Reasons You Might Need a Gastroenterologist

Reasons You Might Need a Gastroenterologist

Who is a Gastroenterologist?- An Introduction

A gastroenterologist is a specialist (doctor) who is an expert in primarily diagnosing and treating Gastrointestinal or GI (gastrointestinal) diseases in both men and women. A gastroenterologist performs endoscopic procedures by using specialized instruments to view the GI tract* and make a diagnosis. The gastroenterologist does not perform surgery but in some cases may work closely with a GI surgeon.

GI System – Help in digest and move foods, remove waste from your body and absorb nutrients

Gastroenterologists can treat any part of this system and there are number of conditions too which affect our GI system, which include:

  • Ulcers
  • IBS
  • Acid reflux
  • Hepatitis C
  • Jaundice or a yellowing of the skin
  • Polyps or growths, which generally occur in the large intestine
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Pancreatitis
  • Bloody stool
  • Disease causing inflammation of the pancreas
  • Colon cancer

Why visit a gastroenterologist – Reasons

Our digestive system consists of important body organs such as stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, salivary glands, esophagus, pharynx, rectum, anus etc that help the food we take to ingest properly and as such help in getting the required energy and proper functioning of the human body. However, in some cases there may emerge serious medical issues or conditions/diseases that may require you to visit your nearest gastroenterologist for gastroenterology treatment.

Some of the reasons to get the services of gastroenterologist are-

• Recurrent heartburn

Even though heartburn is a common problem but there may be specific cases that need an immediate attention of a gastroenterologist. For instance, where there are frequent occurrences of heartburn in spite of taking over the counter drugs. This type of heartburn also known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) requires proper gastroenterology treatment by a gastroenterologist.

• Rectal bleeding

Having unexplained blood in your stools with or without pain in the rectum or colon may be due to hemorrhoids and is the right reason to consult a gastroenterologist as soon as possible to seek the gastroenterology treatment.

• Stomach Pain or Bloating

The occurrence of stomach pain with or without bloating may be due to lactose intolerance where lactose is an enzyme that is responsible for the digestion of milk and dairy products. In other cases, the cause of stomach pain may be due to stress, side effects of some drugs, diet or any other factors such as the formation of gallstones.

• Colon cancer

It is important to take an appointment of a gastroenterologist after you cross the age of 50 to detect any colon polyps that may turn into cancer in later stages. Early detection of colon polyps can stop colon cancer from occurring especially in men. The American Cancer Society recommends colorectal cancer screening for both women and men beginning at age 45.

If you’re over the age of 50, you may also want to meet with a gastroenterologist for preventive care. Men and women over the age of 50 may have an increased risk for colon cancer.

If you fall in this age group, should go for screening regularly. If you have a relative or any other loved one with colon cancer, should ask your doctor about when to start getting screenings to cure them on time.

These are some of the important reasons why you should need or visit your nearest gastroenterologist for your healthy digestive system.

Most frequently asked question to a Gastroenterologist – Is colon cancer preventable?

Yes, it’s preventable and the process is called – Colonoscopy – That detect polyps (small growths on the lining of the colon). Your gastroenterologist will remove these polyps during the colonoscopy, which result in a major reduction in the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer in the future


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