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Gastric responses to acute psychological stress in climacteric women

a pilot study

Huerta-Franco, María Raquel MD, PhD1; Vargas-Luna, Miguel PhD2; Somoza, Ximena MD, MPH3; Delgadillo-Holtfort, Isabel PhD2; Balleza-Ordaz, Marco PhD2; Kashina, Svetlana MS4

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001274
Original Articles

Objective: Women exhibit reduced ovarian sex hormones during the menopausal period that result in well-known physical and psychological symptoms. However, symptoms related to gastric motility (GM) have not been thoroughly investigated. We hypothesized that stress response gastric motility (SRGM) is lower in postmenopausal (PM) and perimenopausal (PERIM) women than in premenopausal (PREM) women. Estrogenic decline leads to neuroendocrine changes in different areas of the brain. These changes can result in hypothalamic vasomotor symptoms, disorders in eating behaviours, and altered blood pressure, in addition to psychological disorders such as stress, anxiety, depression, and irritability related to alterations in the limbic system.

Methods: In this pilot study, 55 PREM, PERIM, and PM women were clinically evaluated using the Nowack stress profile (SP) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). GM was assessed via electrical bioimpedance using two psychological stress tests (Stroop and Raven tests).

Results: Basal SP and STAI-anxiety test scores were similar among the three groups of women (P > 0.05). PERIM women had lower GM in the basal state (P < 0.05) than did other women. PREM and PM women had significantly decreased GM during the stress tests (P < 0.05). However, PERIM did not exhibit GM changes during stress tests (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: Changes in sex hormones during PERIM may affect GM and SRGM.

1Department of Applied Science to Work, Division of Health Sciences, Campus Leon, University of Guanajuato, León, Guanajuato, Mexico

2Department of Physical Engineering, Division of Sciences and Engineering, Campus Leon, University of Guanajuato, León, Guanajuato, Mexico

3Community Health, Heartland Collaborative, Kansas City, MI

4Department of Chemistry, Division of Natural and Exact Sciences, Campus Guanajuato, University of Guanajuato, León, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Address correspondence to: María Raquel Huerta-Franco, MD, PhD, Department of Applied Science to Work, Division of Health Sciences, Campus Leon, University of Guanajuato. Aquiles Serdán No. 924, Colonia Obregón, CP. 37320 León, Guanajuato, México. E-mail:

Received 2 June, 2018

Revised 9 October, 2018

Accepted 9 October, 2018

Funding/support: Directorate of Research and Graduate Support, Institutional Convocation of Scientific Research of the University of Guanajuato, Mexico; Agreement Number: 901/2016.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

© 2019 by The North American Menopause Society.