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Do women have more digestive issues than men?

The Cabinet — 02.29.24
by Hilary Quartner


We’re here to spread the unfortunate truth — women are more prone to digestive issues than men. While digestive issues can impact individuals of any gender, certain gastrointestinal disorders exhibit a higher prevalence among women. This discrepancy may arise from distinct structural differences in the gastrointestinal tract between males and females. Additionally, hormonal fluctuations linked to menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can contribute to the heightened severity of gut-related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in female patients. Keep reading to learn about the reasons behind this gender-specific disparity.

What are the differences between men’s and women’s GI tracts? 

While the primary function of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract remains consistent between genders, there are notable differences that warrant minor adjustments in addressing digestive concerns. Commencing at the upper end of the GI system, a woman's lower esophageal sphincter—the band of muscles preventing food regurgitation into the esophagus—exhibits a tighter closure compared to her male counterparts. Women have lower stomach acid levels than men, leading to a slower emptying of their stomachs. Additionally, a woman's colon is approximately ten centimeters longer than that of men, and in women, the GI organs coexist with the reproductive organs. Overall, the GI processes in females tend to take a longer duration to complete compared to males.

Why do women have more digestive health issues than men?

Stomach Acid and Emptying Rates

Women's lower stomach acid levels compared to men set the stage for slower stomach emptying. This fundamental difference in digestive physiology contributes to an increased susceptibility to various gastrointestinal issues. Understanding this distinction is crucial for tailoring preventive and therapeutic interventions to meet the unique needs of women.

Colon Length Disparity

The structural dissimilarities between the digestive systems of men and women are notable. The extra ten centimeters in a woman's colon introduce variations in digestion and absorption processes, potentially leading to a higher incidence of digestive problems. Recognizing and appreciating these gender-specific nuances is vital for fostering effective healthcare strategies.

Proximity of GI and Reproductive Organs

Unlike men, women's gastrointestinal and reproductive organs share anatomical space. This unique arrangement may impact digestive processes, increasing the likelihood of certain health issues. Acknowledging this aspect is crucial for tailoring healthcare practices and raising awareness about the intricate connection between digestive and reproductive health.

Prolonged GI Processes in Women

The combination of lower stomach acid, longer colon length, and shared space with reproductive organs results in prolonged gastrointestinal processes in women. This extended timeline contributes to the higher prevalence of digestive problems among women, highlighting the need for gender-specific healthcare approaches and heightened awareness.


Which digestive issues are more common among women?


Women face a twofold higher likelihood of developing gallstones, hardened cholesterol deposits in the gallbladder. Recognizing the gender-specific nature of gallstone formation is vital for early detection and prevention strategies. It emphasizes the importance of tailored screening and prevention programs for women.


A prevalent issue among women, they are three times more likely to encounter constipation than men. Acknowledging the gender-specific aspect of constipation can pave the way for tailored interventions and lifestyle adjustments. This calls for targeted educational campaigns and personalized healthcare plans to address this common concern in women.

Celiac Disease

Triggered by gluten consumption, this autoimmune condition affecting the small bowel is more prevalent in women. Enhanced awareness can lead to improved diagnostic and management strategies. It underscores the importance of recognizing and addressing the gender-specific prevalence of autoimmune digestive disorders.


Characterized by delayed stomach emptying, gastroparesis is more commonly diagnosed in women. Increased awareness is crucial for timely diagnosis and effective treatment plans. This condition necessitates gender-specific research and treatment protocols to enhance outcomes for affected women.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Women are twice as likely to experience IBS compared to men. Understanding the connection between hormonal fluctuations and IBS symptoms, intensifying around the menstrual cycle, is crucial for managing this condition. This underscores the need for gender-sensitive IBS management strategies and research into the hormonal factors influencing digestive health.


How Hilma's digestive health products can help relieve and lessen symptoms.

Hilma's commitment to digestive wellness is manifested in a diverse range of products designed to address specific concerns faced by women:

Gas + Bloat Relief

Crafted with a blend of botanicals and herbs, this natural solution targets the root causes of bloating, offering soothing relief and promoting a calmer digestive experience. This product is not just about alleviating symptoms but also about understanding and addressing the underlying causes of digestive discomfort.

Dairy + Gluten Digestive Enzyme

Specifically designed for those struggling with dairy and gluten digestion, this formula aids in breaking down complex proteins, supporting individuals with gluten sensitivity or lactose intolerance to enjoy their favorite foods with greater ease. Note: this product is not intended for those with Celiac Disease or gluten allergies. This nuanced approach reflects Hilma's commitment to catering to the specific needs of individuals, acknowledging the diversity of digestive challenges.

Daily Pre + Probiotic + Herbs

This daily companion for digestive health combines prebiotics and probiotics to foster a flourishing gut environment, promoting optimal digestion and immune system support. The inclusion of herbs adds a holistic dimension, recognizing the interconnectedness of digestive health with overall well-being. This product emphasizes the importance of daily digestive care and the symbiotic relationship between gut health and immune function.

Occasional Heartburn and Indigestion Relief

When occasional digestive distress strikes, Hilma's natural relief formula steps in, providing effective relief without compromising overall health. This product reflects Hilma's commitment to offering solutions for occasional digestive challenges without resorting to synthetic chemicals. It underscores the importance of natural, science-backed relief for common digestive discomfort.

Incorporating Hilma's digestive health products into your daily routine empowers you to embrace a life of digestive balance and vitality. These science-backed, naturally derived formulas offer a tailored approach to addressing and preventing common digestive issues, ensuring a holistic path to well-being.

As awareness about the gender disparity in digestive health grows, acknowledging these differences becomes the first step towards better prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Hilma's digestive health products provide a natural and effective solution, allowing women to take charge of their digestive well-being without compromising on quality or resorting to harsh chemicals. By recognizing the unique needs of women's digestive health, Hilma bridges the gap in the broader conversation about overall wellness. It's time to prioritize women's digestive health, fostering a paradigm shift towards personalized, gender-specific healthcare that embraces the diversity of digestive challenges women face.

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