First of all,my main problem is Irritable Bowel Syndrome though I've had mild PMS as long as I can remember. OVer the past two years I've ruled out or got under control all possible triggers (I'm living a very relaxed life, on a very restricted diet and on numerous conventional and natural medications, fibre,etc) I know now that fluctuating hormones are my main trigger, to say the least. I've kept a diary for many years and it all fits together. Also, the worse my PMS the worse the IBS. For me it's worse around the estrogen peak (around day 10), then terrible but different about one or two days later when I also feel my cervix cramping. Then around day 16-18 severe colon cramping goes along with anxiety attacks. For the rest of the cycle more cramping and diarreah attacks are triggered by eating or even drinking luke warm water. This goes along with uterus cramps and sore breasts. Normally all (!) symptoms stop one day before my period and I'm fine until day 5 or 7 of the new cycle (my period cramps are only mild and not worrying).
Apparently both PMS and IBS are linked with serotonin deficiency. Anybody out there with similar problems???
I have insane PMS, and I also have IBS. For YEARS I wondered what was causing such horrible stomach aches, and could not link them to anything I ate. Finally, I stopped drinking coffee. Coffee KILLS me!!!!!! Needless to say, I verrrry rarely have coffee. It's not the caffeine either...I can have other caffeinated beverages, but coffee is really hard on me. With my jaded past, I can see how both of these problems could be linked with seratonin deficiencies. You wouldn't happen to have TMJD as well, would you?? (All these acronyms....AAAAAAGH!!)
Yes, there is the link with the Serotonin, but the main link between your periods and IBS is the Progesterone levels which rise beforehand. Unfortunately, the Progesterone has a direct effect on the smooth muscle lining of the gut and this then produces all the familiar symptoms of stomach pains and diarrhea for a few days before and then during your period.
At this time, you need to try and balance out your hormones and sometimes Vitex (Agnus Castus) and Black Cohosh can be very good for doing this. Also, including more Tofu and Soya products in your diet can help to balance out hormones.
I've heard and read this before and it's confused me because in my case this seems NOT to be the main problem! My symptoms start at around day 5-7 that is even before ovulation with rising estrogen levels. I get terrible cramps and bloating and loose stools at around the estrogen peak, then up to a day's break followed by rectal cramps and pain in the lower left quadrant (alongside some kind of 'movement' of cervix and uterus) (day 12-14). Another day or two of relative calm, then comes another type of cramping triggered by nervousness, tension and chocolate cravings, around day 17/18 (that's the worse part because it's scary). Finally, for the rest of the cycle (average 23 days) I either get slowly better or, if hormones drop suddenly, more cramping alongside uterus cramping (I think that's the bit you're refering to). I've noticed that the sorer my breasts the worse the cramping reactions to anything I do or eat. I also get sudden bouts of diarreah. One day before my period both IBS and PMS symptoms stop completely and I get lovely BMs during my period!!! Which I guess is fairly unusual?!
Sarah68, I'd love to hear your opinion on this!! I can't find anybody/any research describing the same symptoms!!
i am so glad to hear there are other people out there who have similar problems that i have. for the last 3 months ive been struggling with terrible pains in my lower right abdomin. i was told it was a cyst initially, but it never went away, then i had a colonostomy and was told it was ibs. however i do not have any diareah or constipation, i still have the constant cramps throughout the month. keeping a diary of what days are the worst and what foods trigger it sounds like something i really need to do. before reading this, i thought for sure i had endometriosis, have either of you been tested for that?
I don't have IBS and don't think I have TMJD or endometriosis, but my bowel movements are effected by my cycle. I take iron pills and still have fairly normal movements all month. Then, during PMS (about four days before my period) I get constipated. It changes to diarrhea right when my period starts - like everything that was backed up in there got to digested. Very annoying since the blood already makes it tough to wipe. Gross, I know. My mom had similar symptoms when she had her period and I have always done it, even before the iron. I don't know if anything I can do with my diet can change it. Hmmm.
Total abdominal hysterectomy at age 26 due to abnormal bleeding. Kept ovaries.