ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
CANCER
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
Mild Flu Season Coming to a Close
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
DIABETES
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthriti
Many Kids Don't Need the Vitamins They're Taking
Atkins Diet Tougher on Heart After Weight Loss
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
EYE CARE, VISION
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
FITNESS
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Kids More Apt to Smoke If Mom Did While Pregnant
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
New Methods Could Speed Production of Flu Vaccines
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
The Unmedicated Mind
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Add your Article

HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women who take hormones to relieve symptoms of menopause have a higher risk of developing symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Also, women who use selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), used to treat breast cancer and osteoporosis, also have a higher risk of developing reflux, according to a study in the Sept. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

SERMs, such as tamoxifen, are widely prescribed to treat breast cancer. Another SERM, raloxifene, is widely prescribed for the prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Almost two-thirds of the population experience GERD during the course of a year, while 20 percent to 30 percent have problems weekly or even more often.

"For a long time, people have thought that female hormones are in some way associated with heartburn," said study author Dr. Brian Jacobson, an assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. "Women who are pregnant, even in the first trimester before a great big belly pushes on the stomach, already experience heartburn."

In addition, women on oral contraceptives sometimes experience a relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, which allows stomach acids to rise up into the esophagus.

No one, however, had looked to see if exogenous hormones, meaning those that come from outside the body, had an effect on GERD, although some studies have indicated that postmenopausal hormones might increase GERD symptoms in women who are overweight or obese.

The authors of this study reviewed information on 51,637 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study. Participants had provided information on both postmenopausal hormone use as well as symptoms of GERD every two years from 1976 through 2002.

Women who had used hormones had a 46 percent higher risk of having symptoms of GERD, compared with women who had never used postmenopausal hormones. Women currently using estrogen only had a 66 percent raised risk while those currently using combined estrogen and progesterone had a 41 percent increased risk.

The chances of developing GERD symptoms were higher with higher doses of hormones and longer duration of use.

Current SERM users had a 39 percent increased risk, while women taking over-the-counter preparations had an increased risk of 37 percent.

"This is important for a couple of reasons, one just for proof of principle in terms of the mechanisms and pathophysiology," Jacobson said. "We had always suspected [exogenous hormones] might do it. Now, we have more evidence that hormones do somehow cause people to get more heartburn.

The exact biological mechanisms aren't clear yet, but it looks like hormones may lower pressure in the esophageal sphincter.

Because of other risks, including heart attack and breast cancer, experts generally recommend that women limit their use of postmenopausal hormones.

And if a woman does take hormones and experiences heartburn, she might consider an alternative for her menopausal symptoms, Jacobson said.

"A woman [taking hormones who develops GERD] may need additional medication or she may make the decision with her doctor that it's not worth it to continue hormones," said Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician/gynecologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "GERD is something we will have to keep an eye on when putting patients on hormones. It's not an obvious symptom to patients. . . . so we may need to inform patients ahead of time."

More information

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse has more on GERD.



SOURCES: Brian Jacobson, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, Boston University School of Medicine; Jennifer Wu, obstetrician/gynecologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Sept. 8, 2008, Archives of Internal Medicine

Last Updated: Sept. 08, 2008

Copyright © 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com