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Posted by Rachael T. on 4/21/03 at 22:07 (116762)

I, too, am interested in menopause, HRT, & such in relationship to footpain.....I would like to know what/where if there is a site that offers such information? Please advise - &/or your input would be appreciated. Yes, at 52, taking Premarin, I, too, am at 'that age' - for that reason - I am most interested.....

Re: menopause.....

Pam S. on 4/21/03 at 22:30 (116765)

I think that is an interesting question. All of my symptoms began when I started having hot flashes at around age 48. I wonder if estrogen loss causes tendons to get tighter? However, i am on an estrogen patch and my feet are about the same.

Re: menopause.....

Suzanne D on 4/22/03 at 15:37 (116842)

That's interesting to me, too. I know that many of us 'foot sufferers' are women and at 'that age'. However, there are lots of men and also younger people who post on these boards, too. I had wondered if there was a connection or if it just happened that my feet were just showing 'wear and tear' with age!

Suzanne :)

Re: menopause.....

Kathy G on 4/23/03 at 14:48 (116936)

I've never asked the doctor about correlation of age or menopause but I started with my foot problems before I had any signs of menopause. What is interesting is that I started taking Prempro in an effort to offset any osteoporosis since I was unable to exercise and I believed menopause was in the offing since my menstrual cycles were much shorter, resulting in my having migraine headaches every two weeks or so. Given the study results that came out last July, that's kind of ironic, isn't it?

In October, I started to try to wean myself off the Prempro but every time I cut it down to more than every other night, I would get incredible migraines and breakthrough, so I decided to do it gradually. About a month ago, I finally got myself to one Prempro every fifth night. That's when I started to experience all the RA symptoms. I asked my PCP if it was a coincidence and he said there is a definite correlation between estrogen and arthritis. He didn't elaborate and I haven't taken the time to do the research but it makes me wonder if some inflammatory disorders might be related to estrogen thus including PF. At any rate, I went back to taking it every third night and as yet have seen no difference but it's only been a week.

I think this has been discussed on these boards before but I can't remember what the outcome of that discussion was. Who knows?

Re: menopause.....

Kathy G on 4/24/03 at 08:25 (116982)

I just did a brief bit of research (I really need Wendy's expertise!) but from what I can gather, estrogen makes arthritis worse, not better. I have no idea about estrogen's role in PF but I would assume it's also related to other inflammatory disorders. When I have more time, I'll attempt a broader search.

Re: menopause.....

Pam S. on 4/25/03 at 08:54 (117065)

Dear Ladies:
This is yet another complicated topic, but I have done some research on estrogen replacement. I traveled to Dallas to see a specialist who wrote a book entitled 'Screaming to be Heard' by Elizabeth Vliet. Her belief is that is we take the RIGHT type of estrogen it just about cure all that ails you. At the time I was suffering head to toe, probably because of the fibro but I had bladder pain, headaces (severe every day) I was only 48 at the time but they did extensive blood work and saw that my estrogen levels were very low.

What she believes is the women should take 17 beta estrodiol which is the closest type of estrogen your ovaries make. I use the Vivelle Dot patch and I take oral Progesterone 14 days out of the month. I began having some break thru bleeding lately and my current gyn has brought me down on the estrogen. I probably still make some estrogen too. You do not want to get TOO much estrogen. It is a delicate balancing act.

The recent studies you are referring to were done with woman taking Prempro. That type of estrogen is derived from horses urine and the specialist I saw feels that is not good for women to take. That is just her opinion but I was impressed with her book. I spent alot of money going to see her and I do not think I would do it again but I feel I learned alot from them. Drs do not tend to spend alot of time educating women on the RIGHT type of estrogen you should take. There are options and you do not just want to take the type they have they have the most samples of of the biggest drug company who will send them to Hawaii if they write alot of prescriptions for Premarin.

There have been no studies to date on 17 beta estrodial and its effects on breast cancer. Would I want to take this forever, no but for now I feel it is the best choice for me. I like the patch because it does not travel thru the liver and I am on meds because of my FEET and I try to keep the liver happy.

In this book, Dr. Vliet does mention heel pain and I cannot remember if arthritis is in there but I am sure it is. The book is HUGE. There is another women from New York who has written yet another book on this topic but I cannot reach my friend who went to see her recently to get her name.

