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Bone, joint, and muscle disorders, Chronic pain, Healthy Aging, Healthy Living, Women's health issues

Posts (98)

3 days ago · Help with Hot Flashes in Women's Health

I have started having hot flashes over the past year or so. I don't know what it is due to. I actually never had them when I went through menopause so I now know what everyone else was going through. I am 65 and can't figure out what this could be due to. I did not realize that so many other people had them post menopause. I went through menopause quite late (57) but about 2 years ago I had a surgery on a prolapsed bladder which is done laproscopically and it is customary with this surgery to do a hysterectomy. I use an estrogen cream vaginally 3 times a week post surgery as recommended by my surgeon. But whether I use it or not I still get the flashes. They did not begin right after the surgery but sometime later. My hot flashes often come when I am anxious about something or stressed and also seem to happen with some regularity after eating,particularly after dinner. They are often accompanied by nausea and dizziness as well. I have talked with a couple of doctors about them but no success in finding a cause. I hope you will at least be comforted by the fat that this is more common than you might have expected. I do wonder if it is one of those things with women's health that just has not been studied that much or gotten much attention. Seems like there are a lot of women's health issues that go unexplored for whatever reason. I started looking into this just a bit and came across an article in Journal of American Medical Association from back in 2008 that found hot flashes were more prevalent in older women who went through menopause later, in older women with higher body mass index and in those who had had a hysterectomy among other findings. The link to this article is


Maybe our moderator knows if there is anyone at Mayo doing any such research.

Mon, Jun 1 1:47pm · Undiagnosed Head Symptoms (Still Help!) in Brain & Nervous System

Throughout my life I have had something that my ENT and my neurologist called Benign Positional Vertigo. It would come and go and when it came it might be accompanied by many other symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, migraines and brain fog just to mention a few. I decided sometime ago that one of the primary things that correlated with its onset was a high mold count which we have where I live a good deal of the time. The first time I had it was my first year of graduate school and now I am 65 years old so as you can see, it must not be life threatening. But I will tell you that there were times when I was still working that it would cause extreme anxiety which made it much much worse. I taught at a large university for almost 30 years and when this would happen it would be very difficult to lecture. I would turn my head to write on the board and get a waive of dizziness that would almost cause me to black out. Once it happened during a lecture, I would get sweaty, have palpitations, get progressively more dizzy and sometimes be so distracted that I would lose my focus. I would on many occasions have to grab hold of the podium or something else in order to get my balance.The bigger that the classroom was the worse it was due to the visual aspects of a very large vast space. This happened dozens of times and I don't think any students or anyone else ever noticed but I know that it caused me a great deal of worry over many, many years.

The other day I posted something in the Women's Health Group that sounds very similar to what you describe. It is something similar to what I described above having all my life but it is not exactly the same and is a new thing for me. It comes on usually just as I finish a meal and is characterized by dizziness and profuse sweating. I believe my post from the other day was in a discussion that @gailb had also posted in and my recent symptoms were similar to hers following her gastric surgery although I have not ever had this surgery. My post was on May 24th in this group where I described my recent symptoms focussing on sweating and extreme hot flashes after eating along with nausea and dizziness. I do not think anyone has responded to it yet but @gailb if you have anything to add please let me know. Interestingly lately I have been also having a number of vivid dreams which @tess0831 has mentioned here.

Sun, May 24 5:15pm · I have started sweating after eating. Anyone else? in Women's Health

Hi @gailb
I saw your original post and even though it is older I thought I would ask you this. I have not had gastric surgery of any kind. I do have a moderately sized hiatal hernia since at least 2002 which has not been a problem and also have barrett's esophagus. I never felt that I had reflux but my GI doctor says it is silent and that many people have it that way. I am on omeprazole 40 mg twice a day. I do notice sometimes if I eat anything too close to bedtime and don't prop up my head I have some reflux. Recently I started having the symptoms described by you and others here. That is, almost like clockwork as I take my last few bites of dinner, I am sweating profusely. I also begin to feel nauseated. It doesn't last long. Often a few sips of ginger ale will help. I also don't throw up or anything. I notice some belching recently which is not normal for me but it could be the ginger ale. Sometimes I take a pepsid. Today it happened after lunch and I just had to lie down. I don't notice that it is related to any particular food but I do often have a small bit of sugar free greek vanilla yogurt as dessert after dinner. I know that sometimes I will have trouble swallowing it. I has a barium swallow test and it showed mild esophageal spasms. Doctor gave me some medicine for it but I didn't like it (can't remember why as it was a while ago). He told me to stop taking it and that the spasms weren't dangerous just a common symptom of someone with barrett's and hiatal hernia. The swallowing issue doesn't happen all the time so I just don't worry about it. But the sweating and nausea has me concerned. I have been hesitant to go to the doctor because of COVID-19 but am due for my endoscopy to check my barrett's. I have gained a bit of weight (maybe 20 pounds) over the last 2-3 years due to back problems. Am largely a healthy eater (don't eat much meat at all just every so often) but I do have something sweet just about every day (usually a bran muffin that helps me to not be constipated from pain meds for my back). Any thoughts please send them my way. If I am posting in the wrong place, please redirect me.
Thank you.

