Menstrual Cycle Changes in Dysregulated Eating Symptoms

Kimberly S. Stevens
Objective: Animal and human data indicate that fluctuations in ovarian hormones (e.g., estrogen and progesterone) across the estrus/menstrual cycle drive changes in eating behavior. Post-ovulatory phases (i.e., mid-luteal and pre-menstrual in women) correspond to distinct ovarian hormone profiles (i.e., low estradiol or high estradiol coupled with high progesterone) that are known to have stimulatory effects on eating behavior and have been associated with increased risk for emotional eating
more » ... binge eating. Nonetheless, other specific components of dysregulated eating (e.g., preoccupation with food, loss of control over eating) that are related to and/or prospectively predict the development of clinical binge eating episodes have yet to be examined. Determining which specific features of dysregulated eating are impacted by hormonal shifts across the menstrual cycle could aid in elucidating the etiologic effects of ovarian hormones on eating disorders. This study aimed to address this gap by examining the fluctuation of several forms of dysregulated eating in a new sample of women. Method: Participants were 20 normal-weight women from the community (age 18-45) who completed multiple daily measures over one menstrual cycle (~30 days). Menstrual cycle phases were determined from a range of indicators: self-report onset of menses, basal body temperature, and urine hormone test strips. Several types of dysregulated eating symptoms (e.g., loss of control over eating, external eating, emotional eating, preoccupation with food, and intense desire/cravings to eat) were assessed each evening using well-validated questionnaires that were adapted for daily reports. Daily levels of negative affect were assessed using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Height/weight measurements were taken at the baseline and final appointments and used to calculate average Body Mass Index (BMI) across the cycle. Statistical Analyses: Consistent with prior studies, five-day rolling averages were computed for all dysregulated [...]
doi:10.34917/22110094 fatcat:7e7yqwboyjhirnfhyf2rx4tlf4