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Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Menstruation

Can inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affect my monthly period?

Yes. Many women with active IBD have irregular periods. When the disease goes into remission, regular periods sometimes return. No one knows for sure why. But inflammation does affect the hormones that cause periods. Nutritional problems may also interfere with the monthly cycle of women with IBD.

Some women with IBD tend to feel worse right before and during their menstrual periods than at other times. Diarrhea, abdominal pain, exhaustion and other symptoms are often more severe during these times. It is important for women and their doctors to keep track of these monthly changes in symptoms. This will prevent over-treating the disease.

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Short Bowel Syndrome

Your bowels are made up of two parts -- the large intestine, also called the colon, and the small intestine. Short bowel syndrome usually affects people who’ve had a lot of their small intestine removed. Without this part, your body can’t get enough nutrients and water from the food you eat. This causes bowel troubles, like diarrhea, which can be dangerous if you go without treatment. If you learn you have short bowel syndrome, know that doctors can do a lot of things to ease your symptoms and make...

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