What You Should Understand About Your Digestive Health
The medical community has recognized that the food we eat, and our gastrointestinal wellness, can have a major effect on our health outcomes and quality of life. Current research, however, signifies that the relationship between an individual's gut health and overall well-being is even stronger than we previously knew.
The GI specialists at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC strive to be at the center of GI health research so we can better inform and assist our patients. If you've never given much thought to how your gastrointestinal health could affect your entire body, take a few minutes now to gain more insight from our Hattiesburg, MS gastrointestinal health team.
Why is GI health essential?
First, it helps to explain what the phrase "gut health" means. Within your intestines are an abundance of fungi, bacteria, and other microbes that together form a microbiome. This microbiome can be impacted by a number of elements, which include the foods you eat and the microorganisms present in your environment.
Over time, as our diets have changed and our sanitation habits evolved, researchers have discovered a decrease in the microbial diversity of individuals living in developed areas. However, doctors have noticed a rise in instances of asthma, food allergies, and other disorders in those same populations. While the understanding of the microbiome still remains limited, a number of scientists believe that such trends speak to a close relationship between gut health and overall wellness.
But that's not all – evidence indicates that an imbalanced microbiome may be an indicator in the advancement of chronic disorders (like inflammatory bowel disease), autoimmune conditions, and some psychological conditions like depression.
What can be done to improve my GI health?
The most ideal method to maximize your gut health is by exercising principles that will help you cultivate a flourishing microbiome. These involve:
- Eating a varied, healthy diet
- Supplementing your natural microbes with probiotic foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, etc.
- Ingesting foods that are high in fiber
- Limiting consumption of processed foods and substances like alcohol
- Frequent exercise and maintaining an active lifestyle
- Losing excess weight
You can also monitor your gut health by taking note of changes in your digestive habits, whether you're experiencing discomfort, diarrhea, bloating, constipation, or any other unusual concerns. It is crucial to connect with a GI doctor if you are dealing with any concerning symptoms. The digestive specialists at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC will work to get to the root cause of your GI issues and help you move forward with an effective treatment so you can boost your health.
When should I visit a doctor for my GI symptoms?
If minor symptoms (like stomach discomfort, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, or bloating) do not settle in a two-week stretch on their own or with help from OTC medication, you should seek out professional care. Such symptoms might periodically be a sign of an underlying gut concern. It's essential to record your symptoms, in addition to how often they happen, their severity, and what could be causing them, as this information may help your physician evaluate any issues and recommend a treatment option. Persistent or extreme symptoms should be evaluated by a GI provider.
Additionally, we strongly recommend that you connect with a gastroenterologist without delay if you are experiencing severe pain, rectal bleeding, a change in bowel habits, or if your symptoms are following vomiting, fever, or diarrhea. Keep in mind that it is always better to be careful than sorry as it relates to your health. Schedule an appointment with our team today to partner with an experienced GI doctor in Hattiesburg, MS who can offer the help you require to live comfortably devoid of discomfort or GI troubles.
Connect with a GI doctor in Hattiesburg, MS
Research has only just started to break the surface when it comes to determining how the digestive system might affect an individual's general health. If you experience issues with your GI system or are at elevated risk of conditions like colon cancer because of family history or other determinants, we encourage you to meet with a board-certified gastroenterologist at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC. Our seasoned specialists serve the health needs of those in the community with compassion and advanced ability. Get in touch with our Hattiesburg, MS GI physicians today to request a consultation.