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Why Digestive Health Should be a Priority for Everyone

Digestive health is something that most people make an afterthought, although digestive issues are something many can relate to, at least some of the time. They’re unpleasant and we don’t often talk about our symptoms due to fear and embarrassment. But what if that stomachache isn’t just a stomachache?

A recent survey by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) of healthcare professionals and people with gastrointestinal issues (GI), showed that on average, people with GI issues wait nearly four years before visiting a healthcare professional. Nearly 25% of patients expressed hesitation and/or discomfort in discussing their GI issues with their doctor and nearly 47% noted that they simply wait to see if their symptoms will go away.

These individuals may suffer from a treatable and under-recognized medical condition known as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), which occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough enzymes to help in the digestion of food into nutrients. 66% of patients surveyed have never even heard of EPI –  a condition that often mimics symptoms of other more common digestive diseases.

Phillip Hart, MD, AGA survey medical advisory, joined me to talk about why it’s important for people to speak candidly with their healthcare professional to identify the cause of their GI issues and determine the best overall treatment plan.

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Take a look at our chat below.

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To learn more about EPI and digestive health, visit www.identifyEPI.com. You can utilize the AGA’s gastroenterologist locator service, available at www.gastro.org/GILocator, to find a gastroenterologist in your local area.

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Meet Our Guest: 

Phillip A. Hart, MD, is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at The Ohio State University (OSU). He is currently the Medical Director of the OSU Section of Pancreatic Disorders. Dr. Hart is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association and the American Pancreatic Association. His work has appeared in clinical journals, including Gastroenterology, Gut, American Journal of Gastroenterology and Pancreas. He has written several key articles regarding the management and long-term outcomes of autoimmune pancreatitis.

Digestive health

Makeba Giles is a Digital Content Producer and Founder of Faith Health and Home, a digital space with information and resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help families live an inspired lifestyle.

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