Your digestive system is something you probably take for granted. The process of digesting, absorbing, and metabolizing your food is followed by using nutrients as fuel and excreting waste. When everything is in perfect working order, you may not give it much thought. However, when a bellyache, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea strike, it is hard to concentrate on anything else! These are common symptoms that something has gone awry with your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, there are other, more unexpected ways your body can alert you to GI problems. Read on for 10 of these unexpected signs of GI disorders.

10. Bloating


If your stomach suddenly appears swollen and you can’t zip up your favorite pair of skinny jeans, you may be suffering from bloat. Bloating can occur when food lingers in the stomach rather than moving through the digestive tract. This can occur if you eat too much too quickly or if you indulge in fatty foods instead of fiber-rich fare. Bloating can also occur when excess gas builds up in the GI tract during food digestion. While occasional bloating may not be of concern, persistent, painful bloating may be a sign of an intestinal blockage.

9. Difficulty Swallowing

difficulty swallowing

Occasionally, you may have difficulty swallowing due to eating too quickly, not chewing your food well, or suffering from an infection such as strep throat. However, if you find it consistently difficult to swallow food or water, you may be suffering from a more serious condition. Difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, occurs when swallowing becomes painful or results in choking, gagging, and heartburn. According to the Mayo Clinic, possible causes of dysphagia include esophageal tumors, esophageal scarring, GERD, neurological disorders, and cancer. Dysphagia can cause weight loss, malnutrition, pneumonia, and choking.


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