When should you see a gastrointestinal doctor? 

There are many common gastrointestinal issues you may experience throughout your lifetime. If you are experiencing any of these gastrointestinal issues, consult a GI doctor promptly.

Rectal bleeding

Blood in stools may be caused by several gastrointestinal issues like haemorrhoids or anal fissures. Rectal bleeding typically indicates bleeding somewhere in the digestive tract. In serious cases, it may be a sign of cancer. 

Abnormal bowel movements 

There are two kinds of abnormal bowel movements that you need to be aware of—constipation and diarrhoea. 

Constipation is when you pass fewer stools per week than usual. This may indicate a more serious health issue, like an obstruction in your digestive tract or a dietary issue.

Diarrhoea is when you have runny stools. This is especially concerning when it continues for more than a few days. Diarrhoea may be caused by bacterial or viral infections or a reaction to certain foods. 

It may also indicate other conditions like Crohn’s disease.


If you’re always feeling full or bloated after every meal, you might be experiencing an underlying medical condition.

Gastrointestinal issues like gastroparesis, which causes the stomach to take a long time to move food may cause bloating. Bloating may also be an early sign of appendicitis.

Unusual and acute abdominal pain

If you are experiencing any sharp, recurring abdominal pain after eating or drinking, followed by bouts of nausea and vomiting, you may be suffering from a disease like gastritis or peptic ulcers. If it’s getting in the way of your everyday life, speak to a GI doctor.

Frequent heartburn 

Experiencing heartburn regularly may be a sign that you are experiencing the symptoms of a condition like Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease.

Heartburn may also be a sign of a more serious health concern like oesophageal cancer.

A difficulty swallowing 

If you are experiencing difficulty swallowing your food or in more serious cases, unable to swallow at all, you may be experiencing a condition called dysphagia. This requires immediate treatment courtesy of a specialist.

Consult a gastrointestinal doctor to maintain your health and wellbeing 

Dr Suhirdan Vivekanandarajah is a gastroenterologist and hepatologist based in Sydney and is a specialist who works toward ensuring that patients have the diagnosis and treatment support they need.

If you have any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, find out how to schedule an appointment with him.

Meet Dr Suhirdan

Interventional Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist

Bsc (Med) | M.B.B.S. (Hons) | FRACP

Take a look at our recent insights to learn more about common gastrointestinal issues and treatment options. 

Get in touch to access gastrointestinal diagnostic and treatment support