Symptoms of Gastroenterology

Symptoms of Gastroenterology

What are the symptoms?

If you have constant complaints to your family doctor about digestive problems such as frequent abdominal pain, nausea, or heartburn then something is affecting your digestive system. Your doctor may recommend some lifestyle changes, or treat the condition with over-the-counter or prescription drugs to prevent your symptoms from worsening. Before referring you to a gastroenterologist, your General Practitioner (GP) will likely examine you first. They may in some cases order specialised tests, such as an abdominal scan or blood tests. This is sometimes enough to pinpoint the condition and recommend a treatment. If the problem persists however, your doctor may recommend you consult a gastroenterologist.

The symptoms of a Gastroenterology disease vary but they include:

  •          Abdominal pain and discomfort
  •          Bleeding in the digestive tract
  •          Constipation and Diarrhoea
  •          Difficulty Swallowing
  •          Severe and persistent Heartburn/indigestion
  •          Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting
  •          Ulcers
  •          Unexplained weight loss

There are also specific conditions to watch out for. See your physician If you have signs or symptoms of these conditions:

Heartburn/GORD: If you have frequent heartburn for six months or longer and proton inhibitors (PPIs) are not helping, you may need treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of disorders, including Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease that causes inflammation of the intestines. Symptoms can include:

  •          Severe or Chronic abdominal pain
  •          Diarrhoea
  •          Unexplained weight loss
  •          Loss of appetite
  •          Rectal bleeding
  •          Joint Pain
  •          Fever

If you experience these symptoms, contact your GP as further investigation may be required.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Although Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) does not cause permanent damage or lead to serious disease, it can be uncomfortable and affect your life. Symptoms can include:

  •          Cramping
  •          Abdominal pain
  •          Bloating
  •          Diarrhoea
  •          Constipation

If you experience these symptoms persistently see your GP as further investigation may be required. IBS can often be managed with lifestyle changes.

Coeliac disease: Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease that makes your body unable to process gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley. Symptoms include:

  •          Wind
  •          Diarrhoea
  •          Abdominal pain
  •          Fatigue
  •          Irritability or depression
  •          Weight loss
  •          Itchy rashes and blisters
  •          Nausea/vomiting
  •          Cramp/bloating
  •          Anaemia
  •          Infant and toddlers fail to thrive

If you think you have this condition, contact your GP. A blood test can help determine whether you might have this condition and if you will require a Gastroscopy to confirm the disease.

 

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