There are many conditions that can interfere with digestion. One red flag that anything is wrong is persistent abdominal pain. Other bothersome symptoms include bloating, gas, and diarrhea. All of these call for a visit to a gastroenterologist. These medical professionals have received training in treating diseases that affect the esophagus, stomach, colon, pancreas, and liver, as well as other digestive tract organs. It could be time to consult a gastroenterologist if you experience any of the warning signs.
Chest or throat pain or burning is known as heartburn. When stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, it happens. The tube that links the mouth and the stomach is that one. Many people occasionally get heartburn. Either on its own or with over-the-counter medications, it fades gone. However, symptoms that appear more frequently than twice per week may indicate a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
When stomach acid irritates the lining of the esophagus, GERD develops. People who smoke or are overweight are more likely to get GERD. Women who are expecting are more likely to get the illness. The condition can be treated with medication. Surgery may be required in severe situations. Untreated GERD can result in more severe issues, such as breathing difficulties and chronic esophageal inflammation.
The gallbladder, a tiny organ in the abdomen, is where gallstones, which are tiny, hard nuggets, originate. A gallstone can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. One big stone is all some folks have. Some people produce several stones of various sizes. A gallstone may be the cause of sudden pain on the right side of your abdomen. Once gallstones shift, the pain subsides. Unbalances in the constituents of bile lead to the development of gallstones. That is the digesting fluid that the liver produces. The cause of these abnormalities is unknown to doctors.
Gallstones are more common in obese adults and pregnant women than in the general population. Additionally, as people age, gallstones become more typical. Anyone who has had one gallstone is susceptible to developing another. The gallbladder is frequently removed during surgery for those who have gallstones. Some drugs have the ability to dissolve the stones.
Lactose intolerance may be present in people who have uncomfortable feelings after consuming milk or other dairy products. Milk contains a sugar called lactose. The protein lactase is created by the body to aid in the digestion of dairy products like cheese and yogurt.
However, those who are intolerant to lactose do not produce enough lactase to completely digest even little amounts of these meals. Bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, and an upset stomach may result from this. Typically, symptoms start to show approximately two hours after consuming dairy. They might be modest to really severe. For lactose intolerance testing, consult a gastroenterologist. Dietary modifications and nutritional supplements may be part of the treatment.
The immune system is involved in the genetic illness known as celiac disease. Gluten must not be consumed by those who have the disease. Wheat, rye, and barley all contain a protein called gluten. It might also be present in several vitamins, supplements, and medications. Celiac disease patients’ immune systems attack their small intestines as a result of consuming gluten. Diarrhea and soreness may result from this. Celiac disease can be identified with a blood test. A small gut sample may also need to be examined by a gastroenterologist to check for damage.
Gluten sensitivity is not the same as celiac disease. The illnesses have similar symptoms. The primary distinction is that those who are sensitive to gluten don’t experience small intestinal damage. Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease symptoms can both be reduced by completely avoiding gluten. If you have intestinal injury, you could require additional care.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The immune system of a person occasionally confuses food and other substances in the digestive tract for harmful microbes. By accident, it affects healthy tissue. Inflammatory bowel illness is brought on by this (IBD). IBD is a term used to describe a number of conditions that cause gastrointestinal tract chronic inflammation. In addition to symptoms that appear unrelated, such weariness, joint discomfort, and fever, the small and large intestines become inflamed and bloated. These symptoms include severe stomach pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. During a flare, symptoms may subside before coming back.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the most typical IBDs. The large intestine is impacted by ulcerative colitis. The digestive tract can be affected anywhere by Crohn’s disease. IBD is diagnosed by doctors using blood tests, tissue or stool samples, X-rays, and CT scans. Likewise, endoscopy. This entails using a scope with a specialized camera to examine the intestines’ interior.
Medication, surgery, and lifestyle modifications, such as taking action to reduce stress, may all be part of the treatment plan. Irritable bowel syndrome, sometimes known as IBS, is distinct from IBD. While there are some similarities in the symptoms, IBS does not result in digestive system damage from inflammation.
Colon cancer screening
Even if you don’t have symptoms, a gastroenterologist might screen for indicators of some disorders, such as colon cancer. For a colonoscopy, the doctor will place a thin tube with a tiny camera into the rectum to view the colon’s inside. Additionally, stool samples and imaging scans can be used to diagnose malignancy.
Typically, abnormal growths on the colon or rectum lead to the development of colon cancer. When these growths are discovered early, the doctors can remove them before they have a chance to develop into cancer. Cancer can be diagnosed and treated early, saving lives. All persons should begin routine colon cancer screenings by the age of 50.