Warning signs: When to see a gastrointestinal specialist

It’s usually not hard to figure out when you need to see a doctor. If you fell and broke your wrist, you wouldn’t wait to see if it gets better on its own. You’d be calling your doctor right away! However, when it comes to our digestive system, we often overlook the warning signs that something might be wrong. 

Despite the fact that over 60 million Americans suffer from some form of digestive disease, our gut doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Our gut health is vital to our overall health and wellness. That’s why it’s vital that visiting a gastrointestinal specialist should be our first thought when our digestive system seems off.

What are the warning signs of a digestive disease?

If our gut health isn’t good, our body has ways of sending us signals that something is wrong. According to experts, these are some of the most common warning signs that you need to visit a gastrointestinal specialist:

  • Bloating Bloating can often occur as a reaction to certain foods. But experiencing bloating after every meal, or bloating accompanied by nausea and painful bowel movements, isn’t normal. It may be a sign of a food allergy, intolerance or other digestive system issue.
  • Abnormal pains Consistent and severe abdominal pain can be a sign of gallstones, pancreatitis, liver disease or ulcers. People who are suffering from IBS also experience frequent abdominal pain.
  • Frequent diarrhea Many things can bring on a bout of diarrhea, such as food poisoning or side effects from certain medications. However, if you experience diarrhea more often than regular bowel movements, it may be time to see a gastrointestinal specialist.
  • Frequent heartburn Certain foods can trigger heartburn, especially in older adults. But if you are experiencing heartburn more than a couple of times per week, it might be a sign of GERD. GERD is a gastrointestinal condition that can damage and scar the lining of the esophagus over time.
  • Abnormal bowel movements Too few bowel movements, known as constipation, may be a sign that something is wrong. But too many bowel movements can also be a red flag that something isn’t right with your gut health.

Find a top team of gastroenterologists and other GI specialists at DHI

The Digestive Health Institute’s team of board-certified gastrointestinal specialists have years of experience in treating patients just like you for a wide variety of digestive system problems. Our providers are also involved in cutting-edge clinical research and medical education through our affiliation with Michigan State University. Through this partnership, we are able to offer patients the latest techniques and treatments in gastroenterology.

Don’t wait to address the warning signs of digestive disease. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment. 

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