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Menopause, HRT and our bodies

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Getting old sucks!

I have had a radiotherapy induced menopause at age 43 2 years ago and started HRT a bit over 12 months ago due to horrible symptoms of hot flashes, insomnia and anxiety and depression.

In the last year, whilst I've recovered well from rectal cancer I feel my health has steadily declined in a non specific way. The worst thing I've noticed though is my rear end and thighs have balooned and I'm certain its the HRT. A recent CT scan also picked up that a fibroid (we think) in my uterus has grown very quickly over the past 12 months. I've also had horrible heartburn and stomach pain and have been depressed to be on regular Nexium. As well, I dont think the HRT

has done all that much for my mood (or libido). I had a Tummy Tuck back in march and it seems like this normal menopausal weight gain now cant go on the tummy and I'm really really unhappy with my shape now, I'm very very pearshaped, even though I'm still slim.

All I can say is thank god I was virtually skeletal after cancer treatment since the 20lb that has come out of nowhere has just brought me back to a BMI of 22 or so but its ALL in my rear end! I really need to shift 5kgs, I'm a fine boned build and 154lb is just too heavy for my 5ft 10.

I've also noticed my athletic ability decline sharply. I cant run as far as I want to or could and dont recover. I've taken up strength training due to bone density issues and it wipes me out completely. I'm not used to being this weak!

It really sucks. I've not taken my HRT for the past few days and wonder of wonders, I've not needed Nexium either. I wonder if I stop will the fibroid shrink (thus avoiding a hysterectomy) and will my ass do likewise? Or will I just become an axe weilding homicidal maniac again?

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You've really got your hands full. I think you should go through all this with your primary physician.

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You have a lot going on.... I m sure it's frustrating. Just curious..... If you stop the HRT will the weight go away? Maybe replace it th a more natural solution ? I am no dr but I would be hard pressed to continue taking something which made me gain weight.

As for the fibroids.. They do shrink after menopause but it's not a major deal to gt them removed.... Something to think about and discuss with your GYN. I have 6... But they have started shrinking since I crossed over to the other side....

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Hope you are able to find solutions. Don't let a hysterectomy stop you. Best thing I ever did, before WLS. I just took a drug store brand natural menopause pill for the hot flashes and it worked great. I was your age when I had the problems (9 years ago).

Best wishes to you.

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I'm sure I'll be having a hysterectomy, having had a large tumour right adjacent to where this growth now is, they're not going to muck around. I'm having an ultrasound tomorrow and one in three months to measure change - because fibroids shouldnt grow after menopause. But the HRT kind of explains that - dont worry, I'm in the hand of a gynecological oncologist.

There's also the fact that since my bowel surgeries I suffer from obstructed defecation - meaning I cant have a bowel movement without an enema or a large dose of lactulose. My colorectal surgeon feels the growth (which is on the left and towards the back might be blocking my altered bowel. The gynae didnt think so but the condition is so awful to live with that I'd be willing to have an op just to see if it made any difference!

I dont want to stop taking HRT partly because my bones are fairly bad - I've had two broken ribs this year but mostly because by the end of last year I was so depressed and anxious I was having serious suicidal thoughts. That and testosterone really made me feel loads better, but I'm just so terribly afraid of feeling that way again if I stop.

But the weight gain and heartburn - hmmmm. I'd love to solve those issues!

Thanks for listening. My forties has been the hardest part of my life so far - definitely more challenging than having babies! But I've got loads of support and am really very blessed.

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