Today, our lives have become more sedentary than ever. In a fast-paced lifestyle, we are ruled by unhealthy habits, inadequate sleep, excessive stress, and poor nutrition, making every second person a victim of digestive distress. The gastrointestinal tract, which plays a crucial role in our digestive system, is responsible for absorbing all kinds of nutrients required by our body, and any abnormal change in its functioning can make a huge difference in how efficiently our digestive tract works.

If you are facing recurring issues, take a note of the signs and know that your gut health is affected. It’s always good to learn about the symptoms so that you can make a timely appointment with the gastroenterologist. 

1. Frequent Heartburn

Heartburn is a prominent sign of digestive disorder. Occasional episodes may occur due to spicy or oily food, over-eating, sleep disorder, over-consumption of alcohol, and so on. But if the condition lasts longer, it could mean the onset of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A healthy diet, active lifestyle, and antacids are the first line of treatment for GERD, while other causes, such as gastritis, oesophagitis, or hiatus hernia can be the cause of discomfort. 

2. Abdominal Pain & Bloating

Mild abdominal pain and bloating are not concerning until it becomes a frequent issue. If you experience pain and discomfort after nearly every meal you eat, then you ought to get some medical help. According to senior gastroenterologists of AMRI Hospitals, if you are suffering from acute or severe pain accompanied by nausea, painful bowel movements, and indigestion, it is necessary to go for a preliminary investigation to understand the underlying causes and seek medical support.

3. Rectal Bleeding

Blood in the stool may signify certain digestive tract conditions, such as anal fissure, hemorrhoids, or even cancer. Sometimes, women experience bleeding due to thinning tissue during the post-menopausal phase. Noticing blood droplets in the stool could be frightening, and it becomes imperative to visit a gastroenterologist to prevent further deterioration. 

4. Abnormal Bowel Movements

Having less than three bowel movements in a week? It’s a clear sign of constipation. Lower fiber diet, not consuming adequate water, sedentary lifestyle, prolonged stress, or gastro problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), faecal impaction, or bowel obstruction are often the prominent reasons. If your constipation is persistent, your gastroenterologist may help you find the cause and provide treatment accordingly. 

5. Prolonged Diarrhea

This is a condition that is the opposite of constipation. In small children, diarrhea is noticed as the normal condition, usually triggered by viral or bacterial infection, dehydration, lactose intolerance, or as a reaction to some medications. In adults, it is considered normal until it lasts for a few days due to certain infections. Don’t let it become too frequent, or it could lead to chronic digestive disorders, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. 

Final Thought 

It’s better to be safe than sorry! If you experience something unusual or have persistent issues associated with the digestive tract, don’t neglect and consult a gastroenterologist immediately.

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