Difficult Menstrual Cycles Can Worsen Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Study Suggests

Difficult Menstrual Cycles Can Worsen Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Study Suggests
Fibromyalgia symptoms are evident and worse in women who go on to experience a severe and debilitating menstrual cycle (a period of weeks known as premenstrual syndrome or PMS), detrimentally effecting their quality of life (QoL), a study reports. The study, “Premenstrual syndrome and fibromyalgia: the frequency of the coexistence and their effects on quality of life,” was published in the journal Gynecological Endocrinology. PMS and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) are characterized by both emotional and physical symptoms, with the most common examples being mood swings and abdominal bloating, respectively. PMS and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) are described as belonging to the central sensitivity syndrome family, a term that includes several conditions linked by a unique principle of pathological deregulated nociception (i.e., the sensation or perception of pain), referred to as “central sensitization.” Researchers aimed to investigate the association between PMS and FMS, and to identify common symptoms and QoL concerns. To this end, they performed a prospective case-control study that included a cohort with 55 PMS patients and a control group of 52 healthy, age-matched women. FMS diagnosis was based on the relatively new, 2010 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria (2010 ACR FDC), which itself is based on two parameters: the widespread pain index (WPI) score and the symptom severity (SS) score. PMS was further divided in two subgroups according to the presence/absence of FMS. The researchers detected a 20% frequency of FMS
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