I have a whole digestive tract. So far. Because I am a whole person.
Although I believe I filled out the lengthy questionnaire in the GI doctor's waiting room, maybe I should ask for a copy. I'm sure I checked Upper respiratory issues. I have always had them--they run in the family.
At every appointment, when she asked without looking at me: How's your swallowing? I told her that my swallowing was complicated by large amounts of sinus drainage in my throat.
When the GERD medicine was definitely not working, and I was very uncomfortable, I did not ask the magic question: What else could this be? She told me I could try an OTC strength of my medicine or even Zantac (without cautioning me on the side effects, which were scary.)
Today a friend with the same stomach symptoms as mine told me she gets them when milk enters her system. I already knew that ice cream always gave me a slight runny nose.
No, that friend's not a doctor, nor am I. I looked on a famous hospital website that said: try eliminating dairy from your diet for a week. So I ate the last of the chicken salad and bought a bunch of coconut yogurt and almond yogurt, and a bottle of almond milk.
Why didn't the doctor ask about this when I told her about the sinus drainage? (We've known for decades that singers should not drink milk, because of the effect on the throat.)
If milk can affect my stomach, too, isn't milk a GI problem? (Of course, there are nose and throat specialists, too.)
Instead, I think the answer to such questions is often a primary doctor who knows a lot, or will communicate with other doctors. You know, a sort of Whole Person Specialist.