Men are notoriously bad at talking about their health – and anything linked to digestive health and toilet habits can be especially tricky. While this is understandable, gut and digestive health problems are actually very common so whatever you’re experiencing, you’re definitely not alone!
And importantly, ‘battling on’ in silence can do more harm than good, adding to the stress your symptoms might be causing (which in turn could also be making the symptoms worse). Seeking specialist advice can really help pout your mind at rest, and ensure you get the best treatment to manage your symptoms so you can carry on living life to the full.
Here are 3 gut and digestive health-related conditions, and their symptoms, that can affect men of all ages:
1: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is believed to affect more women than men (occurring at a 3:2 ratio, according to the IBS Network). However, it’s very common, affecting around 10-20% of the population at any given time – so lots of men do have it.
Symptoms include diarrhoea and/or constipation, abdominal cramps and bloating and can vary from mild to severe. They might also be constant or come and go, for instance when you eat certain foods, are feeling stressed, or your routine is disrupted.
IBS is usually diagnosed after other possible causes have been ruled out. While it’s not medically serious, it can have a huge impact on your life – but there’s lots that can be done to manage IBS, so it’s always worth seeking professional advice.
At London Gastroenterology Centre, we offer specialised tests for your problem: Book a consultation for more advice.
2: Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can be similar to those of IBS, along with fatigue and, in some cases, weight loss. Inflammation can sometimes affect other parts of the body too, such as the skin, eyes and joints.
Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis are the most common forms of IBD, and a series of tests are usually needed to diagnose them, including blood and stool tests, scans and endoscopies (where a thin tube with a camera on the end is used to look inside the digestive track). Although less common than IBS, IBD can potentially affect anyone, including men of all ages.
Crohn’s and Colitis are lifelong conditions that can sometimes be severe, but treatments and self-care can help manage and reduce flare-ups, and hopefully minimise the chances of needing surgery in the future.
Our specialist consultants can offer diagnosis and Crohn’s disease treatment in London, which may range from dietary treatment to many different types of medical treatmentssurgical treatments, depending on the severity of your condition. We can also advise on the need for surgery in the small number of people who need this. Our approach is always to leave surgery as an option of last resort. Find out more about our treatment approach.
3: Bowel cancer
Slightly more common in men than women, bowel cancer affects around 1 in every 14 men, compared with 1 in ever 19 women in the UK. And while more common in older age groups, it can potentially occur at any age.
Symptoms include an ongoing change in bowel habits, bleeding from the anus or blood in your stools, abdominal pain and/or swelling, extreme tiredness and, sometimes, unexplained weight loss.
The good news is, bowel cancer is highly treatable but it’s far easier to treat if it’s detected early – so if you experience any symptoms, get them checked out right away. Find out how our screening programme works.
Are you experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, or struggling to manage a previously diagnosed gut health conditions? Book a consultation with one of our specialists today. Our expert team is here to help.