No anatomical differences are seen between the intestinal tracts of men and women. Nonetheless, there are differences in the symptoms and other expressions of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) seen in men and in women. These differences include the disease experiences and reactions to treatment of IBS.
Regardless of gender, you must not be shy to seek appropriate diagnosis and guidance.
IBS Symptoms in Men
Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in men include:
- Changes in bowel movement patterns.
- Bloating and excess gas.
- Pain the lower belly.
- Mucus in stools.
You are more likely to have IBS if you have these symptoms and they have lasted at least 6 months, you have had belly pain at least 3 days each month for at least 3 months, and a minimum of two of the following are true:
- The pain is alleviated by having a defecation.
- The pain is connected to a modification in how typically you have a bowel movement.
- The pain is linked to a change in the appearance or consistency of your stool.
Since there are no structural issues in the intestinal tracts of people who have IBS, some men might believe this means that the symptoms “are all in their head.” This isn’t really true. The pain, discomfort, and bloating are genuine. They have various causes that can be addressed in order to help ease symptoms.
When you have IBS, your pattern of bowel movements may be different in time. Two or more of the following may take place:
- Defecation might happen either more often (diarrhea) or less frequently (constipation) than usual. For example, you might have more than 3 defecation a day or less than 3 a week.
- Bowel movements may vary in size or consistency. They may be difficult and small, pencil-thin, or loose and watery.
- The method stools pass modifications. You might strain, feel an immediate need to have a defecation, or feel that you haven’t completely passed a stool.
- You may have bloating or a sensation of gas in the intestines.
Other digestive tract symptoms
Some people might have pain in the lower belly with constipation that is often followed by diarrhea. Other individuals have pain and mild constipation but no diarrhea.
Some men have intestinal gas and passage of mucus in stools as secondary signs of ibs.
Nongastrointestinal Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Men
You might often have other symptoms that don’t impact the intestines, such as:
- Stress and depression or anxiety.
- Tiredness and Headache.
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth.
- Sleep problems (sleeping disorders) not brought on by symptoms of IBS.
- Sexual issues, such as minimised libido.
- Heart palpitations. (You might feel like your heart skips a beat or is fluttering.)
- Urinary symptoms. (You may have a frequent or urgent need to urinate, problem starting the urine stream, or problem emptying your bladder.)
Symptoms often take place after a meal and during demanding times.
In Western nations, women appear most likely than men to have IBS, and are 3 times most likely to see their doctor about symptoms. The reasons men are less likely to report symptoms to a doctor are unidentified.
In lots of Eastern countries, it appears from some researches that men with IBS are 4 times most likely than women to consult medical professionals.
So it seems that cultural and other reasons for the health care looking for might differently affect men and women who have IBS symptoms.
In the past, diagnostic criteria appear to have been less effective in detecting IBS in men than in women. These worked as the basis for numerous population surveys and clinical researches. So for example, if abdominal distension (which is more widespread in women) was one of the required symptoms, less men would fulfill the requirements. Present diagnostic requirements (Rome III) goal to be gender-neutral.
Hormonal effects appear to play a role in women. No equivalent hormonal effects have actually been demonstrated in men. Women both with and without IBS report modifications in GI symptoms just prior and through the menstruation with symptoms reported as more extreme in women with IBS.
Clinical research studies of IBS consist of so few men that comparisons of the occurrence of mental states may not be warranted. Nonetheless, psychosocial distinctions might assist to describe why fewer men with IBS see medical professionals.
There are tips that the male gut may be less sensitive than that of women. It is speculated that hormones such as estrogen may increase digestive tract level of sensitivity. Gender differences of hormonal agent activity in the enteric worried system (which regulates intestinal tract activity) and its connections to the main anxious system should have a lot more research study.
What Causes IBS in Men?
Researchers don’t know the exact cause of IBS. Possible causes are thought to be:
- Unusual movement/contractions of the colon and intestinal tracts
- Additional sensitive organs in the abdominal cavity
- Sensations of anxiety (or nervousness), stress, and anger
- A germ or infection in men
- Sensitivity or allergic reaction to specific food
Treatment for IBS in Men
There is reason to think that treatment responses in men may be different from those in women. Certain opiates supply less post-operative pain relief to men than women. It likewise appears that men experience less side effects to drugs.
Up until recently, the only gender differences in IBS treatment were the hesitation of men to look for healthcare, their resistance to abide by guidance, and perhaps their lesser risk for unnecessary surgery. There is a suggestion that men might not react also to hypnotherapy.
Could it be that IBS in men and women is essentially different after all, which the above observations show these distinctions? Or, is there some hormonal difference that influences gut function and the reaction to particular drugs?
The number of men in existing clinical researches is little, and more information is required before jumping to conclusions. If there is a true difference in male and female IBS, then we have to explore the factor. Future IBS trials should include more men.
Whether or not there are true gender distinctions in IBS is debatable. The truth will have to await a more clear understanding of the condition. However, in North America, men are less most likely than women to report IBS symptoms, to see medical professionals for them, to be discovered in professional clinics, and to take part in clinical trials.
There might likewise be differences in the symptoms themselves, in psychosocial elements, and in responses to therapy. With better understanding of the diagnosis, gender differences, and significance of IBS symptoms, we may better create treatment of IBS in men and women.
Meanwhile, it ought to be understood that IBS does frequently take place in men. It is stressful and disabling for some. It is necessary to seek medical assistance when required, where the principles of diagnosis, treatment, and management equally apply to men and women.
We need to comprehend why men in North America rarely look for medical assistance for their IBS, and why they are obviously less hesitant in other parts of the world. Lastly, whether or not they are less in numbers, men should be properly represented in therapeutic trials and studies of the IBS.