National Men’s Health Month: 3 Key Gastro Issues Among Men

June 23, 2023
National Men’s Health Month: 3 Key Gastro Issues Among Men

Men are constantly faced with societal pressure and perspective to have to be confident and brave when facing physical and mental health issues, which causes a huge concern as many men often put aside their well-being.


For that very same reason, a lot of male-related conditions and illnesses are often detected at a later stage, which often leads to severe complications that are hard to treat. With June being known as National Men’s Health Month not only in Singapore but also all around the world, we want to bring your attention to the top three common gastro-related issues among men.


Peptic Ulcers

Ulcers refer to an open sore. Peptic refers to the cause of the open sore, which is acid. Depending on where the peptic ulcers are found, it occurs commonly in two forms, duodenal ulcers and gastric ulcers. Duodenal ulcers are located at the duodenum, which is at the start of the small intestine, while gastric ulcers occur in the stomach. They can develop together at the same time.


Peptic ulcers usually develop due to an infection caused by:


  • Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori): A bacterium found in our stomach


  • NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs): Medications that are administered to treat pain


Most signs of peptic ulcers might come in the form of bloating, stomach pain, or upper abdominal discomfort symptoms. In moderate to severe cases, you may also start to develop vomiting symptoms, dark or bloody stools, nausea, lack of appetite, and sudden weight loss.


Most peptic ulcers can easily be treated with much success. However, if treatment is delayed or avoided, they can deteriorate, leading to more severe complications such as the development of scarred tissues, bleeding ulcers, or perforated ulcers.


GERD and Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a physical condition that occurs when our stomach acid and stomach content flow up into our oesophagus, causing us to experience heartburn symptoms. While typically not a severe issue, it can become a chronic and damaging condition if it occurs frequently (two or more times weekly), leading to the development of an extreme case called Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Symptoms of GERD include chest pain, vomiting, swallowing pain or difficulty, and sore throat.


Fortunately, acid reflux- and GERD-related symptoms can easily be managed through modification of current lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, having a less fatty diet, losing weight, as well as reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption.


Colon Cancer

Singapore Cancer Registry reported in 2018 that colon cancer is one of the top three cancers in Singapore, regardless of ethnicity and gender. In fact, 1 in 6 Singaporean men is diagnosed with colon cancer, with Chinese the most at risk. Colon cancer occurs when malignant cells develop in the inner lining of the rectum or colon.


Some common colon cancer symptoms include constipation, changes in stool shape or colour, rectal bleeding, fatigue and weakness, sudden weight loss, bloody stool, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea symptoms. The danger of colon cancer is that many individuals do not experience any of the mentioned symptoms in the early stage. In fact, many of the experienced symptoms overlap with other conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or IBS symptoms. Hence, we always recommend individuals conduct annual gastroenterology visits and colonoscopies once every decade.



Our gut health is crucial to our overall well-being. A lot of the mentioned symptoms and signs may overlap with one another. As such, it is always better to play safe and see a doctor or a gastroenterologist, no matter how minor the issue may be.


At GUTCARE, we care about your digestive health. From minor issues, such as constipation and flatulence, to major ones, such as Ulcerative colitis and pancreas cancer, do not hesitate to approach our team of medical professionals for treatment and medical advice.


Click here to make an appointment with us today!





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