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Surgical Menopause Symptom Management

mcarp0117
Posts: 19
Joined: Jul 2019

Hi All! I've been off the board for awhile, but thought I'd ask others who may have some insight into managing the symptoms of early meopause without HRT or products with sources of Estrogen.  Soon after my surgery in August and seems since brachytherapy to be worse-I started having daily pain in hands, feet and hips.  It's very bothersome and worse at night and when I first wake up.  Finished my brachytherapy on October 14th and had my first follow-up at MD Anderson yesterday.  I saw the NP and she did a physcial check and things look good down there-she still felt a stictch which is odd as my hysterectomy was in June, but she didn't seem too concerned.  I told her about my daily pain and I've been reading a lot about it being associated with menopause.  I also had an elevated heart rate, which I have also read can be associated with menopause since I didn't have it before.  The only recommendation was to start back low impact exercises (I have gained 18 lbs!!), start taking Vitamin D and Calcium supplements, see PCP for baseline bone density and labwork to see if other supplements are needed. But to steer clear of any natural products like Black Cohosh due to the hidden sources of Estrogen and it's link to my uterine cancer.  Are any others experinceing similar pain?  How are you dealing? Have you found anything that helps?  Thanks for any input, it's really bothersome daily and I'm trying not to let it affect my daily life, but it's constantly there.

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2885
Joined: Mar 2013

mcarp, all I had was hot flashes at night, and not even sheet-soaking sweats.  Sorry I can't be of much help.  

Back when I had brachy and was sitting in the waiting room - timing is crazy - I read an article on soy products.  Highly processed soy (you will see soy protien isolates on ingredients) your body will recognize as hormones as well, so you may want to consider adding that to the 'stay away' from list.  

I am sure the other wonderful ladies will be along shortly with all their helpful tips.

zsazsa1
Posts: 553
Joined: Oct 2018

These don't sound like menopause symptoms, but you may find it useful to know that low doses of antidepressants can be useful for menopause symptoms.  Call your Gyn/onc.

mcarp0117
Posts: 19
Joined: Jul 2019

Thanks ladies- I did see my pcp and did bloodwork- elevated liver enzymes of concern having liver ultrasound on Friday.  Nervous on why this is, but did read that joint pain can be related to liver issues. Need to quit reading so much lol 

MoeKay
Posts: 319
Joined: Feb 2004

Joint pain after surgical menopause is not uncommon.  See:https://www.lifeafterhysterectomy.com/joint-pain-after-hysterectomy/

My main complaint after being put into surgical menopause was inability to sleep, but I seem to recall some joint pain, especially in the hips.  But it's been over 20 years since my surgery, so I'm sure I've forgotten a lot over the years!  I've taken glucosamine-chondroitin for many years which I believe has been helpful in alleviating joint pain.  I've attended a number of orthopedic seminars where G-C has been recommended by the orthopedic surgeon presenters.  I would recommend that you run this by your treatment team and get their input.  It cannot be taken if you have a shellfish allergy or asthma.  Over the years I also have found yoga to be beneficial in keeping pain in general at bay.

Wishing you all the best!

mcarp0117
Posts: 19
Joined: Jul 2019

Thanks-I am allergic to Shrimp so guess that's off my list too ughh!  Thanks so much for sharing.  I did have labwork done Monday and received a call yesterday afternoon that my liver enzymes are elevated so they want a full Hepatitis panel and a live ultrasound on Friday. Not sure what this means, but I'll follow through.

Armywife's picture
Armywife
Posts: 452
Joined: Feb 2018

You may want them to check your thyroid function and also your parathyroid hormone/calcium/vitamin D levels together.

mcarp0117
Posts: 19
Joined: Jul 2019

I've had so may labs tests and nerve conduction study.  Vit D was low, so taking supplements and nerve conduction shows carpel tunnel in both hands and mild neuropathy. No explanation for my foot pain though. And it's sudden onset was after my hysterectomy, lymph node removal and brachytherapy-never had the hand and foot issues before so it's just crazy. So now decide on shot first or surgery.  I'm praying about it and hoping that the shot may help the hand pain without surgery and trying different shoes for foot pain.   And no one else seems to have any explanations for this daily pain now, but I'm continuing to work, try to exercise and eat healthy. Next 3 month check with gyn onc is March 19th:)

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