Good morning this is the first time I’ve write on here , I had a craniotomy July last year for an unruptured anyurism, it all went well the last few months I’ve been having quite bad menopause symptoms, I had already been through the menopause and had been free of symptoms for a long time, I just wondered if anyone of you have experienced something like this post-brain surgery? thanx in advance xx
Good Morning! Welcome again and thanks for posting. When you say you’re going through menopausal symptoms are you talking about moodiness, night sweats and hot flashes? Maybe brain fog or do you feel you’re going through some other hormonal changes? Since we have both biological genders, you may want to tell the members specific symptoms.
The other thing I’d suggest is see your doctor, starting with your PCP. It could be caused by some types of medication or a problem with your thyroid. When I was on metoprolol it gave me all kinds of weird things, the PCP kept testing me for thyroid issues and diabetes to name a couple. When I stopped taking it against the advice of my cardiologist, all those symptoms left me eventually.
Oh and I moved your entry to General from where the BAF posts their news…
I’m a male and post craniotomy I too had those exact same symptoms. I had dr’s minimise those symptoms. “Women go through this all of the time, you’ll just have to learn to cope…” But I wasn’t just ‘sweating’, I would wake up 1/2 way through the night wringing wet. I’d have to get up and dry myself with a towel. I have a woollen underlay on my bed and the underlay was decomposing underneath me, I was sweating that much. It has been suggested by a few medicos that I was ‘Only going through (wo)menopause…’. At the time I wasn’t even 30, when I queried my age vs menopause they came back with ‘early onset (wo)menopause’. My wife is a bit (LOTS ) older then me and she’d gone through an awful menopause, I took her along to my appointments and she strongly informed them that this was much worse than any menopause. At the time I worked in an office full of women, in fact I was the sole male, and one day we were all around the lunch table. All of these women were professing how bad menopause was and that no male would ever be able to comprehend it. My wife was present and informed them in no uncertain terms just how wrong they were. I didn’t just understand it, I was living it, 10 fold.
Then came all of the medical theories and every dr seemed to have a differing view. From menopause to hyperhidrosis to anhidrosis compensation (in other words, not sweating enough then overcompensating at night) to diet/food allergies to sleep cycles to medication reactions to thyroid issues to hormonal abnormalities (as if any of my concerns were ‘normal’) to anything else they could point their finger at, which, was often simply pointed at me. GGGRRRRRRrrrrrrrr.
I had one dr explain to me that when they did the craniotomy they went down between the 2 brain hemispheres and had to go through an area called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus plays a major role as part of the body’s thermoregulatory control and this may have been damaged. This made real sense to me BUT, when I brought this up with the surgeon… …Let’s just say he was less than impressed and denied any such cause/effect/correlation “It must just be YOU…”
So after a few months of the symptomatic merry-go-round, trialling all sorts of treatments/medications, it was decided that they’d operate again and sure it helped with some symptoms but the surgery unleashed a whole new range of weird/oddball symptoms, which were again all minimised “Ohh it can’t be THAT bad…” And they were right it wasn’t ‘THAT bad’… …It was WORSE.
I must agree with Moltroub, start with your PCP. Get a referral to a neurologist. PCP’s are fairly good with the ‘usual’ medical issues, but as you’ve had neurosurgery you’re going to need to see a neuro to obtain a more complete picture. There will probably be a whole battery of tests that’ll be needed BUT you will need to keep your own record of who you saw and why, otherwise differing specialists/dr’s can have you repeating scans and test again and again.
Merl from the Modsupport Team
Hello! I’m sorry this is mostly off topic, but in your reply you stated that you were on metoprolol, which was giving you weird things. I wondered if one of the weird things was low sodium? Every since my burst aneurysm and craniotomy, I have consistently had low sodium when I take my blood tests every six months. These are ordered by my neurologist as she has me on divalproex so I think she is mostly interested in liver function. However, I also take metoprolol due to an episode of ventricular tachycardia I had while in hospital. I don’t like being on either medication, but I’m sure you know how if you want to stop, it’s always against doctor’s advice.
I did see my PCP recently on the neurologist’s recommendation since on my last test my sodium was at 127. The PCP sent me for tests and said his opinion is that the low sodium is probably caused by the divalproex, but now I wonder if the metoprolol isn’t working against me too! My PCP told me to drink less fluids (I do drink a lot of fluids!!) which I’m not real excited about as I like my 3 cups of coffee in the morning and my seltzer water the rest of the day.