Fri, Apr 10 9:30pm · Want to discuss prolapse bladder or any kind of prolapse in Women's Health

@sara111 and @gardeningjunkie
My experience with prolapse surgery was very good. We have at least 3 urogynecologists in Austin, TX where I live. I went to two of them and they both told me the same thing. One of them was very pushy but the other one was extremely nice and made me feel comfortable so I went with him. He told me that what my regular gynecologist was planning to do would not hold and that I needed to go with the mesh because my tissue was in a condition that made it very difficult to just stitch it without anything to support it. He said if I did that I would end up doing it again within a couple of years. I also had the urethra fixed so as to avoid incontinence later on. It has been a couple of years and no problems. I was afraid of the mesh but this guy was so great and he showed me the material and put my mind at ease. He was so great at explaining the procedure and it was done with the DaVinci Robot. He does many of these procedures every week just like gardeningjunkie said and he does only the latest techniques. He even let me stay in the hospital an extra day because I live by myself. I cannot really say enough good things about my experience. I should have done it several years earlier rather than living with the prolapse for so long.

Thu, Apr 9 4:43pm · Strange Chest Symptoms for a Month in Women's Health

Glad you are planning a call with the doctor. I am needing an Endoscopy which I do periodically for my Barrett's but can't do it right now because of COVID-19. I don't know if the Barrett's or the hiatal hernia causes the Esophageal spasms or why I have them but they detected them with a test called a Barium Swallow. It is a very noninvasive test that watches what happens when you swallow this white chalky liquid. It is less invasive than an Endoscopy but they look at different things. As far as prevacid, I actually take something called omeprazole which is supposed to help with the reflux because once you have Barrett's it can turn into cancer if you do not keep the reflux to a minimum. My gastroenterologist told me that as long as I am good about taking the omeprazole, I should not have to worry about any cancer so I am taking it religiously. I mentioned prevacid because I think it is the nonprescription version of omeprazole. I think I just get it by prescription because it is cheaper that way. My omeprazole says "substituted for prevacid" on the bottle so I think omeprazole is a generic version of prevacid. But your doctor will be able to tell you if anything like this would be helpful. I took Nexium for a while many years ago as well but my doctor did tell me only to take it for a period of time.

In addition to taking your temperature regularly, you may also want to get an oximeter. You can get them online for very little money and it is the thing you can clamp on your finger that measures the level of oxygen in your blood. If you feel like you are having difficulty breathing, this can help you to see if you are getting enough oxygen. I just ordered one myself and had to click around a bit to find one that did not cost a lot but finally did. I thought it would help to put my mind at ease when I get this feeling of heaviness on my chest and shortness of breath. Or it may tell me something is wrong (hopefully not). You can read about them online and what the readings should be. Lots of people are getting them now because of COVID which is why they were a little hard to find, but I thought it might help you to tell if this is a lung thing for you or something else. I find that anxiety has similar symptoms and I know I have that periodically.

Keep us posted on what you find out and how you are doing.
Best to you.

Wed, Apr 8 8:30pm · Strange Chest Symptoms for a Month in Women's Health

Sorry you are having these strange symptoms. I have a hiatal hernia along with something called Barrett's Esophagus. I also sometimes have something that my doctor calls esophageal spasms. These are spasms in the throat area sometimes when I try to swallow, happens when I eat certain foods and often feels like something is stuck in my throat for a little while after it occurs. It may be since the spasms cause a tightening of the muscles in the throat a bit. You can look up hiatal hernia but Barrett's is mostly caused by reflux and the reflux may be happening without you knowing it (silent reflux–yes, it is a real thing).. I never felt any reflux and my doctor told me after I had an Endoscopy that I had Barrett's Esophagus. It is when some of the cells in your throat begin to look more like cells in your stomach because of the stomach acid coming up.

