Tom, thanks for posting that article. Here is a recent study of this.J Endocrinol Invest 2001 Mar;24(3):173-7 Related Articles, Books Actual stress, psychopathology and salivary cortisol levels in the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Patacchioli FR, Angelucci L, Dellerba G, Monnazzi P, Leri O. Department of Physiology and Pharmacology V. Erspamer, Medical Faculty, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy. Although irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be considered a biopsychological disorder in which an association between life stress and physiological changes leading to bowel irregularity is present, there is a lack of data concerning possible modifications of the adrenal function during the disease. The aim of the present study was to measure biological and psychological variables related to the activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in IBS patients compared to healthy subjects. Cortisol was measured in the saliva (obtained by a stress-free, non invasive collection procedure) of 55 IBS outpatients and 28 matched controls. Moreover, each subject completed the following self-administered questionnaires: the Rome Burnout Inventory (RBI) in its physical (RBI-PE) and emotional-mental exhaustion (RBI-EME) components, Beck Depression Inventory, State and Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Perceived Social Support Scale (PSSS) and a Scale for the Assessment of Perceived Actual Work-Non Work Stress. Compared with controls, IBS subjects showed significantly higher levels of cortisol in the morning and lower in the evening, while they maintained the physiological circadian fluctuation (i.e. cortisol morning level higher than in the evening). Moreover, IBS patients presented a significant difference from controls in RBI-PE scores, which confirms the presence of fatigue, a symptom frequently reported by the patients. Compared with controls, no differences were found in IBS patients with respect to other psychological parameters. These findings suggest a dysregulation of the adrenal activity in IBS patients. The results may be relevant considering that changes in cortisol levels have been shown to be sensitive indicators of psychosocial stress and coping patterns in both laboratory and life situations. PMID: 11314746 [PubMed - in process] ------------------Moderator of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Anxiety and Hypnotherapy forumI work with Mike and the IBS Audio Program. www.ibshealth.comwww.ibsaudioprogram.com
nice article, eric. there are a lot of measurement issues at present but I think that the next six months to a year will bring a lot of studies, articles, and information onwhat is a very complex question. I mean to be encouraging rather than discouraging when I say that there is a lot to be learned in this area.tom
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