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7 Question Gut Health Quiz: Fix Your Digestive Issues

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7 Question Gut Health Quiz: Fix Your Digestive Issues

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • You may have an underlying digestive condition if you experience frequent, chronic symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and acid reflux. 
  • Though digestive diseases are common, they can be challenging to diagnose. Many conditions have overlapping symptoms, and people often delay seeking care for chronic digestive concerns. 
  • Talk to your doctor if you have ongoing gastrointestinal symptoms that impact your quality of life. This will ensure you receive the proper diagnosis and treatment.

If you have chronic digestive symptoms, you know how uncomfortable and challenging they can be to live with.

Between 60 and 70 million Americans have a chronic gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, and even more experience frequent mild GI symptoms

It can be difficult to pinpoint the root cause of digestive concerns because many conditions have similar symptoms.

Continue reading to learn more about gut health, and take our gut health quiz to determine when to seek medical care. 

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Do I Have a Healthy Gut?

Gut health is a trendy term, but you may wonder what it means to have a healthy gut.

When assessing your digestive health, you and your doctor may consider the following criteria experts have identified for having a healthy gut.

A person with a healthy gut has regular bowel movements and no chronic digestive symptoms.

Their food is digested and absorbed normally, and they don’t have any nutrient deficiencies related to malabsorption. 

Medical tests that look at immune and inflammation markers and the balance of healthy gut bacteria can also help understand a person’s digestive status. 

Signs of Poor Gut Health

While it’s normal to experience acute GI symptoms from time to time due to stomach bugs and foodborne illnesses, chronic recurring digestive symptoms could be a sign of an underlying GI condition requiring treatment. 

A large 2018 survey of Americans found that over 60% of people had at least one digestive symptom in the last week. The most common symptoms were:

Common Digestive Issues 

Over 60 million Americans have been diagnosed with a gastrointestinal (GI) condition.

However, surveys show this number may be much higher because less than 20% of Americans who experience chronic GI symptoms seek medical assessment for their concerns. 

Though many individuals attempt to self-manage their GI concerns, it can be challenging to identify a digestive disease on your own because many of them have overlapping symptoms

In addition, certain GI conditions can cause damage to your digestive tract, resulting in long-term complications. 

Common gastrointestinal conditions include: 

Talking to your doctor about chronic GI symptoms is essential to determine the underlying cause and potential treatment options. 

Take the Gut Health Quiz: How Healthy Is My Digestion?

Take this quick seven-question gut health quiz to determine whether your digestive symptoms might indicate a GI condition. 

This quiz is not intended to replace a medical assessment or diagnosis.  

1. Do I experience frequent bloating or gas? 

Gas can occur in the upper GI tract (burping) or the lower GI tract (flatulence).

Bloating is when your abdomen becomes distended or enlarged due to a buildup of gas in the digestive tract. 

Gas and bloating are common GI symptoms and may indicate several conditions when experienced frequently, including: 

  • Lactose intolerance. 
  • Celiac disease.
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. 
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Gastroparesis. 

2. Am I constipated or have irregular bowel movements? 

Constipation is defined as having less than three bowel movements per week.

The stools are hard and dry and may require straining to pass. 

Constipation can be caused by many factors, including:

  • Certain medications and supplements, like pain medication and iron supplements. 
  • Inadequate fiber intake. 
  • Improper hydration.
  • Certain medical conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or diverticular disease. 

If you experience pain with bowel movements or have blood in your stool, this could be a sign of a more serious condition that requires medical attention. 

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3. Do I have frequent diarrhea?

Diarrhea is when a person has loose and watery bowel movements, often occurring multiple times per day. 

Diarrhea can be related to acute illnesses such as an infection.

However, if diarrhea lasts more than a couple of days, it’s important to seek medical attention to identify the root cause and prevent dehydration. 

Chronic diarrhea can be related to conditions like: 

  • Lactose intolerance. 
  • Celiac disease. 
  • Irritable bowel disease (IBS).
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. 
  • Certain medications. 

