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Ask the Expert: What to do about GI symptoms

Updated: Thursday, March 13 2014, 05:21 PM EDT
SPRINGDALE, Ohio (Liz Bonis) -- A man from Springdale has a great question this week about what to do when bad GI symptoms don't go away.

 It's not uncommon with all the medicines we take, the fried  foods we eat and the excess serving sizes we pile on our plate each day for any of us to occasionally experience uncomfortable GI symptoms.  But Doctor Bob Kindel, a gastroenterologist says there are things to watch out for when those symptoms  come on suddenly or don't go away.

Dr. Robert of the TriHealth Digestive Institute said, "Abdominal discomfort, pain associated with some sort of disturbance in bowel habits."

You may have irritable bowel syndrome or something more serious which a colonoscopy can help diagnose.  Which raises the question then, what should you do if you have ruled out that something is medically wrong, if you have made changes in your diet, and you are still noticing these symptoms?  Well experts say it's important to note that you don't have to live with them, there are steps you can take to intervene.  But it may take you awhile to find those steps.

First up, have a GI specialist take a look at every medication or even herbal or vitamin supplements you are taking to check for food and drug interactions.

Second, find out if you might benefit from getting more good bacteria back in your diet with foods such as yogurt

Third, see if  you need a blood test for a  food allergy linked to GI symptoms such as gluten or celiac disease.

You also may benefit from healthier food choices in smaller food choices throughout the day.  If trying this is not enough there are medications such as Lotronex that target the GI tract.

And finally, don't underestimate the power of picking up your fitness plan and exercise.  When you exercise it slows down the GI tract, but it also tends to get the GI tract to be more predictable.  Something that Doctor Kindel says can at least make GI symptoms easier to manage.

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