Reasons to Visit Your Gastroenterologist:

A Gastroenterologist is a type of doctor with specialized training in the gastrointestinal tract. There are many conditions that can cause problems with the GI tract. Chronic pain and lingering symptoms such as bloating, gas and diarrhea are all motivations to see a gastroenterologist. Here some other reasons to seek the attention of a GI doctor:

Heartburn

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Heartburn is a rather common occurrence and for most people tends to go away on its own or with the aid of over-the-counter medicines. If these symptoms are occurring multiple times a week it could be signs of a more serious problem, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Gallstones

A sudden pain in the right side of your abdomen could be a gallstone. Gallstones can vary in size from a grain of sand to as big as a golf ball. They develop from imbalances in the substances that form the bile used for digestion.

Lactose Intolerance

The body produces the protein lactase to help in the breakdown of dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese. People who feel symptoms of discomfort after consuming dairy products may be lactose intolerant. A gastroenterologist is able to test for a lactose intolerance.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that is passed down genetically. Celiac disease causes the body to mistakenly damage the small intestine when consuming gluten. A gastroenterologist can examine a patient to diagnose celiac disease.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A person’s immune system may mistake food for dangerous substances. It then attacks healthy digestive tissue by mistake. This can cause swelling and inflammation in the intestine, causing stomach pain, diarrhea, fever and join pain. A gastroenterologist will be able to assist you in relieving symptoms caused by inflammatory bowel disease.

Colon Cancer

A gastroenterologist is able to look for signs of colon cancer even if no symptoms are present. A colonoscopy for example, allows the doctor to see directly inside of the colon. By age 50, it is important that people get regular screenings for colon cancer.

For more information please visit the GI doctor website here.