IBS and Periods (Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Menstruation)

IBS and Periods

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Crohn's disease or IBS

You’re not alone if you’ve observed that your IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms get worse while you’re on your periods.

Women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) frequently notice that their symptoms alter at various times during their menstrual cycle(periods).

According to experts, 50% of irritable bowel syndrome sufferers report that their menstruation makes their gastrointestinal symptoms worse.

According to a 2014 study, women with irritable bowel syndrome may react differently to sex hormone fluctuations during the menstrual cycle than those without the condition.

Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms connected to periods

Irritable bowel syndrome sufferers may have harsher and more frequent menstruation symptoms.

They may consist of:

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What causes the periods to get worse with IBS

Throughout your menstrual cycle, hormones change, and this shift in hormones might make your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms worse.

You might not be aware of the connections between your stomach and your menstrual cycle. In your digestive system, you contain female sex hormone receptor cells.

Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels may affect how the gastrointestinal system (GI) functions.

Following are the hormones that are actively involved in the menstrual cycle:

  • luteinizing hormone
  • follicle-stimulating hormone
  • progesterone
  • estrogen

A study conducted in 2015 analyzed the symptoms of both irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease in association with the menstrual cycle.

Based on that analysis, they draw the conclusion that hormonal changes in women of reproductive age have an impact on GI function, particularly in irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease patients.

Patients with irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease have more commonly reported premenstrual and menstrual aggravation of GI symptoms than controls.

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How to reduce irritable bowel syndrome symptoms when you are on your period:

You should handle your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms at that time of the month in the same manner that you would at any other time.

  • Especially during your period, stay away from meals that might exacerbate your symptoms, such as fried foods.
  • Consume more soluble fiber-containing meals.
  • Avoid bloating-inducing meals like cabbage, beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and other items since they are especially bad during your period.
  • Drink enough liquids.
  • Regularly exercising.
  • Get a good night’s rest.
  • Take your irritable bowel syndrome drugs as directed by your doctor.
  • If your symptoms keep you from carrying out your everyday tasks, see a doctor to guarantee an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.
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Further instructions

  • Keep moving; whether you’re walking or lifting weights, stay physically active. Home exercises might be just as beneficial if you’re too busy to visit the gym.
  • A nutritious, well-balanced diet is crucial. Our digestive health has an impact on our ability to reproduce.
  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables since they help you have healthy bowel movements. But bear in mind that certain people may find it difficult to digest certain fruits and vegetables. If that occurs, it’s a good idea to set up a meal plan with your physician or a nutritionist.
  • Additionally, if getting enough fiber from diet alone proves to be difficult, taking a supplement may be beneficial.
  • Think about consuming probiotics.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake, and don’t consume too much caffeine either.
  • Try to control and lessen your stress.
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What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

Dr. Ahmed is an experienced Internist with over fifteen years of practice in the medical field. He strongly believes that true medical practice is about helping people, not just prescribing pills.
He has found that the best results come from motivating patients to make small lifestyle changes in addition to prescribing medications when necessary.
With a focus on managing obesity, diabetes, hypertension, asthma, depression, arthritis, migraine, high cholesterol levels, and many more medical conditions in his patients, he shares his knowledge and expertise through writing health-related articles for
He is committed to helping patients achieve optimal health outcomes and improve their quality of life. For direct contact, he can be reached at

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