Our Senior Consultant Gastroenterologist at Nobel Gastroenterolgy Centre, Dr Eric Wee was invited to Indonesia to deliver a talk to the public. In his lecture, he educated his audience on the signs and symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored when one has a digestive problem.
Here are the salient points.
For individuals with abdominal pain due to a stomach problem, signs and symptoms that may suggest a serious condition include:
1) Unintentional weight loss (which is not due to exercise or a change in diet)
2) Persistent pain despite medicines
3) Loss of appetite or a feeling of fullness with a small meal
4) Anemia (low red blood cell / hemoglobin count)
5) Bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract
As for individuals with bowel problems, the following signs and symptoms will require a specialist’s evaluation.
1) Positive stool occult blood test
2) Change in bowel habit
3) New onset chronic constipation (which constitutes a change in bowel habit)
4) Persistent diarrhea
5) Unintentional weight loss
6) Rectal bleeding.
The presence of any one of these signs and symptoms, suggest that a serious condition may be present. It includes early cancer, ulcers or infections that can be treated and cured.
Individuals with a problem that is persistent, but do not have these symptoms will benefit from an evaluation as well.