What Are Common Digestive Conditions in Women?
Despite the fact that digestive conditions impact both males and females, certain gut disorders occur more often in women. This could be due to the differences in the structures of the gastrointestinal tract between women and men. Hormonal imbalances that occur in women’s bodies throughout menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause might also render gut concerns, such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), more extreme in women.
If you or a family member have been struggling with concerning digestive problems, please seek GI disease care in Hinsdale, IL. The physician-led network of GI specialists at GI Alliance of Illinois addresses common gastrointestinal problems in women, helping individuals alleviate symptoms and improve their quality of life.
What are the general differences between men's and women’s GI systems?
Despite the fact that the function of the gastrointestinal tract in men and women is relatively identical, there are a handful of specific differences that necessitate a minor adaptation in the way GI disorders are addressed. Beginning at the top portion of the digestive system, a woman’s lower esophageal sphincter (or the bundle of muscles that keep food from passing upward into the esophagus) closes tighter than that of a man's. Women generate less stomach acid than men. Additionally, their stomachs empty at a much slower rate. The large intestine in a woman is around ten centimeters longer than a man's and in a woman's body, the digestive organs are in the same space as the reproductive organs. In general, a female's digestive system activities take longer to complete than a man's.
Which gastrointestinal problems are more common in women?
Certain gastrointestinal conditions impact women more commonly than men. Among the most common gastrointestinal concerns in women involve:
- Constipation: A common GI complaint, constipation happens when stool becomes hard and difficult to pass. A woman is three times more likely to encounter constipation than a man.
- IBS: Women are twice as likely to face this condition, which impacts the small bowel and colon, than men. Furthermore, symptoms of IBS can be associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle, elevating in severity toward the early part of the period.
- Celiac disease: Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition where consuming gluten causes damage to the small bowel. This condition is more frequently diagnosed in women than in men.
- Gallstones: Gallstones are made of hardened cholesterol that develops into crystalline material in the gallbladder. Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with gallstones than men.
- Gastroparesis: Gastroparesis develops when the stomach does not empty fast enough. This can result in GI issues, like heartburn. This condition is more commonly diagnosed in women.
If you or a member of your family notice any of the GI conditions mentioned here, then help is close at hand at GI Alliance of Illinois. Request a consultation with one of our gastroenterologists in Hinsdale, IL today to get care for your GI health needs.
How can women maintain proper gastrointestinal health?
Heeding healthy habits will help maintain and encourage optimal gut health, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. A number of factors that can help keep your digestive health functioning properly involve:
- Engaging in regular exercise
- Consuming smaller meals more frequently
- Seeing a GI doctor for concerning symptoms
- Drinking adequate amounts of water
- Minimizing stress
- Managing an ideal weight
- Consuming more fiber-rich foods
- Need help with digestive concerns in Hinsdale, IL?
If you suffer from any concerning symptoms related to your digestive tract, request an appointment with the skilled gastroenterologists at GI Alliance of Illinois to get the treatment you need. As a physician-led group of GI providers, we manage gastrointestinal disorders in Hinsdale, IL individuals. Our GI group can help you alleviate your symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life.