We all occasionally experience digestive upset. So how are you supposed to know the difference between when your GI symptoms are a temporary inconvenience and when they’re indicative of a digestive disorder? When they’re persistent and/or severe.
Gastrointestinal symptoms can vary in intensity from very mild to serious. If you’re experiencing the symptoms below over and over again or if they cause you significant discomfort, your body could be trying to tell you that you have a digestive condition.
Bloating & Excess Gas
Bloating could be a sign of several GI disorders, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or food intolerance such as Celiac disease.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines constipation as having less than 3 bowel movements a week or passing hard, dry stool. Several digestive diseases count constipation as a warning sign, like IBS with constipation. If constipation is a typical problem in your life, you could be suffering from chronic constipation, a recognized GI disorder.
Chronic diarrhea (lasting longer than a day or two) could signify a digestive disorder, such as lactose intolerance or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
If you experience heartburn two or more times a week, you might have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). If left untreated over time, the acid from your stomach can damage your esophagus and lead to complications.
Nausea & Vomiting
Nausea is often a sign of extreme pain, and it could be the result of anything from an allergy to cancer. Nausea and/or vomiting could also indicate an infection in your GI tract or gallbladder, appendicitis, diverticulitis, pancreatitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or an intestinal blockage.
Most digestive diseases include abdominal pain, so if you’re experiencing persistent abdominal pain, you should see a physician. This could signal an ulcer, diverticulitis, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
If you’re experiencing any of these worrisome digestive symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact Tulsa Endoscopy Center today for an evaluation. If you’re not sure if your GI symptom is serious enough to see a gastroenterologist, remember that any symptom you would define as “persistent” and/or “severe” deserves a diagnosis.
In the meantime, you can take our online assessments to determine what steps you need to take to begin feeling your best again.