Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Digestive health centre

When to seek medical advice about digestive problems

Constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn and bloating are common digestive problems. In most cases, these get better on their own or with home care.

If symptoms keep coming back or are 'red flag' symptoms, medical advice should be sought.

You should seek medical advice for any of the following digestive symptoms:

  • Your heartburn persists and/or becomes more severe.
  • You have the sensation of food caught in your chest or throat.
  • You have unusual or persistent abdominal pain.
  • Your discomfort interferes with your lifestyle or daily activities.
  • You have difficulty swallowing or have pain when swallowing.
  • Your heartburn is not relieved by medication or causes you to vomit.
  • You vomit blood.
  • You have bloody or black stools.
  • You have lost a significant amount of weight.
  • You have persistent hoarseness and/or a sore throat.
  • You have episodes of choking.
  • You have persistent diarrhoea.
  • You have new or persistent constipation.

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on August 02, 2016

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
Causes of fatigue & how to fight it
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
woman sleeping
Sleep better tonight
Treating your child's cold or fever
fifth disease
Illnesses every parent should know
spoonfull of sugar
Surprising things that harm your liver
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
What your nails say about your health