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  1. #1
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    Question How does menopause affect kidney disease?

    Well I got a false positive pregnancy test. Then they took blood to see where I am in the menopause cycle. Well this morning the dr told me that I am well into menopause, I was shocked and wonder how this affects everything. He doesn't want to give me anything until I get my transplant. How does that work if you aren't supposed to take much calcium and I know this is the time that the bones get weak. Any thoughts or advice would be awesome!!!

    I hope that you are all doing great!!

    Patty
    Patty Lewis
    Stage 5 CKD
    PD Dialysis since Dec 2009
    On transplant list July 15, 2011
    patty.lewis 19@ yahoo.com

  2. #2
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    Re: How does menopause affect kidney disease?

    Hello Patty,

    On a bright note, learning that you are well into menopause from the doctor and not because of all those darn hot flashes and sweaty body parts could be considered a plus!! Glass is half full sort of analogy!

    Are you within the normal ranges on your lab results? I'll just bet you are being monitored pretty close by your doctor to ensure you're as healthy as possible for your transplant, right?

    Weight bearing exercise will help keep your bones strong. Yoga, walking, etc. Doesn't have to be anything extreme. And doing only as much as you feel well enough to do would be better than nothing, check with your doctor, he may be able to suggest some things that will be okay for you to try.

    Have you ever had a bone density test? I don't know if your doctor would recommend one for you right now but it would determine what your current status is. Generally our bones get weak slowly over time so I don't think you need to get too worried about this, just take care of yourself as best you can.

    All my best!
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  3. #3
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    Smile Re: How does menopause affect kidney disease?

    IHaveFaith,

    Thanks, my head has been spinning since I found out. It sure explains the hot flashes, mood swings (thought I was just getting mean....lol). When the dr told me I just said "What?" "Are you sure?" it was almost comical.... the dr said I have never seen levels as high as mine (40 is considered in menopause and I have +200). Wow!!! My kidney dr has labs drawn 1-2 times a month and they check everything....bun, albumin, potassium, phosphorous, calcium. I am currently taking, Vitamin D, potassium, and the normal stuff and a vitamin for kidney disease. I know that if I can sail through everything else this is just a distraction from the kidney stuff, ha,ha! I hope you are doing well and thanks for writing me back.... You take care of yourself too and I hope that you have a wonderful Tuesday!!

    Hugs,
    Patty
    Patty Lewis
    Stage 5 CKD
    PD Dialysis since Dec 2009
    On transplant list July 15, 2011
    patty.lewis 19@ yahoo.com

  4. #4
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    Re: How does menopause affect kidney disease?

    Hi Patty. This article is from the National Kidney Federation.

    Hormone replacement therapy should be considered by post menopausal women with kidney failure, and also by younger women who do not have periods, or have very irregular periods. Research has shown that women with kidney failure do not often receive hormone replacement. The reasons for this are not clear.
    Women should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of treatment in their own case with their own kidney doctors and nurses.

    Advantages

    Will someone on hormone replacement therapy feel better? There has been very little research on this in kidney failure, but one study did report an increase in well being and sex drive.
    Much more research has been performed on the benefits of hormone replacement therapy on bones and fats (cholesterol) in the blood. These are important because bone disease and hardening of the arteries develop at a much faster rate in women with kidney failure than in the general population, so prevention may be important. It is clear that most women treated with hormone replacement therapy will have an improvement in the cholesterol levels and their bones. However, the studies have not yet shown whether women develop fewer heart attacks or have fewer bone problems (such as fractures).

    Disadvantages

    Hormone replacement therapy causes menstrual bleeding to occur. There are also side effects of hormone replacement therapy that may occur in anyone, such as high blood pressure.
    Also, some research has suggested that the dose of hormone replacement therapy needed by women may be affected by kidney failure or dialysis.
    ----------------

    I know that your Drs. are focused on your transplant but I would discuss your options about HRT (hormone replacement therapy) to try and get relief for your symptoms. Have you told your doc how severe your symptoms are? As mentioned above, a bone density test might be a good idea.

    Take care Patty!
    May you always have Love to share, Health to spare, and Friends that care


    Acute Kidney Function Loss 12/07 - GFR 39
    Current GFR 46 - Stage 3 - Controlled HBP

  5. #5
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    Re: How does menopause affect kidney disease?

    Hello again Patty (and Tonia),

    I just wanted to add a couple of comments here, and of course, they are just my thoughts and experiences and not intended to suggest nor oppose any treatment modalities.

    I too had early menopause and have a number of other medical conditions aside from those with my kidneys. My nephrologist, internist and endocrinologist are all opposed to HRT because of some of the disadvantages outlined in Tonia's post, but because of other factors not mentioned in the article as well.

    Suffice it to say, I have to deal with severe heat intolerance, sweating and hot flashes along with various other uncomfortable side effects that come with having so many health problems and I have personally discovered that being hot makes me a lot more irritable than normal and since my doctors are totally against HRT, I have had to resort to alternative ways to seek relief.

    Here is how I discovered my number one homeopathic suggestion for hot flash relief!

