When to Call a Doctor for Digestive Problems

People usually call their doctor when they experience signs and symptoms of an illness or medical condition.

However, with regards to digestive problems, sometimes it’s hard to determine whether you have a certain medical condition or just gas, for instance.

Here are a few things you can go by so you would know when to call your doctor:


Call your doctor if your heartburn persists, is not relieved by medication or has gotten more severe. Also, if your heartburn causes you to vomit, it’s time to have it checked.

Presence of blood

If your feces are bloody or if you vomit blood, call your doctor immediately. Also, don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you stools are black or tar-colored.

Difficulty swallowing

If you have difficulty swallowing or if you experience pain when swallowing, it’s time to call your doctor. Also, if you have that feeling of having something caught in your chest or throat, and/or or if you have had episodes of choking, it’s best to see your doctor immediately.

Persistent and chronic symptoms or conditions

Persistent symptoms maybe a sign of  serious illness. If you have unusual and chronic abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea and new or persistent constipation, have your doctor check you as soon as possible. Also, if you experience constant hoarseness and/or sore throat, see your doctor immediately.

Weight loss

If you lost weight drastically or significantly, call you doctor immediately. Significant weight loss is usually a sign of a serious medical condition. Plus, if the discomforts you experience interfere with your lifestyle, work and other activities, see your doctor as soon as you can.


If your diarrhea lasts for more than three days and your stools are bloody and/or black, call your doctor immediately. Also, if your diarrhea is accompanied by fevers over 101F, severe abdominal or rectal pain, dehydration and significant weight loss, call your doctor as soon as possible.

All of these can be symptoms of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. There are types of diarrhea that have nothing to do with the food you eat. These are caused by fluids secreted by the intestines.

These diarrheas are called secretory diarrheas. They could be caused by hidden tumors that release chemical messengers that trigger the bowel to release big amounts of liquids.

Another possible cause of secretory diarrhea is microscopic colitis. The colon would appear normal in an endoscopy. When biopsied however, the colon lining would show intense inflammation.


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