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New study examines asthma symptoms during women’s menstrual cycles

A new study shows that there may be a link between asthma and women's menstrual cycles, which could lead to more specialized treatment.

Doctors in Norway have conducted research that may reveal a link between asthma symptoms and women's menstrual cycles, reports Reuters.

Dr. Ferenc Macsali and his colleagues from Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen surveyed 4,000 women in Northern Europe, asking them questions about their periods and whether or not they had experienced any wheezing or coughing over the past three days.

The findings showed that wheezing increased around the time of ovulation, and shortness of breath and coughing were less common directly after women got their periods. Though the reason for this is unconfirmed thus far, researchers have said that it is likely that estrogen and other hormones affect the lungs and other parts of the body involved in breathing. Other factors such as insulin resistance and general inflammation, which also change during the menstrual cycle, could also be contributing to this.

While the data doesn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship between menstrual cycles and asthma, researchers hope that by better understanding when symptoms occur, doctors can provide more specialized treatment.

"It could lead to more personalized therapy, based on where their symptoms are getting worse, in which phases of their menstrual cycle," Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Samar Farha, who wasn't involved with Dr. Macsali's study, told the source. "You could change therapy and escalate therapy based on (those) phases."

As doctors continue to look for causes and treatments for asthma, there are actions you can take to keep your symptoms at a minimum. You may want to consider investing in a HEPA air filter, a dehumidifier or a whole house air purifier, along with limiting the presence of dust mites and pet dander in your home.

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