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willowfrond
March 1st, 2010, 09:15 PM
Hi guys,

It's been a long time since I have been here. The following is a diary I started last week, it is more about a treatment I discovered for debilitating menopause effects....but perhaps it is not coincidental that I have found my way back to mwo.
So here we go....I guess the point here for women of my age is that menopause can be an added complication, it like alcoholism is physiological.
My Menopause/Tribulus Diary.
Before I begin my diary, I will give you a background of what lead me to tribulus as many of you will know that it is more commonly used for male sexual function than for menopause. I think that giving you an idea of the state I was in before I started taking tribulus is important
Depression is common in menopause and I was obviously depressed before it even started (2008). My life has never been easy and even at the best of times I think I was battling to deal with a lot of things from my past. The years 2000 ? 2006 were particularly bad to the point of being assisted by the authorities in 2004 to flee across the country to try to build a new life. For one reason and another the ?building a new life? started but never flowered, the bud not only died on the vine, it decomposed. I live in an area of high unemployment and from 2004 to the present time had only been able to get part time or casual work with long periods of total unemployment, this even though I had been part of management of two award nominated small businesses.
In December 2009 I was referred by Jobfind for assessment by a psychologist after telling them I felt I needed help but that all my doctor wanted to do was prescribe antidepressants but no counseling or other help. I had try the antidepressants for 2 months in 2008 but weaned myself off them. I did not want to take antidepressants because I already had alcohol and nicotine to deal with and also I had known people who used these medications for years and never gotten any better. I was referred to another psychologist and began cognitive therapy. The approach of the psychologist has been wonderful, drawing out the hurts or fears of the past, helping me to deal with them in small chunks and also getting me to formulate plans for the now and the future. Almost immediately I was able to cut my alcohol consumption by half, I think that was because I have begun to feel hope again. I really do want to get work and a life and get out of debt.
The psychologist could not help me with were menopause symptoms which had become so bad I was becoming sleep deprived which was not helping things at all. Every day I would wake at 5am hit by wave after wave of hot flushes which would last until around 8am and hit randomly throughout the day and then start again in the evening usually around 10pm but sometimes earlier and continue sometimes to 1am.I felt constantly damp and overheated the manifestation of this around my neck and in my hands particularly distressed me. I had lost all faith in my doctor not only because of my experience but also some things I had heard about his treatment of others. Depressed and irrational I kept thinking that sooner or later, I would be over menopause and the flushes would stop.
After my second session with the psychologist I realised I was not likely to get better unless I could get rid of the physiological problems caused by menopause.I consulted another doctor who was unwilling to prescribe HRT as she felt that due to my current situation it could make me suicidal, she then went on to say she could give me some samples of an antidepressant that had the side effect of relieving hot flushes. We went through the contraindications and side effects together, no mention was made of testing me for kidney or liver function (contraindication list) and even after reading out the possible side effects which included suicide, self harm, harm to others, rage, seizure, headache and more, her opinion was that I should try them. I declined and was told to try ?something natural? but with no recommendation as to what as she had no idea.
Back home in the middle of another session of hell heat, I started googling. I was very upset, HRT being on the pharmaceutical benefit list, would cost me a fraction of what a herbal remedy would. I had tried to discuss HRT that included a small amount of testosterone with the doctor as I had read that it often helped with depression, there is evidence that it is good for bone strength but she would not listen at all. After searching menopause relief, I was unconvinced about most of the herbal mixes I found as most of them had some ingredients which did have possible adverse effects. To get a mix that didn?t worry me, I would have to purchase each one individually, the quick math I did left me in total despair.
Then I did a search for testosterone alternative and up came tribulus, if you do this search you will be overwhelmed by sites for men, body building sites mostly, a search for tribulus will have similar results but with some medical and naturopathic sites as well. I read a lot over two days even on the bodybuilding sites, I did not find any record of side effects, other than nausea which is best overcome by taking tribulus with food. Some of the action of tribulus is well understood; it acts on the Pituitary gland and stimulates LH in men and FSH in women. It has been used for centuries in China and India, mostly for men but also as a tonic for women, also for huge variety of complaints including kidney stones, respiratory distress, high cholesterol, depression and more.
I found the results of one clinical trial conducted for menopause relief using Tribulus alone which recorded very positive results but was not highly thought of as the institution which conducted the tests had a vested interest in that they are associated with the company producing the product. I did some background research on the scientists involved and they seemed highly qualified to me.
19th February 2010 After much thought, mostly about what this was going to cost me when compared to HRT I went ahead and ordered Thompson?s Tribulus 20000. The choice of product was governed by that the site offering PayPal via bank deposit, this slowed delivery
So now I will begin the diary.
25th February 2010
After not getting to sleep until 1am because of flushes, I wake as usual at around 5am and am hit with wave after wave again, sweating and feeling light headed and burning for 5 minutes, then being assaulted by chills as the ambient temperature isn?t warm. Pull the covers up, feel ok for a few moments and then off we go again, over and over and over. I finally pull myself out of bed at 8am feeling awful.
From 10 am to 12pm I work calling potential venues for a band I represent, 12 to 2 are not good times for these calls and I am also exhausted. The house is a tip but I have no motivation or energy for that and decide to have a snooze which when possible, has become a normal daily event. The moment my head hits the pillow I am hit with a hot flush, so I sit in an armchair and try to read but the flushes keep coming.
Around 1pm there is a knock at the door, my Tribulus has arrived. I waste no time and make myself a sandwich as the instructions say to take with food to avoid nausea which is the only bad thing I have read about this herb. This is a big thing for me, as with rare exceptions I have only eaten one meal a day in the evening for over 5 years it also isn?t easy to be motivated to eat while burning up. As I take the capsule I really have no expectations, in fact I have always been a bit of a skeptic with regards to natural therapy. In the back of my mind I am thinking that taking this capsule is a bit like staking my future on winning the lottery.
I do some more work, get dinner for my son and me and then settle down with a book and the TV on ? my son is 19 and mostly stays in his room these days ? so I read with TV noise in the background or watch shows I am interested in. At around 9.30pm I feel the inevitable start of a flush, it starts around the upper back of the arms and flows forward and outward but at the point when it would normally flood my chest and flow up into my head and down the rest of my body, it stops, I feel warm but not sweaty or distressed. I think about this and gauge how I am feeling, my mouth is very dry my tongue feels like sandpaper so I go to get some water, it takes a while but sipping constantly the dryness which is almost painful subsides. I also realise with delight that my hands are cool and the constant dampness between my fingers is gone.
Over the next few hours, this start but stop happens twice more.
I sleep undisturbed from 1am (the book was too good to put down) until 10.30am the next morning.


