We know how important it is to do proper research when it comes to the important things in life. That's why we've made sure to compile a list of reputable sources to provide you with information that you'll need to understand more about your body and digestion.
The GI tract works vastly differently in men and women. In fact, women even taste food differently than men, being more sensitive to sweet and bitter food. More importantly though, women are more prone to chronic constipation, especially women over age 60. Irritable Bowel Syndrome occurs 2 to 6 times more often in women than men. Constipation symptoms during pregnancy are usually amplified, as well as other problems such as heartburn and nausea.
Women have unique biological needs and a digestive system that is much more complex than that of men. Fluctuations in hormone levels, especially during pregnancy and after childbirth, can cause constipation, bloating, retention of fluids and a slow-down of her digestive system. There could be dietary reasons for women’s chronic constipation, but it may also be due to a weak pelvic floor. A woman’s discomfort from bloating, constipation and other digestive disorders requires special lifestyle and dietary changes that are unique to the female digestive system.
Constipation Misperception is Associated with Gender, Marital Status, Treatment Utilization and Constipation Symptoms Experienced
The study sought to identify the prevalence of “constipation mis-perception” and provide clinicians with more effective tools to treat patients according to demographics and range of symptoms. The study noted that while constipation is a major health concern, many of those suffering do not seek help because of the misconceptions about the symptoms of constipation. Additionally, many do not take constipation seriously and avail themselves of effective treatment strategies. A total of 835 respondents participated in the study, 69% of whom were women.
Symptoms and Causes of Constipation from Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic provides an overview of some of the causes and symptoms of constipation, noting that chronic constipation can make it difficult for someone to complete their daily tasks. Before treatment, the underlying cause of constipation needs to be identified. Chronic constipation can be caused by blockages in the colon, neurological problems that affect the nerves around the colon, weak pelvic muscles or hormone imbalances, particularly during pregnancy. Being a woman is among the top three risk factors. Some prevention tips are provided.
Constipation is a common problem in women. In addition to physical discomfort, chronic constipation impacts quality of life. Obstructive defecation, defined as straining for more than 15 minutes, passing hard stool or incomplete evacuation of bowels is more frequently reported in older women. However, research-based data to establish the prevalence of obstructive defecation in middle-aged women was lacking. Utilizing data from a Kaiser study group, researchers concluded that obstructive defecation is common in middle-aged women, especially after surgeries such as hysterectomies.
The article deals with the question of a 40-year-old woman, who has for many years dealt with bloating, infrequent bowel movements and other symptoms of constipation. The authors note that it is important to distinguish between constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, both of which can result in abdominal pain and bloating. It is suggested that the physician attending this patient look for the reasons why her symptoms have worsened recently to know if it is related to diet, stress, relationship issues or physiological problems.
Exercise is important for many reasons however you need to be aware of how exercise impacts the gastrointestinal system. For instance, eating right before exercise can cause you to have stomach pain, heartburn and possibly even vomiting. Even though we know that a high-fiber diet may be good for you, eating a meal rich in fiber right before a strenuous workout can leave you feeling poorly, the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish through your regular exercise regimen. And, when you are exercising, it is important to drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation and acid reflux.
The National Institute on Aging provides a fact sheet on constipation symptoms, causes and treatments. It is designed to provide you with easily digestible information so you know what course of action you should take if you are experiencing symptoms of constipation. The article notes that while there may be many causes of constipation, a poor diet, lack of exercise and overuse of laxatives appear to be among the main culprits. There are other causes too, such as blockage of the intestines, irritable bowel syndrome, or the side effects of prescription medications. The article guides you through easy changes you can make in your lifestyle and provides advice about when you should see your doctor.