Maintaining a healthy digestive system, or gut, could be the key to better health. When healthy, the gut absorbs nutrients from food, eliminates waste, communicates with the brain and supports a healthy immune system and nervous system function. If the gut is unhealthy, it can cause digestive diseases which affect 60 - 70 million Americans according to the National Institute of Health.
Signs of an unhealthy gut include an upset stomach, sudden weight gain or loss without changes in lifestyle, disrupted sleep and constant fatigue. Without proper work up by a gastroenterologist for an unhealthy gut, many conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and H pylori can go undiagnosed or improperly treated, leaving many to experience chronic symptoms.
Optimal gut health is achieved when the bacteria inside of the gastrointestinal tract, made up of the esophagus, stomach and intestines, work together without causing discomfort.
“Gut health is a popular and complex topic that can seem overwhelming,” says Orlando Lopez-Roman, MD, FACG, AGAF, board-certified gastroenterologist with Keys Medical Group Gastroenterology. “Luckily, maintaining a healthy gut can be easily achieved through simple lifestyle habits.”
Dr. Lopez-Roman recommends these lifestyle habits to maintain a healthy gut:
"It is also very important to keep up with recommended screening colonoscopies by a gastroenterologist and to be seen by one if experiencing gastrointestinal issues," said Lopez-Roman.
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