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15 Warning Signs Your Stomach Isn’t Functioning Properly

signs of poor stomach function

A queasy feeling in your stomach, a lack of appetite, and frequent trips to the bathroom are all common yet unpleasant signs that your stomach may not be working properly. While occasional gastrointestinal discomfort is normal, ongoing issues can indicate more serious conditions requiring medical attention. Continue reading to learn 15 of the top warning signs that your stomach is not functioning as it should.

Frequent and Chronic Diarrhea

If you find yourself frequently running to the toilet with loose, watery stools, you may be suffering from persistent diarrhea lasting more than a couple days. This can be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or celiac disease. While over-the-counter medication can provide relief, chronic diarrhea requires diagnosis and treatment of the underlying condition.

Blood in the Stool

Noticing blood when you go to the bathroom can be alarming. Causes range from hemorrhoids to serious conditions like colorectal cancer. Discuss any rectal bleeding with your doctor, as the color and amount can indicate where bleeding is occurring in your digestive tract. Additionally, you can also read about- 9 Benefits of Drinking Water on an Empty Stomach

Severe Cramps After Eating

While the occasional stomach ache is normal, severe abdominal pain after meals may signal an issue. Possible causes include overeating, food intolerances or allergies, IBS, or IBD. If pain persists after most meals, it warrants further medical evaluation.

Chronic Constipation

Defined as infrequent and difficult bowel movements, constipation affects millions of Americans. Root causes include lack of exercise, low-fiber diets, some medications, and IBS. While lifestyle changes can help relieve symptoms, a medical checkup is advised to identify any underlying conditions.

Frequent Heartburn 

A burning feeling rising from your chest to your throat is likely heartburn, often with added symptoms like bloating, bad breath, coughing, and hiccups. If over-the-counter medications don’t provide relief or you get heartburn more than twice weekly, see your doctor about possible gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Difficulty Swallowing 

Also known as dysphagia, trouble swallowing affects around 15 million Americans. While it may resolve on its own, persistent difficulty swallowing requires evaluation as it could indicate GERD, esophageal disorders, or even cancer. Notify your doctor if you routinely choke, cough, or experience pain when eating or drinking.

Loss of Appetite

A diminished desire to eat, known as anorexia, has many causes, ranging from viruses to chronic conditions. If appetite loss persists, your doctor will check for signs of Crohn’s disease, digestive issues, or stomach cancer. Don’t ignore a long-lasting loss of appetite.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Rapid weight loss without changes in diet or exercise habits requires a doctor’s oversight. Potential explanations range from stressful life events to celiac disease. After taking your history, your physician may order tests or treatments targeting the suspected cause.

Sudden Abdominal Pain

Intense stomach pain could simply be from gas or gastroenteritis. However, worsening pain not relieved in 24 hours may indicate appendicitis or other serious illnesses. Seek prompt emergency care for shoulder, chest, or neck pain, trouble passing stool, or vomiting accompanying stomach pain. If you want you can also read- Avoid Doing These 5 Things on An Empty Stomach

Feeling Full Quickly

If small meal portions leave you feeling uncomfortably full, you may have early satiety, signaling an underlying condition. Frequent early satiety can contribute to undernourishment over time. One possible cause is gastroparesis, where food lingers too long in your stomach due to impaired contractions.

Swollen Abdomen 

Noticeable abdominal swelling lasting more than a day after eating may be from trapped gas or irritable bowel syndrome. But if accompanied by fever, tenderness, or worsening over days, consider fluid accumulation, which indicates a potentially dangerous medical issue requiring prompt treatment. Don’t ignore unexplained stomach bloating.

Anemia

A common blood disorder, iron-deficiency anemia, starves the body of oxygen when insufficient healthy red blood cells are produced. Symptoms consist of headaches, fatigue, and poor appetite. Especially for those with inflammatory bowel disease, anemia requires supplemental iron and possible blood transfusions.

Fatigue and Weakness

Exhaustion and depleted energy interfering with daily tasks can have numerous causes, from unhealthy lifestyle habits to severe illnesses. Consult your physician about persistent tiredness or weakness, as these may signal IBS, liver dysfunction, diabetes, or other diseases.

Frequent Vomiting

While short bouts of vomiting are often caused by viruses, ongoing nausea and vomiting necessitate medical attention. Possible explanations include appendicitis, cyclic vomiting syndrome, and gastrointestinal motility disorders. Don’t delay getting help for recurrent vomiting.

Skin Conditions

Research reveals connections between intestinal health and skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. People struggling with skin problems may benefit from dietary changes, staying well hydrated, and medication. Visit your doctor to explore if your skin reflects an underlying digestive issue.

Conclusion  

Don’t ignore chronic gastrointestinal problems or assume they’ll resolve spontaneously. Continuously monitor your symptoms and eating habits, reporting ongoing issues to your physician promptly. Catching treatable conditions early optimizes your chances for effective symptom management and improved stomach function long-term. Discuss any suspected links between skin, fatigue, appetite, or other issues and your digestive health.


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