Stomach Disorders That Affect Men More

older African American man serious expressionDid you know that 25 percent of adults suffer pain and discomfort from digestive issues, according to experts? Did you know that some digestive disorders are more prevalent in men than in women?

While some digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, are more common in women, a number of digestive problems hit men hard. Here are four digestive problems that are common in men and suggestions for relief.

Acid Reflux and GERD

Acid reflux, the result of stomach acid flowing up into the esophagus, can cause burning pain under the breastbone, a sour taste in the mouth and sometimes regurgitation. Acid reflux is often called heartburn. It’s caused by a lazy or confused sphincter, the muscle that separates the esophagus and stomach. Either the sphincter doesn’t stay closed or it opens at the wrong time, allowing acid to flow upward and irritate the lining of the esophagus. The discomfort of acid reflux can be worse after heavy meals, ingesting caffeinated drinks and alcohol, and if you lie down too soon after eating.

To help prevent the pain of acid reflux, steer clear of greasy and spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine and alcohol. Also, be sure to eat dinner two hours or more before bedtime. If you have acid reflux occasionally, it’s fine to take chewable antacids or over-the-counter acid reducers, such as histamine-2 blockers (Zantac, Pepcid) and Prilosec (omeprazole). But if acid reflux flares up more than twice a week, see your doctor. You could have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Left untreated, GERD can increase the risk for esophageal cancer in some people. Prescription medication, along with lifestyle changes, will usually ease GERD symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be needed for GERD.