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Are your hormones causing your IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome is chronic functional GI disorder characterized by abdominal pain associated with alterations between constipation to diarrhea. 

Women are more likely to suffer from IBS then men.

The delicate dance of hormones in women’s bodies not only effects the reproductive organs but is linked to the gastrointestinal tract (GI).

The gut transit time (time for waste to be eliminated from the body) appears to be impacted by the hormones estrogen and progesterone.  These two hormones fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle .  Estrogen slows the transit time, while progesterone in high amounts (pregnancy or in the few days before menstrual flow) will slow the transit time also.  In contrast if progesterone levels are low there is an increase in transit time.

While the cause and triggers of IBS are not solely hormonal, stress and foods can also play a role.

Naturopathic Medicine is well suited to help women balance hormones, and use natural options to treat the symptoms of IBS.


Margaret M. Heitkemper, Lin Chang,Do fluctuations in ovarian hormones affect gastrointestinal symptoms in women with irritable bowel syndrome? Gender Medicine, Volume 6, Part 2, 2009, Pages 152–167

Shapoval, Maria, Sex Hormones & Gastrointestinal Health. Integrated Healthcare Practitioners. July 2015, pg 40





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