The Menstrual Cycle and Its Effect on IBD and IBS

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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 11/13/2007 5:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I got this in an email newsletter.  Since it is a topic we frequently discuss, I figured I'd post it :)
An article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology noted that female patients with bowel disease commonly report worsening symptoms in relation to the menstrual cycle. Their aim was to determine the nature of gastrointestinal symptoms correlating with the menstrual cycle in women with inflammatory and irritable bowel disease.

All disease groups (IBD and IBS) had a cyclical pattern to their bowel habits significantly more than controls, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation. The study concluded that the prevalence of menstrually related symptoms is high, and appears to affect bowel patterns. The physiological and clinical effects of the menstrual cycle should be taken into consideration when assessing for disease activity. Go here for more information about this study...

Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 75mg, Rowasa and Canasa as needed
Aciphex, Effexor XR, BCP, Rhinocort nasal spray
Forvia and a Probiotic
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Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 11/13/2007 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Yup, it's been long known that hormones play their role with both IBD and IBS.

Sucks being a woman!!!!

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 11/13/2007 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I haven't had a period since July when I was hospitalized with a very bad flare.  Just chalked it up to being so sick.  Not that I'm complaining, it's been nice not having to deal with that too.

Diagnosed with UP in Feb 2005 Developed into UC by Jan 2006
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Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30999
   Posted 11/14/2007 5:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Took them a while to figure out what most women with UC already know. Alas, they have to do the studies...but it's nothing new at all.

*Heather*Status:mini flare June 23* 6asacol daily+ Salofalk (tapered every 4th night)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 2 (Natural Factors Protec) + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) at bedtime
~Natural Factors Multi Digestive Enzymes with supper
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
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Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 11/14/2007 7:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I knew this for quite some time now but it's a good article for women that weren't aware of the connection. Thanks Dawn! :)
Left sided Uc -'92 - Colazal, 6mp, Prilosec, Biotin, Forvia, Pro-Bio 
Allergies - Singulair, Astelin(got the script - just haven't tried it yet!)
Secondary Reynauds Syndrome - '04 - Norvasc
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 11/14/2007 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
It's funny/sad to me that they are just making the connection on this. Even women who don't have IBD experience bowel issues during their menstrual cycles. It only makes sense that it could be worse for us IBDers!
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 2x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 11/14/2007 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
LadyHawk701 said...
I haven't had a period since July when I was hospitalized with a very bad flare.  Just chalked it up to being so sick.  Not that I'm complaining, it's been nice not having to deal with that too.

I had the same experience. If your weight falls low enough - particularly your bodyfat percentage - menstruation will cease. I took it as a very good sign when my periods finally returned.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999
Therapeutic dose sulfasalazine, back on a pred taper for first flare in years. Down to 10 mg and feeling much better.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and Mucosaheal.

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