• Alcohol intake may be linked to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Around one-in-10 cases of PMS worldwide might be linked to alcohol intake, according to a new study.
Yasmin Noone

26 Apr 2018 - 11:32 AM  UPDATED 26 Apr 2018 - 11:43 AM

Going out for a boozy night in the lead up to your period may be the reason why you experience pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), according to a new international review.

Spanish researchers have linked the consumption of booze with PMS, suggesting that drinking alcohol could be to blame for PMS symptoms like fatigue and mood changes one-to-two weeks before menstruation.

The researchers from University of Santiago de Compostela analysed the data in 19 studies on PMS and alcohol which included more than 47,000 participants. According to AFP News Agency, the studies spanned eight countries: Australia, United States, Britain, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, South Korea and Taiwan.

The review revealed that alcohol consumption was associated with a moderate the risk of PMS of around 45 per cent. However, the risk of PMS increased to 79 per cent for women who were heavy drinkers.

“…Our results suggest that alcohol intake presents a moderate association with PMS risk.” 

“Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a very common disorder worldwide which carries an important economic burden,” the online study reads.

“…Our results suggest that alcohol intake presents a moderate association with PMS risk.” 

According to the review, published in BMJ Open, almost 30 per cent of females around the world drink alcohol while 5.7 per cent of females are heavy drinkers.

In America and the European countries analysed, these figures are higher. The review states that about 60 percent of women drink in Europe, and 13 percent heavily.

Based on these figures, the authors “estimate that 11 per cent of the PMS cases may be associated to alcohol intake worldwide”.  

Meanwhile, in Europe, around one in five PMS cases may be related to drinking.

Why is booze such a diet destroyer?
Alcohol not only contains a lot of calories but it changes the way your whole body processes food.

As drinking patterns vary widely between countries, the researchers calculated the content of ethanol in an average drink, using data on the consumption of beer, wine and spirits, specific to each country.

They defined a ‘low intake’ as drinking less than one standard drink a day (or consuming less than 10 grams of ethanol alcohol a day). Heavy drinking, in this study, was consuming around one or more drinks containing about 10 grams of ethanol.

Australian guidelines for alcohol consumption recommends that healthy women drink no more than two standard drinks on any day to reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over a lifetime.

...the authors “estimate that 11 per cent of the PMS cases may be associated to alcohol intake worldwide”.

It remains unclear whether the link between PMS and alcohol is due to the alcohol itself or whether some women reach for the bottle to cope with their symptoms.

The analysis only suggests a link between PMS and the consumption of alcohol, not a cause and effect relationship.

However, the authors say, as the increase in risk is more pronounced for heavy drinking, there’s a strong chance there may be a “causal explanation of the relation between alcohol intake and PMS”. More research is needed to make this conclusion.

What to eat when you've got your period
Menstruation can be a source of discomfort and pain. By ensuring your body has key nutrients, you may be able to manage or reduce the symptoms of your period.

According to the Australian women’s health organisation, Jean Hailes, PMS is experienced by around 30 per cent of Australian women in the lead up to menstruation.

PMS symptoms can be emotional (irritability, nervous tension, lower libido, depression or aggression), as well as physical (headaches or migraines, bloating, breast tenderness, constipation and aches or pains).

Research published in The Lancet in 2008 says that five-to-eight per cent of women suffer from severe PMS. Most of these women fit the criteria for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The study says that hormonal fluctuations cause PMS. Other research specifically states that changes in serotonin might be an underlying cause of PMS. 

Heavy drinkers may be at risk of dementia: new study
Think before you drink alcohol to excess. New evidence from France shows that your chronic drinking habits might be putting you at risk of dementia.
Your hangover can’t be cured. Here’s why.
The only hangover cure is waiting it out — and, of course, learning your alcohol limits in the first place.
It’s not just mums who need to avoid alcohol when trying for a baby
Listen up, gents - new research is showing how alcohol can affect your contribution to a baby's health.
Does drinking alcohol kill the germs it comes into contact with?
With its germ-killing powers, does wine or beer fight tummy bugs?