Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342794

Title: Childhood irritable bowel syndrome characteristics are related to both sex and pubertal development

item CHUMPITAZI, BRUNO - Baylor College Of Medicine
item WEIDLER, ERICA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item CZYZEWSKI, DANITA - Baylor College Of Medicine
item SELF, MARIELLA - Baylor College Of Medicine
item HEITKEMPER, MARGARET - University Of Washington Medical School
item SHULMAN, ROBERT - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Journal of Pediatrics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/12/2016
Publication Date: 9/14/2016
Citation: Chumpitazi, B.P., Weidler, E.M., Czyzewski, D.I., Self, M.M., Heitkemper, M., Shulman, R.J. 2016. Childhood irritable bowel syndrome characteristics are related to both sex and pubertal development. Journal of Pediatrics. 180:141-147.

Interpretive Summary: Irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition causing abdominal pain in children and adults and sometimes is related to diet. We show that with age pain decreases in girls but increases in boys. Stooling pattern also differs between boys and girls as do somatic complaints (for example, headaches). These differences may be related, in part, to differences in hormonal changes.

Technical Abstract: To determine the relationship of both pubertal development and sex to childhood irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) clinical characteristics including gastrointestinal symptoms (eg, abdominal pain) and psychological factors. Cross-sectional study with children ages 7-17 years (n'='143) with a pediatric Rome III IBS diagnosis recruited from both primary and tertiary clinics between January 2009 and January 2014. Subjects completed 14-day prospective pain and stool diaries, as well as validated questionnaires assessing several psychological factors (somatization, depression, anxiety) and Tanner stage. Stool form ratings were completed using the Bristol Stool Form Scale. Girls with higher Tanner scores (more mature pubertal development) had both decreased pain severity and pain interference; in contrast, boys with higher Tanner scores had both increasing pain severity (ß'='0.40, P'='.02) and pain interference (ß'='0.16, P'='.02). Girls (vs boys), irrespective of pubertal status, had both increased somatic complaints (P'='.005) and a higher percentage (P'='.01) of hard (Bristol Stool Form Scale type 1 or 2) stools. Pubertal status and sex did not significantly relate to IBS subtype, pain frequency, stooling frequency, anxiety, or depression. In children with IBS, both pubertal development and/or sex are associated with abdominal pain severity, stool form, and somatization. These differences provide insight into the role of pubertal maturation during the transition from childhood to adult IBS.