26th February 2010
10.30 am The first thing I notice is that I am hungry so I cook a boiled egg and take a Tribulus. I also feel more clear headed which is probably due to the good sleep. I get down to work.
12pm Damn a flush, a real one it doesn?t last very long but it startles me, perhaps last night was mind over matter? The alternative is that the product I am using, although high potency one a day (maybe that?s for men?), contains roughly one third the lowest dosage amount of active ingredient protodioscin used in the clinical trials and one sixth the highest. The trial used 3 different dosage amounts, the higher two reduced gradually over 20-30days to a maintenance dose approximately equal to two of my product per day. I decide to up my dose and take another with my evening meal, I would rather start low and increase if I need to. At least I am not so exhausted that I feel a need for a daytime nap.
I remain sweaty for the rest of the day but it is a very hot humid day, I have another flush just after I have had my dinner and taken more tribulus at 7pm.
Again I have two stop starts, I have snack at 10pm but this is not down to tribulus I have been doing so for some time probably because I don?t eat enough during the day. It is Friday, no work tomorrow so I watch a movie until just after 1am and then go to bed.
27th February 2010
I wake at 8am having had no disturbance again, I also realise that my dreams have changed, for months I have been plagued by ridiculous, frightening dreams and I remember this morning dreaming of good times with family and friends. I feel a bit nauseous and eat a dry slice of bread to take my tribulus.
I survey my house, still a tip, I feel stirrings of motivation but being the lazy person I am, I don?t act on them.
It is another hot day, I am sweaty, hands damp though not so bad. Two days ago the air conditioner would have been on at this point, worrying me about money, it is important to me that I feel I can cope with just a fan, especially as the tribulus is going to cost me more than I first anticipated.
For most of the day I read, studiously ignoring the state of my house. I have another real flush at around midday.
The evening passes uneventfully, I still feel sweaty but not even any stop starts and the ambient temperature has not dropped very much. I go to bed with a fan blowing over me but after about an hour wake up and turn it off.
Perhaps I should note here, I am still drinking alcohol in the form of red wine every day and have two cups of coffee every morning and I smoke (tobacco). These things are not good for my condition or any other for that matter and must be addressed, I have given only lip service to this in the past, can I get beyond this?
28th February 2010
Sunday dawns with another uninterrupted sleep, according to the weather forecast last night today should be cooler but the thermometer on my wall is at 30 degrees C (for those of you more familiar that is 86 degrees F). According to Wikepedia; Room temperature is a common term to denote a certain temperature within enclosed space to which humans are accustomed. Room temperature is thus often indicated by general human comfort, with the common range of 20 ?C (68 ?F) to 25 ?C (77 ?F)[1], though climate may acclimatize people to higher or lower temperatures.
Ok at 8am my house is already out of the comfort zone, I am slightly sweaty. I opt for a slice of toast with sliced green apple topped with sliced cheese and grilled, it is yummy and down goes the tribulus.
I spend a lot of time doing some more research on tribulus because in thinking of upping doses I want to know which way to go, I am convinced it is doing me good if only with the better sleep and more pleasant dreams, I may still be having some flushes but they are greatly reduced. I am debating, do I go to 2 capsules twice daily or do I go to 1 capsule thrice daily?
If my terminology has been irritating; you I know a lot of people call it flashes not flushes but my mum always said flushes and sufferers do look flushed. Also to me a flash is something that comes and goes in seconds and believe me that has not been my experience of this phenomenon. So for mum and my experience, you have an explanation.
Other things I can only say I think are happening; my morning smokers cough has reduced, I ?feel? strength in my body particularly my legs and shoulders, I can think about bad things and remain calm enough to do as I should which is recognise my feelings and let go. I have more energy not enough yet but getting there.
