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I am new to the forum and to the entire group. Hello!I am 51 years old and have been going through peri-menopause for the past 5 years. My gynecologist keeps telling me I simply have to be nearly finished with my years of menstruating, but that seems to be a fairy tale to me at this point. The only thing that does appear to be happening is a very acute exaggeration of my IBS symptoms every month right around the time of my cycle. And, it changes from before, during and after. But the pattern remains the same, with the exaggeration of symptoms. I have lost a great deal of weight since last fall because I am unable to eat during these times but the IBS also triggers my acid reflux. An upper endoscopy and colonoscopy have come back clean as a whistle. Has anybody else been through this? If so, what did you do? I am seriously considering a hysterectomy as a way to keep functioning because I am about to lose my job!
 

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Welcome!Have you discussed alternatives to hysterectomy with your physician? There are a couple of medications that could potentially eliminate your periods, but these tend to be hormone based and many are wary of their side effects.Another option, if your physician offers it (and I believe not all do) is endometrial ablation. Further information can be found here: http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp134.cfmLike it says, it does not change the hormone levels but can potentially eliminate or lessen a period. It might be an option worth looking into before going into major surgery.Sorry I cannot offer any personal experience - I am in my 20s and on birth control pills which have just about eliminated any period-related symptoms I was getting.Good luck and best wishes!
 

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Blonde, IMHO, surgery seems a bit extreme and ablation doesn't really have a thing to do with hormone levels, which is what triggers the IBS. For information on IBS & Hormones... read the article about it thumbtacked to the top of this forum.Yes Melody my hormones are one of my worst triggers. Just FYI getting completely through menopause can take anywhere from 12-15 years I have been told so it is not a quick process for most women.IBS guts like to be busy so I would stop skipping meals! Whenever I do that the D is always worse.(You do not say if you suffer from IBS D (diarrhea prone) or C (constipation prone) so do let us know that. But for right now I will assume youhave more D til you tell us otherwise.) You should not be loosing any weight with IBS... so I would make an effort to eat smaller meals more often during that time of the month. Like 6 small meals instead of 3 regular.Also have you tried taking the calcium carbonate supplements? Many have had the BM's become firmer taking it. See "Linda's Calcium" Thread thumbtacked to the top of the Diarrhea Forum.Also how about imodium.. have you tried using that?
 

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Hi. I am new to the boards but I came across your thread and had to respond. I turned 44 this past March. Last Oct. I was hit hard with stomach issues, out of the blue and tons of anxiety. I had no idea what was going on with me. I was sure I was dying or had cancer since I had diarrhea for over 2 weeks. I was unable to eat also because of the way my stomach felt. I lost a total of 30 lbs. In & out of doctors from an ER visit to CT scan, ultrasound and finally a colonoscopy and endoscopy. All revealed nothing! they were clean. I was told by my gastro doc I had infectious enteritis with post IBS. It would take up to a year to feel better. Now it's May and again I am having symptoms. I had a hysterectomy and left my ovaries when I was 28. But all my symptoms, including this horrible stomach issue, are pointing to PERIMENOPAUSE! Try to get ONE doctor to agree with me, is like pulling teeth. They just want to run test after test on me. I found a menopause site and BAM! almost every woman on there was going through the same #### I was! I truly believe that hormones have a huge effect on our digestive system. I am sure I am in menopause but without a period or cycle anymore, it's hard to tell where I am at! So I go by symptoms..and if this isn't menopause then I have some wierd unknown disease that no medical test can reveal! good luck!
 

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Thanks so much for responding! I just had a hysterectomy 10 days ago and had her take everything but the cervix. Guess which symptoms have disappeared?! And, after reading all of the information on menopausal symptoms and seeing all of the women who are going through it, I am convinced, as is my gynecologist and my gastroenterologist, that my difficulties were being stimulated by my hormones being wacked out. I am not on HRT right now either! So, good luck. You're not crazy and no, most doctors don't want to admit that this is largely hormonal for women our age because they really don't have a clue what to do about it.Thank God I have the doctor I have! Best of luck and let me know if there is anything I can do help.
 

