diaryofthemenopause

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Menopause and Hair Loss

I do wonder why I was so worried about hot flushes, mood swings and nothing else when I got thrown into a Surgical Menopause.

I was created by someone with a sense of humour.  They gave me Scottish Skin and said “if the sun so much as appears between 2 clouds – you shall have sunburn”.  To go with this they decided to give me very thin, very fine hair.  I spent my teenage years and 20s with a ponytail which was more elastic band than pony tail . When I had my first child I discovered you can buy baby hair bands.  Sadly I still use them.

When I was pregnant with both my children, my hair became lovely and a lot thicker. Sadly shortly after having both my children, my hair fell out by the handful.  It was far worse with my first child and meant after both births,  I needed to have most of my hair cut off and a very short style to try and hide this. It did settle down after a few months. It’s hormone related and very common.  With my first child it was more noticeable around my ears, but with my second child it was from all over my head.

Since my menopause I’ve been losing so much hair that I dread washing and brushing it.  It started looking thin and pathetic.  It’s not as if it were great to start with.  It seems the same hormones which cause hair loss after pregnancy, do the same at menopause.  Thank you so much Mother Nature, but thank you for taking it from all over my head and not one area.

Because of my beautiful Scottish Skin, I now have to wear a cap or hat the whole time we are out in the sun. My hair got so thin, there was no protection from the sun so my scalp started getting sunburn.  Very painful and very difficult to put sun cream on your head.

BUT THERE IS SOME GOOD NEWS……..

In June this year it will be 3 years since my total hysterectomy.  About 2-3 months ago my visible hair loss slowed down.  I will always have thin hair, it’s a family trait, but it no longer looks quite as pathetic as it did.  It’s looking healthier again and beginning to return to how it was.

Hopefully this means around 3 years into an HRT Free Menopause, things are beginning to settle down for me.  The hot flushes are still there (for me not life changing thankfully)  but for now I’m considering my hair no longer jumping off my head a win.

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These blogs have got me through.

I made a decision to go HRT free from the start, but it’s not an easy choice to make.  The blogs on this page helped me so often and gave me a fantastic insight into someone who had gone down the HRT road and was trying to stop using it and the war we have with the menopause in general.  I highly recommend her blogs to anyone – they’ve really helped me so much.

 

I never thought I’d be able to stop HRT (hormone replacement therapy). I tried twice before without success. My intolerance to hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, headaches and brain fog kept me coming back to hormones the two times I tried to quit. I had no real idea how any woman managed to stop hormones […]

via Why & how I stopped HRT — da Vinci Total Hysterectomy

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Treating Menopause Depression Naturally

I am aware of the risks involved in this.

If anyone has read through previous posts of mine, you will know I did all my research before going into Surgical Menopause HRT free and I focussed on the flushes and night sweats as being the things which would have me begging for HRT, and I missed the one symptom which would change my life – depression.

Prior to my hysterectomy I was on Prozac as part of a study into treating PMDD, a severe form of PMS.  After my hysterectomy I wanted off all medication.

My husband says the problems started shortly after my operation and since then I’ve had a continual battle with depression and/or anxiety.  The last time it came with insomnia, which if any one has suffered from, you know how debilitating it can be.  My GP put me on a tablet which helped me sleep, but the problem was trying to get up and go the next day.  It was taking me a few hours to get into the day.  I halved my medication which did help a bit, but following a break away in France at the end of last year, where I forgot to pack the medication, I haven’t gone back on it again.  I really enjoyed waking up and feeling awake and ready to go, rather than feeling drugged and like I was coming out of an anaesthetic.  As part of this treatment I also had 6 sessions of CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), which really helped put things into perspective.

I know my symptoms are still there.  The Anxiety symptoms outweigh the Depression ones these days.  If my bad days start outnumbering the good days, I will go back and see my GP.  For now though, I’m trying to change my life following my hysterectomy.

Before the operation I had low blood pressure.  Since the operation I have high blood pressure – I’ve never had high blood pressure in my life.  I am overweight.  I lost a stone, which has stayed off, since giving up shift work.  I still have around 35lb I could do with losing though.  I have gone from shift work (2 days/2 nights), to working an On-Call rota every other week.  I regularly did 70 hour weeks to get extra money for things we have needed.   I am now 1 in 4 On Call and have weekends free, and am strictly 8am – 4pm at work.  I need to start using my free time and do things for myself more.  I get angry having to cook and clean the whole time while everyone else gets to do the fun stuff, which is part of my anxiety issues.

My plan is diet, exercise and now my girls are older, find my life and what I’m going to do for the next however many years.  I’ve been asked for my 5 year plan at work.  I’m 50.  My plan is to work and save up money.  Part of the money is to overpay the mortgage, so I can one day be mortgage free, and the rest is to go on holidays and trips away to see the world and have fun.  I don’t want a stressful work life, I want a work/life balance now with the emphasis on life.

I’ll let you know how long this plan lasts before my GP has to step in again.  The plus side about using Anti-Depressants though is they can weaken the impact of the other symptoms of the menopause on your life.

 

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