IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a common chronic intestinal disorder. It affects the digestive organs, especially the intestines, and causes harmful symptoms like-
- Severe abdominal pain,
- Diarrhea or constipation.
Though this condition can affect anyone, it is 1.5 to 3 times more common in women than men. The irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are generally similar among males and females. But they can get more severe and painful in women during certain stages of their menstrual cycle.
Here are some common irritable bowel syndrome symptoms in women that you should not ignore:
Constipation is a common irritable bowel syndrome symptom. It causes infrequent bowel movements with hard, dry, and difficult-to-pass stools. This clinical symptom of IBS is more common in women than men. It can lead to other symptoms, such as bloating and abdominal pain.
Diarrhea is characterized by frequent loose stools, sometimes with mucus. This symptom comes with mild abdominal pain and cramping that improve after a bowel movement. Though this symptom is more common in men, diarrhea worsens among women just before their menstrual cycles start.
Bloating is an IBS symptom that causes your upper abdomen to feel tight. IBS patients with bloating get full faster after having food, hence causing a decrease in food intake. Moreover, this condition is often an early symptom of menstruation.
Bloating is more likely during menstruation among women with IBS than women without it. Gynecological conditions like endometriosis can worsen it.
Pain during Intercourse
Women with IBS are unable to derive relaxation and pleasure from sexual activity. Rather, IBS symptoms make it more painful for them. This condition further increases the risk of sexual dysfunctions in patients.
Another common IBS symptom in women is fatigue. The painful IBS symptoms can make it difficult for them to fall asleep. It can also shorten their sleep time and cause them to wake up frequently. Such lack of restorative sleep also increases the risk of severe health conditions like insomnia, mood disturbances, cognitive issues, decreased quality of life, etc.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse happens when the tissues and muscles holding the pelvic organs (organs below the abdomen like the urethra, rectum, uterus, vagina, etc.) become loose or weak. The organs hence move away from their places. As per research, women with IBS are more likely to experience it.
It causes a significant decrease in their bladder control, increases their urinary urgency, and severely affects their overall quality of life. Conditions like IBS-associated diarrhea and constipation can increase the risk of pelvic prolapse.
This also increases the risk of chronic pelvic pain, a common irritable bowel syndrome among women with IBS. Over 30% of women experience long-lasting pelvic pain in IBS.
Worsening Of Menstrual Symptoms
A US study found out that IBS can worsen menstrual symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, body pain, etc., in women. Another study shows that post-menopausal women experience much more severe IBS symptoms, fatigue, gut discomfort, etc., than men with IBS.
The periods become heavier and much more painful. Hormonal fluctuations and medications like NSAIDs, anti-depressants, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, oral contraceptives, etc., can worsen the condition.
Women with IBS experience numerous IBS-associated mental health conditions. They have increased chances of stress, depression, anxiety, and mood instability. This is partly because of the gut-brain axis, a group of nerves connecting the brain to the gut and allowing them to communicate with each other.
Constantly having to manage IBS symptoms, decreased digestive health, disrupted daily workflow, and reduced life quality can cause excess stress. This can lead to severe anxiety and mood disorders that disrupt the gut-brain interactions, worsen the existing IBS symptoms, and probably trigger new ones, like the sudden loss of appetite.
Additional Risk Factors for IBS among Women
Besides the above-mentioned symptoms, women face several additional risk factors for IBS, including
- Family history: Women having a family history of IBS are more likely to experience this condition in their lives. Moreover, environmental factors can play a role in causing IBS among women who have got it genetically.
- Age: Women younger than 50 years are more likely to have IBS. It usually begins before the age of 35. First, IBS flare-ups are rare among people aged over 50.
- Infections: Stomach illnesses (flu) and intestinal infections (gastroenteritis) can lead to post-infectious IBS in people.
- Insomnia: There is a deep connection between sleep symptoms and IBS. And women are much more likely to suffer from sleep issues than men. Because among women, conditions like hormonal changes during menstruation, fluctuating hormonal levels, pregnancy, pre-menopause, etc., can cause sleep deprivation (insomnia), poor sleep habits, and mental health conditions.
- Fibromyalgia: As per a recent study, people having functional disorders like fibromyalgia have a higher risk of developing IBS. Fibromyalgia is characterized by severe pain in the muscles and the skeleton, accompanied by fatigue, sleep issues, and mood changes. This condition affects the brain’s ability to process pain signals, which also affects its communication with the gut.
Alleviating IBS with Vijaya
Ayurvedic doctors and medical experts recommend various dietary and lifestyle changes to help patients manage their IBS symptoms. They further prescribe Bilwadi Churna to help IBS patients alleviate their condition and its symptoms. Unlike conventional IBS drugs, this herbal Ayurvedic formulation consists of natural ingredients and is hence, safe for consumption.
It relieves constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, gas, abdominal pain, bloating, and other gastrointestinal issues. Its herbal ingredients like bel, mochras, sontha, dhai, dhaniya, saunf, and Vijaya provide a holistic relief from IBS and its symptoms and improve the patients’ overall quality of life.
Moreover, Bilwadi churna shows no side effects of conventional drugs and reduces the dependency on harmful and addictive IBS medications. To know more about the common irritable bowel syndrome symptoms in women and how to manage them effectively, contact Hempstreet and get the best consultation for yourself.