The Korea Herald


Extreme diet practices linked to severe menstrual pain: study

By Lee Jaeeun

Published : April 24, 2023 - 15:10

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Women who go on extreme diets are more likely to suffer menstrual pain, a study showed Monday.

Women engaging in extreme dieting practices had a higher risk of developing dysmenorrhea, according to research conducted by the Korea National Institute of Health. Dysmenorrhea refers to severe and frequent cramps during menstruation.

The study looked at 5,829 women aged 14 to 44 from March through June 2016, during which 22 percent of those went on an extreme diet. An extreme diet involves practices reducing the calorie intake to lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time.

The study found that those who went on an extreme diet had an increased risk of suffering menstrual pain. Women who fasted or skipped meals had a 1.4 times higher chance of severe dysmenorrhea, and women who took unapproved weight loss supplements were 1.6 times more likely to have severe dysmenorrhea.

This risk was further increased when accompanied by other factors such as weight change over the past year greater than 3 kilograms or eating delivery food five or more times a week.

This research was submitted to the Journal of Korean Medical Science, published by the Korean Academy of Medical Sciences and the Korean Medical Association.