The variety of physiological and emotional changes associated
with the female menstrual cycle can contribute to a number
of distressing symptoms: anxiety, depression, abdominal bloating,
backache, headache, irritability, and mood swings. Itís estimated
that 70-75% of all women experience premenstrual syndrome
(PMS) symptoms at one time or another, with up to 40% reporting
symptoms severe enough to affect their day-to-day lives.
The profound dangers of smoking include chronic emphysema,
lung cancer, and various other cancers of the mouth, nose
and throat. If youíre trying to quit, you know that withdrawal
symptoms can be distressing - and in many ways similar to
the symptoms associated with PMS.
The similarities between the two may be even more profound,
according to a recent study in the Journal of Consulting
and Clinical Psychology. Researchers found that tobacco
withdrawal symptoms were significantly greater among women
who quit smoking during the luteal phase of the menstrual
cycle (day 15 or more) than among women who quit smoking during
the follicular phase (days 1-14). These results were maintained
even when considering use of oral contraceptives, which are
known to alter menstrual cycling.
If youíre a woman trying to quit smoking, youíre on your
way to protecting yourself against a number of life-threatening
conditions associated with consistent tobacco use. If you
havenít yet quit, these findings suggest that you may want
to select a day to quit early in the menstrual cycle rather
than later on, when the combination of PMS symptoms and withdrawal
symptoms may prove more distressing than you can handle. Your
doctor can provide you with more information on the dangers
of smoking and how to quit (and stick with it).
Perkins KA, Levine M, Marcus M. Tobacco withdrawal in women
and menstrual cycle phase. Journal of Consulting and Clinical
Psychology 2000: Vol. 68, No. 1, pp176-80.
For additional information on women's health, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/women.html