‘Gluten Intolerance’ In Women Could Be Symptom Of Ovarian Cancer

Instead of seeing a doctor, women who experience symptoms of ovarian cancer would rather change their diet, which includes eliminating dairy and gluten. Some start consuming probiotics like yogurt.   ( Thomas Samson | AFP/Getty Images )

Persistent bloating is one of the major symptoms of ovarian cancer but findings of a research by a UK-based charity found that only 34 percent of women would see their doctor if they experience regular bloating.

Changing Diet Instead Of Seeing A Doctor

The Target Ovarian Cancer charity also raised concern that women who suffer from bloating would rather change their diet than visit a doctor.

In a survey, women across the UK were asked what they would do if they were regularly bloated. Half of the women said that they would change their diet.

The study found that the women would consume probiotic yogurt or peppermint tea. They would also eliminate certain food in their diets such as dairy and gluten.

Bloating is one of the main symptoms of gluten intolerance and this could somehow explain why women would avoid food that contains grains like wheat when they have persistent bloating.

Only a third of women who experience this major symptom of ovarian cancer would see a doctor.

In an earlier study by the charity, researchers found that only one in five women are aware the persistent bloating is a sign of ovarian cancer.

Awareness Gap

The charity said that there is an awareness gap when it comes to the symptoms of the disease. Sharon Tate, of the Target Ovarian Cancer, said that women are failing to see past marketing messages about bloating.

“It’s a really difficult line for women to toe,” Tate said. “I think women are influenced by messaging of probiotics and yoghurts that claim to help the digestive system, but we would always advocate you must go to the doctor, you must discuss concerns you have.”

While bloating may be due to other conditions such as premenstrual syndrome or irritable bowel syndrome, health experts advise anyone who has been bloated for most days over the last three weeks to consult with a doctor.

“Women should not be risking their lives because of the enduring awareness gap around the symptoms of ovarian cancer,” said Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer Annwen Jones.

Women Most At Risk Of Ovarian Cancer

The disease is more likely to occur in women who are over 55 years old but the charity also found that this is the age group that is least likely to check for their symptoms online and thus the least likely to educate themselves about their symptoms that could be signs of ovarian cancer.

In women between 18 and 24 years old, 64 percent said that they would check for their symptoms online.

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