This drives me nuts that GI's don't inform women of these things or recognize the correlation.... even some female GI's... I have posted on this before, but will throw it on here as well for you guys - errr.. gals...
Estrogen - and specifically Estradiol, aside from all the other functions - acts like a glue that holds epithelial cells together.
Part of the problem women face is the dramatic change in Estrogen levels they experience- There's three type of estrogen:
(1) Estradiol - Reproductive years
(2) Estrone - Menopause
(3) Estriol -Pregnancy
So again, in younger women during their reproductive years Estradiol is the most prominent and after menopause Estrone becomes the dominant circulating estrogen. During pregnancy Estriol is the predominant estrogen.
(1) Estradiol is the most potent - approximately 80 times more potent than (3) Estriol.
This is important to understand if you're female and experiencing an increase in IBD symptoms during mensuration periods. Part of the cause is the drop in Estradiol. This has an effect on barrier function among many other things.
It's worth noting the above and next time you're speaking to your GI ask to be tested for levels... at specific times. Most likely you'll find a strong correlation. One option might be replacement therapy and another is actually taking birth control - but you have to be sure it's the right birth control as not all are estrogen based.
Anyway - I have to run out for a while can post a bit more when I have some time later along with some studies that you could take/review/learn from...
Here is a quick one though not the best:www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21252046
Also keep in mind the effects of Estrogen on barrier function is relatively new - so many GI's might not even be familiar with it, and male GI's probably just don't read about
EDC's (Edocrine Disrupting Compounds) which are vast may be related somehow but many are unsure or it's all up in the air. But Old Mike's recent post on the effects of PM10 on IBD i a good start as most compounds in PM10 or "air pollution" are actually very potent EDC's. It's worth learning a little on EDC's as well...
Diagnosed Crohns-Colitis 10 years ago - Past Meds: Antibiotics, Prednisone, Methotrexate, Imuran, Remicade - Current Meds: Imuran 150mg/daily, Natural: WOO/Thyme Oil, All organic food no additives. Reuteri and Plantarum probiotics.
“The only person you're destined to become, is the person you decide to be"