Digestive Health Disease Symptoms
Are you frequently experiencing stomach or intestinal problems? It is possible you have one of the many gastroenterology diseases and need to see a specialist.
Gastroenterologists specialize in diseases that affect the digestive organs of the body. This includes every organ beginning at the mouth all the way to the anus. The digestive tract includes the small and large intestines, the stomach, and the esophagus. When you experience ongoing digestive health issues, it is a good idea to make an appointment to discuss your concerns with a gastroenterologist. This physician can evaluate your condition, diagnose any problems and then recommend the correct treatment.
There are many symptoms of gastroenterology conditions, but the three most common are heartburn, diarrhea and abdominal pain and constipation. If you have any of these conditions for more than a few days, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Heartburn is very common, especially following a spicy or fried meal. Heartburn is characterized by a burning feeling that comes up from your stomach and settles under your sternum or reaches into your throat. If you experience this condition frequently you may have acid reflux which is a gastrointestinal disease. Sometimes, the burning sensation is accompanied by difficulty swallowing or a dry cough.
If left untreated, acid reflux can result in damage to your esophagus and cause you to develop an ulcer. In some extreme cases, acid reflux can cause cancer. Most of the time, this condition can be treated with medications. In very serious circumstances, a gastroenterologist may recommend surgery to tighten the muscles between the stomach and the esophagus so the acid cannot escape the stomach.
Diarrhea and Abdominal Pain
Other frequent symptoms of gastrointestinal issues are diarrhea and abdominal pain. If you are experiencing either of these, they could be symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. This is a serious gastrointestinal disease which should be treated as quickly as possible. Two of the most common types of IBD are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Individuals who have IBD may also experience rectal bleeding and weight loss. Your doctor can diagnose these conditions by running a series of lab tests. If the results are positive, you will most likely be placed on a regimen of medications that will include immunosuppressant drugs and anti-inflammatories.
If you have persistent abdominal pain, you could also have a peptic ulcer. This type of ulcer forms in the upper part of the intestine or in the lining of the stomach. It may be caused by excessive smoking or use of alcohol. Taking too many NSAIDs can also cause an ulcer and sometimes, they are caused by bad bacteria. If you are diagnosed with an ulcer, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. If these don’t clear it up, surgery may be required.
Another possible gastrointestinal disorder is chronic constipation. This is a common problem and can usually be treated with laxatives. It is important not to take too many laxatives since this can cause other types of medical conditions.
Gastroenterology diseases affect the digestive system. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.