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I'm brand new to the site. I've been suffering since November with what has appeared to be an exacerbation of my IBS, which I've had since my teens. I am so excited to find other women, going through menopause who have also been experiencing this. I am 52 and this all started the last month that I had regular periods (and the day my manager made sure that she confirmed her lack of appreciation for me by giving me, by spelling it out in my annual review). So there was a potential hormonal and stress component at play. The worst part of it has been unbelievable amounts of gas, both upper and lower GI, but mostly lower. At times it nearly makes it hard for me to function, because I'm so uncomfortable. I feel best after I've had substantial BMs, but it can be as soon as 12 hours later that I feel symptoms of constipation and bloating beyond belief with gas. I'm not much of a medicine kind of person and so I've only occasionally taken TUMS or maalox when I'm really miserable. Mint tea has been helpful. I do much better when I stay away from icecream, high fiber cereals and chocolate. The up side is that for the first time in 20 years, I got down to my wedding dress weight. Although, I've been a little less stressed lately and I've put back on 5 pounds. I'm wondering if anyone has been through this and then it improved at some point. I hate to think of having to deal with this the rest of my life. I do have good days and even have had a good week or two, but then it seems to come back with a vengeance (usually when I throw caution to the wind and eat what I want). It makes traveling away from home a challenge!
 

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Dear sufferer,I was also with IB-gas, nausea since my teens, and yes it was hormonal and stress which aggravated it. Menopause was quite rough, I lost 20 pounds, and finally agreed to take Elavil 20mg(low dose anti-depressant, much higher doses for those who are depressed). I am so much better. I took Pepto Bismol the odd day and found Borage(natural remedy) also helpful. I am 56 now and the bowels have settled down considerably so will probably begin to wean off the Elavil. Your bowels may still give you problems for the 1 year after you have no period, because even with no period, you may still ovulate each month. All the best to you!! There is hope! isabelle1954quote name='Gassilla' timestamp='1276377640' post='795913']I'm brand new to the site. I've been suffering since November with what has appeared to be an exacerbation of my IBS, which I've had since my teens. I am so excited to find other women, going through menopause who have also been experiencing this. I am 52 and this all started the last month that I had regular periods (and the day my manager made sure that she confirmed her lack of appreciation for me by giving me, by spelling it out in my annual review). So there was a potential hormonal and stress component at play. The worst part of it has been unbelievable amounts of gas, both upper and lower GI, but mostly lower. At times it nearly makes it hard for me to function, because I'm so uncomfortable. I feel best after I've had substantial BMs, but it can be as soon as 12 hours later that I feel symptoms of constipation and bloating beyond belief with gas. I'm not much of a medicine kind of person and so I've only occasionally taken TUMS or maalox when I'm really miserable. Mint tea has been helpful. I do much better when I stay away from icecream, high fiber cereals and chocolate. The up side is that for the first time in 20 years, I got down to my wedding dress weight. Although, I've been a little less stressed lately and I've put back on 5 pounds. I'm wondering if anyone has been through this and then it improved at some point. I hate to think of having to deal with this the rest of my life. I do have good days and even have had a good week or two, but then it seems to come back with a vengeance (usually when I throw caution to the wind and eat what I want). It makes traveling away from home a challenge![/quote]
 

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Dear Sufferer, I too lost weight(20 pounds) when my IB really acted up in per-menopause. Tried Motilium, diet changes(for yeast) with not a lot of help. Finally I agreed to try Elavil 20mg(low-dose anti-depressant, much higher doses are used for depression)and I had almost instant results. Borage(natural) and the odd dose of Peptobismol helped too. The IB does settle down, usually 1 year after no periods. Hope this helps you!!! isabelle1954
I am new to the forum and to the entire group. Hello!I am 51 years old and have been going through peri-menopause for the past 5 years. My gynecologist keeps telling me I simply have to be nearly finished with my years of menstruating, but that seems to be a fairy tale to me at this point. The only thing that does appear to be happening is a very acute exaggeration of my IBS symptoms every month right around the time of my cycle. And, it changes from before, during and after. But the pattern remains the same, with the exaggeration of symptoms. I have lost a great deal of weight since last fall because I am unable to eat during these times but the IBS also triggers my acid reflux. An upper endoscopy and colonoscopy have come back clean as a whistle. Has anybody else been through this? If so, what did you do? I am seriously considering a hysterectomy as a way to keep functioning because I am about to lose my job!
 

