I'll be sure to ask my doctor about it when I see her.

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