A groundbreaking study has found a link between inflammation and pre-menstrual mood symptoms.
Research suggests the best way to battle PMS may be the use of specific anti-inflammatory medications.
The study, published in the Journal of Women’s Health, surveyed 3,302 women and found the presence of a certain protein appears to be linked to PMS symptoms.
This protein is called C-reactive protein (CRP) and has been found to be linked to acute inflammation which causes; abdominal cramps, back pain, appetite cravings, weight gain, bloating, and breast pain as a result of PMS. However, increased levels of this protein has not been linked to headaches.
Earlier research into heart attacks and the presence of CRP identified the relationship between the protein and inflammation.
The significant positive relation between CRP and inflammation, alongside the elevated hs-CRP levels is what suggests that the management of inflammation will reduce the symptoms of PMS.
The study’s authors tells the Independent: “The results also suggest that the factors associated with each premenstrual symptom are complex, suggesting potentially different mechanisms for the etiologies of some symptoms. These results suggest that inflammation may play a mechanistic role in most PMSx, although further longitudinal study of these relationships is needed.
“However, recommending to women to avoid behaviours that are associated with inflammation may be helpful for prevention, and anti-inflammatory agents may be useful for treatment of these symptoms.”
Around 80 per cent of people who menstruate say they experience premenstrual symptoms, however despite this high number, social taboos around menstruation has meant limited scientific research has been dedicated to the area.
In February the professor of reproductive health at UCL, Professor John Guillebaud, reignited debate after he stated that period pain is “as bad as a heart attack.”
He said: “Men don’t get it and it hasn’t been given the centrality it should have. I do believe it’s something that should be taken care of, like anything else in medicine.”