Menopausal hormone therapies may cause acid reflux
Posted Sep 22 2008 11:03am
According to a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who use oestrogen hormone therapies in the years following the menopause are more likely to develop acid reflux (known as gastro-oesophageal reflux or GORD).
Acid reflux, or GORD, is characterised by heartburn and acid regurgitation typically suffered around 4-5 times per week.
Postmenopausal women often use hormone therapy to address lingering symptoms of the menopause. This latest study examined data of hormone use among over 50,000 postmenopausal women and the association between acid reflux and use of those oestrogen compounds.
These compounds included oestrogen, selective oestrogen-receptor modulators, and over-the-counter oestrogen preparations.
GORD, or acid reflux, symptoms were reported by 23% of participants and current users of oestrogen compounds were 1.6 times more likely to develop reflux symptoms than women who never used them. Women using over-the-counter hormones were 1.3 times more likely to develop acid reflux.
The risk of reflux symptoms also increased significantly in relation to higher oestrogen doses and longer time using oestrogen therapy.
"Previous research suggests that elevated oestrogen and progesterone levels increase reflux symptoms," say lead author Dr Brian Jacobson, from Boston University in Massachusetts, USA, and colleagues.
"As the current US population ages, there may be increasing numbers of women seeking both medical and complementary therapies for menopause-related symptoms and breast cancer or osteoporosis prevention."