What Are the Common Signs of Poor Gut Health?
Worrisome issues, like pain in the abdominal area, chronic diarrhea, or unintentional weight changes, can be more than just an inconvenience. If you notice persistent signs of an unhealthy gut, you could be afflicted with a concerning GI problem. We urge you to not ignore the symptoms of poor gastrointestinal health. Should you face symptoms that are different, like a change in bowel habits or cravings for certain foods, bring it to the attention of a board-certified gastroenterologist. By speaking with a specialist at GI Alliance, you can understand any issues with your gastrointestinal system and determine how to improve your overall quality of life.
What are common symptoms of an unhealthy gut?
Most individuals get the occasional upset stomach or experience a bout of heartburn at times. Frequent issues with gastrointestinal concerns can signal that something is affecting your digestive health. Should you have any of the following signs or symptoms on an ongoing basis, it might be a sign of an unhealthy gut:
- Unintended weight changes: An abrupt, inexplicable gain or drop in weight may signal your body is struggling to store fat, absorb nutrients, or eliminate waste.
- Migraines: Bad headaches may mean that something is amiss in the gastrointestinal system, especially if nausea and vomiting also occur.
- Mood changes: Anxiety and depression may stem from poor GI health.
- Fatigue: Feeling exhausted all the time might be due to a problem with your digestive tract's ability to absorb nutrients.
- Food cravings: Yearnings for certain foods, such as sugar, could be a symptom of an imbalance in GI bacteria or nutritional deficiency.
- Stomach discomfort: Persistent constipation, gas, or bloating could be a signal that your body is having problems digesting food and getting rid of waste.
- Skin allergies/irritations: Inflammatory skin concerns, such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne, have been connected to digestive health.
- Change in stool: If you have noticed a difference in the consistency or color of your stool, such as if you experience pale stools or diarrhea, then it might be time to investigate with a medical provider.
- Autoimmune issues: A lack of balance in gut bacteria can initiate problems with autoimmune diseases.
Should you have any of the signs or symptoms listed above, or any other concerning symptoms, like frequent acid reflux or bloody stools, please schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists to have your digestive health checked.
What diseases or conditions can lead to poor gastrointestinal health?
The symptoms you experience might indicate a serious GI disease. A few of the conditions that can result in the symptoms mentioned above include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis lead to inflammation in the GI tract.
- Celiac disease: The body's immune system reaction to gluten damages the small intestine.
- Cancer: GI cancers, like colon or rectal cancer and gastric cancer, can lead to significant issues in the digestive system.
How can I improve my GI health?
While it is good to practice healthy habits, it is advised that you talk with a medical provider if you are experiencing concerns linked to poor gut health. A GI Alliance specialist can identify whether a more significant condition needs to be evaluated or if any lifestyle changes might help you improve your gastrointestinal health. The following actions may be advised by your doctor:
- Sleep for 7 – 8 hours a night
- Stop smoking
- Increase the fiber in your diet
- Monitor for food intolerances
- Stay physically active
- Include probiotics in your diet
- Consume plenty of water
Get help for poor gut health
If you notice signs or symptoms of poor gut health, it may point to a more significant medical problem. Don’t overlook the signs your body is sending you through an upset stomach, yearnings for certain foods, and unintended changes in your weight. So that you can understand and identify any gastrointestinal conditions, you can connect with a gastroenterologist. To find an experienced gastroenterologist near you, please reach out to GI Alliance. When you partner with our team, you can receive patient-centered care to help you manage and improve your digestive wellness which, in turn, could help you enjoy a better quality of life.