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Pubmed-Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Is There a Common Pathway?

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Endocrinol Diabetes Metab. 2024 Mar;7(2):e00477. doi: 10.1002/edm2.477.


OBJECTIVE: Little is known about how polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This study aimed to review the existing literature regarding the association between PCOS or its symptoms and complications with IBS.

METHODS: In this review, studies that investigated the proposed cross-link between features of PCOS and IBS were included. This review collectively focused on recent findings on the mechanism and novel insight regarding the association between IBS and PCOS in future clinical practice. An electronic search of PubMed, Scopus, Epistemonikos, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar was performed. We did not restrict the study setting and publication date.

RESULTS: The existing evidence has not completely answered the question of whether there is an association between PCOS and IBS and vice versa. Six case-control studies (793 women with PCOS and 547 women in the control group) directly assessed the association between PCOS and IBS. The prevalence of IBS among women with PCOS in these studies has ranged from 10% to 52% compared with 5%-50% in control groups. Evidence suggested the common pathways may have contributed to the interaction between IBS and PCOS, including metabolic syndrome, sex hormone fluctuation, dysregulation of neurotransmitters, psychological problems and environmental and lifestyle factors. To date, it is still ambiguous which of the mentioned components largely contributes to the pathogenesis of both.

CONCLUSION: Although limited evidence has shown a higher prevalence of IBS in women with PCOS, there are several potential, direct and common indirect pathways contributing to the development of both IBS and PCOS.

PMID:38494583 | DOI:10.1002/edm2.477

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