A genome-wide association study on irritable bowl syndrome found several links to certain DNA variants that are only present in women, reports Healio. This is consistent with the disease, which is much more common in women than in men and has been linked to female sex hormones.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects a person’s digestive system. It is twice as common in women than men, and is thought to affect approximately 10-20% of the population at some point in their lives. Symptoms of IBS are usually related to digestion, and include bloating, cramps, constipation, needing to go to the toilet urgently, and diarrhoea. People are affected differently by IBS, with some having symptoms that flare up occasionally, and others having constant symptoms. The symptoms can be somewhat controlled through special diets and medications. The causes of IBS are unknown, but it has been linked to overactive gut muscles or nerves, stress (half of people with IBS report that flare-ups occur alongside stressful events), food intolerances, and infections that can trigger the disease.