IBS in Women – Atlanta, GA

Studies show that one out of every five Americans has IBS. 75 percent of them are women. Because there is no specific evidence on why more women suffer from IBS, researchers focus on a range of women’s health issues with a special emphasis on hormonal influence.

IBS Symptoms

Here are a few findings about IBS symptoms specifically found in women:

  • Pregnancy hormones can result in an improvement for many women who suffer from IBS. However, the menstrual cycle often makes IBS symptoms worse.
  • Recent studies have placed women with IBS at a higher risk of undergoing a hysterectomy.
  • Though hormones play a major role in IBS in women, birth control pills and other forms of birth control that contain estrogen and progesterone don’t have an effect on IBS.
  • During PMS, it’s important for women who suffer from IBS to increase fiber intake and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Stress plays a significant role in IBS symptoms because stress causes changes in the autonomic nervous system. If you suffer from IBS, this change in the autonomic nervous system causes the brain to send messages to the brain about decreasing digestion.

How to Treat IBS in Women

Unfortunately, there is no specific cure for IBS. Here are a few things that can help with IBS symptoms:

  • Change your diet. Adding high fiber foods and avoiding certain foods, such as dairy products, caffeinated drinks and alcohol can improve IBS symptoms.
  • Add a probiotic. Sometimes, IBS flare ups are caused by your gut flora being out of balance. Within two weeks of using a probiotic, you should be able to see a change in the severity of symptoms.
  • Take a fiber supplement. If chronic constipation is one of your IBS symptoms, fiber supplements can help relieve the constipation.
  • Consult a physician for IBS medication. Different medications, such as Lubiprostone, are available from a gastroenterologist.

Consult your physician for more information on IBS treatment.