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Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet

3/23/2012

Physician

Everybody gets an upset stomach now and then, and the same goes for diarrhea, constipation and other gastrointestinal woes. And while there’s no shortage of products on the market to help make us feel better, sometimes we’re doing more harm than good.

For instance, if you have occasional heartburn and an over-the-counter antacid takes care of it, problem solved. But if you’re chugging the stuff or popping several pills a day, then you may have a more serious problem. Acid reflux disease, or GERD, can feel like indigestion but if untreated can cause damage to your esophagus and stomach.

Further down, that diarrhea that just won’t go away could be masking something serious as well. If nothing’s clearing it up, and you’re good about diet and exercise, then the problem could be an inflammatory bowel issue such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

It’s always a good idea to be proactive about your health, but sometimes that means bypassing the corner pharmacy and getting a full, comprehensive exam to ensure that what’ happening in your digestive system isn’t something that needs the care and attention that your healthcare provider can offer.

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