Digestive issues and COVID-19 might be interrelated according to recent studies. While the most common signs of the COVID-19 virus: a fever, coughing, and some difficulty breathing, recent studies in China indicate that a significant number of people with COVID-19 have also reported many digestive issues, including lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. According to the study, based on the evaluation of infected patients, as the severity of COVID-19 increased, the digestive symptoms grew more severe. So, it appears that similar to other viral infections, coronavirus can cause different symptoms in different people.
Digestive Issues and COVID-19 Study Findings
The study reveals that there have even been some patients exhibiting digestive symptoms with no respiratory indicators. These patients initially thought they had stomach flu. However, they did test positive for the virus before any respiratory symptoms appeared, if at all. The problem here is: that those with existing digestive tract issues whose conditions worsened but exhibited no respiratory ailments, in addition to those exhibiting an onset of only gastrointestinal complaints, took much longer seek medical care.
The takeaway of this study is that people with aggravated or newly presented digestive system disorders may not suspect they are infected with the virus since they aren’t experiencing the most commonly discussed respiratory symptoms like cough or shortness of breath. We realize that for those with existing gastrointestinal disorders, stress during this time of uncertainty can trigger or exacerbate discomfort, and patients may simply attribute worsening maladies to the stress of their experience in the current world situation. In the interim, however, the virus could unknowingly be spread.
Digestive Care Physicians Recommendations
Digestive Care Physicians considers your digestive system health, and your health in general during this challenging time to be their utmost concern. If you develop signs of serious gastrointestinal discomfort, particularly diarrhea and/or nausea and vomiting, we highly recommend you call to consult with one of our gastroenterologists. Our intent is to determine the next step as far as a referral for testing for at-risk patients presenting with digestive complaints, rather than having our patients face the uncertainty of whether or not respiratory symptoms might emerge. It is also critical that if you have an existing digestive system condition, your prescribed maintenance and care of the malady is not interrupted.
We are here for you. Digestive Care Physicians, Ranvir Singh, M.D., Stephen Rashbaum, M.D., Long B. Nguyen, D.O. Nitin J. Parkh, M.D., and Ruth Montalva, M.D. are all experienced in diagnosing and treating all types of digestive issues. They have 4 locations north of Atlanta: Alpharetta, Cumming, Lawrenceville, and Johns Creek. We offer the benefit of our own endoscopy suite to help protect your health. Call 770-227-2222 for an initial phone screening for an appointment.