Gastroenterology is a field of science that deals with the digestive system. The gut is sometimes described as the second brain because it plays an essential role in nervous system communications. Your gastroenterologist Katy does screening to restore your mental and physical wellness.
When to see a gastroenterologist
A gastroenterologist is a specialist in treating gastrointestinal tract disorders. These are disorders of the esophagus, large intestines, small intestines, stomach, and rectum.
Consider visiting your gastroenterologist if you have the following symptoms:
Severe or chronic heartburn
Heartburn is the burning sensation in your chest, especially after a meal. An occasional bout of heartburn is common and usually not a threat to your health.
However, heartburn that recurs more than twice a week could indicate a problem with your digestive system. You may have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which causes stomach acids to flow back into your esophagus. GERD irritates the stomach lining and breaks down esophagus tissue.
GERD can lead to esophageal inflammation, bleeding, or ulcers if it is not managed on time. Your gastroenterologist will address mild cases of GERD with medication or lifestyle changes. The treatment usually results in a significant improvement in the patient’s quality of life.
Persistent constipation and bloating
Constipation is a condition where the patient has difficulty passing stool. Most cases are common and caused by a poor diet lacking fiber and vegetables.
If you are frequently constipated, it may indicate other underlying conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or depression. Mental distress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which deactivates the digestive system.
Constipation may also be due to diabetes, which damages nerves in your digestive system. Timely diagnosis is essential for managing the condition and reducing the risk of complications.
Blood in your stool
Blood in your stool is a symptom of many different conditions. Sometimes it is due to hemorrhoids which can easily be treated and are usually not risky. But it is still advisable to consult your gastroenterologist since rectal bleeding could indicate a serious condition.
The color of the blood can provide clues that can tell you about the source of the problem. The blood could be bright red, which is a sign of bleeding on the lower section of the colon. A dark red color indicates bleeding in the upper colon or stomach ulcers.
Family history of colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the colon or rectum. According to the U.S Preventive Services Taskforce, you should schedule a screening if you are over 45.
Genetics is one of the risk factors for colorectal cancer. If a family member has colorectal cancer, you have a 50% chance of the condition at a younger age. A screening will confirm your susceptibility to the disease.
If you have colorectal cancer, your gastroenterologist will help you manage the risks. Managing the condition may involve colonoscopies every one or two years. Medication and additional screening for cancer are sometimes necessary, depending on your initial assessment.
Contact Imperial Digestive Health Specialists PLLC to schedule a gastroenterology consultation today.