It is so great to read all these posts - not to think other people are suffering - but to realise there are some common symptoms to this transition - menopause. I am about 18 months into it, not having had a period for 12 months. However, it was very sporadic for the few years before. My main symptoms are the muscle and joint aches and stiffness and the breast swelling. I have tried Wild Yam cream and it helps at times if I use much more than the recommended amount. It supposedly brings the progesterone up but my doctor says there is no evidence of this. Also the evening primrose oil and fish oil combination does seem to make a difference - I guess the hardest thing is just not having the energy levels I had two years ago. I want to do all these things but have no ummfph! And my interest in sex has gone out the window. My doc says all this is natural but how does that actually help. They don't seem to be able to say - it is the low eostrogen that causes one thing and the progesterone another or the calcium or Vit. D. etc. so that you can systematically address it. I am finding it really confusing and frustrating.
Acne is often present. Acne conglobata is a particularly severe form of acne that can develop during steroid abuse or even after the drug has been discontinued. Infections are a common side effect of steroid abuse because of needle sharing and unsanitary techniques used when injecting the drugs into the skin. These are similar risks to IV drug abusers with increased potential to acquire blood-borne infections such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS . Skin abscesses may occur at injection sites and may spread to other organs of the body. Endocarditis or an infection of the heart valves is not uncommon.
Corticosteroids have been used as drug treatment for some time. Lewis Sarett of Merck & Co. was the first to synthesize cortisone, using a complicated 36-step process that started with deoxycholic acid, which was extracted from ox bile .  The low efficiency of converting deoxycholic acid into cortisone led to a cost of US $200 per gram. Russell Marker , at Syntex , discovered a much cheaper and more convenient starting material, diosgenin from wild Mexican yams . His conversion of diosgenin into progesterone by a four-step process now known as Marker degradation was an important step in mass production of all steroidal hormones, including cortisone and chemicals used in hormonal contraception .  In 1952, . Peterson and . Murray of Upjohn developed a process that used Rhizopus mold to oxidize progesterone into a compound that was readily converted to cortisone.  The ability to cheaply synthesize large quantities of cortisone from the diosgenin in yams resulted in a rapid drop in price to US $6 per gram, falling to $ per gram by 1980. Percy Julian's research also aided progress in the field.  The exact nature of cortisone's anti-inflammatory action remained a mystery for years after, however, until the leukocyte adhesion cascade and the role of phospholipase A2 in the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes was fully understood in the early 1980s.