If you suffer from pain, gas or bloating, it might just be something you ate. But if that’s coupled with diarrhea, constipation or rectal bleeding, and it happens often, there may be something more serious at work.
You may be dealing with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, for example, if the problem is ongoing heartburn. - If the problem has more to do with your bowel movements, then something could be wrong with your colon. That can be easy to miss, because many of the symptoms of colon or colorectal cancer don’t occur until the cancer has reached an advanced stage. But sometimes they do appear earlier, and often mimic stomach upset or other gastric conditions. If you are experiencing:
- Abdominal pain or tenderness
- Bloody stool (bright red or dark)
- Ongoing diarrhea or constipation
- Narrower than normal stools
- Unexplained weight loss
- Ongoing bloating, fullness or cramps
you should see your physician, as you may need colon cancer screening. At the very least, there’s something wrong with your system, and your doctor can work with you to pinpoint the case and take steps to set things right.