Heavy drinking linked to worse PMS

(Reuters Health) – Women who are heavy drinkers are at increased risk of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), new research shows.

“Together with other researchers, we believe that alcohol increases PMS risk by altering the level of hormones, such as gonadotropin, during the menstrual cycle,” Dr. Bahi Takkouche, the study’s senior author, told Reuters Health in by email.

The original article in the British Medical Journal is a review and meta-analysis (looking at dozens of published scientific studies). According to their data, any drinking increases the incidence of premenstrual syndrome by about 45% and “heavy drinking” (more than one drink a day) increased the risk by 79%.

This is an association study, meaning more alcohol means more PMS. But the converse could also be true: women suffering from PMS might drink more to relieve pain.

Bottom line: it’s clear that women are at greater risk from alcohol toxicity in general. It’s certainly plausible that alcohol could trigger hormone-related symptoms like PMS.