5 Weird Ways Inflammation Affects Your Body
At least 85 percent of menstruating women experience a symptom of PMS every cycle, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Inflammation may have a hand in that. A 2016 study found that women who have higher levels of inflammatory proteins are more likely to suffer from PMS symptoms such as mood problems, cramps, back pain, cravings, bloating and breast pain. Because there's very little research on the inflammation-PMS link, says study co-author Ellen B. Gold, PhD, the exact mechanism isn't clear yet. But you may get relief from some symptoms by reducing factors that are known to contribute to inflammation, including smoking, excess sugar consumption and eating a high-fat diet. Other things you can do to help decrease inflammation, says Gold: be physically fit, stay within a healthy weight range and follow a Mediterranean diet.