Here are Some of the Common Digestive Problems in Women


Despite the fact that digestive health diseases affect both females and males, some gastrointestinal disorders occur more often in women. This might be due to the different structures of the gastrointestinal tract in males and females. Hormonal imbalances that occur in women’s bodies during menses, pregnancy, and menopause may also render gut concerns, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), more extreme in patients who are women.

If you or a loved one have been dealing with concerning digestive symptoms, seek GI disease treatment in Phoenix, AZ. Our extensive network of gastroenterology specialists at Arizona Digestive Health addresses common GI concerns in women, helping patients alleviate symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life.

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

Though the function of the gastrointestinal tract in women and men is the same, they have a handful of specific variations that call for a slight adaptation in how GI issues are treated. Starting from the top of the GI system, a woman’s lower esophageal sphincter (the ring of muscles that prevents food from passing upward into the esophagus) shuts more tightly than a male's. Women generate less stomach acid than men. In addition, their stomachs empty at a much slower rate. A woman’s colon is about ten centimeters longer than a man's and in women’s bodies, the GI organs share space with the reproductive organs. As a whole, a female's gastrointestinal processes take more time than a man's.

Which gastrointestinal concerns are more common in women?

There are specific GI issues that affect women more often than men. A few common GI problems in women are:

  • Constipation: A common gastrointestinal complaint, constipation happens when stool hardens and becomes difficult to excrete. Women are three times more likely to experience constipation than men.

  • Celiac disease: This is an autoimmune disease wherein ingesting gluten results in damage to the small bowel. This condition is more often diagnosed in women than in men.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome: Women are two times as likely to suffer from this disease, 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, intensifying in severity near the early part of the period.

  • Gastroparesis: This condition occurs when the stomach does not empty quickly enough, which might result in gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and bloating. Gastroparesis is more commonly diagnosed in women.

  • Gallstones: Gallstones are made of hardened cholesterol that forms into crystalline structures in the gallbladder. Women are two times as likely to be diagnosed with gallstones than men.

If you or a loved one experience any of the conditions listed above, then help is available through Arizona Digestive Health. Partner with one of our gastroenterology specialists in Phoenix, AZ today to help treat your digestive issue.

How can women maintain proper gastrointestinal health?

Keeping healthy habits can help support and maintain good GI health and wellness, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. Good habits that can help keep your GI health functioning properly include:

  • Eating more high-fiber foods
  • Engaging in regular exercise
  • Managing an ideal weight
  • Drinking adequate water each day
  • Decreasing stress
  • Eating lighter meals more frequently
  • Visiting a GI doctor for digestive issues

Need help for GI concerns in Phoenix, AZ?

If you have any concerning symptoms associated with your gastrointestinal system, then get in touch with the expert gastroenterologists at Arizona Digestive Health to get the treatment you need. As a physician-led network of gastroenterologists, we regularly manage gastrointestinal disorders in Phoenix, AZ individuals. Our GI group is ready to help you ease your symptoms and experience an improved quality of life.