What You Should Know About Gastrointestinal Health
Doctors and scientists have known for a long time that the food we consume, in conjunction with our gastrointestinal well-being, can have a big impact on our longevity and quality of life. Modern research, however, conveys that the relationship between gut health and entire wellness is even deeper than we previously thought.
The GI doctors at Colorado Gastroenterology aspire to be at the center of GI health research so that we can better inform and assist our patients. If you've never given much thought to how your gastrointestinal health might impact the rest of your body, take a few minutes now to gain more insight from our Denver, CO digestive health group.
Why is gut wellness important?
First, it might help to establish what "gut health" refers to. Within your intestines are trillions of fungi, bacteria, and other microbes that come together to form a microbiome. A microbiome could be affected by several factors, including the foods you eat and the microorganisms present in your environment.
As our diets have changed and hygiene routines improved, researchers have noticed a decline in the microbial diversity of those living in developed areas. Nevertheless, doctors have detected a rise in instances of asthma, food allergies, and other conditions in those populations. While our understanding of the microbiome is still being researched, some researchers believe that these trends speak to a close relationship linking gut health and general well-being.
Additionally, evidence illustrates that an irregular microbiome may indicate the development of chronic conditions, such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), autoimmune disorders, and even mental health conditions, including depression.
What can be done to help boost my digestive health?
The best method to strengthen your digestive health is by practicing routines that will help you develop a flourishing microbiome. These include:
- Eating an assorted, balanced diet
- Eating probiotic foods to supplement your natural microbes like yogurt, sauerkraut, etc.
- Eating foods that are high in fiber
- Restricting the consumption of processed foods and alcohol
- Exercising regularly and sustaining physical activity
- Losing weight (if overweight)
You can also keep track of your gastrointestinal health by taking note of changes in your digestive habits, whether you're experiencing discomfort, constipation, diarrhea, or any other uncommon issues. It is important to speak with a GI doctor if you experience any unsettling signs or symptoms. The digestive providers at Colorado Gastroenterology will work to get to the root of your GI problems and help you progress with treatment so you can enhance your health.
When should I visit a doctor for gastrointestinal symptoms?
If minor GI issues (such as stomach aches, bloating, diarrhea, or heartburn) fail to settle in a two-week stretch on their own or with help from over-the-counter medications, you should seek out professional care. Such symptoms might be a sign of an underlying gut concern. It's imperative to take note of symptoms, on top of how often they occur, their severity, and what may be triggering them, as these findings can help your physician evaluate any concerns and identify a course of action. Ongoing or severe symptoms should be assessed by a GI specialist.
Additionally, we strongly urge that you speak with a gastroenterologist without delay if you're experiencing rectal bleeding, severe pain, a change in bowel habits, or if your set of symptoms coexists with vomiting, fever, or diarrhea. Remember that it's typically better to be cautious than sorry when pertaining to your health. Schedule an appointment with our practice at your earliest convenience to meet with a board-certified GI doctor in Denver, CO who can provide the help you need to live in comfort again devoid of discomfort or GI troubles.
Connect with a GI doctor in Denver, CO
Medical researchers have only begun to break the surface when determining how the GI system may affect an individual's overall health. Should you have issues with your digestive health or are at enhanced risk of conditions like colon cancer because of family history or other determinants, we encourage you to meet with a board-certified gastroenterologist at Colorado Gastroenterology. Contact our Denver, CO digestive health team today to request an appointment.