4 Warning Signs of Digestive Issues

warning signs

Digestive issues can happen to everyone. However, it can be difficult to determine when a common digestive problem is actually a sign of something more serious. There are many warning signs to watch out for involving your digestion. Once you know what these are, you can pay attention and seek medical attention if you feel something more may be going on. 

Common Warning Signs Of Digestive Issues

Your digestive system can often tell you when things are wrong by how it begins to behave. Since you are used to the normal daily cycle of your system, you are the best indicator when something is off. This can present itself in a few different ways. At Birmingham Gastroenterology, we are here to help you observe the warning signs of digestive issues in your life. 

Changes In Bowel Habits 

One of the first warning signs of a digestive issue is changes in your normal bowel habits. The Mayo Clinic details a few of the most common bowel habit changes. The first of these is constipation.

Constipation is defined by infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persist for several weeks. This can often work itself out, but it may require a doctor to prescribe medication. 

There can also be a warning sign from your digestive system when your bowel movements are occurring too frequently. Usually, the presence of just an increase in frequency is not the problem. It is when that frequency is occurring along with loose, watery stools, abdominal pain, or bloody stool.  

Stomach Ache 

Along with changes in bowel movements, stomach aches and pains can be a warning sign of something more going on in your digestive system. It is important to distinguish the area of the pain as abdominal pain can disguise itself as a stomach ache. The Cleveland Clinic discusses the importance of abdominal pain as it can come in many forms. There could be acute pain that does not persist for long periods of time, but there are also abdominal pains that mean something more serious such as appendicitis or bowel obstruction. 

The important thing to remember about stomach aches and abdominal pain is that a doctor cannot determine this pain from the outside. They are dependent on the information you share and the area that you have determined the pain to be in. 


While this may not be one of the most common warning signs such as changes in bowel movements and stomach pain, indigestion is another possible signal of something more. Indigestion is defined as discomfort in your upper abdomen area. It is often associated with a burning sensation or feeling full soon after eating.

Since it is often connected to the process of eating, it can be a good way to determine that something about your digestive system is not operating correctly. If you begin to have frequent cases of indigestion, it may be time to communicate with your doctor about your concerns.  


The last of the warning signs we will be discussing is heartburn. Heartburn is when there is a burning pain in your chest, often just behind one’s breastbone. While uncomfortable, heartburn does not always mean there is a more serious problem going on. However, if your symptoms become more severe or frequent, this could be the time to contact a doctor about the condition. 

When it comes to the warning signs of digestive issues, it may seem hard to determine something as serious. The key is to pay attention to the length of time that something endures. If you feel like any of the previous symptoms are ones that you have experienced for a prolonged time, it may be time to see your doctor. At Birmingham Gastroenterology, we are here to help you figure out if these issues are a sign of something more serious. Check out our website or give us a call at (205) 271-8000 to schedule an appointment today.

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