Information matters…

The following list of frequently asked questions and answers are designed to assist you if you have ongoing concerns.

Can diet changes help prevent indigestion problems?
Many digestive problems can be prevented with lifestyle changes. Poor eating habits, such as eating too quickly or skipping meals, can result in digestive discomfort. Be sure to eat food slowly, chewing thoroughly. You might want to try eating several small meals throughout the day to help lessen any symptoms of digestive discomfort.

In addition, eating a balanced diet can help you avoid digestive discomfort. Unhealthy diets can contribute to digestive system difficulties. Eat less processed food and sugar and more fiber, fruits, and vegetables.

If you are sensitive to certain types of food, such as dairy or gluten, eliminate these foods from your diet or cut back on them. Talk with a dietician before eliminating a food from your diet to make sure you still get important nutrients from other sources.

What Is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a digestive and autoimmune disorder that results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when foods with gluten are eaten. Glutens are a form of protein found in some grains, such as wheat, barley and rye. The damage to the intestine makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients, especially fat, calcium, iron, and folate.

What Is Endoscopy? (see section on GI Investigations for more detail)
Endoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible, lighted tube is used to look inside the oesophagus, stomach, duodenum (first section of the small intestine), colon, or rectum. The procedure is commonly used to help diagnose: (see section on GI Investigations for more detail)

  • Abdominal or chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Bleeding
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Ulcers
  • Tumors
  • Inflammation
  • Bowel movement difficulties

What Are Ulcers and How Do I know If I Have Them?
Peptic ulcer disease refers to painful sores or ulcers in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum.

An ulcer may or may not have symptoms. When symptoms occur, they include:

  • A burning pain in the middle or upper stomach between meals or at night
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea or vomiting

In severe cases, ulcer symptoms can include:

  • Dark or black stool (due to bleeding)
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Severe pain in the mid to upper abdomen

If you have any of these you should contact a doctor as soon as possible.

When Should I Call the Doctor About Digestive Problems?
You should contact us if you have any of the following digestive symptoms:

  • Heartburn that persists and/or becomes more severe, or is not relieved by medication
  • A sensation of food caught in the chest or throat
  • Unusual or persistent abdominal pain
  • Discomfort that interferes with daily activities
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Heartburn that causes vomiting
  • Vomiting of blood
  • Bloody or black stools
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Persistent hoarseness and/or a sore throat
  • Episodes of choking
  • Persistent diarrhoea
  • New or persistent constipation
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