The gender pain gap is a significant issue in healthcare that has led to delayed diagnosis and inadequate treatment for women. Gut disorders are one of the areas that contribute to this gap, disproportionately affecting women. For example, the worldwide prevalence of IBS in women is 67% higher than in men (1). Our CEO, Billy Boyle, was recently featured in the HuffPost article, “These Latest Gender Pain Hap Figures Are Literally A Kick In The Gut,” discussing the gender pain gap and the importance of gut health.
In the interview, Billy explained that the gut microbiome can be impacted by factors such as diet, sleep, medication, stress, smoking, and exercise, and changes to it can cause gastrointestinal conditions like IBS. He also notes that women’s unique biology, including a longer colon and sharing of the abdominal space with female reproductive organs, can contribute to discomfort and pain, along with monthly hormonal fluctuations that cause symptoms like nausea and diarrhea.
To avoid gut issues from developing into bigger problems, Billy suggests that women should speak to a medical professional if they notice any changes to their normal bowel habits or experience new gastrointestinal symptoms. Persistent symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation can be symptoms of digestive disorders like IBS and should not be ignored.
The gender pain gap and social issues like stigma and gender stereotypes continue to be major challenges in diagnosing debilitating conditions. We work with our partners at the Functional Gut Clinic to provide fast, trustworthy breath tests to help people take control of their gut health. You can find more information on our breath tests here.
OMED Health is a division of Owlstone Medical, and we are actively working to reduce the gender pain gap by developing innovative solutions for the early detection and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. Through Breath Biopsy, we can detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a patient’s breath, providing non-invasive solutions for the diagnosis of gut disorders like IBS, colitis, and Crohn’s disease. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we diagnose and treat gastrointestinal diseases, reducing the gender pain gap and improving outcomes for all patients.
By prioritizing research and development in this area, OMED Health is helping to ensure that women’s pain is no longer ignored or dismissed, and that everyone has access to the care they need to lead healthy, pain-free lives.
- Canavan, C, West, J, Card, T. The epidemiology of irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical Epidemiology. 2014. 6:71-80. DOI: 10.214/CLEP.S40245