Common GI Issues Affecting Women


Though gastrointestinal (GI) problems impact both females and males, some GI disorders are more prevalent among women. This might be a result of the differences in the structures of the digestive system between men and women. Hormonal fluctuations in women’s bodies due to menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause may also render gut conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), more extreme in patients who are women.

If you or a loved one have been dealing with troubling gastrointestinal issues, we encourage you to seek GI disease treatment in Tulsa, OK. Our extensive network of GI specialists at Adult Gastroenterology Associates treats common gastrointestinal issues in women, helping individuals alleviate symptoms and improve their quality of life.

What are the general differences between men's and women’s GI tracts?

Though the function of the gastrointestinal system in women and men is structured identical, there are a few significant variations that call for a slight adjustment in how digestive problems are handled. Beginning at the top area of the gastrointestinal system, a woman’s lower esophageal sphincter (which is the band of muscles that prevents food from passing back up the esophagus) shuts more tightly than that of a man's. Women produce less stomach acid than men, and their stomachs empty out at a slower rate. A woman's large intestine is around ten centimeters longer than a man's and in women’s bodies, the GI organs are found in the same area as the reproductive organs. Generally, a woman’s GI activities take longer than a male's.

Which GI concerns are more common among women?

There are specific gastrointestinal disorders that affect women more commonly than men. A few of the most common GI issues in women involve:

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

  • Gallstones: Gallstones are hardened cholesterol that forms into crystalline material in the gallbladder. Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with gallstones than men.

  • IBS: Women are two times as likely to face this condition, which impacts the small bowel and colon, compared to men. Furthermore, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can be linked to a woman’s menstrual cycle, increasing in severity toward the start of the period.

  • Celiac disease: Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition where ingesting gluten results in damage to the small bowel. Celiac disease is more commonly found in women than in men.

  • Constipation: A common gastrointestinal problem, constipation occurs when stool becomes dry or hard and difficult to excrete. Women are three times more likely to endure constipation compared to a man.

Should you or a loved one notice any of the conditions mentioned above, know that help is close at hand at Adult Gastroenterology Associates. Request a visit with one of our GI doctors in Tulsa, OK today to receive treatment for your GI concern.

How should a woman maintain good digestive health?

Heeding healthy habits will help encourage and maintain good GI health and wellness, whether you are a woman or a man. A number of habits that can help keep your gastrointestinal health in optimal shape include:

  • Drinking adequate water daily
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Minimizing stress
  • Maintaining an ideal weight
  • Eating more fiber-rich foods
  • Consuming lighter meals more frequently
  • Seeing a GI provider for digestive issues

Need help with GI concerns in Tulsa, OK?

If you have any concerning symptoms associated with your digestive health, then connect with the skilled gastroenterologists at Adult Gastroenterology Associates to get the care you need. As a physician-led network of gastroenterology providers, we regularly manage digestive disorders in Tulsa, OK individuals. Our team is here to help you relieve your symptoms and enjoy an improved quality of life.