When it comes to our digestive system, it’s essential to listen to our bodies and look out for any potential warning signs of bowel issues. Conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, Colitis, and GERD can all cause discomfort and affect our quality of life. Here are five early signs of bowel issues you should be aware of and some final notes on how to treat bowel conditions:
1. Abdominal pain and cramps
If you’re experiencing persistent abdominal pain and cramps, it could be a sign of an underlying bowel condition like IBS or colitis. The pain may be sharp or dull and can range from mild to severe. Pay attention to where the pain is located and if it’s accompanied by other symptoms such as bloating or nausea.
2. Excess gas and bloating
While everyone experiences gas and bloating from time to time, excessive gas and bloating could be a sign of a more significant issue, like IBD or Crohn’s disease. It could also be due to IBS, lactose intolerance, or other food intolerances. Keep track of when you experience bloating and what you ate beforehand to determine if certain foods are triggering the symptoms.
3. Changes in bowel habits
Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or loose stools, could be a sign of a bowel condition, like colitis or crohn’s, both types of inflammatory bowel disease. Pay attention to the frequency and consistency of your bowel movements, and report any significant changes to your doctor.
4. Nausea and problems keeping food down
If you’re experiencing nausea or having difficulty keeping food down, it could be a sign of GERD or other digestive conditions. Keep track of what triggers your symptoms and when they occur, and report any significant changes to your doctor.
5. Blood in stool
The presence of blood in your stool is never normal and should be investigated immediately. It could be a sign of a more serious condition, such as colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, like colitis or crohn’s disease.
If you’re diagnosed with a bowel condition, your doctor may prescribe common medication treatments for bowel issues—such as Entyvio, Stelara, Infliximab, or Ustekinumab. These medications are commonly prescribed by physicians to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis by targeting specific cells in the immune system that cause inflammation. If you’re experiencing any of the early signs of bowel issues, it’s essential to seek medical attention to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. With the help of medication treatments and lifestyle changes, you can manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.