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Hormone Therapy hot flashes

Jpsweld
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2017

I started hormone therapy 6 weeks ago. Im having 5-6 hot flashes per night that are wet sweating ones. Does anybody have any helpful tips. I went to a naturalist doctor and he had me on liver supplements but no help, he now put me on some other supplement 2 days ago. As of last night, nope not helping.

diggerdon
Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 2017

Same problem, severe hot flashes, weight gain and mood changes. Tried several of the herbal supplements but they didn't make that much of a difference to warrant the cost. Didn't ever totally get rid of them but ended up making them livable. Layered clothing so I could remove clothing and still look presentable. Vitamin E. Ice water on hand all the time. walking and a very minimal weight lifting routine and a food log to see if some foods somehow triggered them. Found that acidic foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits triggered mine. Thankfully spicy foods had no effect as I use salsa on about everything I put in my mouth. Naps throughout the day helped because some of my nights were interupted my the sweats. Wish I had a solid sure answer, but I don't. I do feel for you, they are aggravating. I think I would rather go through some kind of tortuous shock treatments than hormones again. 

Jpsweld
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2017

thanks for response, yeh its been really hard sleeping. I lay a towel down and use t shirts to sleep. This seems to at least keep sheets dry. I just hage up 4-6 t shirts each night to dry.

diggerdon
Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 2017

I forgot to tell you what is probably the most important thing, as your body starts to adjust to the hormonal changes, flashes will lessen a great deal or disappear altogether. Told my doc I'd tolerate shots until I started painting my toenails and ordering shoes and handbags from Amazon. Glad I stuck it out, PSA dropped to <.01. Good luck!!!

Will Doran
Posts: 207
Joined: Sep 2015

Jpsweld,

Went through the same thing for two years, as did Digger Don.  It took over a year more for the hormones to leave my system.  I've been off of Lupron for two years at this point, and the Hot Flashes have stopped.  They had my Total Testosterone knocked down to 17 for two years.  I am now back up in the middle of the normal range.  I'm some where around 450 total testosterone.  The free testosterone is around 41.  My Chemo Oncologist looks at the "Free T".  He is pleased that I'm back to that number and the PSA is staying below 0.5.  The lessening of the hot flashes happened slowly, and the comeback of the testosterone was also a slow return.  The muscle strength and mass I lost is coming back.  I continued to lift weights and ride my indoor Spinner Bike every day, and still do so.  I was a road cyclist and my "race horse legs and butt" ( as my wife calls them) have returned.  My biceps are back to the hardness I had prior to the treatments.  In fact my shirt sleeves are getting rather snug over the biceps.  So, bear with it.  This will all go away after you finish the treatments.  My PSA was at 69 when diagnoised, I had no symptoms.   As with Digger Don, My PSA went to 0.2, and then down to<0.010,  After being off of the Lupron for two years, My PSA has come up a little, but my doctors are very happy with where I am now, as compared to where I was 4 years ago.  PSA is now a 0.47.  I was concerned, but the doctors aren't in a hurry to do further trestmments, because the rate of increase has been cut in half this last set of tests. They want to try and keep my PSA under 2.0.  Next move is intermittent Lupron.  I hope I don't have to do that.  They are talking plans of treatment 10 and up to 15 years down the road.  

So, hang in there.  This stuff works and will help you.  As far as ways to help the side effects-----Wear as few clothes as possible, as was said, ice water, and I have a remote control electric fan in the bed room.  Of course my wife's and my Hot flashes were never in sinc. Ha! Ha!  But, we have adjusted.   I must admit, I still wake up, now and then, at night, sweating.  Doctors says some of that is just the normal aging process, as your testosterone lowers as you age.  But, it's only about once a week, and even less as the weather gets colder for winter.  Mine tend to hit in early evening right now.  Especially right after supper.  

Oh, and my full head of blonde hair is back.  Even as the testosterone level has come back up, my hair loss / thinning has really slowed down.  Just another positive to look at.  During my treatments I only had to shave about once a week, now I'm back to every other day.  

Best of luck.

Love, Peace and God Bless

Will

 

Jpsweld
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2017

Thanks Doran

So you say go to bed with no clothes then the sheets would be soaked. I use t shirts and extra towels and whatever.

 

Doran did they do radiation too? Can you give me any tips or advice on that?

 

 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3275
Joined: May 2012

Jpsweld,

I had severe night sweats, but from Lymphoma, not PCa.

My wife bought some beach blankets, and I slept on those.  We put a large bath towel over my pillow nightly.  

Between the two of those, my bed remained dry.  I'd sometimes get up in the night and rinse my hair in the sink, since it would be soppy wet, then dry it off, and back to bed. We didn't even know that I was sick at the time.  Few things cause night sweats.  Hormones, as from menopause or HT, and Lymphoma are about the only causes of severe night sweats, but we were unaware then,

 A couple of beach blankets made dealing with it relatively easy,

max

Burgie
Posts: 14
Joined: Sep 2017

Hey all,  I havent been on this site much since I started my trial therepy of Lupron + Zitega (RP surgery to follow after 180 days then RT).  I am stage 4 locally advanced and my PSA was 69 the day I started.  Day 22 and I am sub 6.  Glad to see it is working.  I have been side effect free ( at least I think I am) however I think I am getting my first dose of hot flashes.  I am trying to figure out if they are just my blanket and/or (thin) down coat or a hot flash.  Not nearly as what was desribed by JSP or DIGG so I am curious to see if any others chime in.  No sweats just getb a wave of being really warm.

