Among the many different types of doctors that people commonly see are gastroenterologists. This type of physician is a specialist in the health and diseases of the stomach, esophagus, intestine, colon, pancreas, gallbladder, liver, bile ducts, and rectum. A gastroenterologist deals with a lot more health issues than you may think.
Here are the some of the reasons you may need to see a gastroenterologist:
Heartburn is a burning sensation felt in the chest and/or throat. Occasional heartburn is common and manageable with lifestyle changes or by taking over-the-counter medications once in a while. However, frequent or recurring heartburn is most likely a sign of a more serious condition, such as acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Both of these conditions need to be diagnosed and treated by a gastroenterologist.
Gallstones are small, hard stones found in the gallbladder. They come in sizes as little as grains of sand and as large as golf balls. Gallstones develop because of too much cholesterol in the bile or when the gallbladder doesn’t empty properly. Seek a gastroenterologist immediately if you experience symptoms like intense abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice), or high fever with chills. People who experience symptoms may require surgery for the removal of gallstones.
Lactose is a component found in milk. Many people cannot digest lactose due to a lack of lactase, an enzyme produced in the small intestine and responsible for breaking down lactose. If you’re lactose intolerant and consume milk or milk-based products, it can lead to bloating, diarrhea, and an upset stomach. A gastroenterologist may test you for lactose intolerance and prescribe medications and changes to your diet in order to reduce or eliminate uncomfortable symptoms.
Celiac disease is a severe autoimmune condition in which the ingestion of gluten causes damage to the small intestine. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, or rye. For this condition, you must avoid eating food with gluten. A gastroenterologist can diagnose and help you manage celiac disease.
Abnormal Bowel Movements
Constipation occurs when you have difficulty making bowel movements. Some causes of this condition include an unhealthy diet, not drinking enough water, and lack of exercise. It can be easily treated, but when it comes to chronic constipation, medical attention may be needed.
Diarrhea is a common health complaint in which you frequently pass loose, watery stool. Chronic diarrhea can cause dehydration and malnutrition. Diarrhea is often caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasitic organisms. Visit a gastroenterologist if your bowel movement problems persist for more than 1 week or if they come back repeatedly.
Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia)
Dysphagia means it takes you extra effort and time to swallow your food. Causes can vary, but it may occur when you do not chew your food well or if you have a structural abnormality in the throat, esophagus, or upper stomach. If you are experiencing dysphagia, a gastroenterologist can help by conducting an upper endoscopy to determine the problem and prescribe the proper treatment.
Gastroenterologist in Pennsylvania
If you are experiencing any of the issues described above or another problem related to your gastroenterological system, visit a skilled and experienced gastroenterologist today for a diagnosis and treatment.
The providers at Carlisle Digestive Disease Associates are ready to help you address your gastrointestinal tract concerns. Our clinic in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, serves patients from Boiling Springs, Camp Hill, Chambersburg, Mechanicsburg, Newville, Shippensburg, and Central Pennsylvania.Gastroenterologist
To make an appointment, please call us at (717) 245-2228, or you may request an appointment online.