Hot Flushes and Menopause Symptoms

Ive stopped taking HRT six weeks ago after being diagnosed with DCIS, breast surgery followed a week later to remove the cancer. I’m now waiting for radiotherapy. The menopause is well and truely back hot flushes taking over my life again and I’m coping very well. I’ve considered herbal alternatives, sage & isoflavones etc but my bcn advised against as many of these contain plant estrogens. Im taking evening primrose(1000mg/day) but this doesn’t appear to be having any effect yet(been taking it about a week) I’ve been told it takes a while? Maybe I need to take more…I know these symptoms are a small price pay but I’m stuggling and my kids and husband are too.
Does anyone have any advice please. C x

Please see your GP, there are many options and your medical team can find the right one for you. I have bee prescribed clonidine, which current works for me in reducing the frequency and intensity of the flushes. X Tina

Its so misserable when we are not feeling our best my husband thinks he lives in iceland all windows open fans going quilt cover on quilt cover off where does it all end like tina i am also taking colodine it is get a bit better hang on in there go and see your gp

Did you happen to hear the Woman’s Hour prog on Monday which was entirely devoted to HRT- not just the pros and cons but all the grot of menopausal symptoms. I think you might find it helpful to ‘listen again’ on the BBC site.

I am now on my 3rd menopause as 1st was very bad so took HRT which stopped it, came off HRT when scare came and had another one, just as I got rid of the flushes, BC and tamoxifen! The things I found helped are cardigans (sorry, girls), put a towel on your bed so you can easily change if it gets wet, change the brand of your tamoxifen or try or taking half the dose in the morning and half in the evening and of course ask Dr for medicine as Tina said. I don’t think evening primrose helps but take it anyway. Any other tips gratefully received!

Thanks for your support everyone,this sight is so great when there seems to be no where to turn! I will see my gp and the womens hour prog sounds interesting. Thanks again. C x

I took evening primrose for breast pain a few years ago, to no effect but my gp told me to take three times the dose for the first few days (weeks?) and then reduce it, which did work. Not sure if eve primrose is any better re the plant oestrogen though?

There is lots of controversy about the oestrogen that comes from plants as being safe or not, a bit like the soy debate, I think the consensus is that we CAN eat soy at the moment but it could swing back with the next study to being a bad thing for us to eat again.

I sympathise with the flushes, am having night sweats myself for the last few weeks, getting worse for the last two of six chemo. Am not looking forward to more of the same from Tamoxifen.

Best wishes

Star flower oil has much more of the active ingredient than evening primrose, so you can take a higher dose without taking so may tablets.

I so agree with Gwendolyn’s cardigan comment. I almost never wear jumpers now, only cardigans. So much easier when the hot flush strikes. At home it’s OK as I can strip off if necessary but everywhere else I make sure I have layers on that can be stripped off easily , so I mostly wear something short sleeved with a cardi on top.

I have treated myself to a couple of really nice fans, one for the handbag and one for home. They cool you down quicker. They came with a leaflet explaining about the sexual implications of different types of fanning!

Interesting about the fans does that mean you might get more than you bargained for? !!!

In my dreams (or do I mean nightmares!)

One of the worst things about hot flushes, I found (went through them twice, still get them occasionally), was that I only had to think about it to get one.

Things that helped a bit: mopping myself down with wipes, wet flannels, etc, and letting the moisture evaporate; cold wet flannel on the back of my neck or sitting in a draught; misting, fanning, and ideally using the combined fan/spray that you can sometimes find for summer holidays.

I slept on towels for a while as well. Cotton tops help, as they are less sticky, and yes, layers with cardigans and shawls or pashminas as the top layer. Then you just have to remember where you threw them when the flush passes and you feel cold again…

I packed my colodine in tryed taking nothing but they went worse my doctor has given me some gabapentins now i will see how they go fingers crossed would love a good nites sleep now lol

I have shawls and cardigans dotted around the house so why never can find one post-flush! Anyone tried Climerelle duvets?

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I have read that fluoxetine (Prozac) is not recommended for use alongside tamoxifen, but I’ve read so much over the last month that I could have picked that up on an out-of-date website. Damn shame, it really did the trick for depression when I needed it to, so would be a bit of a bummer if it’s not advocated for oestrogen-positive BC.

A few years ago I had ONE dose of amytriptyline (sp?) and it completely took the top of my head off, so I think I’m going to just have to deal with the tamoxifen nightmare when it happens. It’s definitely good to know there are other things that help with the menopausal side-effects, so do please keep up with the information. The prospect of the next 5 years or so is completely terrifying.