Severity of Asthma Affected by Hormone Cycle Fluctuations

Leslie Carol Botha: Am not sure I am comfortable with the BBC headline… it appears that women’s natural hormone cycles are being blamed for increases in asthma at different times of the menstrual cycle. When in fact, it has already been noted that changes in the hormone cycle and also changes in immunity due to hormone fluctuations are responsible for many other conditions like migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, bacterial and viral infections.

“While most women hardly need to be told that their hormone cycle affects their body; few of us suspected it could make the difference between life and death.  But research with breast-cancer patients is starting to suggest that scheduling a patient’s surgery according to her cycle may increase her chances of being cured.  And that’s just the most prominent example to emerge from a small but growing exploration of the relationship between women’s monthly hormonal changes and common illnesses, ranging from migraines to irritable bowel syndrome.”

Catherine Gifford
Lifesaving News about Your Period
July 1993

What women need is menstrual cycle evaluation for every medical and mental health issue they are experiencing. The ‘one-size’ fits all concept is not working for women.  Drink more water and many of your asthma symptoms will dissipate without medication. Healing – not medicating is crucial to our health. Understanding  your hormone cycle fluctuations will enable you to know when your symptoms of any imbalance will worsen – so you can be preventive.

Hormones in menstrual cycle ‘affect asthma’

BBC News
9 November 2012 Last updated at 06:29 ET

Norwegian researchers studied almost 4,000 women, and found worse symptoms around ovulation.

Period pain is not the only symptom linked to a woman’s menstrual cycle, the study suggests

Writing in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, they said it may be possible to adapt women’s medication.

Asthma UK said it could help women with asthma manage their condition better.

All the women studied had regular menstrual cycles lasting 28 days or less, and none were taking hormonal contraceptives.

Of those studied, 28.5% were smokers and 8% had been diagnosed with asthma.

Wheezing symptoms were worse between days 10 to 22 of cycles, with a slight dip near the point of ovulation for most.

Shortness of breath was worse on days seven to 21, again with a slight fall around ovulation.

The study found it was not just women diagnosed with asthma who experienced these symptoms and variations.

Coughing was worse following ovulation for those with asthma, those who were overweight and smokers.

‘Pronounced’ variations

When an individual woman has her period is determined by complex hormonal processes over the course of her cycle.

Throughout, levels of different hormones rise and fall – and body temperature rises around ovulation.

The researchers suggest that these fluctuations may have direct effects on airways. and indirect effects on inflammatory responses to infection.

Writing in the journal, the researchers led by Dr Ferenc Macsali, of the Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway, said: “We found that respiratory symptoms varied significantly during the menstrual cycle.

“There were large changes in symptom incidence through the cycle for all symptoms.”

They also found “pronounced” symptom variations during the menstrual cycle in women with asthma, and say the findings suggest women might need tailored medication regimes.

“Adjustment of asthma medication to the menstrual cycle may potentially improve the efficacy of asthma treatment and reduce disability and health costs related to asthma in women.”

Read full article…


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.