user search icon     shopping cart icon 0   email icon       email icon

woman with hands over abdomen suffering from bloat

A Complete Guide to Colon and Digestive Health for Women

  blog post author icon   blog post published date icon   08/08/22

Whether you're a woman or a man, the colon and digestive system are essential to the overall health of your body. But that doesn't mean there aren't differences in how these systems function between sexes.

woman with hands over abdomen suffering from bloat

A Complete Guide to Colon and Digestive Health for Women

  blog post author icon   blog post published date icon   08/08/22

Whether you're a woman or a man, the colon and digestive system are essential to the overall health of your body. But that doesn't mean there aren't differences in how these systems function between sexes.

Women digest their food much slower than men-about 14 hours slower.

Since women digest their food slower, women are also more likely to experience bloating and nausea. Not only that, but women's colons also take a longer time to empty than men. This leads to more constipation and a higher risk of experiencing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Do any of these unpleasant symptoms sound familiar to you? While it doesn't seem fair that men have it easier, that doesn't mean women can't work to improve their bowel movements. Keep reading for a complete guide to colon and digestive health for women, including tips for healthy digestion and less bloating.

What Does the Digestion and Colon System Do?

Before learning about ways to promote a healthy gut and healthy colon, it can be helpful to first review the exact role the digestive and colon systems play in your body. The digestive system runs from your mouth to your anus, taking undigested food, breaking it down, and delivering nutrients to your body.

Your body needs a certain amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to function. Healthy digestion includes breaking down different portions of food to nourish your body.

After food is broken down in the stomach, it starts to move through the intestines. Any extra water is absorbed while food is broken down yet again by enzymes and bile. Now the food moves through the intestines to the colon.

As mentioned previously, it takes a longer time for waste to pass through a women's colon. This is mainly due to the difference in hormones between a man and a woman, but it's also the reason why many women experience more issues with bowel movements than men.

Menstruation's Affect on Gastrointestinal Issues

Many things happen to a woman's body when she's menstruating or on her period. These hormonal and physiological changes also impact the digestion and colon system.

Some of these changes occur just before or during menstruation, like increased muscle contractions in your intestines and bowels. Both of these body parts are close to the uterus. So, right before your period, it's not uncommon to experience more frequent bowel movements or stomach cramps.

Another hormonal change that women experience is an increase in progesterone right before their period begins. For some women, this can affect the GI tract in a way that causes constipation or diarrhea. 

The rise in progesterone can also cause an increase in cravings, especially for high fat or high sugar foods. This can exacerbate the digestion process for women since these foods are harder to break down. It can also affect your bowel movements.

Probably one of the more common period symptoms among women is mood swings. Many women may feel more anxious, emotional, or stressed during their period. As with most things, this increase in stress isn't great for the body.

Stress affects your bowel movements, so it's important to try to stay as relaxed and stress-free as possible no matter the time of the month. 

Common GI Problems

If your GI system has been out of whack, chances are you're familiar with many of the symptoms and problems listed below.


Have you ever felt like you need to go, but when you finally sit down, nothing happens? Constipation makes it harder to have bowel movements, causing infrequent or incomplete stools. Not to mention, it's also a very uncomfortable feeling.

Chronic Diarrhea

Another common problem among women, diarrhea can cause watery, more frequent stools that last for weeks. Your diet, level of colon health, level of inflammation, and medications can all cause diarrhea.


Bloating is frequently accompanied by the two problems just covered. It's another uncomfortable symptom that makes your stomach feel uncomfortably full. It's usually caused by excess gas or air when gas builds up in the digestive tract.

Excess Gas

Speaking of gas, excess gas is exactly what it sounds like: passing gas more than usual. This can be an embarrassing problem, although it shouldn't be. Everyone experiences digestion issues every once in a while.

The key is maintaining great colon and digestive health so you can avoid dealing with more gas than usual.

Weight Gain

If your body isn't able to break down food as efficiently, it can lead to weight gain. The good news? Any weight gained from GI issues can usually be lost once the same issues resolve or improve.

Reduced Energy

If you're feeling sluggish or just don't have your usual level of energy, it could be due to issues in your gut. Without proper nutrients, your body isn't able to function as well which leads to tiredness.

Irregular Period

Many women who experience IBS also have irregular periods. IBS can also worsen PMS symptoms.

Poor Skin

The more unhealthy your gut, the more unhealthy your skin can be. This can cause acne, spots, eczema, and other skin issues.

Poor Nutrient Absorption

Finally, if your gut is acting up, your body might not be able to absorb nutrients properly which is a big problem. Lack of nutrients can lead to a whole host of health problems, namely lack of energy, fatigue, or bloating.

Best Strategies for Improving Digestive Health

Now, it's time to dive into ways to improve digestive and colon health. So, if you're experiencing any of the problems just listed, take comfort in the fact that there is usually something you can do about it.

Increase Antioxidant Intake

Antioxidants do many great things for your body, but they can also work their magic on your gut. By increasing antioxidant intake, you can boost your gut health by helping control inflammation and supporting the growth of healthy bacteria.

