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Food For Thought, Women


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I wasn't sure where to exactly post this.....

As we all know, the personal stress is huge as a caregiver and it's really well documented about the health consequences caregivers often face as a result......

I have found myself in such a situation. My personal stress level went through the roof, beginning over two years ago and never let up until recently. As a consequence, with no obvious explanation, I found myself with dangerously high blood pressure (I home monitor and this just wasn't normal for me, plus my meds haven't been budging my numbers near enough), general anxiety that no anti-depressant could touch except melatonin (all standard antidepressants just give me migraine headaches and melatonin isn't even a recognized anti-anxiety anything), lower back pain radiating into the hips and affecting how I could move comfortably, cholesterol levels that just went nuts from Jan. of this year to Oct. of this year (50 point jump in LDL and 75 point jump in triclyerides), weight gain of 50 pounds all in the belly (yet was lucky to eat once a day all along...just no appetite), an almost emergency level of ocular hypertension to where I am now getting eval'd for glaucoma (this isn't in my family history -- I'm getting more tests tomorrow and the doc. has already told me we should start treatment), and a huge change in monthly cycling to the point I am definitely in some stage of perimenopause (the details of which are impinging on my quality of life..big changes).

All of this hit me like a ton of bricks and I just couldn't explain how I could completely fall apart so much and all at once.....there's exciting hope, hang on.

I'm bringing this up for women, because it appears that my GP doctor and I have accidently hit on something recently that literally has dropped my jaw on what has happened and I want to bring it to your attention for your own research and consideration with your own doctor, especially if you are anywhere in the pre-, peri-, or menopause years (and that can start by late 20's and early 30's depending on your particulars). Become knowledgeable about how levels of estrogen and progesterone work your body and what they do as you mature AND what they can do to you when they become out-of-whack (stress can make out-of-whack worse).

My GP and I are now working with natural bio-identical progesterone to deal with perimenopause symptoms -- that's all I went into her for a couple of weeks ago and she just changed my type of progesterone a few days ago as the first one, well, wasn't enough for what's happening with my "monthly". Well, literally within hours of taking my first dose of our "adjustment", my back pain went away completely; my blood pressure is now lowering dramatically on its own; I feel like a million bucks now! Mind you, my own GP doesn't even know this yet and I can't wait to see her in another week for my followup appointment!

I began researching this after such immediate and dramatic changes in me, and my goodness, all of my current problems can be explained by low progesterone levels, right down to how I mentally handled stress in my life -- I'm so excited to see what happens with the ocular hypertension gig and my cholesterol future....plus weight....I'm stunned. In a nutshell, I can explain the ups and downs and what's gone on with me throughout my entire life symptom wise -- who knew and who checks for this sort of stuff routinely?

I have a whole lot more to learn about this as this is all new news to me and I've only done a couple of days of research so far (more's needed). I am looking forward to working with my doctors now on this -- I don't have to be a medical freight train heading for a big brick wall it appears, and some of you may find this issue of benefit. I'm even thinking of those who have run into fertility issues in the middle of all this stress.....food for thought here, gals!

I'll keep you posted. It's probably gonna' be a few months before I can get through all of this with my doctors and see if my excitement here holds water long-term.

Sorry so long. Not exactly directly LC, but I swear if I had known this before, I would have physically and mentally endured the demands of caregiving much better and not emerged with such dramatic physical problems as a consequence.


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I know what you're talking about. I am 45, and have dealt with the loss of 4 parents in 5 years due to LC. My stress and anxiety levels have gone through the roof due to all of this. I had aches and pains and tension constantly.

I started bioidentical Progesterone gel about 6-7 months ago per the direction of my GYN and it has made a world of difference in how I feel, both emotionally and physically.

My best to you.

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OH MY GOSH...I can SO relate. I myself had recently gotten VERY sick. Dizziness, loss of appetite, heartburn, severe anxiety, not sleeping at all. Went to the doctor and found out my blood pressure was very high, but he thought this was a result of me being sick. (suspected gallbladder) Ended up in the ER thinking I was having a heart attack or stroke. Then my bloodwork came back that I have Hypothyroidism. (Although some of my symptoms are Hyper.) I did not know that the thyroid could make you SOOOO sick. I have just started taking Synthroid and I am nowhere near normal but starting to feel a bit better.

You always hear people say you need to take care of yourself or all the stress can make you sick. I just thought that meant maybe more prone to catch whatever is going around or maybe a rise in BP. I've learned now that I need to take care of me. Hope you all do the same too.

Linda - I'm so glad you found out what was wrong and that you are feeling better.

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Wow this post couldn't have come at a better time. I have been feeling like crap lately.... irregular periods.... dizziness (more like lightheadedness), anxiety like CRAZY..... I made an appt. with my GYN for 11/27, but I am thinking its the start of menopause (I am 47).... after reading your post, it sounds like I def. could have a hormone imbalance... of course, I have myself with a brain tumor cos thats just the way I am since Daddy died.... stupid,crazy thoughts....

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I am glad you posted and that you are getting the medical help you need along with the rest that have responded.

I never would have thought I would have had the issues I have now but have learned alot since Randy, my mom, and my brother in law passed. Broken heart symdrom (sp) is very real. If let unattended, it can lead to more problems. I never thought I would have had heart issues until I happened to mention to my doctor durning my annual physical that I thought I had a pulled muscle in my chest. Thankfully she listened and sent me in for further testing. We found out that pulled muscle is cardio myapothy. I am now on medication for it and I know in time it will help. But we need to listen to our bodies. Care givers need to pay attention to their own health as well as their loved ones. Get your checkups. Make sure you are taking as good of care of yourself as you are of others. Without your health, you will not be there for others.

Praying for us all.


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Bioidentical Progestrone IS its name. It is formulated by the pharmacist (mixed up) and no, unfortunately, is not available over the counter. I would recommend that you call your insurance/medical provider and ask if there are any bioidentical hormone specialists. They are typically GYN/hormone specialists. They will evaluate you and see if your hormones are out of whack.

Symptoms of too low balance of progestrone to estrogen are: heavy periods, anxiety, severe PMS, etc.

Have to say that it has been a life saver for my sanity!

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Kerry Too is correct: bio-identical (or compounded, because it's specifically compounded by a pharmacy or someone who can formulate it) progesterone is the name and no, you can't buy it over the counter; there are plenty of OTC creams that claim to be bio-identical, made from wild yam sources and a couple of others, but they will not work according to my research so far.

Low progesterone to estrogen has many, many, many more symptoms than Kerry Too has listed. I encourage you to do some searches at your leisure on your own and see if bells and whistles go off for your particular circumstances. This area is not that easy to give cut and dry answers to from what I've found.

I did my eye exam gig today (passed with flying colors for now, but still have high Intraocular pressure at the moment) -- my eye doc. has never heard of the low progesterone-ocular hypertension link (but is now gonna' investigate as we move forward over the coming months).....scary as a patient, because there is a whole host of research out there about it....become informed ladies.


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