Expert and researcher available to comment on the first prospective case-control study of GI symptoms in COVID-19 patients.
The study shows digestive issues might be an early symptom for people who have come down with the coronavirus.
It found a high prevalence of GI symptoms (74%) in COVID-19 patients, with the most common GI symptoms being anorexia (53%) and diarrhea (50%). However, GI symptoms were also prevalent (53%) in COVID-19 negative patients, and multivariable analysis showed that GI symptoms were not associated with an increased likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19.
Because these individuals don't necessarily have respiratory symptoms, they may not seek help as quickly thinking it's not the coronavirus.
“It's very common to have upper gastrointestinal symptoms, like loss of appetite. In three out of four, you will see loss of appetite, but nausea is seen in one in four. Same thing with diarrhea. It is uncommon, but one in four can have diarrhea,” according to Dr. Thuluvath.
If you are having these symptoms, contact your doctor so he or she can advise you on how to proceed.
The virus can appear in stool, which is just one more reason to practice diligent hand washing.