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Dear sufferer, Yes, I think you are having hormonal issues with your bowel. I lost 20 pounds before I got relief with a low dose antidepressant(Elavil 20mg each day, much higher doses are for depression) You still have your ovaries so there. will be fluctuations of estrogen causing upsets. I also used Borage(natural) and the odd dose of Peptobismol. Hope you get well! isabelle1054D
Hi. I am new to the boards but I came across your thread and had to respond. I turned 44 this past March. Last Oct. I was hit hard with stomach issues, out of the blue and tons of anxiety. I had no idea what was going on with me. I was sure I was dying or had cancer since I had diarrhea for over 2 weeks. I was unable to eat also because of the way my stomach felt. I lost a total of 30 lbs. In & out of doctors from an ER visit to CT scan, ultrasound and finally a colonoscopy and endoscopy. All revealed nothing! they were clean. I was told by my gastro doc I had infectious enteritis with post IBS. It would take up to a year to feel better. Now it's May and again I am having symptoms. I had a hysterectomy and left my ovaries when I was 28. But all my symptoms, including this horrible stomach issue, are pointing to PERIMENOPAUSE! Try to get ONE doctor to agree with me, is like pulling teeth. They just want to run test after test on me. I found a menopause site and BAM! almost every woman on there was going through the same #### I was! I truly believe that hormones have a huge effect on our digestive system. I am sure I am in menopause but without a period or cycle anymore, it's hard to tell where I am at! So I go by symptoms..and if this isn't menopause then I have some wierd unknown disease that no medical test can reveal! good luck!
 

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I am new to the forum and to the entire group. Hello!I am 51 years old and have been going through peri-menopause for the past 5 years. My gynecologist keeps telling me I simply have to be nearly finished with my years of menstruating, but that seems to be a fairy tale to me at this point. The only thing that does appear to be happening is a very acute exaggeration of my IBS symptoms every month right around the time of my cycle. And, it changes from before, during and after. But the pattern remains the same, with the exaggeration of symptoms. I have lost a great deal of weight since last fall because I am unable to eat during these times but the IBS also triggers my acid reflux. An upper endoscopy and colonoscopy have come back clean as a whistle. Has anybody else been through this? If so, what did you do? I am seriously considering a hysterectomy as a way to keep functioning because I am about to lose my job!
I believe that I have been in peri for four years now. I say I believe because hormone tests are fine. Nonetheless, I would flare before, during and after my period. I was also having heavy bleeding. I decided to have an endometrial ablation (burn off lining of endometrium). It has been the best two years of my peri life. Very light periods and no pain. It also helped my IBS tremendously. I would recommend the surgery to anyone with heavy periods/endo and IBS. I think you should look into it before a hysterectomy. Unfortunately, it looks like my remission may be over. I have been having a flare for two weeks now. I don't know if it is the endometriosis or the IBS. I heard the surgery lasts about 5 years (the walls of the endometrium grow thicker and you bleed more). I thinkthink it
 