A cool change is coming, I can feel it and the birds are chirping away as they get ready, this means my results tomorrow or for however long the cool change lasts could be skewed by nature. Hot flushes are still hot flushes even in the middle of winter nights making anyone who has one have to throw of the blankets until the sweat starts to chill but during the day the cooler climate could reduce the generalised sweaty feeling.
I have decided 1 capsule thrice daily, not only is it within my preferred start slowly and lowly but it will force me to eat three times a day and it seems to offer a more stable level of the active ingredient. The maintenance level aimed for is 2 capsules per day of the current product. I decide to start 3 a day tomorrow.
2.28pm I have decided on a snooze, I?m not exhausted just a little sleepy and it is Sunday. I know I am coming across as extremely lazy and probably weak. It is my hope that in the course of my diary you will see a change in me.
4.42pm I have awakened to the sound of distant thunder and I need some things at the shops which are luckily only a short walking distance away. The relief on offer from a thunderstorm is palpable but I had better get going if I don?t want to get caught in it, receiving a drenching would be nothing but lightning frightens me. I close down our computers and modem before leaving.
6pm My son wont be home for dinner so I just make myself some baked beans on toast, normally dinner would be chicken, fish or meat with at least three veg. I take a glucosamine and a vitamin B1.
10pm feeling really tired so off to bed.
1st March 2010
5am Oh NO flushes flushes, it isn?t until 8am that I realise I didn?t take tribulus last night. What an idiot and I am coughing up a storm.
9am Sultana bran and tribulus for breakfast. Today I have an appointment with the psychologist at 1.30pm his office is quite a distance away so I also pack an apple sandwich to have on the way, I wrap one tribulus capsule so that the moisture from the apple is not likely to effect it and put it inside the sandwich wrapper.
1.25pm We start our consult early, for the first time I am able to discuss issues and plans without tears. We discuss tribulus and lots of other topics from the past and present. I have not made much progress toward my short term goals since our last consult three weeks ago but my psychologist says he is encouraged by a change in my demeanour. We set some more goals for my next consult in three weeks time. I am to investigate and possibly enrol in a short course I have found which would give me an all important diploma and increase my employability, I am to start walking regularly, continue working on alcohol consumption by keeping a drink diary and do small bits of the house to start getting it back in order. I must point out that it was me who came up with these goals, the psychologist did no more than prompt and then support.
3.45pm Back home again, even though I didn?t cry the consult with the psychologist still left me feeling a little drained. I am concerned that I don?t have a GP who will listen and discuss important issues as under our health system I can only see my psychologist 2 more times within 12 months without a GP review and I think I need more sessions to really cement change.
7pm Corned beef and 4 veg for dinner followed by tribulus and off to bed at 10pm
2nd March 2010
8.30 am I wake with a mild flush have breakfast with tribulus. I am not very happy, I don?t want any flushes. I decide that I will space the doses more evenly, one with breakfast, one with a snack mid-afternoon and one with a light supper just before bed.
This diary is getting boring and repetitious, even to me so I will close and update in one weeks time, with a summary of changes if any.
1.50pm I have to report I have gone back to the website My Way Out which is about alcohol. I had been half heartedly visiting last year in an effort to help myself. Today I would like to go alcohol free but I have some concerns, tribulus elevates dopamine which is probably what has made me feel good enough to get back to My way out, quitting alcohol altogether also effects dopamine. Short term and or moderate alcohol use elevates dopamine, which is why it feels good, in long term alcohol use the brain compensates by dropping dopamine production. Will stopping alcohol as well as taking tribulus result in some sort of brain storm?

