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Perimenopause, Nausea and Running

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I assume I am not fighting any bug or major illness other than perimenopause. I am the right age - almost 48 - and have just passed a gargantuan pre-nursing/med school physical, including a 9-vial complete blood test. My kidneys are showing some signs of "use", but they're pretty good considering my particular gene pool. My Mom's were already well below 40% function by my age; at least one of her sisters was at 50%. So I am happy at 60%. I just need to pee too frequently for convenience and I have to curb my sodium and chloride intake.

Everything else had improved tremendously since my last visit! Blood pressure, pulse (I've had tachycardia since a child), lungs (asthma since childhood), blood lipids all better than in quite a few years. My weight had dropped 9 pounds. I passed a stress test.

But here I am, dogged by nausea during many cardio-respiratory activities. And serious overheating. It is 57 degrees outside. I didn't run outside this morning. Maybe I should have. I opened up the home gym windows and door and ran on the treadmill. I became nauseated and overheated within a few minutes and had to racewalk most of the way. Fortunately, I do have racewalking to fall back on. I'm pretty fast for short distances, but I can't maintain it because I always thought it looked too stupid to practice it seriously. I think I'll try harder to develop skill in it, too, because it's a good backup. I can racewalk a 13.13 pace if I concentrate hard (on a treadmill for ten minutes or around a highschool track TWICE). That's a heck of a lot faster than I can walk.

And it's not just that - I want to SLEEP all the time. And every time I open up my math book I feel like crying and sometimes I do. I'm just a C math student trying to get an A. Normally I dig in my heels and just get it done. Lately I can't seem to. And I'm dragging through my job. I even got a pregnancy test to make sure that wasn't the problem (it isn't, thank G-d).

There are two things I want to do right now: walk my dog and have a good run. Believe it or not, the nausea is disappointing me, and the overheating is making it difficult, but neither are deterring me. I've had hot flashes for several years already. I can't say about the nausea because I haven't really exercised hard until lately. I just hope that this won't last too much longer.
More on nausea as a symptom:

My husband, by the way, is concerned, but supportive. He says if I really want to run, I should run. He thinks 47 is a little young to be having such serious hot flashes, but he also knows I'm not taking big risks. I WALK the dog alone. Or I run alone and he and the dogs leave the house thirty minutes later to pick me up. Or I work on the treadmill at the gym or at home. At this point, that is all we think is safe. I've been checking my blood pressure afterwards and it's never been high. I'm just over hot and over-nauseated.

I am hoping for a good end to this soon - I mapped out that run into Oakland in my last blog. A 15 mile run (round trip) is way too long for me now, but it's a pretty one and I'd like to do it all by myself, from the end of my gravel driveway all the way through town and back, without any worries.

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Edited to add other info: I DO find drinking coffee - one mug every morning - greatly exaggerates the need to pee. Maybe I should give that up in case I'm somewhat dehydrated, as Owl20 suggests, in the AM when I exercise. I don't drink alcohol except a glass of wine or beer SOME evenings - not most of them. I don't smoke.

Other than that, I can experiment with calories. I was losing weight when I was eating about 1400 calories and not exercising very hard, but then I plateaued. Then I increased my exercise, and was miserable so I increased my calories, also. I was at 1700 for awhile and felt pretty good, but my weight didn't budge. After reducing my calories back to 1400-ish a week ago, I seem to have developed worse symptoms. I think I will bump up to about 1600 and see what happens.

Another thought: I used to hike and garden in Virginia with a cold, wet handkerchief around my neck. It's hard to even imagine that on a rainy Oregon morning that's below 60 degrees, but considering how fast I get hot, I can have it with me, maybe in a ziploc bag.

Maybe if I do all that, I will just cry over math.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I don't know your health history or your running experience. Do you wear a heart rate monitor when you run? Do you overheat only on the treadmill or also outside? And does the air temperature affect your overheating? I overheat on the treadmill unless I have a big fan. Outside there isn't much I can do about the temperature except wear less clothing and take walk breaks if my heart rate goes too high from the heat. I'm 47 and peri. Hot flashes are no fun!
    2157 days ago
    Don't know what to tell you about perimenopause since I landed full blown into menopause last November (surgically menopausal for 17+ years, but on HRT until November). I'm miserable with hot flashes but no nausea. The one time I got nauseated while running it was the result of heat and increased heart rate. I walked the rest of that run.
    I think increasing the calories slightly should help - don't worry about the plateau. Get to a point where you are feeling good and enjoying the activities you choose.
    2158 days ago
    Ugh, the whole menopause thing sucks. I had such bizarre reactions (like hot flashes from certain antibiotics, or hot flashes about 20 times in a school day) that I finally went on HRT - but a soy-based one, since I'm allergic to horses. Helped a lot. Totally worth going on!
    2158 days ago
  • WILEE323
    I started having hot flashes and severe mood swings in my early 40's! I was also tired all the time. Dietary tweaks can help tremendously. Exercising does too, so keep it up!
    2159 days ago
  • PASCAL921
    I think it will pass soon and you'll be back to running. emoticon
    On another note, I too cry sometimes when I open my math book. What kind of math are you doing?
    2159 days ago
  • OWL_20
    From what I've read, peri-menopause can be sneaky. I've never experienced it, having hit menopause via the surgeon's knife, but after I came off the estrogen supplement last October I've had some raging hot flashes (I think they're getting shorter, or less in number, since exercising and cutting out a lot of sweets). The thing that concerns me is the nausea and sleepiness--could it possibly be due to dehydration in addition to your exercise and PM symptoms? I really hope it clears and/or you find out what's wrong. I can tell it's putting a serious crimp in your program. Hang in there, okay?
    2159 days ago
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