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Old 01-16-2010, 10:21 AM   #1
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Default Menopause and BBW's

I've recently been told that I'm peri-menopausal. I'm early in getting it (average age is 49 and I'm 40. I've probably been going through it for at least a year) and I wondering if it has anything to do with my weight.

Are there any other BBW's who've started early? Those of you going through it (at any age) what challenges or concerns do you have or have you faced?

They think it's why my BP has gone up. The upside is the BP medication is also given to some people to help ease the symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats) even when someone doesn't have high BP.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:17 PM   #2
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Just bookmarking this thread. I'm somewhat purposefully ignorant about menopause and I probably shouldn't be.

I've always wondered if there's any link between age at menarche and onset of menopause. I've seen references to early menarche correlating with body fat, but don't know whether early menopause does.
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by luscious_lulu View Post
I've recently been told that I'm peri-menopausal. I'm early in getting it (average age is 49 and I'm 40. I've probably been going through it for at least a year) and I wondering if it has anything to do with my weight.

Are there any other BBW's who've started early? Those of you going through it (at any age) what challenges or concerns do you have or have you faced?

They think it's why my BP has gone up. The upside is the BP medication is also given to some people to help ease the symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats) even when someone doesn't have high BP.
Without prying too personally, may I ask what brought about the diagnosis and how is it diagnosed? I've done some reading but not sure if I should bring it up with the doctor. I've half-joked about it before with others and I always get "you can't be, you are too young". I am 35 years old and I started my period young, at age 9.
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:33 AM   #4
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Without prying too personally, may I ask what brought about the diagnosis and how is it diagnosed? I've done some reading but not sure if I should bring it up with the doctor. I've half-joked about it before with others and I always get "you can't be, you are too young". I am 35 years old and I started my period young, at age 9.

I had an extended period. Even with medication to get it to stop it was 18 days (sorry if that is TMI).

They ran tests (blood work, urinanlysis, ultrasound) to rule out illnesses. Based on the symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, erratic menstruation, sudden high blood pressure) and ruling out everything else, they came up with peri-menopause.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:01 PM   #5
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Lulu...nothing is too much information!

Subscribing, as things are starting to change for me, so I will be interested in this thread.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:13 PM   #6
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I had an extended period. Even with medication to get it to stop it was 18 days (sorry if that is TMI).

They ran tests (blood work, urinanlysis, ultrasound) to rule out illnesses. Based on the symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, erratic menstruation, sudden high blood pressure) and ruling out everything else, they came up with peri-menopause.
No, that isn't TMI that is just poor you. Thank you for sharing your information with us.

Last edited by ValentineBBW; 01-17-2010 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:28 PM   #7
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Onset of menarche is related to body mass and body fat percentage - girls who are fat AND girls who are very tall may experience early onset. For example, I started when I was 8 years old, as I was thin but 5'8" tall. A certain amount of fat is required to produce enough hormones to trigger the gonadal-pubertal axis, thus allowing the menstrual cycle to begin.

As for the relationship between age of menarche onset and age at menopause, I have not read much evidence supporting that the former influences the latter (part of my research is related to hormone levels later in life, so this is why I've read so much of this material).

Menopause is directly related to ovarian function, not uterine, as sometimes believed - it can be confirmed by measuring the pituitary hormones FSH and LH. Early menopause, ie. before age 40, can be due to several pathological conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid or autoimmune disorders, but it is also idiopathic (without known cause) in a large number of cases. Genetics, socioeconomic conditions, reproduction over a lifetime and many other factors can influence age at menopause, too. It's fairly complex and difficult to predict.

To the OP: do you smoke? Smokers tend to see a greater incidence of early menopause vs non-smokers.

I hope this info was helpful
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:34 PM   #8
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Onset of menarche is related to body mass and body fat percentage - girls who are fat AND girls who are very tall may experience early onset. For example, I started when I was 8 years old, as I was thin but 5'8" tall. A certain amount of fat is required to produce enough hormones to trigger the gonadal-pubertal axis, thus allowing the menstrual cycle to begin.

As for the relationship between age of menarche onset and age at menopause, I have not read much evidence supporting that the former influences the latter (part of my research is related to hormone levels later in life, so this is why I've read so much of this material).

Menopause is directly related to ovarian function, not uterine, as sometimes believed - it can be confirmed by measuring the pituitary hormones FSH and LH. Early menopause, ie. before age 40, can be due to several pathological conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid or autoimmune disorders, but it is also idiopathic (without known cause) in a large number of cases. Genetics, socioeconomic conditions, reproduction over a lifetime and many other factors can influence age at menopause, too. It's fairly complex and difficult to predict.

To the OP: do you smoke? Smokers tend to see a greater incidence of early menopause vs non-smokers.

I hope this info was helpful

I don't smoke, but I do have Lupus (auto-immune disorder.)

Thanks for the info.

