Facts to Know About GI Health
Doctors and scientists have known for a long time that the food we consume, coupled with our digestive wellness, can have a significant influence on our general health and quality of life. Current research, however, signifies that the relationship between GI health and overall well-being is even greater than we previously understood.
The gastroenterologists at GI Alliance strive to be at the forefront of GI health research so we can better educate and help our patients. If you've never thought about how your gut health can affect the rest of your body, take a few minutes now to gain more insight from our digestive health group.
Why is GI health essential?
To begin, it may help to establish what the phrase "gut health" means. Living within your digestive tract is a large amount of bacteria, fungi, and additional microbes that come together to form a microbiome. A microbiome can be affected by several factors, including the foods you ingest and the microorganisms present in your environment.
As our diets have transformed and our sanitation habits improved, researchers have discovered a decline in the microbial diversity of those living in developed countries. Even so, doctors have seen a climb in instances of asthma, food hypersensitivity, and other disorders in those same populations. While the understanding of how the microbiome works is still being investigated, some scientists presume that these trends involve a close relationship between gastrointestinal health and overall wellness.
Additionally, evidence illustrates that a disproportionate microbiome may be an indicator of chronic conditions, including IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), autoimmune conditions, and some mental health conditions, such as depression.
What can I do to improve my digestive health?
The best way to enhance your gut health is by practicing routines that can help you develop a healthy microbiome. These include:
- Ingesting a diverse, healthy diet
- Supplementing your natural microbes with probiotic foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, etc.
- Consuming food items that are high in fiber
- Limiting consumption of processed foods and alcohol
- Exercising regularly and maintaining an active lifestyle
- Losing additional weight (if overweight)
You may also monitor your gut health by taking note of changes in your digestion, whether you're experiencing discomfort, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or any other abnormal concerns. It is vital to talk with a GI doctor if you are dealing with any concerning signs or symptoms. The digestive professionals at GI Alliance will work to get to the root of your GI problems and help you progress with an effective treatment so you can improve your health.
When should I seek treatment for my GI symptoms?
When minor symptoms (like stomach upset, heartburn, diarrhea, or bloating) don't settle over a two-week span on their own or with assistance from over-the-counter medication, it is time to seek professional care. These symptoms could periodically be a signal of an underlying gut concern. It's crucial to be aware of your symptoms, including how often they happen, their severity, and what may be triggering them, as these findings might assist your physician in evaluating any issues and determining a treatment option. Persistent or serious symptoms should be evaluated by a GI professional.
Additionally, we strongly urge that you speak with a gastroenterologist without delay if you are experiencing a change in bowel habits, severe pain, rectal bleeding, or if your set of symptoms is following vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. Keep in mind that it is always better to be safe than sorry as it relates to your health. Get in touch with our office today to partner with an experienced GI doctor who can provide the support you need to live a comfortable life devoid of discomfort or gastrointestinal issues.
Find a GI doctor near you
Medical researchers have only started to break the surface when it comes to determining how the GI system might influence an individual's overall health. Should you have GI issues or are at elevated risk of conditions like colon cancer due to family history or other factors, we encourage you to meet with a board-certified gastroenterologist at GI Alliance. Our skilled specialists address the health needs of the community with compassion and advanced expertise. Get in touch with a GI Alliance location in your community today to schedule an appointment.