Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: February, 2022

By Gastroenterology Specialists, Inc.
February 24, 2022
Category: Digestive Health
Tags: Gut Health  
Gut HealthThere is more than meets the eye when it comes to our gut, and we are learning new things about it all the time. While a gastroenterologist can certainly help you treat problems impacting your gut, it’s also important for people to understand their gut, how it works, and ways to keep it healthy. Here are some useful facts that everyone should know about gut health.

The Gut-Brain Connection

Most people don’t think about how their guts impact the rest of their health, so you may be surprised to discover that the gut and brain are interconnected. This means that your anxiety and depression could actually be signs of gut issues. After all, the gut is where the majority of serotonin is produced and 70% of our immune system is also in our guts. For our guts to function optimally, and for us to feel our best, it’s important that we are feeding the good bacteria in our guts and protecting the gut from bad bacteria.

Know the Signs of Gut Issues

While most of us will experience gut problems at some point, it’s also important to recognize recurring or persistent symptoms that might warrant seeing a gastroenterologist for care. Signs of gut problems include,
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pains
  • Loose stools
  • Constipation
  • Unexpected weight loss
Consume More Gut-Healthy Foods

Our food culture is based around a lot of fast, processed foods, so it’s not surprising that so many Americans are dealing with gut problems that could easily be remedied by simply improving their diet. Gut-healthy foods include,
  • Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso, and kimchi provide the gut with prebiotics (which feed the probiotics or good bacteria in the gut)
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Avocados
  • Live yogurt and kefir
  • Garlic
  • Lean protein such as wild-caught salmon
  • Low fructose fruits such as berries and citrus fruits
Say No to Common Gut Offenders

American diets are high in sugar and bad fats, so it’s no surprise that our guts are in distress. Some of the most common gut offenders include,
  • Low-fiber diets
  • High sugar diets
  • Vegetable and seed oils
  • Alcohol
  • Antibiotics
  • Medications
If you have to take antibiotics, talk with your gastroenterologist about probiotics and other types of supplements and steps you can take to protect the gut and help repopulate the gut bacteria after taking these medications.

When it comes to concerns about your health, trust your gut! Don’t ignore recurring digestive issues. A gastroenterologist can help you figure out what’s going on and how to best address these issues.

By Gastroenterology Specialists, Inc.
February 02, 2022
Tags: Diarrhea  
DiarrheaDiarrhea might not be something you want to talk about; however, it happens to everyone. Whether it’s a stomach bug, something you ate, or a more serious and underlying digestive issue, it’s important to recognize when you should turn to a gastroenterologist for treatment.

Causes of Diarrhea

The most common cause of diarrhea is a viral infection that impacts the stomach. Some people call it “stomach flu” even though it’s not caused by influenza. Other causes of diarrhea include,
  • Food allergies
  • Alcohol use
  • Intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease
  • Bacterial infections
  • Diabetes
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Medications
  • Running (known as “runner’s diarrhea”)
Causes for Recurring Diarrhea

If you are dealing with loose stools for more than four weeks, then you are dealing with chronic diarrhea. Often, this is caused by an intestinal disorder such as colitis, Crohn’s disease, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you are dealing with chronic diarrhea you should see a gastroenterologist to find out what’s going on.

When to See a Doctor

Since diarrhea can also lead to dehydration it’s important that you seek medical attention if you are also experiencing symptoms of dehydration. You should also call your gastroenterologist right away if you experience,
  • Blood or mucus in the stool
  • Black stools
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than two days
  • A high fever (over 102 F) that last more than one day
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
Treating Diarrhea

A gastroenterologist will need to figure out what’s causing your diarrhea before providing you with treatment options. Mild diarrhea may be treated with over-the-counter options and making sure the patient stays hydrated. A gastroenterologist may need to perform stool sample testing or a colonoscopy to detect certain conditions such as intestinal disorders. Once a diagnosis has been made, your GI doctor can provide you with the proper lifestyle changes along with medications and other options.

While diarrhea is often not a cause for concern if you do find yourself feeling concerned it’s always best to play it safe and call your gastroenterologist to find out whether you could benefit from a proper medical evaluation.