Minor digestive ailments are common and not usually anything to worry about. There are times, however, when you should consult a specialist gastroenterologist. Here are some of the signs you should look out for.

Rectal bleeding 

Bleeding from the rectum should never be ignored. It is unlikely to be anything serious but should be investigated by a gastroenterologist as there is a small possibility that it could be due to rectal cancer. It is more likely that it is due to lesser issues such as haemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome or polyps. Whatever the cause, a specialist will be able to identify the problem and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Heartburn

Everyone suffers heartburn from time to time. This is when acid from the gut backs up into the digestive tract, giving you a burning sensation. If it happens frequently however you should see a specialist. Heartburn that happens several times a week could be a sign of something serious, especially if it doesn't seem to be a response to particular foods or respond to antacids.

Stomach pain

Stomach pain is another symptom that is not serious in itself, but could point to something harmful. An occasional bloated feeling or stomach ache is nothing to worry about, especially if it happens after a large meal. You should see a doctor however if it happens every day or after most meals. This is not normal and could be a sign of a digestive problem that will need medical treatment.

Unusual bowel movements

Finally, be on your guard against abnormal bowel movements, especially if anything has changed from your normal routine. Constipation or diarrhoea can both be a sign of a more serious condition. This can include a food allergy or intolerance, a blockage in the gastrointestinal tract, irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn's disease. It could also be a reaction to medication that will need to be investigated, or you may simply need to change your diet. Whatever the cause, a gastroenterologist will be able to advise you on what action you need to take to get your digestive habits back to normal.

If you have any concerns about your digestive system, a gastroenterologist will be able to help. They will either give you dietary advice or take further tests to make sure the problem is properly diagnosed. You can then rest easy knowing that your digestive system is working healthily and without major problems.

For more info, contact a company like Ologist.

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