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Are Certain GI Conditions a Sign of COVID?

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The list of symptoms of COVID-19 has been growing and changing since the outbreak began. This leaves many wondering whether the symptoms they’re experiencing could mean they have COVID or something else entirely. 

Some of these symptoms are associated with gastrointestinal conditions. 

Can symptoms like diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain be symptoms of COVID-19?

The short answer is: yes. The most common signs of COVID-19 are usually to do with the respiratory system, but the gastrointestinal system can also be affected by the virus as well. 

A quarter of all patients with COVID-19 exhibited some form of GI-like symptoms. Symptoms such as a loss of appetite and loss of taste, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain are all commonly found in patients with COVID-19.

Those suffering from COVID-19 may simply present symptoms of GI conditions and not display any of the more common symptoms such as difficulty breathing or excessive coughing. Thus, it is crucial that you constantly monitor your health, and if you do experience any new symptoms similar to those of GI conditions, get in touch with your doctor or gastroenterologist as soon as possible.

It might not be a sign of COVID-19

However, if you have a history of gastrointestinal conditions and you experience symptoms similar to those discussed above, it could simply be your previous conditions acting up. In this case you should seek advice from your gastroenterologist first, as they will be able to tell you whether your symptoms are associated with a GI condition or you should get tested for COVID-19. 

It is common for patients with symptoms like abdominal pain and nausea to experience a delay in a COVID-19 diagnosis as doctors initially think it is something else. But you may never exhibit symptoms more commonly associated with the virus, such as those that affect the respiratory system, and still be suffering from both a GI condition and COVID-19. Thus, it is important that you seek advice as soon as you start displaying symptoms of any kind.

What else could it be?

Other causes for the symptoms discussed above include things like food poisoning, so it is important to consider these other possibilities before you jump to the conclusion that you might have COVID-19. As always, it’s best to seek the advice of a professional, so reach out to your doctor or gastroenterologist if you start exhibiting symptoms.

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