Digestion and women…..this is the stinkin’ truth.
Ladies and gents. Wait, just ladies. Yes, I’m talking to only you.
This post titled “digestion and women” was originally published in 2012.
I cared about women and digestion then, but not nearly as much as I do today.
Digestion and Women
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In that post, these were some stats I shared:
- 60 to 70 million people affected by all digestive diseases
- In 2004 there were 236,164 deaths related to digestive diseases
- In 2004, it cost us $141.8 billion to care for those with digestive diseases
My source is now linking to a void page, so I’m not able to share it anymore.
That was then, and this is now.
Since the original post published on April 17, 2012, so much has happened in my personal life from a gut health and healing standpoint. I was diagnosed with more than just Colitis; SIBO, and a low-functioning thyroid. From then until about a year and a half ago, I was miserable. Periods of “remission,” but they never lasted too long.
But it wasn’t just my personal gut health and healing things that happened.
So many things also happened for you, too. Our community has grown to what it is today because digestive issues run far and wide for women.
While women are still living longer than men, the National Institute for Health states that, “Women are up to two times more likely than men to develop IBS. People younger than age 50 are more likely to develop IBS than people older than age 50.”
As of 2015-2016, 3.1 million people had been diagnosed with either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Women were diagnosed far more than men.
Symptoms Look Different
As women, our prevalence of IBS and IBD is not just higher than men, the symptoms also look different.
We have more:
- variable stool frequency
- variable stool consistency
- alternating stool pattern
The only symptom that men have far more often than women is, “no bowel symptoms.” How is that even real?!
Do Not be Afraid
The research is all there. But there is even more…. I have reviewed reports that state only 20-40% of people with IBS symptoms do anything about it; see a doctor, tell a loved one, etc.
There is an awful stigma still out there about the poo conversation.
Why would women talk about it? We’re supposed to be ladies. What applies to a man’s digestive system surely can’t apply to us.
And that stinks. Pun intended.
Women in particular feel this pressure to stuff it away.
It’s just too embarrassing.
I’m not assuming this; I know it for a fact. I had a Mother recently come up to me and say she knows something is not right, but she’s embarrassed by it. She’s afraid of talking to her doctor, and so up until this point she has not said a thing.
Do not be afraid. And do not let your own insecurities around the poo conversation keep you from getting the help you need. Trust me, your doctor has seen it all.
Take Action Today
My story is important. But it’s only important because it’s relevant – to you – if you are also a woman with a bum tum.
I have healed primarily with food and lifestyle instead of drugs and medications. But, I have and do take drugs and mediations to this day.
Taking action today could literally save your life.
Because I’m not a doctor, I cannot do the tests you’ll need in order to understand what might be wrong. What I can do, though, is continue to provide this platform, A Gutsy Girl, where I share the information to inspire you towards healing your gut and healing your life.
If this is your first time reading and you have no clue where to start, consider:
You will heal. I will help.