Bring Your Tummy Back in Balance

The discomfort of spasms and distension sometimes accompanied by diarrhea can be quite painful and uncomfortable. In some cases this can be a sign that your digestive system is not functioning properly and you may need to seek medical advice. Always remember to seek medical advice if you experience Alarm Symptoms.

Digestive symptoms may stem from a temporary illness such as enteritis, a reaction to certain medications, or a more chronic underlying condition (see below). The following Alarm Symptoms signal a problem that requires prompt medical attention:

  • Diarrhea that lasts more than five days
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Black tarry stools
  • Bright red blood in your stool or bloody diarrhea
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Pain in the stomach area that improves or worsens when you eat
  • Persistent fever
  • Pain when having a bowel movement
  • Localized abdominal pain
  • Abdominal pain that is persistent and severe or that wakes you from sleep
  • Difficulty swallowing, chest pain, feeling there is an obstruction in your throat
  • Persistent heartburn that is not relieved with over-the-counter antacids

If you have these Alarm Symptoms, your family doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist – a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the digestive system.

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