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Reapian Medical Biotechnology

15 Signs Your Gut is Functioning Badly

Updated: Apr 16

Nausea, loss of appetite, and frequent trips to the bathroom; these are some of the common signs of stomach problems. Your stomach may be upset for various reasons, such as food poisoning, a stomach virus, or a chronic condition. If you have a persistent or severe stomach problem, you should not ignore it. It may indicate a more serious issue that requires medical attention.

Here are 15 symptoms that suggest your gut is not working well:

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  1. FREQUENT DIARRHEA. Frequent diarrhea is a condition that causes you to have loose, watery stools more often than usual. It can be acute, lasting for a few days, or chronic, lasting for weeks or months. Some possible causes of chronic diarrhea are irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or celiac disease. These are serious conditions that require medical attention and treatment. You can use some over-the-counter medicine to ease the symptoms of acute diarrhea, but if it does not go away after two days, or if you become dehydrated, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

  2. BLOOD IN STOOL. Seeing blood in your stool after using the bathroom can be scary and worrisome. There are many possible causes of this symptom, some of which are mild and others that are more serious. The colour of the blood can help you identify where the bleeding is coming from. If you have blood in your stool, it could be a sign of hemorrhoids, which are easy to treat, or colorectal cancer (CRC), which is a serious condition. The best thing to do is to talk to your doctor as soon as possible to find out the cause and get the right treatment.

  3. SEVERE CRAMPS AFTER EATING. Eating is usually a pleasurable experience as well as a way to fuel our bodies. However, if you find that you have severe cramps after consuming food it can definitely take away from enjoying your meals. The occasional belly ache is normal, but if the pain persists and happens nearly every time you eat a meal, it might be signalling that something is wrong. Sometimes the pain is caused by eating too much, while other times it could stem from a food intolerance or allergy. If your pain is severe, it could be a good time to talk to your doctor and rule out IBS or IBD.

  4. CHRONIC CONSTIPATION Constipation is indeed a common gastrointestinal issue that can be influenced by various factors such as medication, lack of physical activity, a low-fiber diet, and conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Lifestyle modifications often play a crucial role in managing this condition. Regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in fiber, and staying hydrated can significantly improve bowel regularity. However, persistent constipation may require medical attention to identify any underlying issues. It’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate treatment plan.

  5. FREQUENT HEARTBURN. Heartburn, characterized by a burning sensation in the chest that may travel up to the throat, can indeed be a symptom of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). This condition is often associated with other symptoms such as coughing, hiccups, bad breath, and bloating. Certain foods, particularly those that are fatty or acidic, can trigger heartburn. Frequent heartburn is not something to be ignored as it could indicate GERD. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms or find yourself relying on over-the-counter heartburn medications more than twice a week, it’s recommended to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can provide a proper diagnosis and guide you towards an appropriate treatment plan. It’s always important to prioritize your health and address any concerns promptly.

  6. DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING. Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is a condition that affects many people, with approximately 15 million Americans experiencing it. While it can sometimes resolve on its own, persistent dysphagia could be indicative of more serious conditions such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), heartburn, or even esophageal cancer. Experiencing pain, choking, or coughing when swallowing are signs that medical attention may be necessary. It’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your health. They can provide a proper diagnosis and guide you towards an appropriate treatment plan. Your health should always be a priority, and any persistent or concerning symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.

  7. LOSS OF APPETITE. Anorexia, or a prolonged loss of appetite, can be a symptom of various health conditions. Temporary loss of appetite can indeed be due to common illnesses such as viral or bacterial infections. However, if the condition persists, it could indicate more serious health issues. Digestive conditions, such as gastroenteritis or peptic ulcers, can lead to a decreased desire to eat. Inflammatory conditions like Crohn’s disease can also cause anorexia due to the discomfort and pain associated with eating. In some cases, persistent anorexia could be a symptom of stomach cancer or other types of cancer, as these diseases can significantly impact appetite and digestion. Its crucial to consult a healthcare professional if you or someone else experiences a prolonged loss of appetite. They can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. Remember, early detection and treatment of any health issue can significantly improve the prognosis. Your health should always be your top priority.

