According to Harvard University’s think tank, many older men struggle with intermittent stomach sensitivities that go on for years with no diagnosis. This might include cramping, gas, constipation, diarrhea, or a combination of a few.
"IBS is most common in people in their 30s and 40s; however, it can occur at any age," explains Dr. Anthony Lembo, a gastroenterologist with Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center." Since older individuals, including men, tend to have greater problems with constipation or diarrhea, it is particularly important that they are aware of IBS."
Thankfully, IBS is considered a functional disorder, and therefore its symptoms can be managed with lifestyle modifications, particularly to one’s diet.
Harvard University says what you eat (and what you don’t) can have the biggest impact on IBS symptoms, and reducing trigger foods linked to IBS is a good first step.
One method they suggest is to adopt a low FODMAP diet, which limits a person’s intake of short-chain carbs that don’t absorb well in the gut that lead to the aforementioned IBS symptoms. A meta-analysis in the January 2017 Gastroenterology & Hepatology found that 50% to 86% of people with IBS respond well to a low-FODMAP diet.Learn more about IBS and how the low FODMAP diet can relieve troublesome symptoms in this Harvard Men’s Health Watch publication.