Gutbliss - Dr. Robynne Chutkan


Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases risk for GI cancers in post-menopausal women, according to data from Digestive Diseases Week. 

40% of postmenopausal women in the U.S. take HRT. While previous studies have explored the association between HRT and reproductive cancers, this is the first study to look at long term HRT and the likelihood of developing GI cancer. The study analyzed medical records of over 11 million women who took HRT for at least two decades. Even after controlling for risk factors like smoking, alcohol use, obesity, and diabetes, they found an independent increased risk of pancreatic and stomach cancers in long-term HRT users.

While the decision for or against HRT is highly personal and needs to take symptoms as well as risk factors into consideration, our recommendation at Gutbliss is to exhaust modalities with less problematic side effects such as dietary change, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation before considering HRT. The Women’s Study for the Alleviation of Vasomotor Symptoms (WAVS trial) found that a plant-based diet reduced moderate to severe hot flashes by 88% – and also helped menopausal women lose weight. All while decreasing rather than increasing your risk for cancer!

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