Red flags that the digestive system sends us. Never underestimate them

Which problems with the digestive system need to be seen by a doctor right away and should be treated as such? Even though they look dangerous, not all of them really are, and we often give them too little credit.

Digestive system disorders can be linked to serious, occasionally fatal diseases. While this is going on, many symptoms are minimised by us because we believe they are not harmful and there is no need to be concerned. Family physician Dr. Monika Piecuch-Kilarowska and gastroenterologist Dr. Karolina Radwan had a very factual discussion. The topic of digestive system red flags was raised in an interview on Instagram. The signs that a gastroenterology expert has identified as particularly concerning are listed below. Contacting a doctor is absolutely necessary given these symptoms!

Blood in the stool

Undoubtedly, a diagnosis is required. The expert stressed that not all instances of blood in the stool indicate that cancer is progressing rapidly. When a young girl with constipation reports the symptom, blood only shows up on the toilet paper. The situation is also different when it comes to an older man with bloody diarrhoea.

Hemorrhoids are the most typical cause in the first instance. In the second case, the symptoms, particularly if they recur frequently, could be signs of a cancerous condition. However, blood in the stool is always a sign for a colonoscopy, regardless of the patient’s age.

Fast weight loss

The second warning sign is a sudden loss of weight. Of course, in this case, the patient hasn’t simply changed his lifestyle; he hasn’t started working out or following a diet. If he has lost 5–10 kg in the past few weeks without any apparent cause, it is obvious that something troubling is going on. Patients might not be aware that their weight is actually decreasing because they don’t always weigh themselves. The signal in this case ought to be progressively loose clothing.

Swallowing disorders

Having trouble swallowing liquids as well as solid foods is the third major symptom. Vomiting and chest pain while eating may also be present with this symptom. Consider all of these symptoms to be of “severe calibre,” and seek medical attention right away.

Esophageal cancer, which can cause dysphagia and result in death. Gastroscopy should be performed in dysphagia, which lasts 3–4 minutes and does not hurt. It is not pleasant, but most patients tolerate it well.

Pain that wakes you up at night

Different things, like irritable bowel syndrome, can cause stomach pain, but if it wakes us up at night, we need to see a doctor right away. IBS patients have pain during the day, but their symptoms usually get better at night. 

Iron deficiency anaemia

Insufficient iron intake can also cause anaemia, which could be a sign of digestive issues. Since cancer, including colorectal cancer that is found in the cecum, may be the cause of iron deficiency, this symptom greatly concerns gastroenterologists. It produces only a few symptoms,  A lot of people have anaemia.

Celiac disease can also be a cause of anemia . In adults, it often manifests itself only as anemia. Therefore, in anemia, iron supplementation alone is not a viable solution. The most important thing here is diagnostics, i.e. searching for the source of the problem.



4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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