J Neurogastroenterol Motil 2018; 24(4): 544-558  https://doi.org/10.5056/jnm18082
Sex-Gender Differences in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Young Sun Kim1 and Nayoung Kim2,3*
1Department of Internal Medicine, Healthcare Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital Healthcare System Gangnam Center, Seoul, Korea; 2Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do, Korea; 3Department of Internal Medicine and Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Nayoung Kim, MD, PhD
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 82, Gumi-ro 173 beon-gil, Bundang-gu, Seongnam,Gyeonggi-do 13620, Korea
Tel: +82-31-787-7008, Fax: +82-31-787-4051, E-mail: nayoungkim49@empas.com
Received: May 10, 2018; Revised: August 8, 2018; Accepted: August 24, 2018; Published online: October 1, 2018.
© The Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. All rights reserved.

cc This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Because of the sex-gender differences that are shown in a diversity of physiological and psychological factors, it can be speculated that the clinical presentation of symptoms as well as treatment strategies in women and men with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may differ. Studies have revealed that IBS is more common in women than men. As for the IBS subtype, IBS with constipation is significantly more prevalent among women than men. Sex hormones and gender differences may play important roles in the pathophysiology of IBS. However, its pathophysiologic mechanisms still remain largely unknown, and therapeutic implications are limited. Moreover, women IBS patients have been reported to feel more fatigue, depression, anxiety, and lower quality of life than men IBS patients. Furthermore, there has been evidence of differences in the appropriate treatment efficacy to IBS in men and women, although relatively few men are enrolled in most relevant clinical trials. A more sex-gender-oriented approach in the medical care setting could improve understanding of heterogeneous patients suffering from IBS. An individualized and multicomponent approach including sex and gender issues might help improve the treatment of IBS.
Keywords: Gender; Hormones; Irritable bowel syndrome; Sex

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