Do You Suffer From Irritable Bowel Syndrome Migraine Pain?

by S Reynolds - Date: 2007-04-20 - Word Count: 505 Share This!

There have been a number of studies carried out about the impact of IBS symptoms, including irritable bowel syndrome migraine problems. These studies have shown that people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome are at an increased risk for suffering from migraines, fibromyalgia and depression.

Research has shown there to be an association between migraines and functional gastrointestinal disorders.

While there have been previous research done linking Irritable Bowel Syndrome with these disorders, the majority of the supporting evidence has come from case reports by Dr. J. Alexander Cole and colleagues, from Boston University.

Note: Unfortunately there was no reference group in these studies. There also was no capability of fully controlling confounding factors. These things prevented these studies from reaching definitive conclusions.

The most recent study appeared in the September 28, 2006 issue of BMC Gastroenterology. This study involved more than 125,000 subjects and a reference cohort (a group of people sharing the same symptoms).

When these patients were compared to patients who do not have Irritable Bowel Syndrome the patients who had Irritable Bowel Syndrome were more than 60% likely to have either depression, migraines and fibromyalgia.

The risks of these individual problems rose as well. For instance, people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome were 40% more likely to get depression, 60% more likely to get migraines and 80% more likely to get fibromyalgia.

Those patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and who also suffered from migraines were closely scrutinized. It was discovered that while suffering from a migraine, these people also had various neurological and vascular symptoms. They also suffered from gastrointestinal disturbances that included nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or diarrhea.

So, it should come as no surprise that migraine patients have oftentimes reported that they had problems with their bowels. It should also not be a surprise that between 25 to 53% of patients who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome state that they frequently have headaches.

Together, migraines and Irritable Bowel Syndrome affect approximately 10 to 20% of the general population, usually predominantly affecting young adult women. It is believed that the reason why women rather than men are affected is because of the role of estrogen in their bodies.

The nervous system is a source of numerous neurotransmitters and reflexes. This has been linked to why there is a common link between Irritable Bowel Syndrome and migraines. Serotonin, which helps us maintain a "happy feeling," and allows us to control our moods, help with sleep and calm anxiety and relieve stress, is actually the main neurotransmitter of the gastrointestinal tract.

There are a lot of people who support, and many who are against the use of serotoninergic receptors, which are the most commonly used medications for treating irritable bowel syndrome migraines. These tend to be because of the potential side effects of artificially regulating this natural hormone.

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When health practitioners are better able to understand both of these disorders better, then they will be better equipped to treat all the irritable bowel syndrome migraine symptoms.

Related Tags: headache, ibs, migraine, irritable bowel, irritable bowel syndroms

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