Melatonin improves abdominal pain in irritable bowel syndrome patients who have sleep disturbances
I know that when I hear melatonin, I used to only think of a natural hormone that can help with sleep. Now, years later, we’ve found so many other physiologic roles for melatonin. It’s a very strong antioxidant in the brain; it’s found in certain vegetables; and now, helps to regulate GI motility.
As such, in this study, 3 mg at bedtime lowered abdominal pain in patients with IBS. Interestingly, there were no beneficial effects on sleep quality. While this may not have had a bearing, I have recently moved to starting patients on a lower (.5 mg) dose to start with and this seems to result in less side effects.