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Menopause and Scleroderma


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#1 barefut

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 09:46 PM

I have not found a lot of information on Scleroderma and menopause 'out there'. Here are some questions I am looking for answers to:

Does menopause exacerbate sclero symptoms?

Does scleroderma (systemic) affect menopause symptoms making them more intense, last longer, start earlier....?

How does hormone therapy affect sclerodermians considering the disease itself as well as interaction with medications used to treat scleroderma and its related diseases (Raynaud's etc,.)?

How can you sort out the symptoms of scleroderma vs. menopause vs. medication side effects and does one even need to?

Has there been any research/studies on the effects of menopause on scleroderma vice versa? If not, why not?

Why can't sclerodermians just be excused/exempt from the symptoms of menopause? Don't we have enough on our plates? :huh:

#2 Sassi

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 06:15 AM

Hi,

I'm new here but have been reading posts on this site for awhile. Just had to respond to your post because I've been wondering about this issue of menopause and sclero myself. Like you, I tried to research it on the internet and didn't find much. I was recently diagnosed with sclero (but not completely happy with my doctor, he hasn't done many tests that I read about others having and basically just says to come back in 6 months.) I had a hysterectomy 8 years ago, immediately went on HRT and had noticed my body changing and symptoms shortly after that. I am particularly concerned if my HRT is having a good and/or bad effect on this disease. I take Estratest (HS) and it does work for me, I have tried going off several times and feel awful so I end up going back on. My doctor doesn't think there's any connection, but like I said, he doesn't seem to have much background with sclero.

This is a great website, by the way. :)

#3 barefut

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 02:03 PM

Hi Sassi,

Welcome! Glad to see you post. How long ago were you diagnosed? It doesn't sound like your doctor is a scleroderma specialist. There is a place on the medical main page here you can go to find a specialist in your area.

I'm sure we will get some feedback from those who have and are going through "the big change". Stay tuned.

#4 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 03:55 PM

We've just added some more information on Menopause and Scleroderma on the main site, to help address a few of these questions.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#5 Joelf

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 07:19 AM

Hi Barefut

I went through the menopause about 2 years ago and I was very lucky that in my case it was a total non event! I realise now with hindsight that all the symptoms I had were due to Scleroderma and not as I had originally thought due to the menopause but I think it is quite difficult to tell which is which having not experienced either before!! :blink:

I do hope that it's not affecting you too much & that you go through 'the change' as painlessly as I did!! ;)

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#6 lizzie

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 03:48 AM

Hi Barefut, Like Joelf, my menopause was a couple of years ago. In contrast to the experience of many non-sclero friends, other than for the welcome absence of periods, I would not have known it was happening.

Lizzie

#7 Sassi

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 03:32 PM

Thank you for the welcome :VeryHappy: I was diagnosed last August and what brought it to light was Raynaud's disease. The doctor (GP) started putting everything together, my digestive issues (reflux, pain), so he did a blood workup and told me they are leaning towards scleroderma. He ruled out Lupus and RA. He referred me to my present rhuematologist, who I don't have very good communication with so I am searching for a new rheumatologist, thanks for the info!

The only issue I have right now is knowing whether it's okay to be on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with sclero. My doctor seems to think if it's working for me to stay with it.

#8 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 05:24 AM

Hello Sassi

Welcome to the forum! If you're looking for a new rheumatologist you may want to have a look at our list of scleroderma specialists. It's important to have a good rapport with your rheumatologist.

Take care and keep posting.
Amanda Thorpe
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