Rhubarb extract safe post kidney tx?

I had a kidney transplant a little over a year ago and all has been well. 

However, I've recently begun having horrible hot flashes, day & night. The night hot flashes are keeping me awake all hours and I'm feeling really run down. This has been going on for several months now. 


Because of the increased risk of developing cancer, I do not want to take HRT (hormone replacement therapy), especially while on immunosuppressants. 


I called my transplant center to ask about taking rhubarb extract which is just an herb but has helped a lot of women with hot flash symptoms. They said to ask my gynecologist and then have her call the tx center pharmacy with what she thinks (why they couldn't just ask the pharmacist herself, I have no idea). Anyway, gynecologist wanted to do the synthetic hormone and seemed to snub her nose at plant based menopause symptoms treatment. She didn't say they were dangerous. I asked what could I do then and she said "take Lexapro". 

I have zero interest in taking an antidepressant for anything. I've tried them before for different off label reasons and every one was a nightmare and terrible to wean off of.

So ladies - what have you used post tx for hot flashes? I truly can't see how taking rhubarb supplements could hurt, they are not nephrotoxic. I hate that drs always push pharmaceuticals and never consider natural treatments :(

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  • Mam,  Drs. Have No knowledge of  supplements,  herbs, etc...  I've been  down that road.  I simply prayed then tried supplements  on my bbn own and watched my labs carefully. 

  • I take estradiol and testosterone topically. I would think rhubarb or yam, topically. Would be fine. I personally haven't heard of anyone being told to eat them so it should be safe to try.

  • Please, please, please look into BIOIDENTICAL (identical to nature) hormone replacement therapy.  Any physician or naturopath who deals with the latest scientific literature can help you with this.  It is NOT the "HRT" of the 70s.  These are specially compounded just for you, and they are topically applied, not swallowed.  In fact, there is a type of estrogen (estriol, you can look it up) which is actually protective against breast and uterine cancers.  You must know that women in the years where they are producing the highest level of hormones (teens and 20s) are not getting cancer, right? 

    Please start your research here:



    Jonathan Wright, MD, Female Hormone Replacement - page 1
    Jonathan V. Wright, MD, has obtained remarkable results for his patients while avoiding the dangerous prescription drugs that are so heavily promoted…
    • Thank you for the link Anna - I will check it out. It's all so confusing to me and so strange that my gyno's only suggestion was to take Lexapro. 

      • Unfortunately MDs only learn about Big Pharma products in medical schools, which are largely financed by pharmaceutical companies. Bioidentical hormones were "invented" in China 1,000+years ago, so this is not recent news.  I have seriously lost any confidence I might have had in my primary care physician since I saw a model of a uterus on her desk advertising premarin (from pregnant horse urine).  She asked me when I'm going off the BHRT and I said NEVER!!!  I believe I am healthier for using it!!  

  • Rather than involving the gyno, I would simply directly ask the transplant team if it is safe to take the rhubarb extract. I did a bit of googling and it (the extract) has been associated with kidney damage.

    As for me, Even after transplant I had the classic kidney damage problem of always being cold. I couldn't wait for hot flashes. And all I got was about 6 months or so of night sweats. I'm still a bit too warm on occasion, but the "flashes" disappeared pretty quickly and I didn't take anything for it.

    Wish I could be a bit more help. Sorry.

    • Hi Cora, 

      I did call the transplant team first, they told me to call my gyno and have her call them back with what I should take. All she suggested was Lexapro, which I refuse to take. 

      I've been taking the rhubarb extract for a month and my test results have been as good as ever. I read that black cohosh could cause kidney damage. I would have thought my TX team would have said straight away not to take the rhubarb extract if it were a problem since I specifically asked about only that. 

      The rhubarb extract has worked wonders. I was having intense hot flashes once an hour around the clock. Now I have have them about 4 x per day if that and not as intense. 

      I'll Google the rhubarb extract kidney connection, I didn't find anything about that when I was researching it prior to taking it. 

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