As an FYI I was 13 or 14 when my period started.
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:32 PM   #9
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Without prying too personally, may I ask what brought about the diagnosis and how is it diagnosed? I've done some reading but not sure if I should bring it up with the doctor. I've half-joked about it before with others and I always get "you can't be, you are too young". I am 35 years old and I started my period young, at age 9.
my menopause was so underwhelming. My periods became irregular at the age of 49, and I was through with it by the age of 50. I did take HRT for five years for when I was going through menopause doctors thought that HRT had some protection for the heart and bones. They have changed their thinking on that one.

The most distressing thing about being over the menopause is vaginal drying. If I am penetrated too roughly I can bleed since the vaginal walls dry out and thin out. I will take those lemons and make lemonade.
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Old 01-18-2010, 12:06 AM   #10
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I'm subscribing too as i'm creeping into this area myself...

Thanks for the good info, Melian.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:23 PM   #11
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I started experiencing heavy bleeding, hot flashes and trouble sleeping in my late 40's. I bought a book about menopause about 2 years ago. I've read severl articles about it too. I'm 53 and I still have not experienced menopause. I drink soy milk and I take black cohosh. These past few years, my period has become heavier and I feel sick at my stomach right before I start. Some of my older friends believe that I haven't experienced menopause because of my weight. I had one doctor that suggested HRT - but I refused - just don't trust that stuff. Other than that, I'm just fine.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:38 PM   #12
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I started experiencing heavy bleeding, hot flashes and trouble sleeping in my late 40's. I bought a book about menopause about 2 years ago. I've read severl articles about it too. I'm 53 and I still have not experienced menopause. I drink soy milk and I take black cohosh. These past few years, my period has become heavier and I feel sick at my stomach right before I start. Some of my older friends believe that I haven't experienced menopause because of my weight. I had one doctor that suggested HRT - but I refused - just don't trust that stuff. Other than that, I'm just fine.
What is black cohosh?
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:53 PM   #13
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Black cohosh is a natural herb that helps stablizie hormonal fluctuations brought on my menopause and even PMS. It has been used as an aid to alieve menstrual related discomforts by Native Americans for centuries. You can find it in capsule form in the vitamin supplement aisle at Wal-Mart, CVS or any health food store. Many of the menopause supplements contain black cohosh. It does sometimes cause a heavier blood flow, but has eased cramps for me since I began taking it a few years back and I've not suffered night sweats or hot flashes since taking it.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:49 AM   #14
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I hope this info was helpful
Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:05 AM   #15
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Thanks for the good info, Melian.
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Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
No problem
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:28 AM   #16
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Subscribing...

Excellent information ladies. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:54 PM   #17
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I began my period at age 10 and I have always been heavy. I had regular periods until age 49, then started skipping here and there and finally had one last heavy one and completely stopped at age 50. I have minor hot flashes, some trouble sleeping, and as far as mood is concerned, mainly just often feel irritated with everyone and everything!!!
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:09 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Melian View Post
Onset of menarche is related to body mass and body fat percentage - girls who are fat AND girls who are very tall may experience early onset. For example, I started when I was 8 years old, as I was thin but 5'8" tall. A certain amount of fat is required to produce enough hormones to trigger the gonadal-pubertal axis, thus allowing the menstrual cycle to begin.

As for the relationship between age of menarche onset and age at menopause, I have not read much evidence supporting that the former influences the latter (part of my research is related to hormone levels later in life, so this is why I've read so much of this material).

Menopause is directly related to ovarian function, not uterine, as sometimes believed - it can be confirmed by measuring the pituitary hormones FSH and LH. Early menopause, ie. before age 40, can be due to several pathological conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid or autoimmune disorders, but it is also idiopathic (without known cause) in a large number of cases. Genetics, socioeconomic conditions, reproduction over a lifetime and many other factors can influence age at menopause, too. It's fairly complex and difficult to predict.

To the OP: do you smoke? Smokers tend to see a greater incidence of early menopause vs non-smokers.

I hope this info was helpful
I have to disagree with your first sentence..I was neither tall nor was I fat when I started at 9..I was barely 4'6" and probably weighed 60lb sopping wet..Hereditary played the biggest part of when I started and when I went into menopause..Both of my older sisters were early bloomers and my Mom started at 13 so that played a big role in starting menarche for me..

One of my older sisters went through early menopause when she was 35,the other had gone through it surgically as had my Mom...I had a couple of Aunts that went into menopause early as well,1 was 40 and the other 42 I think..I started peri-menopause in my early to mid 30's..My periods were all over the place and I was always angry......I did not have the hot flashes,bloating until I hit my mid 40's..When I was starting I knew something was not right with me..I kept going to the Dr and he kept blowing me off telling me I was way to young...It took getting so angry that I wanted to hurt him for him to run a simple blood test..

I start HRT at age 35 seems like to me and took them for 10 years until all of bad reports came out..I was always asking the PA I was seeing why they put me on pills made out of pregnant mares urine...After stopping the HRT I began to have the hot flashes and night sweats....I still have the night sweats and I stopped my menses 6 years ago..I took some of the natural HRT but it made me feel worse..So now I take nothing for it..I have noticed that not sleeping is a big part of menopause..Most women that I have talked to that has gone through it talks about sleeping at the most 4 hours a night...
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:41 PM   #19
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I have to disagree with your first sentence..I was neither tall nor was I fat when I started at 9..I was barely 4'6" and probably weighed 60lb sopping wet..Hereditary played the biggest part of when I started and when I went into menopause..Both of my older sisters were early bloomers and my Mom started at 13 so that played a big role in starting menarche for me..
BBB: I wasn't trying to imply that tall/fat girls will always experience early menarche - just saying that it often works out that way. This hypothesis is one part of the Frisch theory of body composition and age at menarche (Rose E. Frisch), which proposed that body fat had the following effects:

i) adipose tissue converts androgens to oestrogen by aromatization. Body fat is thus a significant extragonadal source of oestrogen.

