Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a functional diagnosis with symptoms that include abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and altered bowel habits, including diarrhea and constipation.
Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the causes of IBS, or the signs and symptoms.
While there are many factors that play a role in IBS, one area of promising research is the relationship between hormones and bowel function. While it has not been proven that stress is the primary “cause” of IBS, it is known to exacerbate symptoms.
Research has shown that people with IBS have altered cortisol secretion. Approximately two thirds of patients with IBS are women, prompting some investigation into the role of sex hormones in the pathophysiology of the condition, and research has supported this theory.
In men with IBS, symptoms as well as sensitivity to bowel distention are inversely related to testosterone levels. Cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone affect serotonin levels, which may also be why many women experience a change in their bowel habits during their menstrual cycle.
Hormone analysis and treatment isn’t just for individuals with “hormonal symptoms”; IBS sufferers can benefit greatly from balancing hormones, as it can help normalize sensitivity to bowel distention, regulate motility, and reduce symptoms.
For a complete hormone analysis, call AgeRejuvenation for a free consultation at any of our four Tampa Bay locations to find out if Hormone Replacement Therapy is right for you.