Humanity has known, or at least suspected, the importance of gut health to people’s overall wellbeing since ancient Greece. Back then it was purely theoretical, but now modern science has slowly come around to proving those theories are correct. In fact, multiple studies have shown how microbes found in the intestine are responsible for the body’s absorption of essential nutrients. These gut microbes have also been shown to play an important role in the regulation and maintenance of the body’s immune system, especially when it comes to treating something like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Numbers
A lot of men are often unaware of this, but they may be suffering from conditions stemming from imbalances in their gut microbiome. Of the 25 to 45 million people in America that suffer from IBS, one out of three sufferers are male. Unfortunately, because of the prevailing belief that IBS is mostly a woman’s health problem, a lot of men who have it do not seek treatment. While men usually experience less pain than women, they are actually more likely to encounter IBS symptoms at a higher frequency.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Men
Irritable Bowel Syndrome often comes with common symptoms like gas, abdominal cramps or pain, chronic constipation, or frequent bouts of diarrhea. The impact of this functional gastrointestinal disorder is much more than having to go frequently to the bathroom in a day. Men usually report feeling less pain, and scientists believe it is because of men’s higher androgen and testosterone levels.
Despite this, men with IBS have a higher chance of experiencing a diminished quality of life. They may constantly worry about feeling unwell and avoid certain foods altogether. They may also reduce going out and socializing out of embarrassment or fear of experiencing symptoms in the middle of an event. Studies have also shown that, for men, having IBS can drastically decrease the level of sexual function.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatments
The best way to treat IBS is to address the imbalance in the gut microbiome. IBS usually happens because bacteria or microorganisms have entered the gut and cause a negative reaction when they interact with the good bacteria. This can lead to a smaller number of good bacteria and microorganisms in the body. Taking in probiotic supplements such as Nordic Naturals is a good start to replace lost gut flora and restore balance in the gut microbiome.
Aside from that, the treatment for IBS can be as simple as making some dietary changes. These can include consuming less greasy or oily foods, drinking less caffeinated drinks, and reducing the amount of alcohol consumption. Doctors have found out that these usually have a tendency to irritate the intestines, which make it easier for IBS symptoms to manifest.
Other natural methods of treating IBS are getting a healthy amount of exercise. Exercise helps keep the body’s natural motions, such as digestion, from falling out of sync. Getting 6-8 hours of deep sleep is also a great way to help the body deal with IBS. Sleep is when the body makes its necessary repairs, so it is absolutely important for men to get the amount of sleep they need.