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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the majority of ibs sufferers who seek medical attention are women. many men don't see a doctor for anything and that's where the statistics come from.tom
 

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Good catch! I have friends who are a couple, and she was complaining about him farting all the time, and I suggested he might try avoiding dairy, and he refused to admit anything might be wrong or discuss the subject.
 

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I'm always amazed when I see the percentage of the population that is thought to have IBS. The number seems way too high! But I'm guessing many of those cases are mild ones, perhaps enough so that people never see a dr. for it? Heck, my IBS-D was pretty bad before I finally talked to a dr. about it. Part of it was that I was getting D more and more often, and didn't realize just how abnormal it was. Then I realized that I was getting D attacks a LOT more often than most people. I am female, btw.I wonder if men are more likely to have a milder case than women, and therefore don't see a dr. about it? Plus, guys seem more accepting of farts and other such things... so they may not think an abnormal level is out of the ordinary, or don't get stressed about it, when stressing only makes the symptoms worse!My dad has a definite gas problem. I don't know if he even mentioned it to the dr. though, when he had a sig. after his dad was found to have colon cancer. My dad also gets horrible gas and D after eating anything with onions in it, but does he avoid them? Of course not.
We go to my grandma's house for a family gathering, where there is only 1 bathroom, and there's often someone waiting for it when all 5 kids and their kids (sometimes with significant others) are visiting. And a couple of relatives always bring something with onions in it to the potluck meal. And dad goes right ahead and eats it, and of course gets G and D. Meanwhile, I"m eating whatever we brought for me, and being selective about what else I eat.Guys just seem to have a different attitude about bodily functions than us gals do, for the most part. And if stressing over the BMs or G exacerbates the symptoms, or contributes to a vicious cycle, it makes sense to me that more women would have problems, since we are often raised to believe that we should never fart, etc. while some guys celebrate farts...or at least are darn proud of them!
 

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There does seem to be a difference between what level of GI distress men tolerate and woman tolerate. Some guys seem to think getting the runs is part of the joys of manhood and eating manly things like chili cheese dogs. Some of that is probably cultural (woman don't fart, don't sweat and so on) and some of it has to do with men typically don't ask for directions and don't go to the doctor (especially when the doctor would say don't eat the food that bothers you--but I like the food...and if the doctor said don't eat it then the wife and kids could do something but when it's all denial....).It may be a what price are you willing to pay for what you consider fun kinda thing (like how many woman go to a freezing football game in shorts and body paint)Most of the 15-20% numbers you see are from doing community survey type things where the ask only about symptoms. This figure should be including alot of mild cases and for years I woulda been one who had a mild case but never went to the doctor about it as it didn't interfer with anything. Then all hell broke loose and it was doctor time.K.------------------I have no financial, academic, or any other stake in any commercial product mentioned by me.My story and what worked for me in greatly easing my IBS: http://www.ibsgroup.org/ubb/Forum17/HTML/000015.html
 

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I think you all are right. I had cramps and gas all my life and thought it was normal, and even when I realized it wasn't I thought I was just different. I didn't seek treatment until I got pains so bad I couldn't go to work, and then I had to change doctors because the one I had at the time said it was "psychological" and refused to treat my symptoms. My new doctor and I figured out I'm lactose intolerant, and that helped but my symptoms didn't completely go away.So there are 2 other factors I'd like to mention 1. Doctors who dismiss symptoms as above, and 2. Bad diet. I was raised in central Kansas and live in Chicago now. When I travel outside the city I still see people in restaurants eating the diet I was raised on: overcooked fried red meat, fried chicken, fried potatos, pasta with cream sauce, hot dogs and sausage, white bread, and oversweetened sodas. The only vegetable seen in this diet is the tiny bowl of iceberg lettuce soaked in high-fat dressing that passes for a salad in those parts, and there's *way* too much sugar and salt.Since it's known that vegetables and high fiber foods are essential for digestive health, I don't see how people on this diet could *avoid* IBS or diverticulitis.This reminds me of an old joke: For some people the 4 food groups are grease, salt, sugar and caffeine.
[This message has been edited by Julia37 (edited 06-05-2001).]
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
according to the myths about ibs men should get C and if you have C you sit and C and don't complain. most of them myths about ibs are still based on a few studies that might or might not mean anything much. Blanchard's book has a good chapter on this whole issue, but there are really no large scale controlled data.
 

