Isn’t PMS bad enough?
That fact of the matter is an average age for a woman to enter menopause is 51. NO – I AM NOT THERE!!!! – yet.
But it does mean that we and our families are dealing with the PMS symptoms for approximatly 40 years.
PMS symptoms include:
- bloating, water retention
- weight gain
- sleep disorder, fatigue
- lack of energy
- decreased sexual desire
- pain including headaches or migraines
- breast tenderness
- aching muscles and joints, cramps and low back pain prior to menustral bleeding
- depression, irritability, anxiety, mood swings
- decreased alertness, and the inability to concentrate.
So what causes the PMS symptoms? Is it the same thing that causes the Fibromyalgia?
It could possibly be imbalance in calcium and magnesium levels that affect nerve cell communication.
Other researchers believe that it occurs because progesterone and estrogen cause changes in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which create and control signals.
Each bodily function and emotion is linked to the specific neurotransmitters. Fibromyalgia symptoms have been linked with irregular levels of several neurotransmitters.
- Serotonin (the sleep cycle, pain processing, body temperature, appetite, sex drive, mood)
- Norepinephrine (“fight or flight” response, alertness, memory)
- Dopamine (mental focus, movement disorders, motivation)
- GABA (calming the mind, sleep, relaxation, anxiety, muscle function)
- Glutamate (stimulating the mind, learning, forming memories
- Endorphins are important in the experience of pain and pleasure.
Well – those of us with Fibro deal with those symptoms daily – and YEAH – lucky us – during PMS and Menopause the symptoms become more intense.
Why does the Fibro symptoms (including IBS) worsen just before menstruation and during your period? They haven’t figured that one out yet.
So what do they tell you to do during/after menopause? Dealing with the lowered estrogen? the wacked out Neurotransmitters?
A lot of treatment research has focused on how to regulate these neurotransmitters in order to alleviate the symptoms of FMS and ME/CFS such as prescribled meds like (SSRIs), such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft or (SNRIs) such as Cymbalta and Savella.
- Dietary changes including adding supplements (Extra calcium and magnesium)
- Strengthening exercises
- Heat Therapy
- A massage
I guess – you can look at PMS and Menopause as Fibro on steroids.
The upside – Look out smart us with Fibro are – we are already doing everything we are supposed to do for ourselves.
The downside – What do we do when we do all of those things and they don’t work?