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Topic: Going off HRT Cold Turkey

Forum: Managing Side Effects of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment —

This is a place to discuss concerns, tips and strategies for all types of side effects from all types of medications and treatments, (chemo/rads/hormonal/targeted/pain meds/etc.

Posted on: Jul 20, 2020 10:46AM

MsLivvy wrote:

I went off HRT (estrogen + progesterone) cold turkey after my recent ILC diagnosis. That was about 2.5 weeks ago.

I have noticed changes, some of which I'm sure are due to withdrawal from the HRT, but others, I am not sure if they are related to other new issues or the cancer itself. Things I notice that seem likely due to hormone withdrawal are: mild hot flashes, my breasts are softer and a bit deflated.

However, I've felt a bit nauseous at times and for the past few days I've noticed some type of gastrointestinal issue .. like the urge to belch but it doesn't happen, intestinal gurgling, or queasy stomach in the morning before I eat anything.

My primary care doctor (internist) did not think the tummy issues would be due to the hormone withdrawals but I wonder if anyone else here went off HRT cold turkey and if so what happened?


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Jul 20, 2020 11:39AM ruthbru wrote:

I went off cold turkey too when I was diagnosed. It was such a blur and there was so much going on emotionally at that time, that it is hard to know what was caused by lack of hormones and what was caused by stress. I guess my advice would be, for now, to not even try to sort out what symptoms might be caused by what. Take one day at a time, get a treatment plan in place, and go forward. Best of luck!

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 20, 2020 12:57PM Beesie wrote:


Ruthbru mentioned it.... stress. The breast cancer diagnostic process - going for tests, waiting for test results, waiting to meet with doctors, waiting for a treatment plan to be put in place, waiting for treatment/surgery to start - is incredibly stressful. Stress can really do a number on our bodies. I can't tell you how many posts I've read over the years from people who are newly diagnosed and concerned that they might have metastatic disease because of new symptoms that are showing up. Usually, it's just stress.

Tummy issues are very often caused by stress, and that could be the case for you. As ruthbru said, focus your attention on getting a treatment plan in place and don't worry about every new symptom that develops because most if not all are probably stress related and will go away on their own. Well, other than the standard HRT withdrawal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke

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