Suffering from bloating, diarrhoea or constipation and don’t know the cause? It is quite difficult to find out what actually causes digestive discomfort.
If the symptoms have just recently started, it might be stomach flu or food poisoning and go away after a few days (please contact your GP if you are having blood in your stool or troubles keeping hydrated). But if your symptoms are recurrent, it makes sense to investigate further.
There are lots of commercial (blood) tests available that claim to give you THE answer, but research studies have shown that most of them are no better than chance. They often suggest you to avoid several important food groups which can lead to serious deficiencies.
The best way to find out more about the causes of your symptoms is to get professional help. Talk to your GP about your symptoms. He/She will ask you specific questions and perhaps order some blood tests to find out if you are suffering from coeliac disease or inflammatory bowel diseases. If these come back negative, your GP will discuss with you other causes like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), food intolerances or food allergies.
A dietitian specialised in this field can support you in finding a diet that gives you relief from your symptoms. She will assess your personal situation, eating pattern and eating choices as well as your medical history in detail and make sure that your diet is balanced even if you need to avoid certain foods.
So, don’t wait too long to find help. Digestive discomfort tends to impair quality of life and has often a negative effect on social life. It does not need to come to this point.