Gastric problems in women to be aware of!

Gytree Team
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Gastric problems in women

Women may suffer from Gastric problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease. These diseases and disorders can cause uncomfortable or even painful symptoms, and identifying the causes and risk factors is essential for successful treatment. Birmingham Gastroenterology specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the digestive system. GI issues often have multiple potential causes and factors that must be considered when testing for a diagnosis. Once the cause of the gastric problems is identified, it can be more easily treated. Women have unique experiences when it comes to treating digestive issues due to hormonal shifts throughout their lifetimes.    

What gastric problems are more common in women:

While digestive issues can affect both men and women, certain GI disorders are more common in women. These include constipation, fecal incontinence, bloating and constipation, globus (a feeling of something stuck in the throat), dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), and incontinence of the pelvic floor. Additionally, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is twice as common in women than men and can cause a variety of gastric problems. Just as symptoms can differ between men and women, so can the treatment plans for GI problems.    

Gastric problems in women

Image showing IBS

Women are more likely to report chronic constipation, whereas men are more likely to report more diarrhea with less constipation. Women may also experience more urgency with their diarrhea than men. Female hormones can influence the severity of GI symptoms, and women who suffer from GI issues often report higher incidences during their menstrual cycle. Studies have also linked pelvic floor disorders as a factor in recurring GI symptoms for women as well. IBS is the most common GI issue observed in both genders, however since women experience higher incidences of chronic constipation and diarrhea than men, GI issues can be an even greater challenge for them to manage on a daily basis.    

Are hormones involved with gastric problems in women:

Women tend to be more prone to developing GI issues due to the hormonal fluctuations that occur throughout their menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause. These fluctuations can render gut conditions such as gallstones and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) more likely in women than men. This is because estrogen levels change during these cycles, which can result in a slower emptying of the stomach as well as an increased risk of developing gallbladder disease. Women also suffer from gastroenterology issues at a higher rate than men, which may be due to the fact that their bodies render them more vulnerable to certain gut conditions than men. In addition, gastric problems can become exacerbated during pregnancy due to the slower emptying of the stomach and other factors related to hormone fluctuations.    

Women are particularly prone to developing distributed ulcerative colitis, as well as intestinal manifestations of conditions including diabetes and infections. Prior stomach surgeries, medications, low thyroid levels and infections can also contribute to gastric problems. Women are also more likely than men to develop gluten intolerance and celiac disease, a condition in which the body's immune system reacts abnormally to gluten. Additionally, certain medications can lead to a condition called gastroparesis in which the stomach muscles slow down or stop working completely leading to poor gastric emptying. Women may also be more prone than men to Crohn’s Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), although the exact cause of these conditions is unknown. Talk to Gytree’s experts or explore “Nutrition and fitness” packages to get a right diet plan according to your gastric problems and personal dietary choices.