Women and men share many of the same health concerns. However, there are many health issues that are more common in women, including constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and non-ulcer dyspepsia. Women also have specific gastrointestinal issues, such as fecal incontinence and difficulty having a bowel movement usually caused by the trauma of childbirth.
Throughout the course of our lives, women have continuous hormonal changes that affect us in many ways, including our gastrointestinal system. Typically over time, women become more constipated, a problem that affects many postmenopausal women. Constipation may be a problem for pregnant women, as well.
Fortunately, constipation is easily treated and prescription medications are rarely needed. Most women can address this issue with lifestyle modifications and natural products. However, prescription medications are available for women who need them.
Stress is one of the health issues that affect women just as much as men. However, women tend to channel stress into their GI tracts. For women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stress can worsen the situation, resulting in more abdominal discomfort or cramping, diarrhea, constipation or a combination of these symptoms. Symptoms of IBS may also include nausea and acid reflux.
There are many treatments available to women suffering with IBS, including medications. However, it is important to address the stressors in a woman’s life when medical treatment is initiated. This approach is important, because untreated IBS symptoms could lead to further problems, including peptic ulcer disease, Barrett’s esophagus or hemorrhoids.
In fact, many women suffer from hemorrhoids during pregnancy and childbirth or at some point after delivery. In many cases, hemorrhoids can be treated with over-the-counter and prescription medications. If medications are not successful, the physicians at Gastro Health have a simple in-office procedure for treatment. This treatment, called the CRH-O’Reagan system, involves gently placing a rubber band around the tissue. It is performed by a physician in the office and takes only a few minutes. No preparation is needed and you can return to work immediately after the procedure.
As our society changes, women are called upon to do more and more each day. As a result, we are under increasing amounts of stress and external pressures. Most of the time, treating the gastrointestinal issues that women have requires a complete approach to her as an individual and not just treatment of the symptoms of a disease. Our doctors at Gastro Health understand this and have a complete team available to care for female patients and their specific gastrointestinal conditions.