IBS Symptoms and Menstruation

Published Online: Monday, December 1, 2003

    Bloating was among the topics discussed at the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) 68th Annual Scientific Meeting and Postgraduate Course, held from October 11 to 15, 2003, in Baltimore, Md.

    A study, conducted by Palsson OS and colleagues, found that IBS symptom severity (including bloating) decreases after age 50 in women but not in men. This finding may be related to the cessation of the menstrual cycle. In addition, the study found that IBS affects body image and eating habits in women more often than in men.

    Another study, conducted by Heitkemper MM and colleagues, examining women with IBS found that bloating, which is associated with abdominal pain and gas, is often associated with menstrual symptoms (ie, breast tenderness, uterine cramping) that may reflect heightened peripheral sensitivity.

    (These findings were published in the September 2003 Supplement to the American Journal of Gastroenterology.)

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