I am wondering if you might have any of this going on. You could have any one of these things, not necessarily all of it. Lately for me it has started to feel like my sternum is heavy and makes it feel like there is weight on my lungs a little bit when I take a deep breath. It is worse at night after I have been moving around all day than in the morning when I wake up.

I think if you have any amount of reflux at all you should tell your doctor and see if they want you to see a Gastroenterologist or maybe just get on some prevacid or other similar medicine for a while and see if that helps. A simple chest x-ray could check out your lungs just to be safe. Also have you taken your temperature? I was thinking this might be a good thing to do, also just to be safe. I have been doing that periodically when this happens just to make myself feel better about the remote possibility of COVID-19. I am 65 and have been very careful and self distancing for quite a while now so I do not think this is likely but just makes me feel better when that thermometer reads 97.6 which seems to be my most common reading. With this going on for as you say about a month without progressing, I would not suspect COVID-19 but better to be safe.

These are just a few suggestions since we seem to have some similar symptoms. I wish you the best in trying to figure it out. Maybe others on here will have other ideas for you as well. I think you are correct in not going to the doctor right now but you could have a telemedicine visit or just a phone appt. perhaps to see what your doctor has to say. Your doctor can advise you on the issue of the safety of actually seeing a doctor. Please keep us posted on what you uncover but hopefully this will give you some loose guidance under the rather odd circumstances we all find ourselves in at this time..

Tue, Mar 17 1:01pm · Age 65 and Good Health: Can I get my own groceries? in COVID-19

I am age 65 and in good health (no heart or lung issues whatsoever). I live by myself and I have no kids. If I need to make a quick run to the grocery store at a non-busy time, is that okay? I don’t really have the money to pay someone to do my shopping. I spend a lot of time at home and don’t feel isolated by this at all because it is really my usual situation. But I just wonder if I should not even do a grocery run. What do people think? How are others in my situation handling this? I am not talking about going out to bars or restaurants, talking about basic once a week market visits. Any thoughts?

Sat, Mar 7 5:44pm · Any experience with rectocele? No one EVER talks about this! in Women's Health

I had surgery for bladder prolapse a couple of years ago. I was also told that I had a bit of a rectocele and it was repaired along with my bladder prolapse. I did not know about the retrocele until I went to the urogynecologist that did my surgery and when he got to deciding on the precise procedure he told me he was going to repair the retrocele as well. During this time I talked to a few female friends and one of my friends told me that she had a rectocele several years prior and that it was repaired. Hers was due to having had 3 rather large babies. She has not had any problems since the repair and I think it has been at least 20 years ago. I found that if you really want to have a conversation with a doctor about any of these issues, seeing a urogynecologist is best. A regular gynecologist just doesn't really know enough about the procedures in order to speak to you in the level of detail that you will want in order for you to get the information that will allow you to make decisions that are best for you.

A couple of things that you might expect is that the surgery that is suggested may be with the DaVinci robot which allows for faster healing and makes the surgery less invasive. I don't know for certain, but it is likely that hysterectomy will be a part of the surgery. Why? Only because of logistical reasons if the uterus is "in the way" of the area where the repair needs to take place. If your doctor wants to use mesh for the repair do not be immediately turned off to it. The mesh they use today is not the same mesh they used that caused all the lawsuits you may have seen on TV, It is a totally different material and is used when your doctor believes that simply repairing the tissue by stitching it up will not hold for the long term. My doctor used the newer mesh and I have not had any problems. I was hesitant at first but once I realized that my tissue was not going to hold without it and that I would likely end up having to go through the surgery again, I decided the mesh was the best procedure for my case.

I also understand from talking with people who have had rectocele repair that sometimes urologists and/or colorectal surgeons may be involved as well as urogynecological specialists. I do recall my surgeon who was a urogynecologist asking me if I had any problems with fecal elimination or any fecal incontinence. I did not have either but really did not know I had a rectocele until I went in to talk about surgery for my bladder prolapse.

Any procedure you will have will be done as an inpatient procedure and you will be in the hospital for at least one night. I live alone and requested to stay an additional night so I was there two nights. My advice is to stay as long as you possibly can because you will probably have a catheter and having your first BM after the surgery may or may not be painful or uncomfortable. But either way it is an important milestone for your recovery and you may want help available until you have it.

I wish you the best of luck. Do not be embarrassed at all. While it is not a conversation that is easy to have, I have found that it is increasingly common and if you get to the right specialist they will be able to discuss it with you thoroughly. What is more, they should have the ability to do so in a way that puts you at ease and invites your questions.