A distressed tummy is a common cause of most health issues. So, any problem in your stomach is not a good sign of overall health. Thankfully, your tummy gives out some early signs when something goes wrong. These include uncomfortable aches, pains, and sounds in the stomach. To get diagnosed and treated on time, learn to recognize these warning signs that could indicate serious health issues.
1. Blood-Streaked Or Black Stools
Normal and healthy bowel movements are a sign of good health. Any changes to this mean trouble. Black and tarry or blood-streaked poop is a possible sign of bleeding blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract. This happens when the blood resides in the tract until it gets excreted.
Rectal bleeding could also be due to hemorrhoids, severe constipation, or ulcers.1 Hemorrhoids are usually not dangerous, but rectal bleeding is a literal red flag for an underlying disease like colon cancer. Rectal bleeding or bloody diarrhea can also be indicative of Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory disease of the bowel, which can be fatal as it causes extreme weight loss.2
2. Nausea And Weight Loss
If you frequently sense a foul taste in your mouth and feel like throwing up, chances are high that you have a stomach obstruction. When the gastric outflow gets obstructed, injected food and gas get accumulated in the stomach. This, in turn, leads to severe vomiting, constipation, and makes you feel full and a general dislike toward food. You thus also experience severe weight loss. You may also experience dehydration, breathing difficulties, excessive sweating, and pale skin.
A possible cause of stomach obstruction is ulcers, which can lead to a swollen stomach. If the condition is severe, you’ll need medical intervention. Without on-time diagnosis and treatment, you will experience severe, possibly fatal, weight loss. Remember, stomach or bowel obstruction might also indicate underlying cancers.3
3. Smelly Farts, Burping, And An Upset Stomach
Farts and burps are symptoms that are commonly overlooked as something normal. But, if you experience recurring episodes of burping, an upset stomach, abdominal discomfort, and pain combined with an increased frequency of farting, you probably need immediate medical intervention. Burps and flatulence are indicative of indigestion. When the level of stomach acids and digestive enzymes reduce, food isn’t digested completely and the gas released from the intestinal tract has a foul odor.
A consistently low level of stomach acids can lead to pancreatic insufficiency, which causes improper digestion of foods, fat absorption from foods, and a loss of appetite.4
4. Lump In The Throat
If you feel a lump in the throat every time you swallow food, something might be amiss. The sensation of a lump in the throat, along with heartburn, can mean food tract obstruction or acid reflux. In the latter case, stomach acid flows up into the food pipe. This is when you feel your chest burn, when your throat feels sore, and why you feel a lump in your throat.
The upward flow of stomach acids can change your voice, and there is also an increased risk of losing your voice completely.5 Always report this symptom to your physician to rule out any abnormal growth in the food pipe or digestive tract.
5. Wider Or Smaller Waistline
Have your pants suddenly become too tight to wear? You might not be have gained weight but just a bloated stomach. This happens when the gas in the stomach is unable to escape from the intestinal tract, indicating a bowel obstruction. Consequently, you might face severe constipation, wherein the stools become rock hard and stay in the intestine. And when the fecal matter stays in, your stomach becomes bloated and swollen, causing cramps.
Is your stomach bloating up while you’re uncharacteristically losing weight? That’s also a sign of a bowel obstruction or an infection in the stomach.6
If caught at the right time, you can correct most of these symptoms and keep avoidable health risks at bay. The best thing you can do for your health is to watch out for irregular bowel movements, your physique, appetite, a change in your perception of taste or smell, increased flatulence and perspiration, or a change in your voice. Visit your doctor if any of these changes are prominent.
|↑1||Meineche-Schmidt, V., and T. Jørgensen. “‘Alarm symptoms’ in patients with dyspepsia: a three-year prospective study from general practice.” Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology37, no. 9 (2002): 999-1007.|
|↑2||Ruuska, T., P. Vaajalahti, P. Arajärvi, and M. Mäki. “Prospective evaluation of upper gastrointestinal mucosal lesions in children with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.” Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition 19, no. 2 (1994): 181-186.|
|↑3||Cash, Jill C., and Cheryl A. Glass, eds. Family practice guidelines. Springer Publishing Company, 2017.|
|↑4||Baker, Susan S. “Delayed release pancrelipase for the treatment of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency associated with cystic fibrosis.” Therapeutics and clinical risk management 4, no. 5 (2008): 1079.|
|↑5||Delahunty, J. E. “Acid laryngitis.” J Laryngol Otol 86, no. 4 (1972): 335-42.|
|↑6||Talley, Nicholas Joseph. Conquering irritable bowel syndrome: a guide to liberating those suffering from chronic stomach or bowel problems. PMPH-USA, 2006.|