Gut Check: 4 Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders That Are Most Common in Men

The gastrointestinal system is responsible for digestion, absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste. Gastrointestinal health problems are more common in men and it is essential to treat them as soon as possible.

Gut Check: 4 Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders That Are More Common in Men

It is a known fact that the gastrointestinal system plays a crucial role in managing and maintaining the overall health of an individual. The gastrointestinal system begins in the mouth and reaches the esophagus and extends from the stomach and small and large intestines to the anus. It is responsible for various functions such as digesting food, absorbing nutrients into the bloodstream, and removing waste products of digestion. However, when there is an alteration in this function, it can cause digestive problems such as indigestion, bloating, gas, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or diarrhea. Gastrointestinal problems are a common concern faced by several men, and they can range from minor discomfort to serious and even life-threatening conditions. It is essential to take immediate steps to treat gastrointestinal problems before symptoms worsen. Here are some common gastrointestinal (GI) problems men experience:

4 Major Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders in Men

Gastroesophageal acid reflux disease (GERD): GERD is a physical condition in which stomach acid begins to flow into the esophagus (esophagus). This could cause a burning sensation or heartburn in your chest and even your throat. Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, usually after eating something, chest pain, bloating, gas, difficulty swallowing, intolerance to certain foods, and dry cough. Certain lifestyle factors and habits, such as excessive drinking or smoking, binge eating, especially at night, going to sleep immediately after eating, and taking medications without consulting your doctor.

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Colon cancer: It is a type of cancer in which abnormal cell growth begins in the part of the large intestine also known as the colon. According to studies, men have a higher risk of colon cancer than women. Symptoms of colon cancer include blood in the stool, changes in bowel habits, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Colon cancer can be detected with the help of cancer screening tests. Several factors could contribute to the development of colon cancer, such as inherited and acquired genetic mutations, dietary choices, and also environmental factors. It is one of the cancers that can be treated effectively if detected early. A colonoscopy is a type of test done to detect the growth of colon cancer and look for changes such as swelling, inflamed tissue, polyps, or cancer.

Constipation: Many men experience constipation at least once in their lives. This condition involves difficulty defecating and can be caused by several factors, such as insufficient fiber intake, dehydration, problems with bowel function, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), neurological disorders, antidepressants, or lack of exercise. Constipation can usually be relieved through lifestyle modifications, such as eating high-fiber foods, being physically active, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

Ulcerative colitis: This is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes irritation, inflammation, and ulcers in the digestive tract. It affects the innermost lining of the individual’s large intestine, also known as the colon and rectum. The immune system is responsible for fighting various bacteria or viruses and fighting any underlying diseases. In ulcerative colitis, the immune system mistakenly attacks your healthy cells and tissues. Symptoms may include rectal pain and bleeding, weight loss, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fatigue.

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According to Dr. Meghraj Ingle, Director and Senior Consultant, Gastroenterology, Gleneagles Parel Hospitals Mumbai, “Digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) diseases are a serious health problem that needs immediate medical attention. Neglecting these symptoms can worsen the condition and negatively affect quality of life. Regular screening is essential for early detection of conditions such as colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, and GERD. These tests could provide valuable information about your gut health. “Lifestyle modifications, such as maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and avoiding excess alcohol and caffeine, can help successfully manage gastrointestinal health.”



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