Lion Queen
March 1st, 2010, 09:58 PM
Keep postin willow! very good read!

LVT25
March 2nd, 2010, 08:57 AM
Have you had your hormone levels tested?

willowfrond
March 2nd, 2010, 10:21 PM
Love to but


LVT25;814864 wrote: Have you had your hormone levels tested?
The only doctors I have found that I can get into see just don't do this, they give out standardised scripts based on oestrogen replacement and are unwilling to enter into discussion about any other other hormone.
Today I contacted the local public hospital Alcohol & drug unit and the person there has not only put me on the list for inpatient detox (could take 4 weeks to get a place but so long as I know it is coming). advised not to try to go cold turkey in the mean time because I am high risk for withdrawal and yes the dopamine in my herb could have an effect. Bonus also pointed me to a womens' clinic for help with advice and treatment for menopause, they originally said that their books were closed i.e. not taking new patients but with a little begging I got a consult for late April.
Second bonus a self help group to visit on Friday, it will be nice to just be with people, I don't think I will talk much, probably just listen.

Sky
March 3rd, 2010, 01:37 AM
Talk to the Menopause Centre, NSW. They will discuss bio-identical HRT with you and arrange for you to have your individual hormone levels tested. I have found the bio-identical medication fantastic after being on synthetic HRT for 12 months. Telephone 1300 883 405.

willowfrond
March 3rd, 2010, 10:37 PM
Thanks Sky,
I think I am going to have to 'hold hard' for a couple of weeks, I have just received notice that the house I am living in has been sold and the property redeveloped. I have 60 days to find somewhere else and have been scraping through financially on the rent I pay here which is very low.
I will find something, I am throwing myself to the mercy of housing NSW and community housing.
In the meantime, I'll just stick with the herb and reevaluate when I am more settled.
It's a bummer I can't commit to a detox programme until I have somewhere to move to but I am doing ok, not falling apart making mostly rational decisions. I would just like to get the show on the road.