Hi Kerrie, I think you are doing the right thing by trying this route, because its safe for one and may even as a side effect help the pregnancy when you have the baby, many use this just for that reason, not the IBS tapes but Hypnotherapy and I will find some articles on this for you.
The serotonin link and IBS has been confirmed, but there is still more they are working on. It is complex to say the least and I will slowly post information about it. 95 percent of it is created in the gut and there are two important cell receptors they know about in IBS. 5ht 3 and 5ht 4 receptors that line the digestive tract. It also plays a role in pain in IBS.
I will post info relevant to this and IBS for you, but have to warn you it takes a little while to learn all this and the implications in IBS.
Serotonin though is responsible for starting the Peristaltic Reflex or the start of gut contractions. It also plays a key role in communication between the gut and the brain.
However this is new even though they have been studying this for years. There seems to be a problem with the regulation of serotonin released from the gut and how it regulates/communicates from the gut to the brain and back to the gut.
"American College of Gastroenterology 67th Annual Scientific Meeting | IBS/ Functional Dyspepsia & Pancreatic Disease
New and Important Insights Into IBS: From Epidemiology to Treatment
Altered Serotonin Signaling?
The pathogenesis of IBS remains obscure, and in particular, an explanation for alternating diarrhea and constipation has been elusive. In arguably one of the most important papers presented during this year's meeting, Moses and colleagues 21 studied potential deregulation of the gut's serotonin transporter in IBS.
It is known that serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5HT is released from enteroendocrine or enterochromaffin cells in response to either chemical or mechanical stimulation of the gut mucosa. Serotonin in turn initiates peristalsis, and then the serotonin released is taken up in health by a highly selective serotonin transporter SERT. One potential mechanism that could explain altered bowel function in IBS is an abnormality in the serotonin transporter itself. The study authors evaluated this hypothesis in patients with IBS with constipation and IBS with diarrhea compared with patients with ulcerative colitis and healthy controls. They were able to convincing show on blinded review that SERT immunoreactivity was less intense in patients with IBS with constipation and patients with ulcerative colitis.
If these findings are indeed correct, they represent a landmark observation. The findings suggest that patients with constipation and IBS may have a reduced capacity to reuptake serotonin, leading to excess free serotonin and then desensitization of these receptors, thus reducing motor function. In contrast, in the setting of diarrhea, serotonin uptake was normal. If the underlying abnormality in serotonin transporter function alternated, then this would in turn explain alternating constipation and diarrhea.
These data strongly suggest that IBS is a "real" gut disease and a potential diagnostic disease marker. They also suggest that it is valid to subdivide IBS into constipation and diarrhea symptom subgroups. This study also provides additional rationale for the use of serotonin-modulating agents in IBS and provides a new target for drug modulation. Confirmation of these very exciting initial findings in larger patient samples is awaited with great interest."
"Symptoms in IBS occur either because of abnormalities of intestinal motility or because of abnormalities of sensation - or through a combination of the two.
It is easy therefore to imagine how violent contractions or spasm of muscle surrounding the intestines can give rise to pain.
In normal people, distension of the gut will trigger nerve fibres lining the gut to transmit signals to higher centres in the brain that register pain. In IBS sufferers, it has been proved that pain is perceived at much lower levels of distension. This is known as the 'hypersensitive gut' or in scientific terms visceral hyperalgesia. It follows that abnormal motility or contractility of the intestines will lead to areas of distension that will react because of the hypersensitive gut and register the sensation of pain in the higher centres of the brain
A variety of features that affect function of the central nervous system or brain have now been shown to affect, by virtue of the connections of the brain gut axis, the events described above at the 'end organ' level. I.e. in the intestines."