Four in ten adults report having some kind of gastrointestinal disorder, based on research published in Gastroenterology.
Gastrointestinal disorders can come in many forms:
·GERD – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease – acid reflux
·Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Some are more serious than other, some treatable with over-the-counter medications. “The availability of over-the-counter therapies has really given rise to a masking of some of these symptoms that otherwise would have prompted people to come see a provider,” says Dr. Brooks Cash, Division Director in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and a Dan and Lille Sterling Professor of Medicine at UT Health Physicians and McGovern Medical School. He says if you are taking OTC medications more than two or three times a week you should discuss your condition with your physician.
Dr. Cash says the important thing to know are the “alerts” signaling that what ails you is beyond an everyday occurrence. He lists among them:
·Passing blood from either end of the body
·Losing weight unintentionally
·An inability to eat or food getting stuck while swallowing
·Severe unremitting intestinal pain
·A family history of gastrointestinal diseases
The point Dr. Cash makes most fervently is a reminder not to avoid a colonoscopy during the coronavirus pandemic. Colon cancer continues to be the second leading cause of cancer death in the country, and can be treated if caught early. Prevention is the key.Doctors’ offices are some of the safest confines you will find these days.