You were in clinical menopause when you had your hysterectomy! If you still have your ovaries they may be slowing on the hormone release. Certain foods can trigger hot flashes! Spicy, caffeine (soft drinks and coffee) chocolate- in otherwords the "good stuff"! If I stay away from caffeine I do better. Still have the night sweats though. Not on hormone replacement therapy as I feel the side effects out weigh the benefits. Been in clinical menopause since 2006 myself with total hysterectomy
I also had a partial hysterectomy (kept my ovaries) in my 30s and recently my GP told me that even though they left the ovaries, most women go through menopause within 10 years or so of having their uterus removed.
There apparently are tests that can be done to check hormone levels, but other than that... I don't know. The totally suckage part of menopause for me is that I'm just not as interested anymore. I mean my mind is there, but the body takes a long time to respond and warm up...
Menopause is actually starts when you have missed a period for a full year. Perimenopause are those years leading up to menopause and this can actually start in a woman's mid thirties.
Most often progesterone levels plummet in perimenopause and menopause, and replacing it with bioidentical progesterone (cream) is very effective in treating hot flashes/night sweats, insomnia, mood changes, diminished libido, etc.
When progesterone levels drop it can have a negative affect on the thyroiod (decreased metabolism). Bioidentical progesterone actually helped me with weight loss. In addition, I took supplements to work on the adrenals - these little glands produce cortisol to help manage stress but cortisol also regulates blood sugar.
There is a blood test called FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) that the doctor can order. FHS rises in perimenopause and remains high in menopause. This is a good indicator that a woman is in menopause, however FSH can be intermittently high in perimenopause. I personally do saliva testing to measure the levels of estradiol (estrogen) and progesterone to determine my hormone balance.
I believe women should balance their hormones (using bioidentical hormones) because hormones are vital for health. I great book to read is one by Dr. John Lee called "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause".
If you had a partial hyst at a younger age, my guess is that you had a hormonal imbalance back then. Heavy bleeding? Fibroids? Endometriosis?
The FSH will confirm that you are on the road to menopause. If you live in the US I would suggest going to the Health Food Store and buy some progesterone cream. The dosage to start would be 15 to 20mg a.m. and at bedtime. This is about 1/4 tsp. Apply to thin skinned areas and rotate sites of application - behind knees, inner arms, inner thighs, neck and face. The ingredient label on the progesterone cream should state "USP Progesterone". Use for 25 days in a row (morning and bedtime), and once a month take a 3-5 day break.
In addition to the progesterone, if you have fatigue, I would recommend a herb called Rhodiola - 100mg with breakfast and 100mg at lunch. A good multi B complex is also very good for those adrenals.
If you have anxiety, mood swings, muscle cramps, heart palpitations, insomnia, magnesium is so helpful - it's nature's tranquillizer!! Most people don't take enough magnesium. I would recommend 200 to 300mg a.m. and at bedtime. Magnesium citrate is the best.
Actually there was a test on the market in '06 for menopause, may still be out there? Over the counter and like a pregnancy test in the personal supplies aisle or at drug store.
I use a lab in Oregon called ZRT. They provide home kits to measure hormones (saliva and blood spot testing). Saliva testing is a very accurate way to measure estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and levels of stress hormones, cortisol.
47 is a pretty typical age for menopause... if you'd really like to know what's going on in your body, see your doctor and get a blood workup to check your hormone levels. But if you have no intention of using hormone replacement therapy, and you're not in too much distress from the symptoms, it's just a part of life.