Bad news, mamas. According to a new study, women are almost twice as likely to have GI-related issues than men.
Consumer health-care company Amino looked at two years' worth of data from nearly 5 million Americans who were diagnosed with chronic gut conditions in 2014 and 2015, and found that 74 percent of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), 70 percent of celiac disease, 68 percent of gallstones, and 60 percent of acid reflux diagnoses are among women.
The outlook is not much better for our kids. More teens are having tummy troubles today, too. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease diagnoses more than doubled from age 14 to 20, and IBS diagnoses more than tripled from age 14 to 20.
What's causing the spike? Doctors aren't really sure. But Maneesh Singh, M.D., a third-year fellow in gastroenterology at UCSF, points to fluctuating hormones during puberty as a possible factor for some gut conditions like Crohn's and colitis. He added that poor growth, weight loss, and delayed puberty may also be red flags for certain gastrointestinal conditions among teens.
Some diseases did skew younger in age—like Celiac, where diagnoses tripled from ages 2 to 7. And some skewed older—colon cancer diagnoses tripled from age 45 to 60.
And here's some more bad news: The study found that people with chronic gut conditions often have other health issues, too. For example, patients with IBS are 10 times more frequently diagnosed with lactose intolerance than patients without IBS. And those with Crohn's are around four times more likely to have B12 vitamin deficiency. Seems unfair, doesn't it?
But hey, if you've been having tummy troubles, you're definitely not alone. And be sure to talk to your doctor ASAP.
To learn more about the study, head to Amino's website.