Symptoms and PMS
A few books I have read mention that it's possible to have a worsening of symptoms, monthly, based on your menstrual cycle. This seems to be the case for me and I wonder if any of the other ladies here have this problem.
I was diagnosed last December and each time I see the doctor he says I am doing progressively better. However, each month I get a lot worse for about 7-10 days and it seems to be centered around my cycle. I am just now figuring this out from looking back at my journal. The most prominent symptoms to get worse seem to be migraines, joint pain, fatigue, and the rash across my cheeks.
Am I alone in this or is this common?
Thanks a bunch!
Because so many more women than men have SLE, researchers think that female hormones, particularly estrogen, may play a role in the disease. The exact reason why isn't known, but some women with lupus report that their symptoms become worse during menstruation and pregnancy and with the use of birth control pills or hormone therapy. During the menstrual cycle estrogen levels fluctuate. Estrogen metabolism has been shown to be abnormal in lupus. Flares may be associated with certain points in the menstrual cycle and are more frequent during pregnancy.
On the other hand, although the Safety of Estrogens in Lupus Erythematosus National Assessment (SELENA) trial found a small risk of increased mild to moderate flares of the disease in menopausal women treated with hormone therapy, severe flares were rare. In addition, studies suggest that oral contraceptives are well tolerated by most but not all women with lupus.
Many women with Lupus do suffer from menstral irregularities such as heavy bleeding (menorrhagia). So, what you are experiencing is not uncommon for persons diagnosed with Lupus.
You are smart to keep a journal of your symptoms and when they occur, this will help you immensely in taking control of your health, your treatments and in learning how to best manage your Lupus.
Peace and Blessings
Thank you very much. Your replies are always so thorough and helpful. I saw a reply you posted to Wingless about going to Paris. Wow! You are a wonderful resource and very appreciated!
Funny you should post this question...I was just going to ask the same thing! I have just started logging my flares, on the advice of a nurse friend. Plaquenil has helped me greatly , but I notived that I'd have a bad day or two once in a while...well this time I charted it and ...yep.. linked with my cycle...about 3-4 days prior to menses. Also, I started getting Pre-menstrual migraines , which I never had before. My friend also suggested I get checked for endometriosis, even though I have 4 children(endo -metriosis usu. affects women w/o kids) Women with auto immune diseases are more prone to getting it too. I have been getting more cramps and heavier periods and very bad mid-cycle pain too. My nurse friend(who , by the way , has scleroderma and endometriosis...) is trying chemically induced menopause to see if her symptoms and her endometriosis will abate... if it works she will opt for a hysterectomy. Isn't this fun? :roll: Ugghh. Junebug
Thank you for your kindness kelibeli :P