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Premature menopause link to fibro?
4 Replies
birthwarrior - January 29

Hello! I am new here. Finally decided to look for information on my symptoms in advance of an appt with a rheumatologist finally. I just had a pap come back abnormal, but not of immediate concern. It did get me to wondering about my premature menopause (I was 38 when it began, and by 39 no more periods). My GP never even raised an eyebrow at that b/c I had been diagnosed with PCOS when I was younger. Tonight I read about premature menopause for the first time (wondering why I didn't do it earlier!), and found out that 70% of premature menopause cases that are not a result of chemo or some other specific cause are linked to autoimmune disorders. So, much like Hashimoto's where the immune system attacks the thyroid it is thought that the immune system attacks the ovaries. Fascinating... could it be that all along what was diagnosed as PCOS really was an autoimmune disorder??
I just changed GPs because my (now) former one told me AGAIN that there is nothing wrong with me that an antidepressant won't cure...and if I want to be reassured that any pain is also treated, I can take Cymbalta. My new GP, who is in the same office as the old one, saw me by chance when I had a severe bout of muscle weakness and spasms so that I couldn't even crawl much less stand and walk, ran a bunch of tests and referred me to the rheumy. She also gave me Lyrica to try out. It is helping some with the pain, but not sure if I am having side effects from it, or if my "normal" symptoms are just getting worse? I've had so many symptoms for so long...I am getting to the point that I can't work -- I am a teacher -- because I am so worn out most of the time, and can't think. I find myself making mistakes in class, which isn't good when teaching HS science! I have already used all my leave (10 days) for this school year but have a whole semester to go. Any thoughts?



January - February 3

Premature menopause is a symptom of celiac disease, the most severe form of gluten intolerance. So are pain, fatigue, depression and a lot of other symptoms linked with fibromyalgia. Most doctors know very little about celiac - if they know the term, they may think it is just a disease of diarrhea found in children. There is so much more to this disease - lots of people have no GI symptoms. The numbers of people with celiac disease are growing for some unknown reason. No doctor figured out that I had celiac, I read about it and matched up my symptoms.

Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye and other cereal grains, and anything made from those grains (about 90% of everything in the grocery store includes wheat products, especially packaged food). If you are still eating a diet with these starches, you can get a blood test for celiac disease - but the test is often wrong or done incorrectly by the lab. If you have gluten intolerance, these foods are poison for your body and can cause all kinds of weird symptoms, including "auto-immune" diseases.

Doctors will tell you the intestinal biopsy (an invasive surgery) is "the gold standard" for testing, but that can come back wrong too. Celiac disease sets up patches of inflammation in the small intestine so you can't absorb nutrients. When they do the intestinal biopsy, they pick several areas of the small intestine to biopsy - but it is about 20 feet long! They can easily miss the patches of inflammation!

The diet is the best way to find out if it will help your symptoms.

Antidepressants are powerful and addictive drugs. Before you start, I suggest you do some serious research. Once you take those drugs, you will have a very hard time stopping. They do NOT control pain well for about half the people who take them. Google Cymbalta and read up on it. It is the subject of lawsuits, it interacts with many other drugs, can cause severe liver damage and a lot of other issues. Some of your symptoms may also be a reaction to Lyrica which can make you feel spacey and weak. It also tends to pack weight onto people and cause swelling. I'd suggest you google Lyrica also. Read the website called drugs (dot) com to get an idea of all the side effects. Also, read the forums and see what other people are saying about these drugs. If you google any drug name plus the word lawsuit, you will be able to read what complaints people have about the drugs - and you may be shocked! Good to know what you're getting into up front, just my opinion! The doctors often don't know all this information.

Google "Celiac sprue association." They have good information on the diet. There is also a book available online called "Dangerous Grains" - it's a fabulous book and outlines a lot of the symptoms of gluten intolerance or wheat allergy (including early menopause) - it is linked with a multitude of diseases. Very enlightening!

Hope you find out what is wrong, and feel better soon!


birthwarrior - February 3

Thanks for the reply! I will look into celiac. I have an aunt and cousin with it, as well as a sister-in-law and nephew. Every one of them had different symptoms with it, so I know what you were saying about the variety of symptoms. My SIL was diagnosed with a blood test, but not sure how my aunt & cousin were diagnosed. I am already avoiding the cymbalta. I didn't really want the lyrica, but needed something to help with the pain, and it's not a narcotic, so... hoping to find something else.


January - February 5

Hi birthwarrior. There is a genetic component to celiac disease - so if you have blood relatives that have the disease, you might have it too. You can get a blood test, and it's worth talking to a nutritionist about the diet which is tricky. Celiac disease means you don't absorb nutrients very well. I take a lot of supplements. Vitamins and minerals every day plus other things to help with energy and pain.

Good luck to you. There are so many things that mix in with fibromyalgia, please make sure you get tested and eliminate the possible diseases that can be treated! I had periods of time when I could not get out of bed, I was so sick. The antidepressants were half my problem, they made me very ill - and I've found other conditions (like celiac) that I could treat. I am better than I was, but it's because I've done a lot of research and found doctors who work with me. Sometimes you have to ask around to find the right doctor.

I'm sorry to hear you have been feeling so awful, I know how frustrating it is, and hard to fight when you have so little energy and are troubled with pain. Still, the best thing you can do is read up and educate yourself - doctors don't have time to do it. Many of them don't even understand the drugs they hand out. YOU are the one who knows your symptoms and your body the best, so YOU should be filling up a notebook with your symptoms and your research notes. There are many issues of fibromyalgia that can be successfully treated, and there's a lot of information all across the web - so I hope you will use the blue "search" box at the right, as well as google, and educate yourself. Please hang in there and fight because you can do a lot to feel better than you do now. Wishing you the best. : )


patriciacnc - March 19

After being totally disabled with FMS, I have been out of pain and off meds for 13 years. I did it by balancing my hormones, initially balancing brain chemistry, cleaning up my diet, and clearing some toxins, which is likely something you won't hear in your doctor’s offices.

I have been studying and working the past 13 years to help others in their recoveries. I want people to get well.

Out of a passion to help others get well, I have written Reversing Chronic Disease: A Journey Back to Health, which is endorsed by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum and 2 other MDs.

Don’t accept the word "incurable." Keep fighting for restored health. If I can get well, why can't others. I believe something better is out there with your name on it.
I want to encourage each of you with fibromyalgia. I understand what you are going through. I have been there.

After being totally disabled with fibromyalgia many years ago, I have been without pain and off medications for over 13 years. I didn't happen over night, but it did happen.

Here is what I have done to get well.
1. Identify and correct hormonal imbalances using plant-based replacement.
2. Initially corrected brain chemical imbalances, particularly improving a naturally occurring brain chemical called dopamine.
3. Cleaned up my diet and eliminated milk, a food that was causing trouble for me.
4. Cleaned up some toxins.

Rheumatologists and patients typically don't understand the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. I want to help change that. The technology is in the here and now to identify and correct hormonal imbalance.

Here is a hug to you. I want you to feel well again.

Patricia Stephens, Certified Nutritional Consultant



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