Are you experiencing pain and discomfort around your abdomen? Are you having a series of irregular bowel movements or consistent heartburn and indigestion? If you’re experiencing these common symptoms, you may be having problems with your gastrointestinal tract.
If these conditions get worse, you should call a gastroenterologist immediately. Also known as the digestive doctor, this medical expert knows how to diagnose and treat problems regarding the digestive tract, including digestion, absorption, and elimination of waste through defecation.
Furthermore, it’s essential to seek medical advice from a licensed gastroenterologist to determine the root cause of these symptoms. If you fail to address even the common symptoms mentioned earlier, it may result in life-threatening conditions, including cancer. So, here are the signs you shouldn’t ignore and call a licensed gastroenterologist immediately:
- If You Can’t Swallow Properly
If you have trouble swallowing, you should see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible. This condition is medically known as dysphagia. It happens when there’s a lump in your throat. Additionally, you should also watch for frequent throat pain or inflammation.
Swallowing difficulties may be a result of oesophageal damage due to acid reflux, oesophageal muscle weakness, or others that causes the narrowing of the oesophagus. In this case, your doctor may need to check your oesophagus with an upper endoscopy.
Endoscopy is the process of inserting a small tube with a camera into your throat to see if there are lumps in the area. After this, your doctor will create a diagnosis and discuss what causes the problem and the possible treatment.
- If You Experience Frequent Heartburn
If you have pain around the middle part of your chest, you’re experiencing heartburn. This occurs when the stomach acid moves up through your oesophagus. Usually, heartburn is caused by consuming alcoholic drinks, spicy foods, carbonated beverages, oily foods, and smoking.
If you experience heartburn with the following symptoms, consider it a sign to see a gastroenterologist immediately:
- Painful swallowing
- Breathing difficulties
- Blackened and bloody stool
- Feeling dizzy
These symptoms could be a sign of the following conditions:
- Inflammation of oesophagus
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Again, if these symptoms are present, don’t wait for anything and call a gastroenterologist immediately.
- If You’re Constipated
Constipation may most likely occur if you use laxatives excessively, take antidepressants, don’t drink water regularly, don’t get adequate exercise, consume plenty of dairies, and consume junk foods.
You may be constipated if you have difficulties or can’t defecate at all. If constipation rarely occurs, it may be treated with medications. However, if it becomes frequent or chronic, you should call a gastroenterologist and have yourself diagnosed immediately. Furthermore, these are the symptoms of chronic constipation:
- Hard and dry stools
- Strains during defecation
- A three-day defecation interval
These symptoms may suggest serious problems such as intestinal blockage or, worse, colon cancer. That’s why it’s important to have yourself checked and seen by a professional as soon as possible to prevent severe conditions from occurring.
- If You Have Diarrhoea
Diarrhoea is a common condition for most people, which could heal on its own after a few days. The common causes of watery bowel activity are consuming spicy foods, drinking too much coffee or caffeine-containing products, and consuming tap water.
If your diarrhoea lasts for a month, you should go and see your doctor immediately. This is a potential symptom of a life-threatening condition, and here are some signs you need to check:
- Dehydration due to excessive defecation
- Blackened stools
- Severe pain in the abdominal cavity
- High fever
- Blood or pus in the stool
These are the symptoms of chronic diarrhoea, which could lead to Celiac disease, parasitic infections, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease.
- If Your Rectum Is Bleeding
Rectal bleeding could be a sign of ulcers, lesions, polyps, or irritable bowel syndrome. This condition could be simple haemorrhoids or as worse as cancer. If you experience any bleeding, consult a gastroenterologist immediately. There’s no simple rectal bleeding that resolves itself within a few days. All rectal bleeding is considered abnormal and must be treated immediately.
- If You Have Peptic Ulcer
Peptic ulcers are caused by frequent smoking of cigarettes, drinking of alcoholic beverages, and usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Also, peptic ulcers can be caused by a bacteria called H. pylori, which is responsible for the increasing amount of digestive juices.
If you have a peptic ulcer, you may be experiencing some of the following symptoms:
- Burning pain around the upper abdominal cavity, especially during aspirin intake or drinking of alcoholic and acidic beverages
- Stools with blood
- Blackened stools
- Early satiety
If you think you have a peptic ulcer, don’t think twice and call your doctor immediately to prevent infection due to erosion of gastric lining.
If you’re frequently experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, the best course of action you need to do is call your doctor or a gastroenterologist as soon as possible.
Again, these symptoms could be an underlying life-threatening medical condition. Failure to have these symptoms checked as early as possible may result in serious diseases like Crohn’s disease or cancer.