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Topic: Hot flashes - estrogen positive help

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During, and After —

Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications. Note: Please remember that there are good experiences and bad with ALL treatments and this is a safe place to share YOUR experience, not to be influenced or influence others.

Posted on: Aug 19, 2020 04:27PM

ClaireFraser wrote:

I was prescribed Effexor, but decided not to take it, because of side effects and the weaning process. A friend recommended Black Cohosh, but the info is mixed on whether or not it is safe for estrogen positive BC. My primary said it was okay to take it, but I am hesitant. I stopped seeing my oncologist, because I am no longer taking Tamoxifen, otherwise I would ask her.

Has anyone changed their diet to help with hot flashes? I will try anything!


Dx 10/22/2013, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 12/2/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 1/27/2014 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/16/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Aug 19, 2020 04:50PM Moderators wrote:

Hi Claire -- we're sure you'll get some helpful responses here soon. In the meantime, you may find these pages helpful from the main site on Managing Hot Flashes Naturally.

We hope this helps!

--The Mods

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Aug 19, 2020 05:11PM MelissaDallas wrote:

From Memorial Sloan Kettering’s page on herbs:

  • Whether black cohosh possesses estrogenic activity is still not clear. This product should be used under the supervision of a physician.

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Aug 19, 2020 05:45PM SUPer52 wrote:


I had terrible hot flashes that started at the age of 36 when I was in perimenopause. By the time I was officially menopausal at the age of 40, they were worse and continued to cause me misery up until the time of my diagnosis at the age of 52. I had tried Black Cohosh and never felt it made much of a difference. After my younger sister was diagnosed with ER+ breast cancer, I gave up on that Black Cohosh because I also had read mixed studies about its safety in women with or with the risk of getting breast cancer. Then I was diagnosed myself and became even more cautious about the use of supplements.

While I had always had a healthy diet, there was room for improvement, and a cancer diagnosis was just the motivation I needed to get serious about it. Once I added more fruits and vegetables and reduced the red meat, sugar, and highly processed foods, I gradually noticed a significant improvement in my hot flashes. They are now much fewer and much weaker. I was worried that starting anastrazole would make them worse, but by the time I started taking it, I had already been eating healthier for a few months and thankfully did not experience any worsening symptoms. I still drink coffee and I still drink wine, although much less of both, and that has helped too, but honestly I feel that the amount of sugar in my diet has the most correlation to the number of hot flashes I experience. I still eat dessert once in awhile, but having really cut back on that has helped. I also started drinking much more water after a kidney stone took me by surprise 24 hours before my re-excision. That seems to help too. My oncologist also said she sometimes prescribes gabapentin for patients whose hot flashes are severe, but I am having enough success with the changes to my diet that I haven't felt the need to explore that option. I still get them, and I notice they get worse when my diet gets worse (as may or may not have happened during all of this Covid lifestyle....), but overall my improved diet (and regular aerobic exercise) helped significantly. Besides my calcium and vitamin D, the only supplement I take is fish oil for the omegas. I feel this also helps.

Hot flashes interfere so much with quality of life and quality of sleep. I can't explain it to my friends who are lucky enough not to have experienced them or to my younger coworkers who think a thermostat setting of 78 in our staff lunch room is still too cold. I always tell them I want to be witness to the first hot flash they experience lol!

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, compassion, some humor, and some style." -Maya Angelou Dx 1/15/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 1/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 2/25/2019 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/8/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 5/11/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Aug 19, 2020 05:59PM ClaireFraser wrote:

Thank you. I will try changing my diet and see if that helps. Sugar is the biggest culprit for me. Ugh. Fingers crossed

Dx 10/22/2013, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 12/2/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 1/27/2014 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/16/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Aug 19, 2020 06:20PM SpecialK wrote:

I was surgically menopausal nine years prior to diagnosis with breast cancer and experienced severe hot flashes. They never abated and were worse during treatment. I found my hot flashes were better/milder/fewer after I started an elimination diet. I followed an eating plan that was comprised of lean, clean protein, low glycemic index fruit - mostly berries - non starchy vegetables, and brown rice and brown rice pasta. I cut out dairy, eggs, soy, corn, sugar, gluten, and peanuts. These foods are common allergens and people are often sensitive to them. There is little portion control with this plan, I could eat as much as I wished to, and I still lost weight. The theory is that if you are sensitive to these foods, or the pesticides they are often treated with, you have an inflammatory state within your body if you are eating them. I feel this explained why when I didn’t eat them, my hot flashes were less and I did lose the weight gained from chemo and anti-hormonal therapy.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Aug 19, 2020 09:05PM DebAL wrote:

Claire, hopefully the diet changes will help. My pharmacist found info that supported 400iu of vitamin E may help. I think it has definitely lessened my hot flashes . The biggest change for me is I no longer wake up drenched. That has pretty much gone away thankfully. Covers on covers off every now and then at night but that's it. Never really had hot flashes during the day. Good luck!

Dx 1/22/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/12/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 2/12/2018 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 4/2/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 6/14/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/9/2018 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/20/2018 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Surgery
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Aug 20, 2020 06:12AM Rah2464 wrote:

Claire - diet can definitely impact my hot flashes for sure. Sugar or alcohol pretty much guarantee increased activity for me. DebAl I will have to try adding in the Vitamin E. Hadn't heard that one.

A few minutes of aerobic exercise a day which gets you just a little sweaty (for me i am doing 10 minutes on my mini trampoline) seems to help immensely.

I also get acupuncture about every three weeks (trying to stretch this to four). I can very much tell when I am due because my hot flashes increase.

The last change that has helped me as well is I am taking my tamoxifen twice a day, 10 mg at a time. According to my MO, this reduces my max peak concentration of the drug while maintaining lower levels. Who knows if it really works but even if a placebo effect it seems to have helped me.

Dx 5/23/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 6/26/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 7/26/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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