Problems with your digestion? Consider seeing a gastroenterologist

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Everyone has experienced some form of stomach discomfort. Maybe from meat that was slightly under-cooked or a particularly spicy meal. Most of the time these issues are common and resolve themselves. However, there are limits to what is considered ordinary symptoms. If your problems persist or worsen, then it may be time to see a specialist. A gastroenterologist is a doctor whose primary focus is treating diseases and disorders that effect the stomach and intestines. Here are a few health concerns that warrant you seeking a gastroenterologist of your own.

Eating Disorders

The reason behind a person’s eating disorder can vary. Sometimes it is psychological, other times it is the result of another medical condition. The effects of these disorders, however, are more predictable, especially for a gastroenterologist. For example, pica is a craving for non-food substances. These substances are not able to be broken down by the digestive process, and can lead to serious complications. Bulimia is another eating disorder that can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Those struggling with bulimia are identified by frequent eating binges, immediately followed by sessions of purging where they either incite vomiting or abuse laxatives. Over time, these impulses can eat away at the esophagus or worse.

Chronic Conditions

There are some intestinal disorders that, once diagnosed, require regular visits to a gastroenterologist – and finding a gastroenterologist and making an appointment is really not that big of a deal, if you have regular issues. This is because certain disorders are categorized as chronic, which means it is necessary to receive frequent treatment.

Ulcerative colitis is a condition that repeatedly inflames the large intestine and rectum. It takes monitoring from a specialist to manage symptoms and track the progression of the disease.
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a mysterious condition that causes cramps, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Because the reasons for this disease is unknown, a gastroenterologist is the most capable physician for management.

And then there’s Crohn’s – which is in a category of its own:

Intestinal Obstructions

An obstruction is something that either partially or completely blocks the intestines. This can be the result of surgery, a tumor, or even a condition with which you were born. Regardless, this type of condition can lead to severe complications. One type of obstruction is known as intestinal adhesions. This is when certain inflammation or damage has caused parts of the intestine to stick together. Another form of obstruction is an inguinal hernia, which is a protrusion of a small part of bowel that is usually the result of excess weight, heavy lifting, or straining. A gastroenterologist can determine your particular type of obstruction, and advise on the best course of treatment.

The digestive system is one of those bodily functions that is difficult to ignore. When something goes wrong, it can have a significant impact on your daily activities. Do not hesitate to visit your doctor if you experience any symptoms that cause concern. Not only is this the best way to be proactive about your health, it can also help with a diagnosis. Many insurance plans and specialists require a referral from a primary physician before scheduling an appointment. Paying attention to your body and responding accordingly can make a world of difference.