I recently came across a short article from the winter 2013 issue of Allergy & Asthma Today titled “Does Menopause Increase Asthma Severity?” that explores the possible links between menopause and asthma.
Seriously? Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and the urge to really hurt someone aren’t enough to deal with? Come on, Mother Nature, throw us a bone!
The report, which originally appeared in the September 2013 Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, states that women in their 40s and 50s are being admitted to hospitals with asthma symptoms at more than twice the rate of their male counterparts. As we can guess, this may have something to do with hormones. If I go back to when my own asthma reappeared, after decades of being asymptomatic and under no treatment regimen, it was during my menopausal years that my symptoms resurfaced. I was about 46 years old when my asthma came back with a vengeance. I ended up in the hospital and had subsequent ER visits and many trips to a pulmonologist before my symptoms were back under relatively good control.
One thing this new article doesn’t mention is if the women in the study had already been diagnosed with asthma or if they were newly diagnosed during their menopausal years. It is also important to keep in mind that the study took place in New York only – However, I can’t imagine that the results would be that different anywhere else. New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, East Coast, West Coast. Hormones are hormones.
If you have concerns about the potential link between asthma and menopause after reading these facts, it is important that you address them with your physician. This way, you can work with your doctor to try to work up a plan for early intervention than can help prevent trips to the ER or unwanted hospital stays.
Not sure how to begin the conversation with your doctor? Give me a call at 1-800-220-1990 – I’m happy to talk you through what you should ask and how to address your concerns with your doctor or pulmonologist.
Wishing You Peace and a Good Deep Breath,