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Hot Flashes
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What will help with hot flashes? I have liver cysts and do not want to take HRT.

For those who might have severely cystic livers and cannot take hormones (Liver Cysts grow with soy, caffeine and hormones) here are a few suggestions from a previous discussion on hot flashes:        One suggested carrying a fan, others had tried cool cloths and drinking iced drinks.

Veniafaxine (Effexor)

Effexor is a possible treatment for hot flashes, an alternative to hormonal based treatments. It isuseful for women with breast cancer who cannot take hormones. Effexor is useful for us with cystic livers. Cystic livers have hormone receptors that stimulate their growth. A clinical trial at the Mayo Clinic found that Effexor substantially reduced hot flashes in 62 percent of women. MPA was another leg of the trial. However MPA might slightly increase breast cancer risk. With a decline in hormone replacement therapy there was seen a 7% decline in breast cancer.

Black Cohosh CAUTION is another alternative herbal treatment called remifemin. Effexor is a better alternative. December 18, 2006 Study SEATTLE -- Black cohosh alone or with other botanical therapies was no better than placebo at relieving hot flashes or other vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause, found the Herbal Alternatives for Menopause (HALT) trial. Read more.

Liver Cysts

Avoid all caffeine and hormones.

Food which precipitate hot flashes. AVOID
There are certain foods which will cause hot flashes. These foods we know instinctively are not good for us to eat, such as: coffee, tea, sugars, fried foods, potato chips, peanuts, pastries, candies, concentrated sugars and more.

DIMS diindolylmethane or Broccoli Sprouts

This is one food which increases the liver's metabolism of estrogen. Hot flashes are caused by a surge of a particular type of estrogen progesterone hormone. I just had a saliva hormone test done and all my estrogens - estrionole, estradiole, etc were all low. The only in normal range was testosterone. I was told in a woman if testosterone is low, this is what causes the tear-y episodes usually associated around the menses. DIMs is an expensive supplement to purchase. I get mine from New Chapter Vitamins. It is called Broccolive all organic food source of DIMs. A cheaper form of DIMs is broccoli sprouts, and eat a cup daily. I wrap broccoli sprouts in a corn tortilla, along with avocado, onion, garlic, parsley leaf. I have this with a spicy lentil soup. Another DIM food is cabbage juice. I juice a half a cabbage daily. First I put an apple through the juicer, then I put the half a cabbage. My husband and I toast each other daily - with the to your health salute - as we bottoms up the little two ounce glasses of cabbage juice.


Organic turmeric is an herb which helps the liver to better metabolize estrogen by products.


Organic saffron is an herb which helps the liver to better metabolize estrogen by products and greatly helps to heal the liver.

Milk Thistle

Organic milk thistle is an herb which helps to heal the liver.

If you would like more information email.

Yam Progesterone Cream
Transdermal Hormone Cream
I used the all natural yam progesterone cream for about a year and even this cream caused my liver cysts to grow. I have heard others with liver cysts say that the transdermal hormonal cream also produces liver cyst growth. In theory it is supposed to by-pass the liver and not cause any growth.


Gentle yoga stretches, squeeze the organs causing them to be bathed in a rich fresh blood supply may help to relieve some of the symptoms. Or if this does not appeal - how about a gentle walk in nature?
I had my ovaries and uterus removed at 50. For whatever reason, I never had any symptoms of menopause. It was a little the opposite. Shortly after my liver resection and total abdominal hysterectomy, my mammograms show very dense tissue with a strong estrogen influence, like from a woman in her twenties. Once a month I would get tear-y or sensitive - as if I was going to cycle. I asked the doctors about this and they told me both the pituitary and the adrenals produce estrogen. I also got breast swelling once a month. 5 years later this has settled down and by keeping my estrogen levels purposefully low, I have no symptoms of menopause.

Pennyroyal Oil
There is another herb, which they use in Germany. It is a special form of vitamin E called pennyroyal oil. This is to be coupled with drinking 2 liters (quarts) of water a day to help flush out the estrogen breakdown products. Ladies who live in the tropics have a lower incidence of hot flashes. This could possibly be because it is so hot, who would notice? Or it could be that a sauna is used as a treatment to sweat out the residual estrogen by products of metabolism.


With liver cysts I stay away from all soy. It does cause an increase in growth of liver cysts. Eventually 90% of individuals with PKD have liver cysts.
Tribulus Terrestris’ protodioscin AVOID
There is a new herb on the market Tribulus terrestris’ protodioscin that has been used to treat menopause. It is one of several new herbs said to be the herbal equivalent of Viagra. I increases testosterone levels. Its use is said to be better for body builders than anabolic steroids. If a female has low testosterone levels (by a hormonal profile study) this herb might possibly help to diminish menopause symptoms. Increasing testosterone levels could stimulate liver cyst growth and other symptoms. For this reason, I would avoid this herb.

Calcium is another supplement taken in the evening that is said to help with hot flashes. A cup of chamomile tea is high in calcium. Careful with calcium supplements unless prescribed by your doctor. Some forms of calcium can burn the kidneys.


First before starting DHEA even with small self doses, have a test for DHEA to see if you are deficient. My DHEA was part of my saliva hormonal profile. The total cost for this test was over $100. I ordered it online. The results were mailed to me with a forwarded copy to my doctors. My own DHEA was normal. If you are low in DHEA, this is something to try - and this can be determined by laboratory tests called a hormonal profile.

