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Gastrointestinal symptoms 

Gastrointestinal symptoms
Chapter:
Gastrointestinal symptoms
Author(s):

Max Watson

, Rachel Campbell

, Nandini Vallath

, Stephen Ward

, and Jo Wells

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198745655.003.0009
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date: 22 August 2019

This chapter describes the most common gastrorintestinal symptoms encountered in the palliative care setting along with management strategies. A sizeable proportion of palliative care is concerned with the management of gastrointestinal symptoms. Traditionally, such symptoms have received less attention than pain management, yet the same principles apply. Patients with pain usually show a response, or a lack of response, to treatment within hours. Patients with gastrointestinal symptoms may take several days to respond to interventions, and the temptation is thus to have a more lax attitude to monitoring gastrointestinal problems. In reality, the doctor and nurse need to be much more attentive to these problems which deceptively cause significant patient morbidity, yet may not become obvious until major management difficulties arise.

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