It’s usually not hard to figure out when you need to see a doctor. If you fell and broke your wrist, you wouldn’t wait to see if it gets better on its own. You’d be calling your doctor right away! However, when it comes to our digestive system, we often overlook the warning signs that something might be wrong. 


Despite the fact that over 60 million Americans suffer from some form of digestive disease, our gut doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Our gut health is vital to our overall health and wellness. That’s why it’s vital that visiting a gastrointestinal specialist should be our first thought when our digestive system seems off.


What are the warning signs of a digestive disease?


If our gut health isn’t good, our body has ways of sending us signals that something is wrong. According to experts, these are some of the most common warning signs that you need to visit a gastrointestinal specialist:


  • Bloating Bloating can often occur as a reaction to certain foods. But experiencing bloating after every meal, or bloating accompanied by nausea and painful bowel movements, isn’t normal. It may be a sign of a food allergy, intolerance or other digestive system issue.

  • Abnormal pains Consistent and severe abdominal pain can be a sign of gallstones, pancreatitis, liver disease or ulcers. People who are suffering from IBS also experience frequent abdominal pain.

  • Frequent diarrhea Many things can bring on a bout of diarrhea, such as food poisoning or side effects from certain medications. However, if you experience diarrhea more often than regular bowel movements, it may be time to see a gastrointestinal specialist.

  • Frequent heartburn Certain foods can trigger heartburn, especially in older adults. But if you are experiencing heartburn more than a couple of times per week, it might be a sign of GERD. GERD is a gastrointestinal condition that can damage and scar the lining of the esophagus over time.

  • Abnormal bowel movements Too few bowel movements, known as constipation, may be a sign that something is wrong. But too many bowel movements can also be a red flag that something isn’t right with your gut health.


Find a top team of gastroenterologists and other GI specialists at DHI


The Digestive Health Institute’s team of board-certified gastrointestinal specialists have years of experience in treating patients just like you for a wide variety of digestive system problems. Our providers are also involved in cutting-edge clinical research and medical education through our affiliation with Michigan State University. Through this partnership, we are able to offer patients the latest techniques and treatments in gastroenterology.


Don’t wait to address the warning signs of digestive disease. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment. 


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Do I Need an Endoscopy for Acid Reflux?


An endoscopy is a procedure that is typically used to examine an individual’s digestive tract. It is a nonsurgical procedure that involves a tube with a video camera attached to it, called an endoscope, that is used to examine the inside of a cavity in the body. An estimated 75 million endoscopies are performed each year in the U.S. alone. More than half of these are gastrointestinal endoscopies


If you have acid reflux, you may need an examination via an endoscopy. Acid reflux can be extremely disruptive to everyday life. An endoscopy can help you identify the potential causes of your condition and the current state of your esophagus. If you’re someone struggling with acid reflux, you may be wondering if it’s necessary to undergo an endoscopy. Or perhaps, your physician may have recommended one to you and you’re wondering what it can be useful for.


3 reasons your physician might tell you you need an endoscopy for acid reflux


If you or someone you know is experiencing acid reflux and you’re wondering if it could possibly require an endoscopy, read below for some of the reasons your physician might recommend one to you.


  • To confidently diagnose your condition — This procedure can be used to help confirm a diagnosis from your physician. During an endoscopy, the camera will be able to indicate the presence of inflammation or acid damage, any ulcers, or any other sign of disease.


  • If you have been experiencing GERD symptoms for more than four weeks — The length of your symptoms can indicate to your physician that your condition has progressed to a more serious state, which can be determined by an examination with an endoscope.


  • If you are experiencing severe symptoms — If you’re experiencing the more severe symptoms of GERD like weight loss, vomiting or bleeding, your physician will likely recommend a gastroesophageal endoscopy to see what’s going on.


Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Digestive Health Institute with any further questions!


Still wondering what else an endoscopy entails and why you might need one, looking for more information on acid reflux, or have other digestive health questions? Please don’t wait to reach out to one of our team members for help. Our GI specialists have the training and experience to answer your burning questions. They can also help you find the most effective possible treatment for acid reflux and other common GI issues.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.