Sorry this is so long but I thought maybe this info would be interesting to you. Do not mean to confuse you.

Re: menopause.....

Kathy G on 4/25/03 at 10:03 (117075)


Thank you for the interesting information. I will check that book out. It's such a confusing time to be a middle-aged woman - a few more years and they might have some more definitive information for us but right now, it's really perplexing to know what to do. I struggled to stay on Prempro because it was the right thing to do, I thought. Then, when I finally was feeling pretty good, I found out that I was taking something that was not good for me! Go figure!!

Re: menopause.....

Pam S. on 4/25/03 at 11:10 (117086)

I think the second book is called The Hormone Connection by Erica Swartz. It is a more manageable book (i have not read it, my friend who researches all of this has) She says she lists all the different types of estrogen and explains it so well. This would just give you additional knowledge to empower you to make an educated decision for yourself as to what to do. When you go in to discuss all of this with your dr. you will know what questions to ask. In my case I just said I wanted to try the 17 beta estrodial patch. My dr. totally agreed with me. I even took her a copy of the book. She is up on things, luckily but she agreed with it all.
Just because you should not take the Prempro, does not mean you have to give up estrogen entirely. I know many women have, and I have gone down. I am not worried because I feel I am on the right TYPE of estrogen for my body. I think you should try to take the smallest amt. you can and still feel well. There needs to be much more research. The bigger manes like Prempro and Premarin have more money, therefore there is more funding for research. More women have been on those drugsfor longer because I think they have been on the market longer. I could be wrong about that point.

I do have a life beyond this board. I am addicted now. HAAA Gotta run

Re: menopause.....

Pauline on 4/25/03 at 11:18 (117087)

I think every women should read Dr. Love's 'Breast Book'. Since estrogen
has definate affects on breast tissue I think it's an important area to keep in mind when taking estrogens.

Menopause affects a womens entire body and so do the introductions of the varous estrogens on the market. How we use them, how long we use them and why we use them is definately an individual decision between patient and doctor, but we as patients need to do our homework to help ourselves remain healthy.

Lots to read about Menopause and estrogens and all the other things that affect a woman as her body prepares for 'the best years of her life'.

Re: menopause.....

Pam S. on 4/25/03 at 20:30 (117143)

That was well said, Pauline. As if we do not have enough to deal with. The estrogen issue is just something else we as women have to self advocate for.

Re: menopause.....

Kathy G on 4/26/03 at 09:02 (117164)

My sister was on Prempro and got bi-lateral Stage Two breast cancer. The cancer in the second breast was found while she was getting chemo which is really strange. As with every breast cancer victim, no one knows if the estrogen was the cause. When I made the decision to go on the Prempro, it was with great research and discussion with a couple of doctors. It was a calculated risk. Ironically, one of my main objectives was to avoid the severe osteoporosis my mother suffered from. My bone scan was fine but I was quite concerned since I had been unable to do regular weight-bearing exercise since getting PF. Of course, now we know that estrogen doesn't guard against osteoporosis.

I'm still confused. I got down to one pill every fifth night but got the terrible flare-up of what may be RA or maybe just OA. (I have an appointment with a specialist at the end of May.) I went back to taking the prempro every third night and while the pain isn't gone, it's much more manageable. Coincidence? It could well be. But I'm staying on it until I talk to this doctor and get his opinion.

The way I look at it, everything in life is a risk and you just do the best you can armed with the information you have available. I can't waste my time agonizing over the future.

Re: menopause.....

Pam S. on 4/26/03 at 10:15 (117176)

I am so sorry about your sister. I am sure that is so stressful for your family. What is RA or OA? I guess I would be very concerned about estrogen if I had a close relative with breast cancer.

Maybe you should ask this specialist if he or she believes the 17 beta estrodial would be a better option for you since you feel you NEED to stay on the estrogen at a lower dosage for your pain control.

I know so how you feel. I am afraid to go off due to my bladder pain and sleep problems. I did not know that estrogen does not help with osteo.
My mom has it also. Not being able to do weight bearing is really a proble, for us. Can you lift any weights at all? Take care, Pam