Facts You Should Understand About Your Gastrointestinal Health


Scientists and physicians have recognized that the food we ingest, coupled with our gastrointestinal well-being, can have a notable influence on our overall health and quality of life. Modern research suggests that the relation between an individual's gastrointestinal health and entire well-being is much stronger than what we previously understood.

The GI doctors at GI Alliance of Illinois aspire to be at the center of GI health research so we can better educate and assist our patients. If you've never thought about how your gut health might impact your entire body, take a few minutes now to gain more insight from our Illinois digestive health practitioners.

Why is digestive wellness essential?

First, it might help to explain what the phrase "gut health" means. Inside your intestines are trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that together form a microbiome. The microbiome can be affected by a number of factors, which include the foods you ingest and the microorganisms present in your environment.

As our dietary habits have changed and our sanitation routines improved, researchers have discovered a decline in the microbial diversity of those living in developed areas. Nonetheless, doctors have observed a rise in cases of asthma, food hypersensitivity, and other disorders in those populations. While our understanding of how the microbiome works is still limited, some scientists presume that these types of tendencies (or trends) involve a close relationship between gut health and general well-being.

Additionally, evidence signals that a disproportional microbiome could be an indicator in the development of chronic illnesses, including inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune diseases, and even mental health conditions such as depression.

What can I do to help enhance my digestive health?

The best way to strengthen your gut health is by implementing regular habits that can help you cultivate a healthy microbiome. These encompass:

  • Consuming a varied, healthy diet
  • Supplementing your natural microbes with probiotic foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, etc.
  • Ingesting foods that are rich in fiber
  • Restricting the consumption of processed foods and alcohol
  • Frequent exercise and maintaining an active lifestyle
  • Losing weight (if overweight)

You can also monitor your digestive health by taking note of changes in your digestive habits, whether you're dealing with discomfort, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or any other abnormal sensations. It's important to speak with a gastroenterologist if you experience any unsettling signs or symptoms. The digestive specialists at GI Alliance of Illinois will work to get to the root cause of your GI problems and help you move forward with an effective treatment so you can live comfortably.

When should I seek treatment for my GI symptoms?

If minor gastrointestinal issues (including stomach aches, bloating, diarrhea, or heartburn) fail to resolve in a two-week span on their own or with help from over-the-counter medication, it is time to request care. Such symptoms might at times be a signal of an underlying GI concern. It's essential to take note of symptoms, on top of how often they occur, their severity, and what may be triggering them, as this information might assist your physician in evaluating any issues and determining a treatment option. Ongoing or severe symptoms ought to be looked at by a gastrointestinal professional.

Additionally, we strongly urge that you speak with a gastroenterologist as soon as possible if you are experiencing rectal bleeding, severe pain, a change in bowel habits, or if your set of symptoms coincides with vomiting, fever, or diarrhea. Remember that it's typically better to be cautious than sorry when it comes to your health. Get in touch with our team at your earliest convenience to meet with a trained GI doctor in Illinois who can provide the help you need to live a comfortable life without discomfort or GI troubles.

Connect with a GI doctor in Illinois

Research in the medical field has only started to break the surface when it comes to determining how the GI system can influence someone's general health. If you develop gut health issues or are at elevated risk of diseases like colon cancer due to family history or other factors, we invite you to reach out to a board-certified gastroenterologist at GI Alliance of Illinois. Our seasoned providers serve the health needs of those in the community with kindness and advanced ability. Get in touch with our Illinois GI physicians today to schedule an appointment.