GENERICO.ruMedicineThe closeness of nature helps to reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome

The closeness of nature helps to reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome

Irritability, discomfort in the lower abdomen, pain in the mammary glands, swelling of the legs, weakness and fatigue – the symptoms of PMS are well known to every fifth woman of childbearing age. A first-of-its-kind study shows that environmental factors influence how you feel before your period is much more than you think. p>

The study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and the University of Bergen included 1,069 women aged 18 to 49 from Norway and Sweden. They completed a questionnaire in which they answered questions about what symptoms of PMS they experienced.

To assess the relationship between PMS and green spaces near where women live, the researchers used the Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI), and also investigated the level of air pollution.

When the experts compared all the data, they found that participants who lived all their lives in areas with the most green spaces – that is, near forests, parks, fields – were significantly less likely to experience PMS symptoms compared to women living in less favorable environmental conditions. conditions. The proximity of nature helps to reduce problems such as anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, bloating and breast pain.

According to scientists, the explanation for this phenomenon can be quite simple: stress exacerbates PMS symptoms, and favorable environmental conditions help reduce it by reducing cortisol levels. This “stress hormone” is associated with an increase in progesterone levels, which affects the occurrence of symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

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However, there is a serious nuance: the beneficial effect of nature is created only if a woman lives in “green” areas for a long time. Short-term exposure to nature, such as during a vacation, does not provide any benefit in reducing PMS symptoms.

Earlier, scientists from London assessed the impact of nature on the psyche and cognitive abilities among 3.5 thousand children 9-15 years old . They used satellite data, dividing natural areas into “green” (forests and parks) and “blue” – near water bodies. It turned out that living for two years in close proximity to a forest or park was associated with better cognitive development and mental health of the participants. In these children, the scores on the scales evaluating these parameters were, on average, 16% higher than in those who lived far from these zones.

A similar but less noticeable effect was observed among children who live and study near grasslands. However, the proximity of the “blue” zones, that is, rivers and lakes, had practically no effect on the mental health of children.

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