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Post-menopausal, can't take hormone replacement b/c I get DVTs (blood clots)
An_252202 posted:
What can I take to help me with all of the symptoms? Itching skin (mainly my breasts), increased abdominal girth, weight gain, dark spots on my face, isolation/depression? I'm desperate...I would really like to enjoy the rest of my life and as it is now, I am too embarrassed to lave my house! I work from home so this is literally what is happening. I have raised 2 sons on my own and am finally ready to live my life and either I'm too depressed or scared to go anywhere or my boobs are itching like crazy to the point that I have to scratch so I couldn't possibly go out like that! And speaking of am I ever going to be intimate with a man again?? Oh, yes those are scabs on my breasts dear, but let's make love...give me a break. I feel like my life is over, thanks to menopause!
Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Dear An_252202,
I'm not sure from your posting why you cannot take estrogen therapy. But presuming that is the case, for symptoms, soy products and black cohosh can be helpful (two that seem to have success for my patients are Remifemin-black cohosh-and Icool, for the isoflavones, similar to soy.) Lots of skin moisturizers can help with the dryness. As far as vaginal dryness (which I think is what you were alluding to) a long acting moisturizer like Replens can be helpful, and of course use of lubricants at the time of sex. And for the weight gain, lots of good aerobic exercise and strength training are the best bets. There are also medications that can be helpful that are non estrogenic. For hot flashes and for depression, SSRI and SNRI antidepressants can be very helpful.
So as I just suggested to a participant, if you need a local menopause specialist to help, the website will give you local suggestions of practitioners certified by the North American Menopause society, to help give you guidance, if you feel that your current health care provider isn't helping with information that you need.
Good luck,
Mary Jane

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For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website