inflammation health issues menstrual issues

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The Thing You Deal with Month After Month

The health issue: Premenstrual issues

What inflammation has to do with it:
Women with higher levels of inflammation marker C-reactive protein (CRP) appear to get hit harder with certain premenstrual symptoms, according to a study in the Journal of Women's Health. Women with high CRP were 27 percent more likely to report moodiness, 40 percent more likely to deal with cramps and backaches, 41 percent more likely to experience weight gain and bloating and 26 percent more likely to report breast pain compared with women with lower CRP levels. It's not clear if inflammation comes first and causes these symptoms or the reverse, says lead study author Ellen Gold, PhD, a professor in the department of Public Health Sciences at the University of California Davis School of Medicine, but she's hopeful that future research will sort out this chicken-and-egg mystery.

What you can do:
Gold notes that many women find anti-inflammatories like NSAIDs helpful in relieving symptoms. Beyond that, shedding excess weight and staying away from cigarettes may help too, as both can trigger inflammation.