    We live in the desert and we garden and in order to conserve water, we began mixing water absorbing polymer crystals in with our garden soil about 20 years ago and it worked great. About 15 years ago, we began using them in bandanas (worn around neck) to stay cool while outside. If you don't want to wear a bandana, you can sew them into t-shirts or even sew pouches that you can place in a sports bra, etc. You can now buy ready made clothing with the crystals in them, or if you like to sew, you can buy the crystals and make your own for a lot less and in the fabric of your choice!

    So Patty, if your doctor still decides that he does not want to treat you at this time with HRT and you are looking for some relief, you might give this a try and see if it helps.

    My best to you!
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  6. #6
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    Smile Re: How does menopause affect kidney disease?

    Hi!!

    I will try to remember to call my kidney nurse tomorrow morning and see what she says, they are really good at keeping up with all my appts and labs. She may have some ideas too of what can and can not be taken. There are many drs who are intimidated by kidney disease and won't do something so easy as call the kidney dr to see if certain drugs can be taken. It makes things a lot harder to resolve. My primary care dr wanted to send me to a pulmonary dr instead of giving me antibiotics for bronchitis. So I went to the take care clinic and got an antibiotic and didn't have to wait 2-3 weeks to see the specialisty. I am now currently looking for a primary care dr that at least has an understanding of kidney disease and isn't afraid to treat me. I know that they are probably worried about lawsuits and stuff. I can see if I was sick with something questionable that they would send me to a specialist.... Oh well, it could be worse and I am just venting a little....lol

    Hugs to you all,
    Patty
    Patty Lewis
    Stage 5 CKD
    PD Dialysis since Dec 2009
    On transplant list July 15, 2011
    patty.lewis 19@ yahoo.com

  7. #7
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    Re: How does menopause affect kidney disease?

    Hey Patty,

    Maybe when you talk to your kidney nurse, you can see if they can refer you to a primary care provider that they trust and know has some experience in dealing with kidney patients.

    Just thinking out loud here....
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  8. #8
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    Re: How does menopause affect kidney disease?

    I know that one of the results of kidney disease is decreased or cessation of periods. But so is menopause. I am 47, haven't had a period going on 2 years now. I don't have any other symptoms, but my husband says he gets hot flashes & he often would suffer from the symptoms of PMS that I used to have. I had symptoms myself before I got with him, but shortly after we started living together, I stopped having symptoms & he started exhibiting those symptoms, without him realizing what it was. I guess he is one of those "emphatic" guys who can pick up on a loved one's feelings. He said he suffered bouts of nausea & cravings with his 1st wife, when she was pregnant with their son. So it's hard for me to tell what is going on, other than the no periods. I have had a couple of hot flashes during this time, but not very often, maybe about 1/2 a dozen times total in 2 years. I was irregular before, having periods every month for 3-5 months, then skipping a month here & there. My PCP was going to start having me take a physical & a gynecological exam, but I wound up getting sick with CKD, & diagnosed with ESRD, she had me go to the ER because my labs were so dire. So I haven't had a chance to be tested to see if I am truly in menopause. But I think I am. Still, it's hard not knowing for sure.
    Stage 5 ESDR
    Diabetic & Hypertension
    Currently on CAPD & waiting to start CCPD!
    Diagnosed 8/4/2011 PD started 8/29/11
    2 hospitalizations in August 2011

    Let go & let GOD !

  9. #9
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    Smile Re: How does menopause affect kidney disease?

    Pat,

    I asked my primary care dr about 6 years ago to test me to see if I was premenopausal and he did the test and said I was not in the early stages. So I just never really thought I would even be in menopause. My symptoms aren't too bad and I think I will just do what I have been doing and see what happens. Next time you go to your dr just ask for the blood test and they should be able to order it. It is nice to know that I am and not be wondering if I am going crazy....

    Take care girl and I hope you get the tests run soon, just to make you feel better!!

    Patty
    Patty Lewis
    Stage 5 CKD
    PD Dialysis since Dec 2009
    On transplant list July 15, 2011
    patty.lewis 19@ yahoo.com

  10. #10
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    Unhappy Re: How does menopause affect kidney disease?

    Hi everyone, I am new to the group but I wanted to join in the discussion of menopause. I am Stage 3, diagnosed with severe hydronephrosis of both kidneys due to reflux, 41 years old and I have been in perimenopause for 8 years. Yes, 8 years! Lately my menopause symptoms have become so bad that I told my family doctor that I could not continue to live this way. I have my period every 2 to 3 weeks lasting 6 days. I sweat so bad at night that I wake in soaked sheets and standing water on my skin. I sweat doing the smallest chore, I have mood swings so bad that I'm usually crying or raging and I have so little energy that it scares me. I have been on Prometrium (a form of Progesterone) for about a year or so, taking it for 2 weeks a month but that is no longer an option because my periods are coming so frequently that there is no way to do any planning. Plus, they tell you that you can't get your period on Progesterone but I just got it 2 days ago and that was after taking the Progesterone for 9 nine days. Yesterday the doctor took a bunch of blood to check my levels and see where I am at and is supposed to start me on an actual daily HRT by Friday. I don't know how this will affect me but at this point, I can't live the way things are going and have any kind of normal life. What nobody will seem to tell me is, does CKD cause menopause?? I just can't imagine it doesn't as I have no other big health issues. I am praying things improve soon, my poor husband thinks he is married to a nut.

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