If you have gastrointestinal problems, then you need help. A gastroenterology clinic diagnoses and treats a variety of intestinal and stomach problems. If you have any of these signs, you may want to go to see a specialist for treatment.
The burning sensation that rises from your stomach to either shoot up your throat or settle just under your sternum in your chest is one of the most common signs of gastrointestinal problems. Heartburn is often a symptom of a common condition known as acid reflux. In addition to this burning sensation, you may have trouble swallowing or experience a dry cough that will not go away. Acid reflux also leads to excess saliva and a bad taste in the mouth.
If you do not treat your heartburn, there could be damage. The acid could eat away at your esophagus or even cause ulcers in your stomach. In rare cases, the acid could cause cancer. A trip to a gastroenterology clinic can stop the damage. In extreme circumstances, the doctors there can determine if surgery is needed to tighten the muscles between the esophagus and stomach so that acid cannot flow upward.
Abdominal Pain and Diarrhea
There is no need to suffer from abdominal pain or frequent diarrhea. These indicators, especially together, can be a sign that you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Those suffering from Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, the two most common types of IBD, may also suffer from rectal bleeding, which in turn can lead to anemia. Constant pain and diarrhea can also lead to weight loss. In order to determine if IBD is the cause of your pain, your doctor will need to run a series of tests. If you test positive, you will be put on a combination of medications, including anti-inflammatories and immunosuppressant drugs.
Persistent abdominal pain could be the sign of something more than just inflammatory bowel disease. For some, it could be the sign of a peptic ulcer. An ulcer is a sore located in the lining of the stomach or the upper part of the small intestine. There are many different causes of ulcers, including alcohol, smoking, bacteria, and excessive use of NSAID medication. Those who suffer from excessive stress can also develop an ulcer. Your treatment begins with antibiotics. You also need to eliminate, or reduce, the circumstances that caused the sore in the first place. Extreme cases may require surgery, since excessive scar tissue can block the digestive tract.
Inflammatory bowel disease is only one of the gastrointestinal diseases that you may suffer from. Constipation is also a very common problem for which you should visit a gastroenterology clinic. The most common treatment is laxatives. However, the problem with self-medicating is that laxatives can be overused, which can have the opposite effect. Just remember that everyone's body is different. The frequency of movement for your family members may not match yours. For that reason, it's important to know your normal bowl movements, and to speak to your doctor if they change.
A gastroenterology clinic has resources to treat intestinal problems. No matter whether the problems are mild or serious these doctors can get you on the road to better health.