Are gut health issues stopping you in your tracks?

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By The Gut Health Doctor Team

Dr Megan Rossi in a lab looking through a microscope

Gut symptoms can include a host of unpleasant digestive issues from bloating and heartburn to diarrhoea and constipation. Needless to say, no-one enjoys having these problems. They can not only be painful, but also embarrassing and frustrating. It’s the last thing you need if you’re on holiday, have an important deadline at work or simply want to enjoy your day and feel good.

If this is something you can relate to, we want to help empower you to understand more about your symptoms and how to tackle them.

A photo of a male torso with this hands on the gut, highlighting in blue the vital organs and in red and orange are the intestines

Let’s get symptom savvy! 

What you’re feeling and where is important to be mindful of. Symptoms can be separated into ‘upper shelf’ and ‘lower shelf’. Be aware that fatigue and dehydration can also be side-effects of any gut issues.

Upper shelf

  • Reflux (a sour taste in your mouth)
  • Heartburn (burning sensation within your chest)
  • Bloating near your ribcage
  • Belching/burping
  • Nausea

Lower shelf

  • Bloating towards your belly button
  • Constipation
  • Loose stools
  • Urgency to open your bowels
  • Incomplete evacuation
  • Undigested food in your stools
  • Oily/greasy residue within your stools
  • A change in colour of your stool

Do you know what healthy poop looks like?

  • Colour: this should be brown or light brown. Look out for alternative colours:
    • Bright red present when wiping or within. The stool could indicate fresh blood due to haemorrhoids or a small tear. Dark red blood or a black stool could indicate there is bleeding higher up within the gut. This should be investigated so you can receive the right treatment.
    • Green/orange poop could be due to issues with the liver or gallbladder. It could also be due to an infection or simply eating lots of green veggies!
    • Yellow stools can be a sign of fat malabsorption
    • Grey, silver, clear or white stools can due to medication or malabsorption, it is important this is discussed with your specialist doctor
  • Size and consistency: size is key! A larger poop is associated with improved gut health and a lower risk of colon cancer. As a guide, we want our poop to be the size of 2 eggs or more
  • Action in the bowl: a healthy poop should sink to the bottom of the bowl. An occasional floating stool is okay, but it should not be every time you go for a poop
  • Frequency: For most healthy people, anywhere between 3 times per day or down to 3 times per week is okay. 

Should you seek help?

Only you know to what extent your gut symptoms are affecting you on both a physical and emotional level. It’s normal to experience gut symptoms occasionally but if you’re seeing patterns, waves and they’re getting you down or affecting your daily activities, it’s time to get support.

Some people will experience gut symptoms in flares, with symptoms being present for a number of days, then not at all for a few months. It can be easy to overlook symptoms which are not continuous, but we’d encourage you to get them checked out.

There are many gut conditions which present in a similar way, so diagnosis and correct treatment is essential! In some cases we can use your diet to rectify, but in other cases we need to use medicine too.

Illustration of a women on a sofa and a male doctor with a pen and clipboard analysing the patient and her heart rate


Many people aren’t paying enough attention to their digestive health and we want you to be empowered to take control if you are suffering. Make a note of the symptoms you are having, how they feel and when you experience them. For some people, a food, mood, movement and symptom diary can be helpful. It is also helpful to think about family history of symptoms and when your symptoms started. Did they start after antibiotics, an illness or after a stressful life event?

A GP can complete some simple blood and stool tests if you have symptoms. A gut specialist dietitian can also help guide you towards diagnosis as well as dietary treatment. At The Gut Health Clinic, we work with gastroenterologists (gut specialist doctors), pelvic floor physiotherapists and nurses to provide holistic care. We can request blood and stool tests from your NHS GP, or in many cases, book them directly with you in our clinic.

Bloating Masterclass rosette communicating

Are you burdened by bloating?

Dr Megan Rossi’s (PhD, RD) Bloating Masterclass will guide you on a journey to better master your bloating. Combines virtual training with guidance, tools and expert resources to support you to feel more confident, comfortable and in control of your bloating.

For all enquires please email [email protected].


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