  8. UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT LOSS. Unexplained weight loss can be a symptom of various conditions, both physical and psychological. It’s important to consult a healthcare professional if you’re experiencing this, as they can help identify the underlying cause and suggest appropriate treatments or interventions. Remember, it’s crucial to take care of both your physical and mental health. If stress is a contributing factor, finding healthy ways to manage it, such as through exercise, meditation, or talking to a professional, can be beneficial. The cause of unexplained weight loss could be anything from stressful life experiences, such as divorce or losing a job, to a more serious health condition. Some conditions that cause weight loss are depression and anxiety, IBS, celiac disease, or even cancer.

  9. SUDDEN ABDOMINAL PAIN. Abdominal pain can have a wide range of causes, from minor issues like gas or stomach cramps to more serious conditions like appendicitis. Home remedies, such as sipping clear liquids and avoiding solid foods, can be helpful for milder cases. However, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention if the pain is severe, accompanied by other symptoms like chest, neck, or shoulder pain, inability to pass stool, especially with vomiting, or if the pain persists for more than 24 hours.

  10. FEELING FULL AFTER EATING A SMALL PORTION. The condition of early satiety and its potential cause, is called gastroparesis. This condition can indeed lead to a feeling of fullness after eating only a small amount of food. It’s important to note that other symptoms such as heartburn, an upset stomach, and vomiting undigested food can accompany this condition. As you mentioned, managing diet, controlling blood sugar, and taking prescribed medications are common treatments. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional if one experiences these symptoms frequently. They can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Health is a serious matter, and it’s always better to seek professional advice when in doubt.

  11. SWOLLEN ABDOMEN. Also called abdominal distension. Discomfort and swelling in the midsection can be due to various factors, including overeating, gas, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance, or even a partial bowel blockage. It’s crucial to note that if the swelling worsens, is accompanied by a high fever, or if the abdomen is tender to touch, immediate medical attention is necessary. These symptoms could indicate a serious condition such as fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity, also known as ascites. Health is a serious matter, and it’s always better to seek professional advice when in doubt.

  12. ANEMIA. Iron-deficiency anemia, a common condition where the body lacks sufficient healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. Anemia can be associated with gastrointestinal issues, and a significant proportion of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) may suffer from anemia. The symptoms include fatigue, headaches, and loss of appetite, are typical of anemia and should not be ignored. It’s crucial to seek medical help if these symptoms persist. Treatments such as blood transfusions, corticosteroids, and iron supplements, are commonly used to manage anemia. However, the specific treatment plan would depend on the underlying cause and severity of the anemia, and should always be guided by a healthcare professional.

  13. WEAKNESS AND FATIQUE. Chronic fatigue can be a symptom of various health conditions, not just physical but also mental. It’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional if one experiences persistent tiredness, as it could indicate serious underlying issues like liver failure, diabetes, depression, or even Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). A well-balanced diet can indeed help manage these symptoms, but it’s not a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment.

  14. FREQUENT VOMITING. Persistent nausea and vomiting can be a sign of serious health conditions. While it’s common for these symptoms to occur due to a bacterial or viral infection, they can also indicate conditions like appendicitis, cyclic vomiting syndrome, or achalasia. It’s crucial to seek medical attention if these symptoms persist.

  15. SKIN CONDITIONS. The connection between gut health and skin conditions is increasingly recognized in medical research. It’s estimated that 25% to 30% of individuals with Crohn’s disease also experience skin conditions. Conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea can often be managed with dietary changes, hydration, and prescribed medication. Persistent skin issues can indeed be a sign of underlying health concerns, so it’s always advisable to consult a healthcare professional for persistent symptoms.


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Reapian Medical Technologies (Pty) Ltd | Stellenbosch, South Africa |

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