Gastroenterologists are doctors who diagnose problems with the gastrointestinal tract and liver. They undergo five extra years of specialized study to assist patients with problems in their stomach, intestines, esophagus, liver, pancreas, colon, and rectum.
Because gastroenterologists treat a wide range of organs, the signs that you may need to visit a gastroenterologist can vary widely, too. Here are five of the most common signs that you may need to see a gastroenterologist:
- You have difficulty swallowing
If you are having difficulty swallowing, or notice that a lump in your throat gets worse over time, you may want to pay a visit to your gastroenterologist. If you are experiencing esophageal pain, your doctor may want to perform an upper endoscopy procedure to determine the cause.
- You are experiencing diarrhea or constipation
A number of different factors could cause constipation, such as neurological issues, hormonal malfunction, or diet. You might be constipated if you have fewer than three bowel movements in a week. Diarrhea, on the other hand, occurs when runny stool persists for several days. Diarrhea could be caused by diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, or could even just be a bad reaction to medication.
- You experience rectal bleeding
If you find that your stool is bloody or black, you should see a gastroenterologist. This is generally an indication that your digestive tract is bleeding somewhere. Your gastroenterologist will run tests to determine whether the cause is something serious like cancer, or less serious, like hemorrhoids.
- Constant heartburn
You might be suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) if you experience constant heartburn. Occasional heartburn is not something to be concerned about, but persistent heartburn could be a sign of GERD, Barrett’s Esophagus, or even cancer. Acid reflux is another sign of GERD, and your doctor can prescribe you medicine to treat it.
- Abdominal bloating
If you find that you can’t button your pants like you could just a couple of days ago, bloating, not belly fat, may be to blame. When your body holds in too much gas, your stomach bloats. People often feel bloated after eating too much, but if bloating is also accompanied by bloody stools, it could be a sign of celiac disease, GERD, irritable bowel syndrome, or lactose intolerance.
Contact the GI Specialists at GastroCare LI
If you are experiencing any of the problems listed above, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at GastroCare LI. Our office in Valley Stream is open and ready to serve patients. We have safety measures in place to help protect our patients and our staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
We are here for you and ready to assist you with whatever concerns you may have. Please contact us if you would like to schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with our specialists at (516) 265-7049 or reach out online.