The gastrointestinal (GI) tract of humans is the organ where all the food and liquid travel. Its main functions are to transport, digest, and absorb food. However, you must know that the GI tract muscles of women may function differently than with men. One may experience faster digestion, and others may have a slower emptying of the stomach.
In this article, we will discuss the differences between men’s and women’s GI tract, which may be associated with possible GI tract problems. This article will also focus on the unique symptoms and diagnoses for women.
Let’s get to it!
1. Implication in the Esophagus
The first thing we will discuss is the esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube that connects the pharynx (throat) to the stomach. This muscle contracts while it moves food into the stomach. The door between the end of the esophagus and stomach quickly closes once the food slides to the stomach to prevent food from flowing back up in the esophagus.
The esophagus of men and women acts differently. It is said that the women’s muscles squeeze shut with more force than with men. Moreover, tests have shown that the women’s muscle tightens more than in men after drinking fluids. Given this case, women are more likely to develop “Globus.” Globus is the feeling of a “lump in the throat”, but it usually has nothing to do with swallowing food. Essentially, given the force of the women’s muscle, they have more protection in the esophagus than in men.
Common Problem in Women: Heartburn
Compared to men, women may experience heartburn more strongly than men. That is because women are more sensitive to irritants. But, you must know that women develop less damage in the esophagus than men because women secrete less stomach acid than men.
2. Implication in the Stomach
The other that has a slower emptying of the stomach we’re talking about are women. Since women digest food slower, they tend to experience nausea and bloating more frequently compared to men.
Common Problems in Women: Gastroparesis (Delayed Gastric Emptying) and Gastritis
Gastric emptying in women may happen because of conditions like diabetes, prior stomach surgeries, infections, medications, and low thyroid levels. These conditions may cause damage to nerves, which is why gastric emptying takes place. Women who have gastric emptying may experience abdominal bloating, nausea, fullness, and weight loss.
3. Implications in the Colon
Similar to the stomach, women’s colon empties slower than in men. However, this difference usually disappears when the woman becomes old. That explains why women typically experience constipation compared to men. It is also a fact that men can handle an episode of diarrhea better than women.
Common Problems in Women: Chronic Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and Colon Cancer
Some of these conditions tend to worsen with age, emotional stress, or hormones during pregnancy. Women usually experience diarrhea, constipation, blood in the stool, weight loss, and anemia out of some of these conditions. It’s essential to consult your doctor for a check-up so that they can give proper treatment and diagnosis of your symptoms.
The GI tract in the body can be delicate when it has already developed problems. This case is especially true with pregnant women. Regardless of your gender, you must know that your digestive system is the cornerstone of your overall health. As much as possible, learn to take care of it and regularly consult your doctor to keep it healthy and prevent the development of severe problems.
Balanced Body Functional Medicine can provide you with functional medicine in Houston, MD. Functional medicine is a more holistic way of looking at your health. We look for the root cause of illness rather than just giving you another prescription to mask symptoms, making our personalized medicine more effective in making you healthy as you grow old. Book your appointment with us today!