Any other caregivers dealing with symptoms of menopause along with caregiving duties?

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Am I the only one, or are any of you other caregivers dealing with the symptoms of menopause along with your caregiving duties? I get about 3-4 hrs. of sleep a night and then wake up soaking wet from night sweats. When I get a bit of time to myself , I cry.. without my mum knowing. Sometimes I get so angry (not at my mum) I shake, it just lasts a few minutes and then it's over. My emotions are up and down and everything seems overwhelming at times. Other than HRT, have any of you found a way to keep calm and reduce symptoms so it doesn't affect your caregiving duties? I do go for a 45 minute walk every day.

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Hi Macada,
Smitty has some good advice. I'd also try meditation. Dr. Andrew Weil offers many natural ways to relax. There are, of course, many types of meditation. The idea is to free the mind from worry. If you gain comfort from turning your troubles over to God, then use meditation as a means to do that. Yoga stretches (you needn't worry about any "religious" meaning here, just the physical stretches) can be very relaxing. Dr. Weil's site is just one of many to show you some poses.

Remember that, as Smitty says, you are doing your best. You know you aren't angry with your mom. It's your jumbled hormones. You may be interested in knowing that several studies have shown HRT given for just a few years can be beneficial.

By all means, don't blame yourself. Look for relaxation and relief any way you can get it (in a healthy manner, obviously). And try to get some respite help with your mom so it doesn't feel like everything depends on you.

Take care,
Carol
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Yes, I completely understand what you are experiencing. It's not your fault. I know we tend to feel guilty if we aren't perfect caregivers. Give yourself permission to be human. I can't take HRT but I've heard that Estroven helps because it has black cohosh in it which reduces hot flashes. Herbs aren't studied in this country so many western doctors don't recommend them. It's worth a try though. Good luck. I hear ya on the insomnia. Hugs to you! You're doing the best you can. never forget that!
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ME, ME, ME!! I could have wrote the same letter! My emotions are all over the place. I can't sleep. Some other personal symptoms (if you get my drift) I have been taking Estroven and also something recommended by health food store guru call DIM plus. Order it from Vitacost though, it's alot cheaper.
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Me too! I get hot flashes a lot. Exercise and prayer help me deal with everything.
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Yes, I feel exactly like you... and am seeking same. Some things that work for me.

I go to gym 3 times a week to lift weights, listen to music and connect with others.

Walk daily with dog and sweetheart.

Try to do yoga... local community places. Only Gentle/Restorative yoga, because in addition to the walking and weights, it's more about stretching, meditation and reminders to stay centered, etc.

On top of all this, I too wake with night sweats. Jump out of bed! Seems like I can't sleep for more than 1.5 -2 hours at a time. Can't be good in the long run and I have been doing this for years! When I do notice that I've slept for 4 hours straight I dance with joy!

I am NOT suggesting this, but it seems to help. I run down to the freezer and eat a sugar free ice pop. It cools me down and I fall back to sleep quickly. The bad side is the fake sugar! So this week I am trying a small cool cucumber to cool down. I know it sounds silly, but it is much more healthy than fake sugar ice pop...

I've tried hormones, melatonin, and every other suggestion from Weil and Oz. I feel like they just push products and nothing really helped. So, I'm munching a cool cucumber at night and hope to sleep.

Started the "Engine 2, Plant Strong 28 Day Challenge". Dr. Esselstyn and other doctors and medical researchers found that the consumption of only vegetable products (excluding fat/oil, salt, sugar) is very healthy. I'm not an expert, but the research is compelling and you can find it on the internet.

My best wishes to you. I think women should band together and address this issue, because the medical field doesn't seem to get it. For me it has lasted 10+ years!

My mom's approach was to "ignore it" and get on with life. That's another thing we could try. Make believe it's not really happening. ;-) I find that very difficult, because it IS happening and I for one need to keep looking for answers. Yoga, exercise and working on eating super healthy is kind of fun. :-)
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Weil recommends both meditation and breathing for proper relaxation.

But google "dr weil menopause herbs" and you will find plenty of natural herbs that DO help menopause as well as many that are routinely recommended but DO NOT have ANY science to back them up. So you can see what might be worth it to try for you and your symptoms as well as what NOT to bother with. Don't ever forget that herbs, although natural, provide material doses of plant ingredients. Side effects should always be checked against prescription medications and other supplements before taking.

HYLANDS Standard Homeopathic remedy number 13 is an old standby for menopausal symptoms. It is a combination remedy and doesn't work because it is a combination, isn't "stronger" because of the combination of ingredients, but will work if one of the ingredients is the one you need for your symptoms. Non-toxic. No contra-indications with other medications or supplements and easily available online or at most health food stores.
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Macada - Have you ever heard of lying on your back, take your right three fingers (or anyones you have strength in), and rub COUNTERCLOCKWISE very, very deep breathing in your nose and out your mouth? Gauranteed to put you in a deep, relaxed state and you may fall asleep. I do that exercise when I have too many things on my mind and am trying to fall asleep. You have to push down hard (into your belly button and it will hurt), but it is worth it! Try it and see if it works for you. Also, try going shopping and just talk to whomever is there. You would be surprised how many people you can talk to and you will forget about your problems for awhile. My best to you!
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Forgot to mention I can't take HRT due to breast cancer - estrogen positive...
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Hello Macada,

I know exactly how you feel. I am in that place myself. I have been taking care of my mother who has dementia for the past 7+ years. I take ashwagandha at night and it relieves night sweats. Also tart cherry juice at night helps with sleep.

Make sure you have dinner at least 3 hrs before sleep and try not to have alcohol at night because this increases night sweat. Try to be detatched when dealing with your mother. I know this is easier said than done :) God bless you. Your reward is waiting in heaven.
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I would say 99% of the lady writers on this site have menopause. I went into menopause naturally at 42 yrs. and still have some hot flashes, but I just get cool with my cold wrap from Mission which you wet with cold water then snap it three times, and it stays cold. I also walk every day 3 - 4 times per day since we have a dog and cat (yes, the cat takes a walk with us), have a Chair Gym to increase my strength, meditate, watch cartoons, watch animal programs and the HGTV International House hunter to see different locations to live. There are dozens of ways to relax, you have to find the ones that are right for YOU. It can be done without drugs, alcohol, or HRT which has been shown to increase your heart risk. You are going through the rough part now while your body readjusts to the changing hormone levels. If you can stick it out then symptoms subside to a tolerable level. Think about our foremothers who never took hormones and lived. It does get better! (And krusso, maybe the site's server is being overloaded and it needs to delete every so many days - I really don't know).
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