Digestive Changes To Report To A Doctor

September 25, 2019  |  
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If you’ve always had digestive issues, you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, or you’re just using to having a sensitive stomach, you may start to overlook digestion-related symptoms, chalking it up to just not having a great system. And while occasional constipation and bloat can come with the territory of a finicky stomach, there are some symptoms that should never be overlooked, and should always be reported to a doctor. And there are many, many reasons why, depending on the symptom. Some can be signs of something serious. Some can be signs of a change within your body—like a new chronic condition or food sensitivity. And some are just so painful that, even if they aren’t indicative of something serious, nobody should have to live with them. Here are digestive changes you should report to your doctor.

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Vomiting

If you vomit a handful of times within a couple of days and can point to food poisoning or perhaps over-imbibing as the cause, that is probably no cause for concern. But if vomiting lasts more than a couple of days, see a doctor. Vomiting can be a sign of infection, gallbladder disease, kidney infection, sensitivity to medication, and other serious conditions.

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Severe cramping

Even if you’re used to some IBS-related cramping, severe cramping that makes it difficult to walk or wakes you up during the night is not normal. Gallstones or gallbladder inflammation may be to blame, but chronic conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s could be at play. Severe cramping can also be a sign of pancreatitis.

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Bloody stool

Never hesitate to report bloody stool. While sometimes the cause is simple, like straining due to constipation, it could also be a sign of ulcerative colitis, polyps, or cancer. Angiodysplasia, a condition that causes fragile blood cells, could also be to blame.

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Loss of appetite

You know what a regular appetite is for you. If you suddenly lose yours, see a doctor. While sometimes, simple stress is the root of the problem, it could be a sign of more serious issues like Crohn’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or a thyroid problem.

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Extreme increase in appetite

Weight gain concerns aside, an increase in appetite can be a reaction to a medication. But it can also be a sign of diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or hypoglycemia, all of which should be discussed with a doctor.

digestive issues

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General nausea

Nausea can have so many causes from acid reflux to premenstrual syndrome, but sometimes it can be a sign of certain infections, gallbladder disease, or a reaction to a medication that requires adjusting.

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Ongoing diarrhea

Occasional diarrhea can happen, especially for those with IBS. However, if you experience regular diarrhea, see a doctor right away. It could be a sign that you’re eating a food to which you’re allergic, causing severe damage to your intestines. However, it can also be a sign of an intestinal infection, a parasitic infection, or a bacterial infection that requires treatment.

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Ongoing constipation

Constipation can also occur regularly among those with IBS, and there are ways to treat it without the use of laxatives. However, keep in mind that chronic constipation can increase one’s chances of more serious intestinal conditions, so getting on a sustainable plan for fighting it with your doctor is important.

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Dizziness

You may not think that dizziness is related to a digestive issue, but it can actually be a sign of anemia. Anemia occurs when there is a deficiency of red blood cells, and eating a diet high in iron is very important when you suffer from it.

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Fatigue

If you constantly feel tired, you should certainly see a doctor, since this can be a symptom of many conditions. But, in terms of digestive conditions, fatigue can also be a symptom of anemia. It could also point to some vitamin deficiency that a doctor can check for through blood work.

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Sudden weight loss

Unplanned and unexplained weight loss can feel like a good thing, but if you didn’t change your eating or exercise habits, it can be a sign of an overactive thyroid, inflammatory bowel disease, and even diabetes.

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Sudden weight gain

Nobody loves sudden and unexplained weight gain, but in addition to being a nuisance, it can also be a warning the perimenopause or menopause has arrived—something you should discuss with a doctor. It can also be a symptom of hypothyroidism.

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Chronic bloat

Bloating is never fun, and there are ways to alleviate occasional bouts of it. There are a lot of possible reasons for chronic bloat, and some are more serious than others like Crohn’s disease.

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Severe heartburn

Nobody should live with severe heartburn, not only because it’s painful, but also because it can damage the esophagus. If you do deal with chronic heartburn, don’t just turn to home remedies. Speak to a doctor about long-term medications and a diet plan.

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Black stool

Black stool can just be a side effect of certain supplements, but it can also be a sign of a bleeding ulcer or an issue in the upper digestive tract.

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