When should I see my doctor?
Everyone experiences occasional digestive upsets such as indigestion, flatulence or a disturbance of bowel habit. These can be regarded as normal and are often caused by diet, lifestyle or a change in routine.
If symptoms of this sort persist or worsen, or if you develop new digestive symptoms which you have not previously experienced, these may be caused by a digestive disorder which needs treatment.
You should see your doctor if you experience the following symptoms, particularly if they are unexpected or persistent:
- Abdominal pain before or after meals.
- Persistent feeling of fullness, bloating or flatulence.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Heartburn, regurgitation or waterbrash.
- Pain or difficulty in swallowing.
- Loss of appetite.
- Continuing unexplained weightloss.
- Indigestion developing for the first time in mid or later life.
- Persisting diarrhoea, constipation or any alteration in bowel habit.
- Change in your stools (bowel motions), especially if they become black, dark red, pale or contain mucus (slime).
- Bleeding when you pass a stool.
- Pain when you pass a stool.
- Feeling that your bowels are emptying incompletely.
- Generally feeling tired, lethargic or unwell in association with any abdominal symptoms.