Cause of your symptoms

Your change in bowel habit and abdominal pain or discomfort may have been caused by something you have eaten.


Try the treatments outlined below for four weeks.


Eat a simple diet and if necessary take antispasmodic tablets for your abdominal pain. A pharmacist can advise on suitable treatments.

What now?

If you get better nothing further needs to be done. However, if your symptoms persist for four more weeks or recur after stopping treatment see your GP.

Summary of your symptoms

Date checker completed: Monday 20th May 2024

You are over 50 years old and have a non-specific change in bowel habit and abdominal pain with a normal appetite and no weight loss

Additional information if you see your GP

Your GP is likely to examine your abdomen and back passage and do a blood test and if these are normal you are at low risk of serious bowel disease and it would be reasonable to advise a further period of treat, watch and wait.
However, if your symptoms do not settle completely it would be reasonable to refer you to a routine hospital clinic for further investigations and advice about the management of your symptoms.
In healthy patients aged 50-70 years old not having previous colonic investigations, a single flexible sigmoidoscopy has the added benefit of detecting incidental but significant polyps which if removed may prevent a bowel cancer developing in the future - ‘opportunistic screening'.

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