by Dr. David Minkoff February 01, 2017 2 min read
Good digestion is the foundation of health, and we can see how all-important it is to the natural healing systems of the world, including naturopathy, Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Healthy digestion can be impacted by a bunch of factors, including when you eat, the types of foods you’re eating, your stress levels and more. There are certain symptoms, however, that could signal a more serious issue and should be brought to the attention of your licensed healthcare practitioner. Here are four signs your gastrointestinal issues may call for a trip to your practitioner:
Gastrointerstinal (GI) symptoms are quite common and often mild, usually resolving within 24 hours. GI symptoms such as heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion, gas and bloating may follow eating a meal that your body has difficulty digesting. Though mild GI symptoms are common, they could be a sign of more serious digestive issues. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, digestive diseases such as Acid Reflux disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affect 60 to 70 million Americans and result in 21.7 million hospitalizations annually. If your gastrointestinal symptoms begin to also include other problems, like fatigue, and concerns such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, you should consult a healthcare practitioner. These sudden symptoms can signal that your issues may be worsening.
If you are experiencing signs of infection—including inflammation, skin irritations or irregular discharge—a practitioner should perform an evaluation, as these symptoms could be a sign of bacterial overgrowth, parasites or out-of-whack enzyme activity. An evaluation of your organ function, and the immune status of the gut, can be done to identify if there are other health issues that could be contributing to your symptoms, or if these symptoms are indicative of a gastrointestinal disease or disorder, and the best plan for treatment.
Blood in your stool can be a telltale sign of hemorrhoids or anal fissures, but this symptom could also signal more serious gastrointestinal issues, including colon cancer. If you are experiencing blood in your stool over a prolonged period of time, it is always best to consult a physician to perform an evaluation.
Some foods are easier to digest than others. Foods like carrots, corn and peanuts can be particularly difficult for your gastrointestinal tract to digest, and can result in these foods passing through your digestive tract without being digested. In typical cases, there is likely no cause for concern. However, if you begin to notice significant amounts of undigested food in your stool on a regular basis, this could be a hallmark of a gastrointestinal disease or disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or celiac disease. Consult a practitioner if you begin to notice irregular bowel movements.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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by Dr. David Minkoff
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