We all get abdominal symptoms from time to time. It is part of the human condition. They may be related to something you’ve eaten or some stress in your life, either something that has upset you or just being too busy and stressed. But if any of the symptoms listed below persist for more than a few days for no obvious reason, it would be wise to book an appointment to see your doctor.

  • Abdominal pain before or after meals
  • Feelings of fullness, bloating or flatulence
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Heartburn or regurgitation
  • Pain or difficulty in swallowing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Continuing unexplained weight loss
  • Indigestion developing for the first time or in mid or later life
  • Diarrhoea, constipation or any persistent alteration in bowel habit
  • The passage of black tarry stools
  • Bleeding when you pass a stool or blood and mucus mixed in with the stool
  • Pain when you pass a stool
  • Generally feeling tired, lethargic feverish or generally unwell in association with any abdominal symptoms.

NB. Do not ignore repeated passage of blood in the stool, unexplained weight loss or an unexplained alteration in bowel habit if you are over the age of 50. It could be due to cancer.

Visit Core’s website for patient information leaflets and fact sheets on disorders affecting the gut, liver and pancreas.

The IBS Network Self-Care Programme