Persistent symptoms involving any part of the digestive tract may be warning signs of some potentially serious problems that need to be addressed by a medical professional. Here are six top digestive symptoms to be aware of and what they might potentially represent in the body.
1. Persistent abdominal discomfort and bloating may be a symptom of celiac disease.
A person with Celiac disease is very sensitive to the protein gluten, which is a component of grains such as oats, wheat, rye and barley. When a person with celiac disease ingests gluten, the tiny hairs or villi in the linings of the intestines become damaged and destroyed resulting in less surface area available to absorb nutrients. Left untreated, celiac disease can cause malnutrition.
2. Persistent Diarrhea
Diarrhea that arrives quickly then diminishes is usually classified as a viral or bacterial gastroenteritis, which will eventually go away on it’s own. Persistent and constant diarrhea may be more of a serious matter. These symptoms may represent inflammatory bowel (IBD) which include ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, both of which can lead to much more serious digestive complications if not diagnosed and treated.
3. Acid Reflux
Chronic acid reflux, especially after eating, is painfully frustrating and can indicate a more serious digestive issue. Medically known a gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it can manifest into a more dire digestive condition. GERD happens when acidic stomach contents push back up into the esophagus causing painful, burning sensations in the chest area. Over time, the acid nature of the reflux may cause esophageal ulcerations, strictures due to scarring and some causes, esophageal cancer.
4. Persistent Stomach Pain
Stomach pain and cramping can be brought on short term by indigestion or eating bad or spoiled food. Chronic stomach pain can be a sign of something more serious and should not be ignored. Long-term stomach pain can be a symptom for stomach and colorectal cancer and should not be disregarded if pain in this area of the body is chronic or re-occurring on a regular basis.
5. Vomiting and Nausea
Nausea and vomiting are definite signs of a developing digestive condition, especially if these symptoms endure. These signs could be flagging digestive disorders such as gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), gallbladder disease to stomach cancer and should be addressed if they persist.
6. Abnormal Bleeding
The continuation of bleeding from the oral or anal orifice is a crucial sign of a digestive disorder that should not be ignored. Bleeding can indicate inflammation of the tissues and the cause needs to be determined medically. Blood when vomiting can represent an active bleeding stomach ulcer to stomach cancer. Rectal bleeding can be a result of any thing from hemorrhoids to rectal or colon cancer.
[box] Emily is a health blogger and contributing writer for IBSTreatments.com, a site that outlines the facts about pediatric IBS and treatment options for adults and children.[/box]