Is there a certain time after treamne t starts when these things happen?  What about fatigue ?  Is 3 weeks in too soon?

Thanks

Tdoyle
Posts: 36
Joined: Oct 2017

My hot flashes really kicked in close to 2 months in on A 4 month shot

Will Doran
Posts: 207
Joined: Sep 2015

Jpsweld,

Yes, I had 40 Radiation treatments as "clean up" to the prostate cavity, after the surgery. I went in every day for 8+ weeks with weekends off.  Then they did a couple of extra treatments that they called "boost".  As I understood it, those treatments were more directed at the actual area where the prostate had been.    They started me on the Lupron first and waited a bit.  The Lupron is to weaken any remaining cancer cells that might have been left, post surgery.   Then the Lupron treatments continued for two years.  So, far that has done the trick.  Hoping the results stay.  The doctors are pleased at this point.  I guess we'll see.  It's a gamble.  I couldn't have ask for better care at Radiation, during and after surgery, and at Chemo.  Chemo, isn't doing any real treatments, because at this point it's not needed.  They are a third set of oncologists checking me out and keep in touch with my other doctors. Chemo is monitoring my Bone Density, post radiation treatments.  I lost a little density, and was put on Prolia.  Now, my new Chemo Oncologist, says I should have never been put on Prolia, because my density is down a little, but not enought to warrent those treatments.  My GP (a former student of mine) was against the Porlia from the start, and I guess I should have listened to him, but that's in the past now.  I have leg muscle weakness at times, but it seems to be improving as I've been taken off the Prolia.  So, be aware of the bone density issues that can happen with radiation treatments.  My GP had me on Calcium Suppliments and Vit. D3, and that was and still is taking care of the bone density concerns.  My new Chemo Oncologist, is having me do a Bone Density Scan, again, in February to see where we are at this time.  If He feels I need something else, he has other pills I can take without all the side effects of Prolia.    Two of the Radiation staff are former students of mine as is my GP, and My Dermatologist.  No secrets with my students.  Especially, when several are women in Radiation and also My Dermatologist.  (Also fighting Melanoma) .  At Radiation you have to be tattooed as markers where they line up the radiation. If you see videos of people going into a radiation accelerator, you will see red laser beams.  That's where they line up on the Tattoos on your lower abdominal and groin area.  Usually one or two of the  folks would have their faces in between the machinery and my body lining up those laser beams.   So, as one would expect you have to be totally naked so they can see the tattoos.  Like I said, no secrets with the former students.  That's just the way it is and you need to know what to expect.  They explained all that to me as we were making plans to start the treatments.  The treatment staff was all women except for one guy.  Alan was always there in the room.  He and I got to be rather good friends and succeded in teasing the women.  The main oncologists were men.  The one is a former student.  At my yearly check ups in Radiation I see a PA and she is doing a nice job.  However She has to do a DRE once a year to make sure all is well.  That was a little different the first time.  But, that's just part of this whole thing.  I hope this gives you an idea of what might be ahead.  

As Max stated, I also slept on Beach Towels.  That helped to keep the sheets drier. I always wear my underwear, with a pad, just in case of leaks during the night.   As of now, 4 years post surgery, and almost two years post Luporn, the Hot Flashes have stopped.  

Best of luck

Love Peace and God Bless

Will

 

RobLee's picture
RobLee
Posts: 259
Joined: Feb 2017

I've been on Lupron for ten months now. I was not given Casodex initially so I went thru the "Lupron surge" for the first ten days and enjoyed seemingly boundless sexual energy, then settled down and began the hot flashes and mood swings. My RP was about 14 months ago and I had 39 Tx adjuvant radiation a year later and just finished that last month.  I was T3B N0M0 with SVI, G8 and PSA=25. Lupron has held my PSA down to .03 for all of this year. Next PSA will be in January, along with my next 6 month Lupron injection.

The worst part of HT for me has been hot flashes and mood swings. Terrible mood swings, compounded by my wife's stage 4 lymphoma diagnosis around the same time.  I begged my RO for help and he prescribed magestrol, which is synthetic progesterone, but my GP said no due to possible blood clots.  After much research and additional begging I was finally prescribed Venlafaxine 75mg every morning which has minimized daytime hot flashes. I would say it has reduced their frequency, duration and intensity by around 50%.

Venlafaxine is an antidepressant known as Effexor. It's use for hot flashes is "off label" and I had to accept a disgnosis of Major Depressive Disorder for it to be prescribed.  Whatever it takes, I guess. Considering how moody I had become that's not far from the truth. I was still having terrible hot flashes in the evenings, after dinner and in bed at night. I keep a fan next to my "Sheldon seat" on the sofa and next to my side of the bed. A remote control helps, as mentioned earlier. It usually only takes a minute to cool me down. Sleeping on towels sounds good too but they tend to become lumpy. Instead I just wash the sheets often.

Subsequently I was prescribed Gabapentin (Neurontin) six caps daily for another condition, which pretty much knocks me out at night. The hot flashes are now minimal.  We live in Florida and keep the AC very cool... low seventies which also helps.  Fortunately I was spared most of the other side effects of HT... no weight gain or man boobs, though I lost some body hair from the HT + RT.  Brain fog has been terrible though, especially combined with the Gaba and my wife's chemo brain. We joke about us having one whole brain between the two of us.

I suspect that a low dose of Venlafaxine and a little Gaba in the evening would probably be helpful for anyone who is willing to venture into the pharmaceutical realm. But most doctors don't take hints though and you have to be your own advocate and beg for this stuff. For me it has worked very well.

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