Stomach bloating has become so common these days that some would even go as far to say it’s an epidemic. But with women it seems to occur much more frequently. Is it because they ate too much of one of their favorite foods? Is it because they dared to have a glass of wine and didn’t drink enough water?
They might feel that there is no end to their bloating and they know they’re not alone in it. With that said, could constant bloating be the cause of an unhealthy diet? Or is it possible that there is a scientific reason why women are more bloated than men?
One doctor has come forward and has declared that there is a reason why women are more constantly bloated than men.
Dr. Robynne Chutkan, a gastroenterologist and founder of the Digestive Centre for Women in Washington D.C., explains that women are more commonly bloated then men because they have larger intestines.
She is correct in that aspect; women do have a larger colon than men. On average, a women’s colon is 10cm longer than a man’s, usually to allow them to absorb more water or fluid during pregnancy.
Chutkan explains her findings “Because you have to keep the amniotic fluid replete, and the circulation and blood volume increases during pregnancy.”
She also points out why constant bloating occurs for women “that extra length in the colon does is create this redundancy, these sorts of extra twists and turns, and that’s why women are so much more bloated and constipated than their male counterparts.”
Another reason why women are more prone to chronic bloating is because of the shape of their pelvis. Women have a round pelvis so more of their colon drops into it because their uterus, ovaries and Fallopian tubes are taking up a lot of space above the pelvis.
So women were generally built to experience constant bloating, but there are also other reasons it occurs that are not related to the shape of their body.
Premenstrual Syndrome: Often referred to as PMS, this mental and physical symptom occurs approximately 5-11 days before the beginning of a woman’s menstrual cycle. One of the most common symptoms is bloating.
This type of bloating can be controlled though. Making lifestyle changes such as drinking more fluids, taking vitamins, having a low-salt diet and increasing your exercise and sleep time can all help.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: This disorder is classified by various symptoms with abdominal bloating being the main one. Women do experience extreme discomfort, but their intestines are not in any real danger. This disorder is believed to be caused by an increase or decrease in intestinal contractions.
There is specific medication that can be taken for this disorder, so it would be best to speak with a medical practitioner before you take anything.
Ovarian Cysts: These are fluid-filled sacs that grow on the surface just inside the ovaries. They develop because of the hormonal imbalance in the body that involves the luteinizing hormone – responsible for signaling the ovary to release an egg.
When cysts grow, it can result in pressure and bloating to the abdominal area. In most cases, the symptoms are manageable, so doctors just monitor the cysts. If they grow to a point where the symptoms are no longer manageable, they can be surgically removed.
Now, those are the most common reasons why women are constantly bloated, but there are also other common reasons why EVERYONE gets bloated.
Dehydration: Have you ever noticed the day after you’ve consumed salty foods or drinking alcohol that you’ve become dehydrated and bloated? The reason behind this is that when your body tries to recover from dehydration, it holds on to excess water to prevent it from occurring again. This means that when you finally decide to drink some water, it’s likely to be stored for a longer period of time.
Constipation: This is a common reason why many people have a bloated abdominal area. Constipation causes the stool to remain in the intestines, which puts major pressure on the stomach, leaving you with pain, discomfort and gas. The two main reasons for constipation are not eating enough fiber, and not drinking enough water.
Infection: Your abdominal areas can become bloated or inflamed if you have an infection. The triggers of the infection are what cause the bloating because the white blood cell count is elevated around the pelvic, urinary and gastrointestinal organs.