Asthma symptoms may vary during menstrual cycle: study

Asthma

Complaints of shortness of breath and coughing both declined just after women got their periods, and shortness of breath was also more rare right before menses started. Macsali's team saw cyclical patterns in breathing symptoms in women with and without asthma. What explains those patterns is still up for debate.

Estrogen may affect the lungs directly, the researchers said. Insulin resistance and markets of general inflammation are known to vary during the menstrual cycle, which could also play a role in when breathing symptoms get better or worse.

"The observed patterns in our study are most likely a result of... complex hormonal processes," the researchers wrote.

"It does not seem plausible that one sex hormone should explain the variation in respiratory symptoms during the menstrual cycle."

Women with asthma should "be aware of a possibility that their symptoms are influenced by day in cycle," Macsali told Reuters Health in an email.

Farha said that not all women will notice those changes and it's also unclear whether they ever put them in serious danger, though it's worth discussing with their doctor. "It could lead to more personalized therapy," she said.

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