Researchers: menstrual hormones may worsen asthma in women

Asthma is a condition that affects the lungs of a person. The airways of such a person periodically get inflamed and narrow. People suffering from it may periodically endure difficulty breathing. When a person has an asthmatic period you will usually hear their heavy breathing as a whistling sound due to the fact that they are struggling to take air in.

A new study is showing that the severity of the asthma a women may go through is influenced by the hormones involved in the menstrual cycle. A research done by Norwegians shows signs of respiratory symptoms becoming more acute when the women gets closer to ovulation.

4000 women with normal menstrual cycles were observed in the study. Hormonal contraceptives were not in use by any of the women under study. Out of the 4000, 8% were known to have asthma. Another 28.5% were known to smoke. After the research, the scientists reported they found that symptoms affecting the respiratory tract showed some significant variations during menstrual cycles. This was reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. They noted that the changes in symptom incidence through the cycle were quite large. And that was the case for all the symptoms.

This study implies that there should be a way to solve that problem by adapting women’s medication around it. Dr Samantha Walker of Asthma UK has acknowledge that they could find a way to help women deal with their asthma much easily.

She mentioned also that there are many things known to trigger asthma and it varies from person to person. This is why it is advised to an asthmatic person to be aware of what he/she is asthmatic to and take precautionary measures. If some women with asthma are noticing that their case is worsening at certain specific period of the month, they should take preventive measures. One of them is to have their inhalers at hand during those periods. They should make sure to pick inhalers with enough medicine does that can be relied on during the whole difficult period.

Every woman’s endocrine system secretes hormones that influences ovulation. This is a 28 days cycle that keeps repeating itself throughout the reproductive age of a woman. Those hormones levels go up or down depending on the period the woman finds herself in. The research suggests that the level of hormones released at a point in time has an effect on the airways. The study also suggests that those same hormones may have an indirect effect on inflammatory responses when an infection occurs.

Dr. Ferenc Mascali said the findings will turn out to be useful. He is the doctor at the Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen who led this research. He pointed out that the results they obtained from this research could help come up with respiratory disease therapies much more specific to the individual at stake. The therapy would be much more representative of the individual symptom patterns. For example they could find a way to adjust asthma medication in a woman according to menstrual cycle. This will improve the effectiveness of the drug. In the long run this will also help reduce the cost of care.