The adrenal glands sit on top of kidneys and they produce hormones.
One source said -
"Another cause of menopause hot flashes is adrenal exhaustion. With healthy women, the adrenals produce progesterone. But over time, due to stress and aging, the adrenal function in menopausal women grows weaker, thus leading to menopause hot flashes. "
Another -
"During menopause the ovaries tend to shut down. The adrenal glands take over and produce estrogen and progesterone in a slightly different form. If the adrenals are weak a person then has deficiencies and can experience hot flashes and night sweats. The adrenals get burnt out with lack of sleep, alcohol, sugar and consuming too much caffeine."I was told by my naturopathic doctor that certain foods trigger hot flashes. I asked what were those? She said it was mostly foods that everyone knows they should not be eating or drinking -
Another source -
" Diet is also an important component when dealing with a menopause hot flashes. To reduce the number of menopause hot flashes, your diet should be rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. You should avoid processed white flour, sugar, alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, and STRESS."
I had the saliva hormonal profile done before hand to see if I was missing any hormones. Before starting any DIMs, I had my thyroid tested. The cruciform vegetables should not be taken if one has thyroid difficulties.


Dong Quai AVOID
A study of dong quai, a powdered dried root, used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years: Seventy-one (71) women who suffered night sweats and hot flashes were randomly assigned to take either a placebo or dong quai in capsules three times a day for 24 weeks. At the end of the study, which was conducted at Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program of Northern California, there were no significant differences in symptoms between the two groups.

Name: Angelica AVOID
Biological Name: Angelica archangelica, Angelica sinensis
Carrot family, Umbelliferae
Other Names: Angelica, dong-quei, dong-quai, tang-kuei or dang-qui, dong quai in China.
Parts Used: roots, only the hips of the root, up to the head is used.
Active Compounds:
Coumarins, bergapten, linalool and borneol.
Traditionally, dong quai is believed to have a balancing or adaptogenic effect on the female hormonal system. Contrary to the opinion of several authors, dong quai does not qualify as a phytoestrogen or have any hormone-like actions in the body. A large part of its actions with regard to premenstrual syndrome may be related to its antispasmodic actions, particularly on smooth muscles.
Legends says that angelica was revealed in a dream by an angel to cure the deadly bubonic plague.
In China, angelica has been used for several thousand years to treat many kinds of female problems. In traditional Chinese medicine, dong quai is often referred to as the "female ginseng." It is often included in prescriptions for abnormal menstruation, suppressed menstrual flow, painful or difficult menstruation, and uterine bleeding. A traditional use of dong quai was for hot flashes associated with perimenopause. Dong quai is also used for both men and women with cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and problems with peripheral circulation.
Chinese herbalists advise that for best results, little or no fruit should be eaten while taking dong-quai. AVOID any other root teas such as ginseng for 2 to 3 hours after taking this medication. Use vegetables cooked with a slice of ginger to bring proper balance.



Any non-medicine suggestions for hot flashes? I know that hormones are to be avoided with liver cysts.
The following are emails from various individuals.

Non-medical remedies include dressing in layers, sleeping in a cooler room, keeping ice water and a fan nearby, and avoiding possible triggers such as very hot liquids or alcohol. I found this article from the University of Virginia Health System about alternative health choices for women. If you've got PLD, PKD, heart problems, are on immunosuppressants, or are pregnant or nursing, ask your doctor which, if any, of them are OK for you to use.

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I don't have a cure for hot flashes but when they get really bad I put a wet cool cloth on the back of my neck. It seems to help. I also drink plenty of cool water. Thinking of something cold actually helps too.
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I used to be very sensitive to cold, requiring extra layers of bedding at night, multiple layers of clothing during winter days, gloves, earmuffs, etc. Now I practically strip down to the thinnest possible clothing all the time. My ears sometimes respond to cold wind, but the rest of me is always warm. Once I actually had a "hot flash" in a doctor's office. I went from 110/80 with normal temperature to 145/110 with a temperature of 104 degrees. I had just had my blood pressure and temperature measured five minutes earlier and the nurse wasn't wanting to do it again, but I insisted and everybody was surprised at the results. Five minutes later everything was back to "normal." The doctor said that she'd never observed one before since they are "fugitive" events.
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I continue to have hot flashes and haven't had a cycle for 10+ years. Funny enough, going thru the change at age 31, I never had one hot flash. Those came much later. *I used to stick my head in the freezer and as much body as I could get. I told my husband it was like I was in a 400 degree oven ...he can tell right away, my face gets beet red!
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I think some of the very same things that increase cyst growth are some of the same things that can cause hot flashes.
Diminished functioning of the adrenal glands also can trigger hot flashes. The adrenals are on top of the renals or the kidneys.

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My son is an EMT. He noticed my face becoming red as I was experiencing a hot flash. He took my blood pressure and it was 170/90. Once the hot flash passed my blood pressure returned to normal 122/78. Maybe hormones have something to do with blood pressure spikes we experience?

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At present I just carry around a Chinese folding fan and wear light clothing against sudden flare-ups of the internal furnace. After 12 years, I very much suspect that the continuation of "hot flashes" has nothing to do with onset of menopause.
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The fan sounds like a wonderful useful device. This is good that you no longer take Dong Quai. AVOID Dong Quai - Angelica sinensis. This herb has coumadin like qualities. It may cause you to bleed excessively. Coumadin is a potent blood-thinning agent. Additionally -
"One study involved dong quai, a powdered dried root, used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. Seventy-one women who suffered night sweats and hot flashes were randomly assigned to take either a placebo or dong quai in capsules three times a day for 24 weeks. At the end of the study, which was conducted at Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program of Northern California, there were no significant differences in symptoms between the two groups."
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last updated Wed May 27, 2009 7:37 AM

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