If you are having symptoms of a digestive problem—such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and constipation—you will greatly benefit from the expertise of a gastroenterologist. Also known as a GI doctor, a gastroenterologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect the digestive system.
While a visit to a gastroenterologist is very important for your health, it can make you feel anxious, especially if this is your first time and you don’t know what to expect.
Here is a guide to help you anticipate what may transpire at your first gastroenterologist visit:
Your appointment will likely start with an interview about your medical history, which your gastroenterologist will use to evaluate your current state of health.
Your doctor will glean everything necessary from your medical history that may have an impact on your decisions on how you are managing your health problems.
· Questions Your Gastroenterologist May Ask You
After discussing your medical history with you, your gastroenterologist may proceed with asking you detailed questions pertaining to your symptoms:
- What are your symptoms, and do they get worse or better at certain times?
- How long have you had your symptoms now?
- Is there anything that seems to trigger your symptoms?
- Where is your pain?
- How long does your pain usually last?
- Does your pain move around or change?
- What medications have you taken so far to alleviate your symptoms?
- Is there anyone in your family who has a digestive disorder or any other health problems?
· Questions to Ask Your Gastroenterologist
Asking questions will put a message across that you’re involved in your own treatment and help you establish a good relationship with your doctor.
Here are some questions you can ask:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- How long will the treatment take?
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the signs of a serious complication?
- What tests do I need?
- Will I be needing any tests?
Depending on your symptoms, your gastroenterologist may order a CT scan, blood and stool tests, or X-ray, along with any of the following procedures to accurately diagnose your problem.
Your doctor will explain what these procedures are and what they entail and give you instructions on how to prepare for them:
- Barium swallow or enema
- Hydrogen breath testing
Your gastroenterologist may prescribe some medications to temporarily alleviate your symptoms but will likely advise you to come for a second appointment, especially when you need to undergo diagnostic tests.
Your gastroenterologist will devise a specific treatment plan based on the results of the diagnostic tests.
Board-Certified Gastroenterologist in Carlisle, PA
At Carlisle Digestive Disease Associates, we have four board-certified gastroenterologists who are dedicated to providing effective diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal system and the liver. We have nearly three decades of a proven track record for delivering high-quality digestive care to thousands of people in our community.
During your consultation with us, we will run a comprehensive assessment and educate you on the specific details and purpose of your treatment plan in words that are perfectly easy to understand. If we need to recommend a procedure, we will give you instructions on how to go about it and an opportunity to let us know your questions or concerns.
If would like to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled gastroenterologists, call us at (717) 245-2228 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you manage your GI condition, so you can start feeling much better!