I had to have a surgical menopause at a very young age. It has been dreadful . I took estrogen but they had me on premarin. If they had only used the rest of the hormones in my younger years, maybe i would have felt better. Currenlty I take a natural estrogen and some testosterone but no progesterone. I do take thyroid, but have documented lab results that show i need it..
You may need some thyroid, too.
Find a doc who uses natural estrogen and a compounding pharmacy. Also, it is a real possibility that you may just need progesterone. Dr. Lee talks about this in his book. I swear it is true, since you are going through a natural one more or less, you may be able to just add progesterone ( usp natural progestrone-not synthetic progestrin) I swear there is hope. I can't tell you what to do, but if you are so tired you have to quit work i'd take the hormones of some kind. They are using estriol (one of the 3 main estrogens) in lots of other countries Lots of women are using a cream or gel made from all three of three major estrogens. . The USA has not FDA approved it (meaning you cannot buy a already commercially made estriol product) but your doc can still prescribe it and you can have it compounded at the pharmacy. You will not believe how much better you will feel. Many women are now using the natural estrogen products, lots of them in creams or gels or patches.
but read and study all this.
I recomend suzanne somers book "the sexy years" b/c she has not had a hysto and has had breast cancer and does take natural hormones
Other books, "the wisdom of menopause" christine northup- ok but she feels the reason you leave your husband during menopsuse is the inner wisdom of your spiritual growth - I disagree -you are just nuts.. the book is otherwise good.
""Screaming to be heard" Elizabeth Lee Vilet, MD excellent really one of the best reads. wonderful doctor.
"Sudden menopuse" by Debbie DeAngelo RNC ok but not the best not too specific and too careful and does not tell you anything you could not find out online. It is very well rated by hyster-sisters. I did not like it all that well, boring.
"The premature maneopuse book" kathryn Petras -good read and better than the above one.
"What your doc may not tell you about menopause" John Lee MD-the best one out for natural hormone therapy. really I believe they call him the pioneer in progesterone therapy.
"What your doc may not tell you about breast cancer" John Lee Md excellent
I have bought many of these books at amazon.com on the used book sale, and got them for very little. They do charge too much for shipping I feel. Overstock.com has many of the same books, and charges a litle less for shipping.
go to half price book stores and you can get some fo these books and not have to pay shipping , provided you do not have to drive really far.
most insurance companies will cover the natural estrogens compounded.. . If they balk, have your doc write "medical necessary" and that usaully get it. if all else fails, file a grievance. There are ways around the iinsurance companies. Most likely they will cover it.
Get an education in this before you start anything. Talk to the doc, read and make the best decision you can. It is all anyone can do. don't let doctors jerk you around, take charge of your healthcare,and hormones. It is your body, your decision.
btw, I tried the herbal stuff and it seems for women who have had hysto's -they seldom work .But it is worth a try.
Women who are going through a natural sort of menopuse report they do help a bit -but its not like estrogen. .talk with your doc and read and ask questions. all of the discussion boards are just like this one, you can ask questions and advice. You will find lots of nice people who are in the same place you are.
Itis always good to adjust your diet as has been mentioned. Many books i hav read say that if you stop eating so much bread(grain) products and sugar, you will feel better. Ad far as soy, not everyone agrees about it. Read both sides before you make any decision.
agree with Lady lee-48 is naot early menopause. Average in usa i arond 51 so you are more or less right there. I know, scary, huh.
and yes if you do not have hysto, you will have to take both estrogen and progesterone. And let me tell you , you will be amazed what testosterone will do for you.
But a doc has to prescribe all this and it requires check up and all that. (which you should be doing anyway)
Make an informed decision, not a hasty one. Only you can decide if it is worth the risk to take hormones. B/c there is a risk, but since it appears you have 2 sisters with it already, then it may happen anyway, with or without estrogen. my radiologist who does my mamo's got breast ca at young age (early 30's) and survived and says most women who get early breast ca have not been taking hormones. But really by 48, you are out of that group. You now fall into the middle age group, the really high risk group. It seems she says, the middle age to around age 65 is a really high risk age.
I edited my post to say the above b/c i had not realized you were 48. The advice still holds. Get reading and talking to that doc and decide what is worth the risk.
best of luck