Asthma symptoms may vary during menstrual cycle: study
Researchers, whose findings appear in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, said spikes and dips in estrogen and other hormones likely affect the lungs and other physiological responses involved in breathing.
However, it's still unclear whether the results could improve doctors' treatment of women with asthma.
"Respiratory symptoms varied significantly during the menstrual cycle," wrote lead researcher Ferenc Macsali of Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway, and colleagues.
Other researchers said that while scientific studies have come to competing conclusions, anecdotal evidence does show variations for some patients during their menstrual cycles, which Samar Farha at the Cleveland Clinic described as "a very important cycle... with all the biological changes and physiological things that happen.
"(Some) asthmatics describe that just before their menses, they get a worsening of their symptoms," Farha, who studies asthma and other respiratory diseases but wasn't involved in the study, told Reuters Health.
The researchers surveyed close to 4,000 women in Northern Europe who had normal periods and weren't taking birth control pills. Along with other health and lifestyle questions, they asked women to report when their last period started, as well as whether they'd had any breathing-related problems in the past three days, such as wheezing or waking up with a coughing attack.
Just under eight percent of women in the study had been diagnosed with
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