Home Women Health ‘Menopause symptoms made me think I had dementia’

‘Menopause symptoms made me think I had dementia’

‘Menopause symptoms made me think I had dementia’

All I knew in regards to the menopause was that your monthly bleeding stops, you almost certainly haven’t bled for 12 months, and that this didn’t occur till you were in your 50’s.

Whilst a nurse and educator, I had no idea in regards to the the menopause or peri-menopause, as I hadn’t specialised in gynaecology, my area of experience was coronary care.

Once I was younger, my mother referred to periods as ‘the curse’.

I remember once when my father got here home and my mother was on the bathroom, he asked me where she was and I replied ‘she’s got the curse’.

Because I said that, he got here upstairs and gave me a wallop. I’ll always remember that. Simply because I had mentioned something taboo aka periods, I used to be reprimanded.

My mother would all the time claim that ‘the curse’ was the worst thing in life, so all I knew about menstruation and girls’s intimate health were negative connotations.

Whilst a nurse and educator, I had no idea in regards to the the menopause or peri-menopause

I also remember being on holiday with my parents, my mother would have been in her 50’s on the time. She collapsed to the ground in a hotel in Spain, and was crying consistently, it was like she was having a nervous breakdown. We needed to get straight on a flight and are available home.

My father got hold of the local GP, who got here in and said ‘Oh I do know what’s the matter with you’. They doped my mother up on Diazepam, and it knocked her out for a few days. Ever since then, she’s had problems with anxiety, panic attacks, and may be very fragile mentally.

We’ve all the time put this all the way down to her ‘nervous breakdown’, which now looking back was obviously attributable to the menopause – but no one ever said it.

Because my mother was of the generation to only ‘suck it up and move on’ while being in a high powered job, running her own business – she just flipped and couldn’t take anymore.

Unfortunately, women were and are still expected to maintain that stiff upper lip and soldier on through their symptoms.

‘Saucepan Sue’

Once I first went to my GP and someone mentioned menopause and peri-menopause to me, I used to be coming as much as age 50. Initially, I went to the GP because I used to be convinced I had early onset dementia, resulting from what I now know was brain fog, a standard menopausal symptom.

Words wouldn’t come out of my mouth, I couldn’t formulate the sentences I desired to say. I can be considering one thing, and a special word would come out.

In reality, everyone in my family would call me Saucepan Sue, after the forgetful character Saucepan Man from Enid Blyton’s book, Folk of the Faraway Tree.

It was an ongoing family joke, ‘Saucepan Sue is talking gobbledygook again’.

Although funny to some, it was extremely debilitating as I used to be working in education and never with the ability to find the words to deliver a lecture was incredibly frustrating.

Words wouldn’t come out of my mouth, I couldn’t formulate the sentences I desired to say

After seeing the GP for this, it was the primary discussion I had on menopause, peri-menopause and HRT.

After my appointment, I began to perform some research (that’s also when things had began to air on the TV and it was being spoken about), however it was difficult to search out information that you just knew was coming from a good source.

As a healthcare skilled, I used to be well aware that not all the pieces you read on the web is solid in stone. You will have to look where it’s come from, who paid for the research etc.

It was a minefield, and really difficult to search out good sources of research, and still no one looked as if it would wish to speak about it. Especially topics around sex lives being disrupted and the proven fact that I used to be feeling completely numb inside!


Dementia or Brain Fog? Palpitations or heart attack?

Although the brain fog (which I believed was dementia) gave the impression of my first symptom coming as much as age 50, looking back now I don’t think it was. In reality, I consider I began seeing symptoms of peri-menopause in my early 40’s.

On the time, I visited my GP and explained that I used to be experiencing heavy periods, which I had never experienced before.

The doctor prescribed me some tablets and said ‘Don’t worry about it, you’ll probably be stopping your periods soon, so there’s no point in providing you with a hysterectomy’.

Yet here we’re 15 years later and I’ve been told I actually have fibroids, which remains to be causing irregular, heavy bleeding, though I’m menopausal.

On the time of the heavy bleeding I also began to have heart palpitations. Coming from a coronary care background, these sudden palpitations were scary, I couldn’t understand what was happening.

these sudden palpitations were scary, I couldn’t understand what was happening

These palpitations used to grip me to the purpose where I felt like I’d pass out. It felt like someone was holding me by the throat and I used to be being strangled.

I once described that it felt like being put under with an anaesthetic after which coming back again, and it could occur at anytime. It even happened once I was driving once, luckily it was fleeting and by the point I had stopped and took a breath it had began to wear off.

But even after chatting with my GP, no one, not even a cardiologist, could say what it was apart from suspecting it might be all the way down to hormones.

Looking back, and knowing what I do know now, I consider that the symptoms of heavy bleeding and palpitations in my early 40’s, was the beginning of my menopause.


‘I felt like a possessed woman’

Luckily my husband is a mental health nurse and has been very patient with me through the years.

I’d fly off the handle, emotions up and down, screaming, shouting – I felt like a possessed woman. It’s unbelievable that our marriage has lasted and we’ve managed to remain together.

I’m also a control freak, so not with the ability to feel that I had control of my emotions was particularly hard for me.

Each time I got an infection or illness on top of my menopausal symptoms, I felt totally depressed, couldn’t see any light at the top of the tunnel, and I’d think to myself ‘is that this my life now?’ I felt suicidal at some points, the tears just wouldn’t stop.

My husband may not have known about what I used to be going through, but he understood that whatever was happening to me wasn’t something I could control, and was empathetic. But, many individuals may not have the luxurious of a husband/partner who knows cope with these situations.

