Men in general tend to have less sensitive guts than women; however, women are more likely to visit a doctor when they are sick and therefore have better health & greater life expectancy. The reason for this could be that men are less aware of their symptoms or are unwilling to acknowledge they have health problems. With the month of June designated as Men’s health month, let’s look at some of the top GI problems affecting men:
Take advantage of Men’s Health Month to discuss your digestive problems or any other health concerns with your doctor. When these conditions go untreated, there could be serious consequences to your health and the welfare of your family.
Greater Houston Gastroenterology is the largest full-service gastroenterology group in the Houston metropolitan area, bringing high quality, cost-effective personalized care to patients from The Woodlands and North Houston to Sugar Land, Richmond, Pearland, and Angleton.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease: Experiencing acid reflux symptoms on a regular basis (twice a week) is a good indication that you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease. The symptoms include a sharp burning sensation in your chest after a meal, bloating, a sour taste in the mouth when bending over or lying down, and hoarseness of voice.
- Ulcers in the GI tract: Long-term use of certain medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen or infection may damage the inner lining of the stomach and intestines resulting in the formation of open sores. Untreated ulcers can cause severe pain and create a hole in the digestive tract.
- Constipation: Having trouble passing bowels, hard stools, incomplete emptying, and passing stools fewer times than normal are symptoms that everyone goes through at some point in their life. They may be caused by not eating enough fiber, medication side-effects, or a sedentary lifestyle. You should see a doctor if you pass blood with bowel movements, have severe pain, or there is a dramatic change in the size and shape of your stools.
- Diarrhea: Loose or watery stools seem to be more common in men as compared to women. This is probably because men tend to have faster colonic transit times. Diarrhea could be caused by a variety of reasons including lactose intolerance, artificial sweeteners, or other gastrointestinal problems such as Crohn’s disease, IBS, and celiac disease. Severe diarrhea can result in dehydration which could be life threatening.
- Colon cancer: The risk of developing colon cancer is higher in men. Symptoms include blood in stool, irregular bowel movements, rapid weight loss, anemia, and Top GI Problems Affecting Men (Men's Health Month)_Greater Houston Gastroenterology_YPO Web content_V1 fatigue. It is recommended that men above the age of 50 should be screened regularly for colon cancer.