What You Need to Know About Gut Health
Scientists and physicians have learned over time that the food we consume, and our gastrointestinal wellness, can have a notable effect on our health outcomes and quality of life. Current research, however, signifies that the relation between an individual's GI health and overall well-being is even greater than we already knew.
The gastroenterologists at GastroArkansas strive to be at the forefront of digestive health research so that we can better educate and serve the needs of our patients. If you've never thought about how your gut health can affect the rest of your body, read below to learn more from our Little Rock, AR gastrointestinal health team.
Why is gut health important?
First, it might help to explain what "gut health" means. Within your intestinal tract are an abundance of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that together form a microbiome. A microbiome might be affected by multiple factors, like the foods you consume and the germs present in the environment.
As our dietary habits have changed and sanitation routines improved, researchers have noticed a decline in the microbial diversity of individuals living in developed countries. Nonetheless, doctors have noticed a rise in cases of asthma, food allergies, and other problems in those populations. While the understanding of the microbiome is still being investigated, certain scientists speculate that such tendencies (or trends) speak to a close connection between GI health and overall well-being.
Furthermore, evidence signals that an imbalanced microbiome may be a factor in the development of chronic disorders, such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), autoimmune conditions, and even mental health conditions, including depression.
What can be done to help improve my digestive health?
The most effective way to amplify your gastrointestinal health is by practicing routines that will help you produce a healthy microbiome. These involve:
- Eating a diverse, well-balanced diet
- Eating probiotic foods to supplement your natural microbes like yogurt, sauerkraut, etc.
- Eating food items that are high in fiber
- Limiting consumption of processed foods and substances like alcohol
- Exercising regularly and sustaining physical activity
- Losing additional weight (if overweight)
You can also monitor your gastrointestinal health by paying attention to changes in your digestive habits, whether you're experiencing discomfort, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or any other unusual issues. It is crucial to talk with a gastroenterologist if you experience any distressing signs or symptoms. The digestive professionals at GastroArkansas will work to prioritize the source of your GI problems and help you progress with treatment so you can enhance your health.
When should I see a doctor for my gastrointestinal symptoms?
If minor GI issues (including stomach aches, heartburn, diarrhea, or bloating) don't clear up over a two-week span on their own or with assistance from over-the-counter medications, it is time to request care. These symptoms might sometimes be a sign of an underlying GI health concern. It's crucial to be aware of your symptoms, including how often they happen, their severity, and what could be triggering them, as these findings might help your physician evaluate any concerns and determine a treatment option. Ongoing or serious symptoms ought to be looked at by a GI specialist.
In addition, we strongly urge that you speak with a gastroenterologist as soon as possible if you are dealing with a change in bowel habits, severe pain, rectal bleeding, or if your set of symptoms coincides with diarrhea, vomiting, or fever. Keep in mind that it is generally better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health. Connect with our group today to connect with an experienced GI doctor in Little Rock, AR who can offer the support you require to live in comfort again without distress or GI problems.
Locate a GI doctor in Little Rock, AR
Medical researchers have only begun to break the surface when understanding how the GI system may affect a person's general health. In the event you experience gut health issues or are at enhanced risk of conditions like colon cancer as a result of family history or other determinants, we encourage you to connect with a board-certified gastroenterologist at GastroArkansas. Our experienced digestive specialists address the health needs of those in the community with understanding and advanced expertise. Get in touch with our Little Rock, AR gastroenterology practice as soon as possible to request an appointment.