4. Do I have food sensitivities or intolerances? 

A food sensitivity or intolerance is when a person has a non-allergic reaction to eating a specific food.

It usually results in gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, or abdominal pain. 

Common food sensitivities include:

Unfortunately, there are a lack of evidence-based clinical tests for diagnosing food intolerances.

Instead, they’re often diagnosed based on symptoms. 

5. Do I have chronic abdominal pain?

Chronic abdominal pain can be very uncomfortable and is a symptom of many digestive conditions.

To identify the root cause, your doctor will ask you what the pain feels like and where it hurts. 

Conditions that commonly cause abdominal pain include: 

  • Pancreatitis. 
  • Gastritis. 
  • Diverticulitis. 
  • Crohn’s disease. 
  • Ulcerative colitis. 
  • Constipation. 

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6. Do I experience frequent heartburn or acid reflux? 

Acid reflux occurs when stomach contents move back into your esophagus, causing irritation and pain.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) refers to chronic acid reflux, which can lead to complications in the long term.

Acid reflux can be a result of lifestyle factors, certain medications, and medical conditions, including: 

  • Lying flat after eating.
  • Certain foods and beverages, like alcohol, coffee, and spicy foods.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Hiatal hernia. 

7. Have I been diagnosed with a chronic digestive disorder, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis? 

If you have a known digestive condition but are experiencing an increase in GI symptoms, you may be experiencing a flare-up.

Talk to your doctor about adjusting your treatment plan to manage your symptoms better. 

Interpreting Your Results

If you answered yes to one or more questions in this gut health quiz, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about your symptoms. 

Chronic digestive symptoms can be mild and don’t always meet the criteria for a GI condition.

However, it’s important to rule out any potential causes for your symptoms with a doctor to ensure there isn’t something more serious going on. 

Additionally, medical and dietary interventions may reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life

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Takeaway

Gut health is a complicated topic and encompasses many factors, from digestive symptoms to nutritional status and clinical test results. 

Though many people delay seeking medical attention for chronic digestive symptoms, it’s important to rule out more serious conditions that could damage the GI tract. 

Talk to your doctor if you experience chronic digestive symptoms, like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloating, so that you can get the proper assessment and treatment for your symptoms.  

How a Dietitian Can Help

You may notice that specific foods trigger your symptoms if you have a digestive disorder.

There is a lot of misinformation about nutrition and gut health online. 

A registered dietitian specializing in gut health can give you evidence-based advice and help you identify the optimal eating pattern to manage your symptoms. 

Find a dietitian near you to better understand which dietary changes could support a healthy digestive system.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you test if your gut is healthy?

There are many different diagnostic tests your doctor can order to assess your digestive health, including: 

  • Colonoscopy.
  • Upper GI endoscopy. 
  • Upper and lower GI series (x-ray).
  • Celiac disease tests (blood test and biopsy).

Blood tests can also give clues about how your digestive tract is functioning, and may help doctors identify inflammation or immune system-related issues.

Additionally, many GI conditions are diagnosed based on symptoms.

What is the best test for gut health?

There is not one ideal test to assess digestive health in everyone.

Rather, doctors can choose specific tests for you based on your symptoms, physical exam, and medical and family history. 

Tests can range from blood tests, breath tests, x-rays, stool tests, and endoscopies.

Give your doctor a detailed history of your symptoms to help them determine the right tests for you.

What are the symptoms of an unhealthy gut?

There are many possible symptoms of a digestive condition or poor gut health, including: 

  • Chronic GI symptoms, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain. 
  • Bacterial overgrowth.
  • Abnormal lab markers. 
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to malabsorption. 
  • Digestive function negatively impacts quality of life. 

If you have concerns about your digestive symptoms, talk to your doctor for an assessment and to review treatment options.

References

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Nourish has strict sourcing policies and prioritizes primary sources, including medical organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Learn more about our medical review process and editorial guidelines.

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