What are Common Digestive Problems Affecting Women?


Though digestive health diseases are experienced by both men and women, some gastrointestinal disorders are more common among women. This may be because of the different structures of the digestive system between males and females. Hormonal shifts that occur in women’s bodies throughout menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause might also render GI conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), more severe in women.

If you or a loved one have been facing troubling gastrointestinal problems, please seek GI disease treatment in DFW. Our physician-led network of gastroenterology specialists at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants treats common gastrointestinal diseases in women, helping patients find relief from symptoms and boost their quality of life.

What are the differences between men's and women’s digestive systems?

While the function of the digestive tract in women and men is generally identical, there are a couple of significant variations that necessitate a slight modification in the way gastrointestinal problems are treated. Beginning at the top portion of the gastrointestinal system, a woman’s lower esophageal sphincter (which is the ring of muscles that block food from passing upward into the esophagus) shuts more tightly than that of a man's. Women generate less stomach acid than men. Additionally, their stomachs empty out much slower. The large intestine in a woman is approximately ten centimeters longer than in a man's body, the gastrointestinal organs are in the same space as the reproductive organs. Generally, a woman’s digestive system activities take longer than it does in a man.

Which gastrointestinal disorders are more common among women?

There are a few GI problems that impact women more commonly than men. Among the most common GI problems among women include:

  • Gastroparesis: This condition develops when the stomach does not empty quickly enough, which can lead to GI symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and bloating. It is more commonly diagnosed in women.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome: Women are twice as likely to suffer from this condition, which impacts the small bowel and colon, compared to men. In addition, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can be connected to a woman’s menstrual cycle, intensifying in severity around the beginning of the period.

  • Celiac disease: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where consuming gluten results in damage to the small intestines. Celiac disease is more commonly diagnosed in women than in men.

  • Constipation: A common digestive complaint, constipation happens when stool becomes dry or hard difficult to pass. Women are three times more likely to suffer constipation than a man.

  • Gallstones: Gallstones are hardened cholesterol that forms into crystalline structures in the gallbladder. Women are twice as likely to have this condition than men.

Should you or a member of your family experience any of these conditions, help is accessible at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants. Partner with one of our GI specialists in DFW today to get treatment for your gastrointestinal condition.

How should a woman maintain good digestive health?

Following healthy lifestyle habits can help maintain and foster good digestive health and wellness, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. Ideal factors that can help keep your GI health in optimal shape involve:

  • Minimizing stress
  • Maintaining an ideal weight
  • Consuming smaller meals more frequently
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Consuming adequate amounts of water
  • Eating more fiber-rich foods
  • Seeing a GI physician for concerning issues

Need help with digestive concerns in DFW?

Should you suffer from any concerning symptoms related to your gastrointestinal health, please reach out to the skilled gastroenterologists at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants to get the personalized care you need. As a physician-led network of GI providers, we routinely manage and treat gastrointestinal disorders in DFW patients. Our team can help you ease your symptoms and live a better quality of life.