A gastroenterologist is a GI specialist that assesses, diagnoses, and treats patients with gut-related problems. GI stands for gastrointestinal, which involves your stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, biliary tree, and pancreas. Specialists help patients manage chronic gastrointestinal issues and similar illnesses.
Over-the-counter medications are available for some issues, but there are tell-tale signs that you should visit a GI specialist as soon as possible.
The main symptom of heartburn is a burning feeling in your chest, right under the breastbone. While it isn’t necessarily painful, discomfort may last anywhere from a couple of minutes to several hours.
Heartburn is usually a sign of gastrointestinal issues like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux. Over-the-counter antacids can help alleviate discomfort, but for frequent occurrences of heartburn, it’s best to consult a GI specialist.
2. Chronic Abdominal Pain
The occasional stomach ache is typically not a cause for worry. It tends to happen when you eat too quickly or too much.
However, if you start experiencing repeat instances of abdominal pain, there might be a more serious issue. That is the case, especially if the pain comes with irregular bowel movements and nausea.
Consult a GI specialist for chronic stomach aches, especially if the pain worsens as time goes on. The patient must get checked if the pain is severe. Potential causes could include a stomach infection or appendicitis.
Experiencing diarrhea episodes a few times a year is typical for most people. It is characterized by having watery and loose stool. Diarrhea usually goes away after a few days and isn’t a severe problem.
However, for those who experience it for extended periods, it might be a sign of an underlying gastrointestinal illness. Continuous diarrhea can also cause severe dehydration if left untreated.
Consult a gastroenterologist if diarrhea continues and worsens.
Constipation happens when your bowel movements occur less than three times weekly. People who experience this pass small amounts of dry and hard stool. They also tend to have the urge to strain or exert extra effort when excreting waste.
Having irregular bowel movements may cause hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and rectal bleeding. Visit a GI specialist if you suffer from chronic constipation.
5. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Those who suffer from an inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, benefit from consulting a gastroenterologist. Common IBDs include ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, resulting from chronic intestinal inflammation.
You should visit a GI specialist if you experience recurring diarrhea, stomach cramps, and gas. They will prescribe appropriate medication and treatment options for your symptoms.
6. Cancer Screening
Consulting a gastroenterologist is a good idea for patients who need to undergo a colonoscopy. Doctors typically recommend it for those who are age 45 and older.
Providers perform colonoscopy by inserting a flexible camera, or scope, into the patient’s rectum. From there, they will assess the large intestines for abnormalities. These include any polyps or ongoing bleeding, which might be symptoms of colon cancer.
Other cancers that your GI specialist might find are esophageal cancer and gastrointestinal cancer.
Visit A Gastroenterologist Now
The advantage of consulting a GI specialist is that they can assess gastrointestinal issues. Gastroenterologists, as opposed to general practitioners, are better equipped to deal with common GI conditions.
If you experience frequent heartburn and stomach pain, a visit to a gastroenterologist can help you. Cases of irregular bowel movement are also another serious sign. These include constipation, diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Finally, seeking help from a GI specialist is also beneficial for the early detection of certain cancers. All in all, it is crucial for preventing severe illnesses and conditions.
Trusted GI Specialist in California
Consult a GI specialist to receive proper care and treatment for your gastrointestinal problems. inSite Digestive Health Care has a highly competent team of providers to help you with all your gastrointestinal issues. Our providers are skilled and certified to give patients the best treatment and intervention options.
Our clinics offer only the best medical care and state-of-the-art technology for treating severe, chronic, and complex GI conditions. We are proud to be the largest gastroenterology physician group in California. We have 20 different locations for the convenience of our patients.