How do you do this? Eat more superfoods like berries, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Increase Fiber Intake

A high-fiber diet helps ward off constipation and bloating by boosting your digestive health. It's recommended that your daily fiber intake should be around 25 to 30 grams a day, coming mostly from food and not supplements.

Eat plenty of grains, cereals, legumes, beans, fruits, and veggies to up your fiber intake.

Limit Problem Foods

You should enjoy all foods in moderation, but just because something tastes good doesn't mean it's easy for your body to digest. Smoking, excess alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and processed food are all harder for your body to digest. This can lead to many of the problems outlined earlier.

So, if you've been experiencing bloating, constipation, or other GI issues, check what you're eating. Chances are, you might be consuming an unhealthy diet.

Identify Triggers and Food Allergies

If you're lactose intolerant, avoid eating dairy. This can wreak havoc on your digestive system, causing diarrhea or severe constipation. Or, if you're not exactly intolerant to any one food or food group, but you notice your body acts up when you consume that food, try your best to avoid it.

Allergy tests can be a great way to identify what you may be allergic to if you are experiencing GI issues but aren't sure what's causing it. Many people who are allergic to gluten or can't digest it well experience chronic GI issues.

Luckily, nowadays, there are plenty of gluten and dairy-free options at grocery stores and restaurants.


Water is extremely important to not only women's health, but everyone's body in general. Drinking plenty of water also helps your body digest food better. Aim to drink at least 12 to 14 cups of water a day.

Know Your Family History

It's important to know if you have a history of colon or stomach cancer in your family because that can make you predisposed to GI issues. All women should have a colonoscopy done when they reach 50, as some GI issues can be caused by a greater internal issue.

Improve Your Gut Health Today!

Digestive health plays a huge role in our well-being. So, if you're experiencing problems like bloating, constipation, or lack of energy, you might want to try strategies that boost your gut health. These include drinking more water, cleaning up your diet, and limiting trigger foods.

Many women have found relief using Reneu from FirstFitness Nutrition. It works to cleanse and detoxify your inner body and colon to enhance nutrient absorption. Check out the reviews and see what you think.

headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018

Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

  • product discussion forum icon Discussion Forum
    Questions or Feedback?

    Ask questions. Share your thoughts.  Note that we cannot answer questions relating to specific medical conditions - please refer those to your qualified healthcare provider.

    Post a new Comment or Reply to an existing one. Help for using the Discussion Forum.

    Post Comment

    help icon Discussion Forum Help

    Comments are displayed in order of the last one posted so the most recent one is at the top and the oldest one at the bottom.

    Replies within a Comment are displayed in reverse order with the oldest one at the top and the most recent one at the bottom.

    Each post identifies comment posted by icon who made the post and the comment timestamp icon date and time the post was made.

    Mouse over the icons for tooltips that explain what they mean.

    audio file icon 

    If you see this icon you can attach an Audio file to your post.

    document file icon 

    If you see this icon you can attach a Document file to your post.

    image file icon 

    If you see this icon you can attach an Image file to your post.

    video file icon 

    If you see this icon you can attach a Video file to your post.

    You will see the ban post icon Ban icon (Report Post as SPAM) immediately following the Timestamp of the post. Click this icon if you feel strongly that the content posted is not appropriate and should be reviewed by the Forum Moderator. You will be provided with a confirmation dialog to be sure you wish to submit this post for review. If submitted, the Forum Moderator will be notified to review the post and will determine what type of action to take.

    Click exit icon in the upper right corner of this Help modal or anywhere on the web page outside of the modal to exit Help.

warning icon Session Expired from Inactivity

Do you want to?

You may also close your browser window/tab now to exit the website.
9618 Jefferson Highway, Suite D-191
Baton Rouge  LA  70809-9636
(888) 424-0032  |

* Disclaimer: This page is available exclusively for clients. None of the information on this website is intended to replace your relationship with your healthcare provider(s). Nothing should be considered medical advice. The information, knowledge, and experience shared on this website are the opinions of This site and its content are intended to enhance your knowledge base as YOU MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTHCARE DECISIONS in partnership with your qualified health professional.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and services are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

* There is NO GUARANTEE OF SPECIFIC RESULTS for the products or services offered, and the RESULTS CAN VARY for each individual. Any results claimed by our customers are based on individual experiences that are unique and cannot be guaranteed.

FirstFitness Nutrition and NuMedica may be promoted and sold on the internet ONLY by Authorized Resellers who have been approved by and have registered their website domain with these companies. They strictly prohibit, and actively monitor, the UNAUTHORIZED SALE or RESALE of their products in ALL online public shopping portals including Amazon, eBay, and others and into other countries. All products purchased in are for PERSONAL USE ONLY and CANNOT BE RESOLD to others. Please report violations of Reseller Policy directly to FirstFitness Nutrition at 800.621.4348 and to NuMedica at 800.869.8100.

The content and photographs on this website are copyrighted or Licensed Material and may not be downloaded for other than personal use. Republication, retransmission, reproduction, or any other use of the content or photographs is prohibited. ©2010-2024

Are you sure you want to remove this item?