Each month I live in fear that my period will trigger a sudden and fatal attack

PERIODS can be exhausting and cause pain and discomfort.

But one woman lives in fear of her menstrual cycle – because it could trigger a fatal asthma attack.

Lisa Hall has said her period triggers deadly asthma symptoms


Lisa Hall has said her period triggers deadly asthma symptomsPhoto credit: BBC

Lisa Hall said so in the days before her Periodthe symptoms of their condition may worsen.

Common signs of asthma include coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness or pain.

The 40-year-old said her cough got so bad near her cycle that her previous employer told her that if she didn’t get help from her GP, she would take her to the emergency room.

Lisa, who lives in Newport, Wales, said her attacks would creep up on her over a few days.

“I take about eight meds a day to try and get some kind of control,” she told the BBC.

A recent report by Asthma UK found that women are twice as likely to die from an asthma attack as men.

Female sex hormones, including estrogen, may be responsible for triggering worse respiratory attacks.

Sarah Woolnough, chief executive of the charity, said: “Gaps in our knowledge are what make women fail.

“Many struggle with debilitating asthma symptoms, are stuck in a cycle of hospitalizations and hospitalizations, and in some cases lose their lives.”

Lisa said the report helped shed light on her condition and she also discussed her symptoms with her asthma nurse.

“To me it seemed too perfect to be random, if that makes sense.”

She said she was lucky as her nurse had noticed this pairing earlier, and while there was no hard evidence at the time, she believed it was true from her other conversations with asthma patients.

“For a lot of people it’s still pretty taboo to talk about their menstrual cycle, especially when you’re 15 or 16, you’re pretty young and suggestible and it’s embarrassing, let’s face it,” added Lisa.

If there were more discussion from a medical perspective, she added, it could be helpful for patients who may not want to discuss their periods with their doctor.

This, she said, could open up more avenues and treatment options for women.

Asthma UK experts say the best way to monitor your symptoms is to keep a log.

You need to know the symptoms of asthma

The main symptoms of asthma are:

  • a whistling sound when breathing
  • breathlessness
  • a tight chest
  • Cough

Symptoms can sometimes get worse and this is called an asthma attack.

You should look out for these signs:

  • Her blue Reliver inhaler isn’t helping
  • You are too breathless to speak, eat or sleep
  • breathing gets faster and faster
  • can’t catch his breath
  • Children may complain of abdominal or chest pain

This way, you can see when your asthma symptoms or flare-ups correlate with period symptoms.

In the UK there are around three million women with asthma and 2.4 million men.

Attacks cause the airways to narrow and make breathing difficult.

While boys are more likely to have the condition as children, many grow out of it, and women are more likely to develop it during puberty or adulthood.

According to Asthma + Lung UK, the female hormones estrogen and progesterone can make symptoms worse because they lower male testosterone levels, which strengthens the airways.

Adult women are 2.5 times more likely to be hospitalized with asthma than men and are more likely to have trouble controlling the disease, the charity added.

Ms Woolnough added: “By understanding the role of sex hormones in asthma, we could transform the lives of millions of women around the world.

“We urgently need more investment in research in this area to save lives.”

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