Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Trish, Sep 15, 2019.
It occurs to me than a lot of ME research is done with women whose symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog and depression may be fluctuating with their menstrual cycle. This should be taken into account when getting them to fill in questionnaires during clinical trials - perhaps making sure it's done at the same phase in their menstrual cycle at the start and each follow up point.
This may reinforce the contention that orthodox modern medicine is not designed for people, rather for men.
I had this too (we didn't have a name for it then), but luckily it was much more short-lived. My profound depressions often lasted less than an hour, but I absolutely agree about the switch being flipped – I could feel it happen as clearly as a slap on the face.
One of my final ones began at a red light on my drive home from work, and I had to pull off the road because I could no longer operate the car. I just sat there, unable to move or function, and utterly crushed by the weight of the depression. An hour or so later, it dissolved as suddenly as it started. I'd really have struggled to live with it for extended periods, though; I don't think I'd have been able to work through it. I really feel for the woman in the article, and for anyone suffering from it.
I am 67 now but in my late 30s and 40s I went through a form of this. I used to feel absolutely dreadful in the week before my period. Terrible brain fog and severe fatigue and like a wound up spring. When I was 43 I remember going to the GP and trying to explain that my PMT symptoms that had been lasting a week, had now extended to 2 weeks before my period - could it be an underactive thyroid I asked? Would she test for it please? No, not possible and no she would not test it!
I changed Drs and saw a man this time who was happy to test everything and found I was borderline underactive thyroid and yes, he would give me thyroxine. For the next few years (until it all went awry again at menopause at 49) I at least had my energy back for most of the month and and the brain fog eased. I still had PMT but not for 2 weeks, only for 1 week or less. It was still very bad at times, but at least not so extended.
Eventually when I got the ME/CFS diagnosis some years after menopause, I realised how similar some of the symptoms were to what I had felt before (mostly the fatigue aspects - not the wound up spring feelings). My migraine aura got worse and worse until years later (only a few years ago) I discovered that a bit of natural progesterone applied as a cream on my skin would improve those aura symptoms for me immensely. I also use Liothyronine now as the Thyroxine stopped working effectively for me.
Going through the menopause hasn't improved my fatigue, headaches or pain levels, and the muscle stiffening/cramps in my limbs have actually got much worse. However, I do notice the difference in my mood and ability to control my emotions - I used to get terribly tearful for 2 weeks out of my 4/5 week (irregular) cycle, which was at its most unmanageable for the 4-5 days before menstration and the first 2 days of it.
I must admit, I'm glad that phase of my life is coming to an end!
After the birth of my first child I experienced deep black depressions. The first few times I thought it was a reaction to my circumstances which were not very good at that point. Then I noticed the pattern so when it happened after that I treated it like a pain and just endured until it went away. I had a second child less than 2 years later and it never came back like that.
I never suffered with premenstrual symptoms, the 'switch' occurred when I entered menopause. I had ME before menopause so understood the differences. The mood/dark feelings have finally lifted after 3 years.
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