Your digestive system is important. It handles the food you eat, breaking down the food into energy for your body to use. Your digestive system also gets rid of the byproducts your body doesn’t use, keeping your body running cleanly and efficiently.
Did you know that a gastroenterologist is a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions and diseases in your digestive system? A gastroenterologist can diagnose and treat everything from acid reflux to cancer in your digestive system.
A major benefit of having a gastroenterologist as part of your healthcare team is the vast amount of specialized knowledge your gastroenterologist has. Your gastroenterologist can diagnose and treat conditions of the stomach, upper and lower intestines, and colon. The conditions and diseases include:
- Acid reflux or GERD
- Esophageal irritation
- Stomach ulcers
- Intestinal polyps
- Crohn’s disease
- Stomach, intestinal, and colon cancer
Another major benefit of having a gastroenterologist is the type of testing available. Your gastroenterologist may recommend:
A Colonoscopy; used to examine your colon and rectal lining to check for polyps or signs of colon cancer
A Sigmoidoscopy; used to examine your lower colon and rectal lining to check for polyps in your sigmoid colon or signs of colon cancer
CT Colonography; used to take bowel scans to check for bowel obstructions and other issues
Stool Tests; used to check for blood in your stool or abnormal DNA from intestinal bleeding or signs of intestinal cancer
You should visit your gastroenterologist yearly for a colon cancer screening. You should also schedule a visit with your gastroenterologist if you experience:
- Excessive, sudden weight loss
- Abdominal cramping and pain that doesn’t go away
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- A change in the consistency or color of your stool
- Chronic nausea and vomiting that doesn’t go away
Having a gastroenterologist is one of the most important decisions you can make regarding your healthcare. Your gastrointestinal system is complex, and you need a specialist who understands this. You need a gastroenterologist, so call today.