I’d fly off the handle, emotions up and down, screaming, shouting

I now understand why marriages break down, and why men leave their wives. It’s not because they need a younger model, it’s because their wives are acting batty as a fruit cake with a dried up vagina. Who desires to have sex with that?!

I felt like a dried up raisin, fit for nothing and no one. And you only think what’s the purpose in living? There’s no joy in anything anymore.

Though my husband was understanding, he didn’t know anything about menopause. That’s why I made him watch the Davina McCall documentaries, because it’s good for him to learn what I had been and still am going through.


Coping with the symptoms

Years and years ago I used to smoke and drink to cope with issues and stress.

But I consistently battled with the thoughts, ‘Do I seek help or do I soldier on?’, ‘Do I would like antidepressants or do I wait for my hormones to balance out?’, ‘How bad do I let this get before I seek help?’.

As an alternative of getting so far, surely women should as a substitute be hearing, ‘You’re at some extent now where these issues are probably attributable to your hormones, here’s what can enable you to manage through this transition’.

If I had had help ten to fifteen years ago when all this began, then possibly I wouldn’t have had such an awful time. I mean getting help for these women earlier reasonably than later, could quite literally save peoples lives. Women have taken their very own lives because they’ve been in such crisis, and families have broken apart, marriages broken down.

Women have taken their very own lives because they’ve been in such crisis

When all these little things begin to occur which can be affecting your life, why are we told to attend or soldier on when there’s help available?

That’s when the hopelessness and depression sets in, and for many ladies that could be the primary time they eventually seek help, reasonably having the knowledge to hunt help for the small things before it involves that.

Why have I and lots of other women needed to fight a battle with these doctors, when all we’re asking, is for the hormones to get replaced that our bodies make? I’m not asking for something that my body doesn’t make, I’m just asking the doctors to assist me maintain the conventional hormonal levels – a traditional a part of every woman’s hormonal package.


My menopausal lifeline

Fast forward to now, I’m currently 55 years old, and thankfully the menopause is being spoken about greater than ever before. Magazines, TV programmes, radio and even Parliament are finally giving the menopause the eye it needs.

One such magazine is Healthista, who covers the menopause on their website, and now offers in-depth menopause information and advice of their Menopause Pack.

I particularly liked the format of the Healthista Menopause Pack, and website. Though I had already done a number of research on Menopause, I still learnt plenty of recent information and all the pieces was delivered via videos in easy to know bite-sized chunks.

It didn’t go on and on or overwhelm me with information. It was concise, and straightforward to administer – because let’s face it, people don’t have time to look at long informational videos, or read long books!

Having all the pieces multi function place, was a superb holistic approach to helping menopausal women, covering not only what is occurring at once and what’s going to the long run appear like, but additionally cope with current symptoms.

Having all the pieces multi function place, was a superb holistic approach to helping menopausal women

I also loved the order of which the data was presented. You first find out about hormones and what causes the menopause. You then learn what changes are happening to your body and what form of symptoms to expect.

For instance I learnt why the stomach and abdomen area expands in later years – since the fat cells are attempting to hold on to the oestrogen that’s left, after oestrogen levels drop significantly. These fat cells are attempting to carry onto the oestrogen via the abdomen to keep up oestrogen levels and that’s a reason women see a rise in abdominal fat – I used to be amazed that that is the explanation!

I gained a full understanding on how hormones play such a key role in maintaining women’s health and the way testosterone is something we produce, and I never realised the necessary role testosterone plays in the course of the menopause.

Everyone should find out about this. This must be taught in schools.

The Healthista Menopause Pack also highlighted the importance of incorporating weight training into our on a regular basis lives, and the way balance exercises may also help to keep up and support bone health and your posture – I had no idea we could do something to really maintain bone health!

Dr Dawn Heathista

The Menopause as a positive

My favourite take away from the Healthista Menopause pack was the menopause with a positive mind set. Having had such negative ideas across the menopause before, the positive psychology section of the Menopause Pack made me look and evaluate what my preconceptions were.

It helped me understand why these negative thoughts and emotions were there, and to as a substitute take a look at the menopause as a time that will get well. In reality, there may even be positive things that come out of the menopause, reasonably than focussing on all of the doom and gloom surrounding the topic.

It helps put into perspective that girls CAN feel like they’re gaining some control back, because many of the issues linked to those women during menopause, is because they not feel answerable for themselves, their bodies or their emotions.

there may even be positive things that come out of the menopause

I actually have been in such a dark place at points considering is ‘this my life now, is it ever going to get well?’ – I wish I had had this Menopause Pack once I was feeling that way. Everyone I now meet who’s in need, I send them to the Healthista Menopause Pack as a reliable source of knowledge and advice.

The menopause is only a stage and even for those who feel like there’s no light at the top of the tunnel, it’s nice to listen to from the experts that it’s going to get well.

Since working my way through the Menopause Pack, I actually have began to take St John’s Wort to lift my mood, magnesium to assist sleep and cod liver oil to guard my joints. I also can now say that my palpitations, night sweats and other symptoms have disappeared, thanks in fact to Hormone Alternative Therapy (HRT) and the Healthista Menopause Pack.

The Healthista Menopause Pack, is ideal for all and sundry with a womb. It’s necessary and imperative to have an easily accessible source of knowledge, filled with research, evidence and help.


The Healthista Menopause Pack is a totally comprehensive online video workshop, led by Dr Dawn Harper; inexpensive, accessible and covering all elements of the menopause, for many who need it most.

With expert advice and data from seven credible menopause industry experts, we hope that this online resource will help women navigate common health and wellness changes and challenges they could experience before, after and in the course of the menopause.


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