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I am new to the forum and to the entire group. Hello!I am 51 years old and have been going through peri-menopause for the past 5 years. My gynecologist keeps telling me I simply have to be nearly finished with my years of menstruating, but that seems to be a fairy tale to me at this point. The only thing that does appear to be happening is a very acute exaggeration of my IBS symptoms every month right around the time of my cycle. And, it changes from before, during and after. But the pattern remains the same, with the exaggeration of symptoms. I have lost a great deal of weight since last fall because I am unable to eat during these times but the IBS also triggers my acid reflux. An upper endoscopy and colonoscopy have come back clean as a whistle. Has anybody else been through this? If so, what did you do? I am seriously considering a hysterectomy as a way to keep functioning because I am about to lose my job!
I feel your pain. I have endometriosis and am going through peri-menopause (at 45). I also have the same problem with my period and started to take bio-identical progesterone four days ago and my IBS and GERD are much worse. I have decided to stop taking them today. If you are thinking about bio-identicals think twice. Those of us with IBS/GERD will have a great deal of difficulty with it (I read that after I started with the bio-identicals). I am desperate at this time and thinking about a hysterctormy as well, but wont do it because I dont want to take hormones again. I am considering taking wellbutrin for IBS-C and trazadone for sleep. I have tried trazadone and it works great for sleep, but does not do anything for the IBS-C.
 

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[quote name='isabelle1954' timestamp='1294425212' post='817734']Dear sufferer, Yes, I think you are having hormonal issues with your bowel. I lost 20 pounds before I got relief with a low dose antidepressant(Elavil 20mg each day, much higher doses are for depression) You still have your ovaries so there. will be fluctuations of estrogen causing upsets. I also used Borage(natural) and the odd dose of Peptobismol. Hope you get well! isabelle1054I was prescribed Elavil as well, but will not take it because of the weight gain (even at low doses). Since you lost 20 pounds "before" you got relief, I persume you gained back your normal weight after the Elavil. Have you gained any excess weight on Elavil. Also, my brother has been taking Elavil for over 20 years and we believe (Elavil has a warning for diabetes) that he got type 2 diabetes after so many years on it. He cannot function without it, so he just has to deal with the diabetes.
 

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I am convinced that my IBS, perimenopause or menopause (whichever I'm in), anxiety, acid reflux, and increased stress I'm in during my life are all interconnected. What to do about it? I don't know. Both doctors (regular and gynecologist) are really against putting me on any kind of hormones and I'd be a little afraid of them. I only know to get through the days best way I can with God's help.
 

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Newscat have you thought about trying anti-depressants? Some have found a great reduction in symptoms using them. Ask your Dr about them.Hormones can be an IBS trigger for many women.
 

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I understand completely about perimenopause and IBS...I have been in perimenopause for 3 years and my IBS is uncontrollable...the cramping is horrible...It is screwing up my quality of life, I wish it would go away already...Best of luck and feel bood
 

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I cannot believe how many of us suffer with this condition. I have suffered with IbsC for years. very painfull. told to up my fibre in the earlier years what a joke that was. now I dont eat Bread dont drink much in fact life is pretty miserable. Premenstrual Migraine and skin allergies tested for all sorts results clear. ordered today Symprove hoping for some relief.
 

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I know this forum is 2 years old, but I am new to this to. I am 48 and 3 years into peri-menopause. I am so frustrated with constipation and IBS!! I can't go anywhere with out wondering if I am going to stink everyone out. I have gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and just plain uncomfortable. It doesn't matter what I eat or don't eat, It makes me cranky to, which really sucks because I am a massage therapist. That is not a mood I can put up with. Also when I am massaging in a room with a closed door and I pass gas i wonder how the person on my table is putting up with the smell as it gets really bad, it just kind of happens, the gas. I have been using Konsyl which worked for a while and doesn't any more. I am afraid of laxative abuse, so I don't want to use to much to offen. I am a Bulimic so abuse of this sort is a reality for me. I have to watch myself. I guess I just deal with it the best I can, which at times is not very well. Thanks for listening. Freeflower1963
 

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Hi, I'm new to the forum. Hi Melodymsw. I've noticed recently that my IBS symptoms seem to be exaggerated during my monthly cycle too.I was wondering if anyone else noticed this happening to them also. Willow
 

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Willow please see the "IBS & Hormones" article pinned to the top of this forum for info in the relatioinship between IBS and Hormones.
 
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