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Wear The Gown: Making sure your gut health is in tip top shape

Many Americans don't want to talk about their gut health with their doctor

SAN ANTONIO — Are you one of millions of Americans not keeping your gut in check? A new survey says most people aren't, with two-thirds having recurrent digestive issues. Even so, so many refuse to bring up the problems with their doctor.

The poll was conducted by MDVIP, a national network of over 1,100 physicians nationwide. That poll also found most Americans are confused by the onslaught of information about diet and nutrition. 

"Your gut health is so important and unhealthy gut increases your risk for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and even Alzheimer's," said Dr. Andrea Klemes, the MDVIP Chief Medical Officer. 

Conditions like lactose intolerance affect your mental health. You're lacking an enzyme which affects the immune system and causes inflammation in the gut.

"Think of it as inflammation in your skin where the skin gets red and swollen. If that happens in your gut, you can't absorb things. You also can't make the hormones that the gut makes like serotonin for your mood and your mental health," Dr. Klemes added.    

Then there's issue of gut health stigma. 

"If you're feeling dismissed by your doctor, you need to find a new doctor," Dr. Klemes said.  

According to the survey women are more affected by digestive health than men, with three in four experiencing symptoms at least a few times a month. Two in five women say their doctor didn't take their common health concerns seriously. 

The gut health of younger adults, age 18-44, are more affected than older adults, with three in four experiencing symptoms at least a few times a month. And 56% of Americans have no talked to their doctor about their digestive health."

Dr. Klemes says you need to be comfortable talking to your doctor. 

"They have the time to really sit with you, talk through your symptoms, do testing if needed, and then really understand and talk to you about what foods you should take out, what foods you should add, and how you can make your gut healthier," she told us.  

Try MDVIP's 'Gut IQ' quiz which 85%of American's failed. Let's see how you do.

For more information about family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of Wear The Gown stories just go to WearTheGown.com.

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