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Symptoms across the menstrual cycle in women with irritable bowel syndrome.
      07/18/03 12:58 PM
HeatherAdministrator

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Am J Gastroenterol. 2003 Feb;98(2):420-30.

Symptoms across the menstrual cycle in women with irritable bowel syndrome.

Heitkemper MM, Cain KC, Jarrett ME, Burr RL, Hertig V, Bond EF.

Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe the patterns of GI, somatic, and psychological symptoms across the menstrual cycle in women with irritable bowel syndrome, and to determine whether symptoms differed by oral contraceptive use or predominant bowel pattern. METHODS: A daily diary was used to assess symptoms across one menstrual cycle. Repeated-measures analysis of covariance, controlling for age and body mass index, was used to compare patterns of symptoms across the menstrual cycle by oral contraceptive use and predominant bowel pattern (diarrhea, constipation, alternating). Data from control women are presented for comparison. RESULTS: For somatic and psychological as well as GI symptoms, women with irritable bowel syndrome had higher symptom severity than did controls. Women with irritable bowel syndrome using oral contraceptives had lower cognitive, anxiety, and depression symptoms (p < 0.05, but not significant after multiple comparison adjustment), but no differences were seen for most symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. All symptoms except diarrhea were highest in the alternating group and lowest in the diarrhea group, with the constipation group either intermediate or close to the alternating group. This pattern was significant after multiple comparisons adjustment for GI symptoms, and trending toward significance (p < 0.05, but not significant after multiple comparison adjustment) for menstrual, sleep, and cognitive symptoms. The strongest menstrual cycle effect was seen in somatic and menstrual symptoms. The pattern of symptoms over the menstrual cycle did not differ by predominant bowel pattern or by oral contraceptive use. CONCLUSIONS: Many of the symptoms examined differed by predominant bowel pattern and menstrual cycle phase, not just the GI symptoms. The menstrual cycle variation was similar regardless of oral contraceptive use or predominant bowel pattern.

PMID: 12591063 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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