Upset Stomach Symptoms- What Causes Upset Stomach
6 Signs Your Upset Stomach Isn't Normal
The most important thing to take note of is a persistent change in your stomach status, he explains. Whether it's gas, an upset stomach, or odd bowel movements, "If you haven't had issues before, and you have discomfort for more than a few days, it's time to see your primary care physician," he says.
While a brief period of discomfort isn't too concerning, you'll want to see a doctor if that discomfort is accompanied by what Esrailian calls "alarm features." He says: "These include unexplained weight loss, difficulty swallowing, or blood in the stool." If you notice any of these issues accompanied by stomachaches or crankiness, it's time to see someone. The list of potential gut conditions associated with these symptoms is long, and includes everything from hemorrhoids to cancer.
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While blood in your toilet bowel may seem super scary, it's often a sign of something benign. "If it's a younger patient with a small amount of red blood on tissue paper after straining during a bowel movement, that could be a small tear in the tissue of the anal canal," Esrailian says. "But if somebody's older and has never had any blood, we start wondering if something more serious could be going on." See someone. (Here are 6 signs you need to see a GI doctor ASAP.)
If, every once in a while, you feel a stab of gut pain, that's probably not something to freak out about. But if you have a pain that keeps popping up in the same place every day or every few days—and especially if that pain seems to be getting worse—that's worth a call to your doc. "Obviously if the pain is severe or debilitating, you want to go to the ER," Esrailian says. He mentions appendicitis (if the pain is the "lower-right quadrant" of your abdomen) and gall bladder trouble (upper-right quadrant) as two possible emergency issues.
MORE: 5 Warning Signs Your Appendix Might Burst
Does your stomach seem to gripe as soon as you climb into bed at night? That could be reflux, Esrailian says. "What we call functional disorders, things like irritable bowel syndrome, can also flare up at night and prevent sleep or disturb sleep," he adds. Whatever the case, you'll want to let your doctor know about it.
"Smoking increases your risk for numerous types of cancers, not just lung cancer," Esrailian explains. "So if you're smoker, that changes your risk profile, and we'll want to hear from you if you notice any changes." The same goes if you have a family history of colon cancer or other GI diseases. (Check out these 3 surprising ways your mom influenced your health.) Because you're at elevated risk, you don't want to ignore persistent stomach trouble for too long. Again, if your issues last for more than a couple days, call your doctor, Esrailian says.
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