When To See a Gastroenterologist

When To See a Gastroenterologist

When To See a Gastroenterologist

21 July 2023
Health & Medical , Blog

Gastroenterologists are doctors who specialise in the digestive system. Usually, you'll access their services following a GP referral. However, there may be times when you want to consult a gastro specialist yourself. Or, you might need to recognise when to flag certain symptoms with your GP. Knowing more about key warning signs can help you direct yourself toward an appropriate doctor.

Persistent Pain

Everyone experiences stomachaches from time to time. In many cases, they're transient and resolve on their own. However, if yours persists and there's no clear cause, it might need further investigation.

Bowel Habits

Slight deviations from your usual bowel habits aren't usually much to worry about. If those changes become more pronounced or continuous, schedule an appointment. They may signal an underlying disease.


Like stomach aches, heartburn is a common feature in many a person's life. It often follows eating heavy or fatty meals. Make an appointment when you experience heartburn regularly or it's worsening. Your gastroenterologist might identify a triggering condition, or they can help you make lifestyle adjustments.

Difficulty Swallowing

Experiencing difficulty with swallowing can signify a number of problems along your digestive tract. Also known as dysphagia, this symptom may signal anything from a temporary blockage to something more serious. Your gastro team can figure out what's happening with the right imaging.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Unexplained weight loss may signal a gastro-specific condition like Crohn's disease. In some cases, it's also an underlying sign of undiagnosed cancer. If you're losing weight without intending to, see your GP as soon as possible for a referral.


Jaundice is a condition where the skin and/or eyes are yellow following an excess of bilirubin. It signals that something is wrong with your liver. The appearance of jaundice might arise as a result of a temporary infection, like hepatitis E. However, it's also a sign of more serious conditions that a gastroenterologist might need to manage.

Rectal Bleeding

Rectal bleeding and coughing up blood are both signs that you need medical investigations. Sometimes, they occur because of harmless reasons. They can also indicate more serious conditions, though, so it's best to consult with a professional to rule them out. 

Understanding and recognising some of the signs and symptoms that warrant a gastroenterology referral can make all the difference between early-detection and late-stage treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, speak to a medical professional like Ologist for appropriate screening.

About Me
How to Improve Your Health

If you are anything like me, you will do all you can to avoid having to maintain your health. When I was younger, I didn't have to anything to stay healthy. I thought it would always be this way. However, as I got older, I realised that I wasn't the case. I put on a lot of weight and I started to get pains in my knees. I went to see the doctor and he recommended that I change my diet and exercise. My doctor has been really helpful and he even helped me to solve my joint pain. I hope this blog encourages you to improve your health.