What was your dosage of metoprolol? Do you have to take anti-seizure meds at all?
Again, I apologize for being off topic!
On topic, Carol, I have only experienced hot flashes again, but no other menopause symptoms. And I thought I was done with all that twenty years ago! I never thought about it being connected to my burst aneurysm.
I was going to split this but I don’t know how and keep your response to Carol. You’ve probably already researched low sodium but I found this Hyponatremia - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic for those who are curious.
I was on metoprolol for a nasty episode of angina whilst working out in the field interviewing clients. I was in my mid to late 30’s I think. I went to the ER and MD thought I had gas. It took him over six hours to give me the shot to stop the angina. My PCP back then was livid to say the least. She taught me that women often have misdiagnosed heart issues because men don’t look, they assume or something to that effect. Her husband ran the ER I went to that day. I pity him when they both got home. One of the cardiologist from the place I was being seen at did a heart angiogram and went “deeper than normal”. He found the SVT. He failed to note it in my chart but did a drawing. Somehow from the ER I was at first to NSICU, it was put down that I had high BP. I didn’t take it when I was in NSICU. I did have low sodium issues in NSICU. I’ve had dangerously high BP twice in my life, once when I was not thinking and gave myself 3rd degree burns which damaged a valve in my leg and then when I was on Triple H Therapy to stop the vasospasms. I couldn’t get the High BP off my chart. I had switched cardiologists to a completely different place when the one who found the SVT decided since it wasn’t in my chart in his office, I didn’t have it and was on metoprolol for high BP. He actually had me go to the hospital where he no longer had rights to and get proof! Luckily the woman in records went through it page by page. It hadn’t been uploaded or anything.
I had began to have what I call “false positives” for diabetes and thyroid issues, so my PCP back then kept doing all the long tests for both and they always were negative. Then she retired early and another PCP took her place. I changed PCPs shortly after I ruptured as the one I had didn’t know what to do with me. The one I have now, is as good as they come in my opinion. Anyhow I had an appointment with the cardiologist and asked him why I got high BP on my chart and why I was on metoprolol. He said high BP? I said wrong answer and laid into him but good. I always liked him but I was having a really, really bad day that day. He said the only way he could change it was to put a note in his notes. I asked him who was going to read his notes? When obviously he hadn’t bothered to read the previous cardiology notes. I stopped all my meds that day. I found out that there is another medication for VT that isn’t “off label” but I forget what it is, I don’t take it. I don’t remember the dosage I was on.
After I stopped metoprolol the black lines in my toe nails started to disappear and now they’re fine. The swelling at my throat started reducing though I still have stretch marks from it. Blood panels are all good except at times my sodium levels. My Neurosurgeon said she was glad I stopped taking it and I said maybe you should’ve told me not to go back on it LOL. Overall, I just feel better.
Because of the low sodium, I have to drink a sports drink. I’m down to one for every three water ( I use those large Tervis cups for my water). You might ask your PCP about drinking a sports drink. It just takes some time to find flavors you like.
I take gabapentin for a messed up spine, the vertebrae are crushing my spinal cord, so another off label use. I’d rather take the meds than ever have another surgery.
Thank you very much for your reply. I have had the same thing with doctors and other medical professionals saying the thing about high blood pressure, although that is nowhere in my records. So I always have to explain why I take metoprolol. All my records are within one system, apparently no one reads them! Also take the gabapentin for the same reason as you ~ messed up spine issues.
I did write to my PCP about the sports drinks. Thanks for the suggestion. We’ll see what he says. Honestly, cutting this far back on liquids is like trying to quit smoking!
Again, I thank you for your detailed reply!
PS I meant to ask, do you have to take any anti-seizure meds?
Although gabapentin is used for focal seizures but I don’t take any anti-seizure meds, my second neurologist tried me on a plethora of them (much stronger than the gabapentin I think) for a tremor and my body despised them. One of them the new pup didn’t like me and I didn’t like me, I wanted to run away with her. It was better just to live with the tremor as it doesn’t effect my quality of life. Had to explain that in depth to every new doctor I met as it was what they focused on. In all fairness it could be pretty bad and go to my left arm/hand sometimes. Since my stent was put in (Dec 2022) my tremor only flares up every now and then.