Bronchial asthma is a chronic respiratory disease, which is based on the hyperreactivity of the bronchial tree. In Ukraine, it affects about 5-7% of the population.
The disease develops predominantly in childhood, but it can not be ruled out in adults. Both sexes are equally affected, but women often have a much more severe course of illness.
What a dangerous disease
A patient with bronchial asthma has an increased sensitivity of the bronchi to different allergens. This can be a library of dust, pollen of plants, served epithelium. In each case, a set of provocative factors is its own.
Bronchi react on them with an excessive protective response - spasm. There is an attack of strangulation, in which it is much harder for the patient to exhale than breathe. To ease exhalation, the muscles of the neck, chest, upper shoulder strain are strained. Due to the lack of oxygen in the face, especially the nasolabial triangle, it acquires a cyanotic tint.
If you do not take action, an attack of strangulation can go into asthmatic status. This condition is extremely dangerous to the patient, as often ends with a fatal outcome.
Features of the course of bronchial asthma in women
In most cases, women are more ill with the disease than men. This is due to the cyclical fluctuations in the level of female sex hormones, which directly affect the development of bronchial spasm. The main role here belongs to estrogen and progesterone.
Estrogens generally adversely affect the bronchi. They provoke spasms of smooth muscle both at the expense of their own effects, and indirectly, by stimulating the release of histamine. In addition, it has been proved that estrogens contribute to increasing the volume of cells in the mucous membrane of the bronchi, causing changes in the pulmonary tissue, which leads to an increase in pulmonary resistance.
Progesterone, in turn, has the opposite effect. It expands the lumen of bronchioles, improves their ventilation, increases the depth of breath.
Bronchial asthma and phases of the menstrual cycle
The phases of the menstrual cycle have a clear cycle of hormonal oscillations. There is a concept of so-called premenstrual bronchial asthma. It is associated with the pathological course of the second phase of the cycle, when a high level of estrogen is combined with low levels of progesterone due to the lack of activity of the yellow body. As a result, the probability of an attack in this period is significantly increasing.
Pregnancy and bronchial asthma
Given that the main hormone of pregnancy is progesterone, in many women the course of bronchial asthma becomes easier. This is especially noticeable in the last four weeks before childbirth. However, often due to hormonal vibrations, the state of the patient, on the contrary, worsens, attacks become more frequent.
The physician should clearly monitor such moments and timely appoint the necessary treatment. It should be remembered that the oxygen deficiency of the mother inevitably affects the child. Therefore, during pregnancy you must strictly follow the doctor's order.
Menopause and bronchial asthma
Climacteric period is a rather difficult time for women's health. Growing hormonal imbalance affects virtually all organs and systems, including bronchi. Sometimes bronchial asthma first arises precisely in menopause.
Often there is a need for the appointment of substitution therapy for female sex hormones. In these cases, the physician should be aware of the probability of deterioration of the course of bronchial asthma when using estrogen drugs. Often this requires an increase in the dose of corticosteroid hormones.