More On Hormones

As I’ve mentioned before, I am nearly 46 and think I have started the peri-menopause (blood tests are inconclusive, but apparently this is common as hormones fluctuate so wildly during this time).  Having looked online at the symptoms I’m yet again staggered at the similarities between this and the other conditions from which I suffer.  Peri-menopause (and full menopause) can cause:

  • palpitations
  • flushing
  • itching
  • nausea/GI problems/reflux
  • dizziness/vertigo
  • insomnia
  • night sweats
  • fatigue
  • confusion/brain fog/memory loss
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • muscle and joint pain
  • new/increased allergies
  • and a host of other undesirables

MCAD can also cause all of the above, as can a combination of ME, dysautonomia/POTS and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.  I pity the poor doctor who has to try and unravel my symptoms: which are transitory and which are not; which will respond to anti-histamines and which won’t; which would respond to hormone therapy and which would not (not that I can take HRT due to my MCAD!); and which I just have to live with.

The weird nose thing which started a few weeks ago turned out not to just be a virus.  My cold is now on its way out and the prickly nose and running mucus carry on unabated.  Super!  I also have the worst case of itchy skin I’ve ever had in my life – it feels like someone is tickling my entire face, scalp and body with tiny feathers.  I can’t help but scratch, which brings on my Dermographism, so then I’m covered in red welts and look like I’ve been dragged through a thorny hedge backwards!  I’ve switched my washing powder to Fairy non-bio but it hasn’t helped.  Other than that, nothing in my life has changed so I’ve no idea why I’m suddenly itching and suffering from hay-fever like symptoms.  My heart is also performing all sorts of acrobatics, flip-flopping all over the place and doing random huge beats that surely can’t be good for me.  Could it just be my changing hormones?  Am I having an MCAD flare-up?  Have I developed some new allergy?  Heaven alone knows because I surely don’t!

9 thoughts on “More On Hormones

  1. dotslady

    Have you had a thyroid panel done? I can particularly feel my heart when I lay down at night; it’s usually when my thyroid is off. It feels like it’s slowly rolling over and having a hard time pumping. I don’t sleep well as it is, so this is my “tell” to get it checked. This year has been an emotional year and sleep has been worse than usual with weeks of little or none. I’ve seen a cardiologist since 2010 and from echo readings have learned that the right side of my heart has enlarged a bit from lack of oxygen. Apparently, I shallow breathe and have moderate sleep apnea. I’m confused as to whether I have obstruction or just shallow breath. Anyway, oxygen would be good thing, so am trying to learn to sleep with a CPAP machine to prevent further heart enlargement. I’m going through an adjustment period on that (not happy about the whole situation). Now I wonder how my thyroid medication adjustments have contributed to my heart issue. Just a thought. I hope you figure it out.


    1. bertieandme Post author

      Thanks for taking the time to comment dotslady 🙂 .I’ve lost count of the number of thyroid checks I’ve had over the last 20 yrs (most recent was last year) and they always come back normal. I had a heart scan when I was diagnosed with EDS as it can predispose you to mitral valve prolapse but thankfully all was fine. I’ve also had a sleep study done which showed very poor sleep, with little deep sleep, but the only reason given for this was “it’s common with a diagnosis of ME and chronic pain”. I do think the palpitations are down to my hormones – menopause causes havoc with healthy women let alone someone who’s already ill :-/

      Sorry to hear you’re having to contend with these issues – the CPAP machine looks no fun at all to use 😦


      1. jane

        it was 20+ years of symptoms for me, with doctors checking my thyroid levels and telling me that they were normal, when i discovered that 2 thyroid antibodies need to be checked as well, as opposed to just the tsh that they had been doing. also, with regard to the tsh in hypothyroidism, most doctors now think that anything over about 4.5 is hypo, and a few think that anything over 3 is hypo, but there are unfortunately those few left who still believe that only over 10 is hypo. hypo can start with a sort of short or lengthy kind of “prodrome” of hyper symptoms (like palpitations, insomnia, etc), which ultimately becomes hypo. and i would suggest that the previous poster’s heart issues may have been caused by hypo before it was treated rather than the treatment itself.

        as for your awful itching and new nose stuff, mine’s brought on by food, and i’m in the process of trying to figure that all out – that’s how i ended up at your positive yet very honest blog. could it be your mcad? does mcad respond to histame/daosin, or is that stuff just internet silliness?

        hope you feel better soon!


        1. bertieandme Post author

          Hi Jane

          Thanks for your comments, much appreciated. My itching and nose thing have come on suddenly and I’m not eating or doing anything differently, which is the bit that has me stumped. Menopause increases histamine, so it could be that I’m not reacting to anything per se but just that my histamine ‘bucket’ is overflowing due to hormonal changes. It’s all such a muddle when you have several illnesses going on at once and so hard to unravel.

          MCAD and histamine intolerance are different issues. Histamine intolerance happens when a lack of DAO in the gut causes an excess of histamine to build up in our bodies from the foods that we eat (at least that’s my understanding, though I’m happy to be told I’m wrong!). Taking a DAO supplement like Daosin or Histame should help. MCAD is an over-reaction of mast cells in the immune system and although DAO can be low in MCAD taking a DAO supplement won’t ‘cure’ MCAD – you need to stop the mast cells over-reacting (usually by taking mast cell stabilizers) and then ‘mop up’ the excess histamine floating round the body (usually by using H1 and/or H2 anti-histamines, although some people choose the natural route and just take supplements like Quercetin etc.). Following a low histamine diet helps both diseases, as the less histamine your body has to deal with from food the better x


          1. Jenn

            What are mast cell stabilizers? I’ve tried histimine blockers or all sorts, reflux meds galore, all with some side effects from the meds. So still searching and frustrated….

            As for hormone testing; for years mine came back normal until I finally did a hair sample test, as well as , some more obscure thyroid testing. For example; reverse T3 showed abnormalities, yet it is not in the “normal” approved hormone testing done here. It took an out of the box doctor/endocrinologist to find my hidden thyroid issue.

            Hope this helps.


          2. chrissy

            Wow this definitely points towards mast cell activation disorder. Can’t get anyone to say so tho, although I am on H1 and H2 blockers from Dr as he said mast cell degranulation problem! Is that confirmation?


  2. Melissa


    I could have writt n this post myself. The last two years I’ve experienced a myriad of symptoms. (I just turned 47). But the itching started 8 weeks ago completely out of the blue. Due to my extensive research and reading up on all perimenopausal symptoms, I think you can safely say it’s due to the constant fluxing hormones. It’s been the most challenging time thus far in my life. (And I’ve faced many obstacles and trials). What we as women have to endure is beyond insanity (well those that suffer the horrid transitional symptoms). The only symptoms I’ve not yet had ate the hot flushes and night sweats. I guess those are lurking around some scaly corner lying in wait for me. But yes, I hear you and feel for you and yes have empathy for your situation, because I’m in the very same boat. I am estrogen dominant, and will not use HRT unless I really have to. Thus far I’ve been white knuckling it through and using supplements. Good luck and know that you not alone. Perhaps you can give some feedback of how you feeling at present as this post was originally posted in 2015.


    1. Jak Post author

      Hi Melissa

      Thanks for the comment though really sorry you’re suffering too. Like you say, being a girl sucks!! I’ve written several posts on peri-menopause since 2015, the lastest one is here and the one before that here I was thinking of doing a short update though, so will try and remember to do that next week. Jak x



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