(ii) body weight, hence fatness, influences the direction of oestrogen metabolism to more potent or less potent forms; leaner women make more catechol oestrogens, the less potent form.

(iii) obese women and young, fat girls have a diminished capacity for oestrogen to bind sex-hormone binding-globulin.

(iv) adipose tissue can store steroid hormones.

Although quite a bit of evidence has mounted against the total Frisch theory since it was proposed in the late 70's/early 80's (it also goes into detail about a critical mass, specific bone measurements, etc), there is also a great deal of evidence supporting it. Such as studies finding:

- delayed puberty in highly competitive/trained young athletes
- delayed menarche in the malnourished
- overweight girls experience early menarche
- anorexia patients revert to prepubertal patterns of gonadotropin secretion as body weight decreases

Anyway, this was the reasoning behind my statement. As with any discovery related to human biology, for everything we think we know there are a million things we don't, so I don't doubt that many women will not fit the pattern
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:00 PM   #20
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BBB: I wasn't trying to imply that tall/fat girls will always experience early menarche - just saying that it often works out that way. This hypothesis is one part of the Frisch theory of body composition and age at menarche (Rose E. Frisch), which proposed that body fat had the following effects:

i) adipose tissue converts androgens to oestrogen by aromatization. Body fat is thus a significant extragonadal source of oestrogen.

(ii) body weight, hence fatness, influences the direction of oestrogen metabolism to more potent or less potent forms; leaner women make more catechol oestrogens, the less potent form.

(iii) obese women and young, fat girls have a diminished capacity for oestrogen to bind sex-hormone binding-globulin.

(iv) adipose tissue can store steroid hormones.

Although quite a bit of evidence has mounted against the total Frisch theory since it was proposed in the late 70's/early 80's (it also goes into detail about a critical mass, specific bone measurements, etc), there is also a great deal of evidence supporting it. Such as studies finding:

- delayed puberty in highly competitive/trained young athletes
- delayed menarche in the malnourished
- overweight girls experience early menarche
- anorexia patients revert to prepubertal patterns of gonadotropin secretion as body weight decreases

Anyway, this was the reasoning behind my statement. As with any discovery related to human biology, for everything we think we know there are a million things we don't, so I don't doubt that many women will not fit the pattern
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:41 PM   #21
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Ugh! I was at chapters (a book retailer in Canada) and couldn't figure out why I was so hot! I was with my niece and she was fine. Then I realized I was having a hot flash. It was kinda embarrassing.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:13 PM   #22
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Ugh! I was at chapters (a book retailer in Canada) and couldn't figure out why I was so hot! I was with my niece and she was fine. Then I realized I was having a hot flash. It was kinda embarrassing.
Oh no! I'm sorry you were embarrassed. I'm 47 and I've been having hot flashes since I was in my 30s. I have maybe 1 or 2 periods a year and they say I'm not through with meno yet. At my job before last I crowned myself the 'hot flash queen' and just went with it.

I'm not sure if it's weight or not; although I do know if I'm very active, sometimes it will bring on a period.

Good luck!
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:04 AM   #23
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Onset of menarche is related to body mass and body fat percentage - girls who are fat AND girls who are very tall may experience early onset. For example, I started when I was 8 years old, as I was thin but 5'8" tall. A certain amount of fat is required to produce enough hormones to trigger the gonadal-pubertal axis, thus allowing the menstrual cycle to begin.
Perhaps that is the "average" way things go with "becoming a woman" but not in my case. I am a VERY tall girl and a very FAT girl and always have been - and I began menstruating at the age of 14. Not at all young by the standard of my peers (most of whom were thin) and well, no-one was as tall as me.

There is nothing wrong with me hormonally, as verified by a respected endocrinologist (several times over - dr's kept sending me because they were convinced there must be *something* wrong with me, being so tall and fat)

As I am an adopted person, I have had the great gift of getting to know 2 separate gene pools deeply. I began my periods at the same age as my big, fat, tall, birth mother (age 14), and my adoptive family - well the women on my mothers side all began their periods early. They are small, slightly curvy and have "classicla beauty" genes.

It's an interesting thread.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:03 PM   #24
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Any more when I have a hot flash I just think of it as my inner child playing with matches! The night sweats I am sick of tho..I play cover on,cover off all night long and still end up with wet sweaty hair in the mornings!
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:34 AM   #25
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I was diagnosed based on symptoms, but I went to a lupus clinic about a week and a half ago and they are insisting on testing hormone levels. Apparently peri-menopause can have an effect on lupus. I'll get my results on March 5th when I have a follow up visit.
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