HRT Alert

By Rachel Odell

Here’s one more reason to avoid hormone replacement therapy: New research shows that women who take hormones to ease their transition through menopause greatly increase their risk of having abnormal or inconclusive mammograms. Either of those can likely lead to unnecessary biopsies or additional visits to the lab for follow-up mammograms—about as much fun as cleaning the bathroom over and over again. Apparently, hormone therapy can increase breast density, which muddies mammograms. But that doesn’t mean the hot flashes win. Natural remedies, including black cohosh (20 to 40 mg twice daily), hops (100 to 120 mg daily), and red clover, also known as Promensil (40 mg a day), can offer relief—and they don’t interfere with mammograms.