Doctors get concerned when there is a new onset or change in symptoms without an obvious precipitating factor. If you experience any of the following, there is a problem and you should see your doctor:

      • Diarrhea that lasts more than five days
      • Unintended weight loss
      • Persistent vomiting
      • Black tarry stools (this is dark red blood mixed in with the stool)
      • Bright red blood in your stool
      • Bloody diarrhea
      • Unexplained fatigue
      • Pain in the stomach area that is aggravated or alleviated when you eat
      • Persistent fever
      • Pain when having a bowel movement
      • Symptoms that wake you from sleep or persistent severe abdominal pain
      • Difficulty swallowing, pain in the chest, feeling that there is an obstruction in your throat
      • Persistent heartburn that is not relieved with over the counter antacids
      • You have abdominal pain that is localized (in one area more than any other area)


Why a Gastroenterologist?

      Gastroenterologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the entire digestive system. This critical system includes the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, liver, pancreas and gall bladder.

Your Visit to Meet a Gastroenterologist

People often feel uncertain about what to expect on their first visit to see a gastroenterologist. Typically, a gastroenterologist will take a medical history, do a physical exam and ask a lot of questions to understand your symptoms and help determine how best to help you with your digestive disorder. Learn firsthand what to expect from and how to prepare for your first visit to a digestive health expert.

View Document

Enhancing lifelong health

The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation believes our ability to help establish, enrich and protect a healthy gut microbiota is the key to lifelong health