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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Which gender has more ISB, men or women?

The main cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is stress. A characteristic of this syndrome is a continuous symptom with abdominal pain and discomfort accompanying stool abnormality. Because of the influence from TV commercial and other media, many people believe that men are mainly susceptible to IBS, in other words, prone to get diarrheal conditions. However, in reality, the number of patients with IBS in Japan is twice as much greater in women than in men. To evaluate the severity of IBS on a global scale, 4 times more women are suffering than men. Actually, the idea of IBS equal to a diarrheal symptom is wrong. Certainly, many male patients are suffering from diarrheal symptoms, but many female patients often fall into a constipated condition.

The onset of IBS in women is linked to the disruption of hormonal balances

Scientist believes that female hormones strongly affect the morbidity rate and the aggravation of symptoms of IBS. In fact, about 40% of the female IBS patients have disorder of the menstrual cycle. The onset of IBS in women is linked with the period from adolescence to menopause. One of the characteristics is that many women develops IBS in their mid-teens to mid-40s known as the period that the hormone balances tend to be easily disturbed. Lack of dietary fiber is believed as a cause of developing constipation, but the disturbed female hormones and stress are also major factors. In addition, symptoms accompanying IBS among women are fibromyalgia, migraine, chronic pelvic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and some others.

Credit to: Muneaki Takahata Ph.,D.