What is Digestive Health?
The digestive system is a complex journey where food is broken down into its chemical components so that the body can use them as fuel. Digestive health ensures that your digestive system can work effectively to get your body the nutrients it needs. In women, there are some digestive disorders that are more common than in men.
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women, but it can be especially important to diagnose in women for a few reasons. One of the most important reasons is that colonoscopies can be more difficult to perform because of slightly longer tracts and that women are more likely to have scar tissue from surgeries like C-sections or hysterectomies.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease refers to a group of conditions that cause inflammation in the digestive system. This can cause severe pain and unusual bowel movements. Although men can be affected by IBD, it uniquely affects women by causing premenstrual symptoms, iron-deficiency anemia, and difficulty becoming pregnant. IBD can also worsen with pregnancy in some women.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
A digestive disorder, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can be equally as common in men and women, but women can experience it much more frequently during pregnancy. The most common symptom is heartburn and indigestion which, over time, can take a toll on the digestive system.
Why is Digestive Health Important?
Your digestive system plays an extremely important role in ensuring your body gets the nutrients and energy it needs. This means it’s important to take care of the complex system of bacteria and hormones that contribute to your digestive system’s health. Also, your digestive system has strong ties to your emotional health, meaning it’s important to eat the right diet. Having poor digestive health can affect all areas of your body, just like having excellent digestive health can improve all aspects of your body and lifestyle.
What Steps Can I Take?
Digestive health starts with the right diet to ensure your body has a variety of nutrients to use. Additionally, you can make sure to incorporate foods full of fiber to help boost your digestive health and making sure your digestive system isn’t taxed. If you have symptoms like heartburn, frequent stomach pain, or irregular bowel movements, you should be sure to see your gynecologist who can assess your health, diet, and lifestyle to recommend the right changes.
Schedule an Appointment
Digestive health can affect women in unique ways, so it’s important to know what to look for when it comes to managing your diet and remaining healthy. To meet with our expert team and learn more about your digestive health, contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can stress cause digestive problems?
Stress can cause a variety of digestive issues. These may include bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and general discomfort.
Can hormones cause stomach ulcers?
It is possible that a hormonal imbalance can cause stomach ulcers. However, this is relatively uncommon.
Can hormones affect your digestive system?
Hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, can affect the digestive system. For this reason, women commonly experience changes in digestion through the menstrual cycle or menopause which can include constipation, bloating, or nausea.
Can the menopause cause digestive problems?
During menopause, decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone can slow the process of the food passing through the GI system. This may lead to constipation, gas, and bloating.