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I worked with someone once who I was SURE had IBS-D just like me. The evidence was all there. One day, I discreetly took him aside and mentioned that I had IBS and what it was, and hinted that it was possible that was what he was dealing with. He insisted it wasn't, so I let it go.But who knows. He might have just been embarrassed. I did my best not to embarrass him, though!
 

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Sometimes I wonder how mild of symptoms are still IBS..like if you get D 3 times a month, could that be IBS? I just kept getting D more and more often, so I'm not sure when I'd say my IBS started. But as I said, I waited til it got pretty bad before I finally saw a dr...how very "male" of this female. But then how many people, male or female, want to let someone look at their fissure, etc. (Also had the fissure for maybe a yr. before mentioning it...self-conscious, I guess.)Julia, I've been a vegetarian for longer than I've had IBS symptoms. I've always loved cereal (the healthy kind, too!) and fruit and some veggies... so I get plenty of fiber. In fact, for a while I brushed off my increasingly frequent BMs as being due to all the fiber in my diet. Of course, when I was in college, where the dining hall likes to fry everything, and vegetarian=cheese or beans, or both, we all got the runs, or at least had to go, from the dining hall food!I still ate my share of junk food, altho far less than the average person, I think, and I'd say my diet was much more healthful than the avg. person, but I still got IBS-D.Problems with my digestive system started during puberty...some time after my first period. That was also a stressful time in my life, for other reasons, and my primary problem then was lots of gnawing, acid pain. My symptoms as an adult are worse around the start of my period. I think there is definitely a hormonal link with the IBS, for women.I wonder if the hormonal link has been studied? And if the percentage of men who have IBS really is much less than women, if those men have ever had their hormonal levels checked... if maybe they are a little different from the average guy? (I know, it seems threatening to your manhood, but I'm curious.) K, or anyone else, have any info on this?Another possible link that I see in myself is mixed-up signals or whatever with smooth muscle... my bladder gets pretty irritable at times, I get bad menstrual cramps, and I have IBS-D.
 

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The hormonal cycle of woman seems to cause GI problems even in woman who don't fit the definition of IBS.I think part of the more woman then men seeking treatment is in woman with fairly mild IBS the monthly increase in symptoms may tip the scale over to getting treatment where men don't get the it gets unbearable every month.I dunno that IBSers are any more hormonally unbalanced than anyone else, but everything that can effects GI function in normal people can cause big problems in IBSers. For example, the daily rhythms of increased colon activity that don't bother most people are triggers for some people's IBS (the I have problems in the morning, or I have problems after meals). Since the hormonal fluxuations that woman go through bother the GI tract of normal woman it's no suprise that this causes problems for IBSers as well (but only the woman).K.------------------I have no financial, academic, or any other stake in any commercial product mentioned by me.My story and what worked for me in greatly easing my IBS: http://www.ibsgroup.org/ubb/Forum17/HTML/000015.html
 

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I saw a show on PBS around 2 years ago in which a researcher had measured the hormonal cycles of men and showed that they have a monthly hormonal cycle also. Men aren't aware of it because they don't have the obvious physical manifestation. I wasn't saying a good diet is guaranteed to prevent IBS - I was just saying the diet I was raised on and many midwesterners still eat is guaranteed to cause digestive problems. In me and most of my family the effect was mostly C and we all thought it was normal. I remember when magazine articles first appeared with the nutrition information about fiber, that was big news.
 
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