Some people experience digestive issues from time to time and wait for them to disappear. Others may buy over-the-counter medications to clear them. Believe it or not, these issues may worsen if you do not see a gastroenterologist (an expert who treats all digestive system organs). Anchorage Pioneer GI Clinic gastroenterologists are knowledgeable about each symptom and know which treatments to consider. You may receive some medications or surgery.
How would you know when to see a gastroenterologist, anyway? Without further ado, these are signs you should see one.
When You Have a Bloated Stomach
People with bloated stomachs experience tightness and pressure due to the accumulation of intestinal gases. This sensation is normal and usually clears within a week. However, if it persists beyond a week, then you should be concerned. It may mean you have cancer, gastritis, or ascites.
There are different ways gastroenterologists may ease your pain. These methods include hormone therapy, hydrogen breath test, and biofeedback. You can prevent bloating by eating enough fiber and drinking plenty of water.
When You Keep Having Heartburn
Heartburn is a burning sensation around your chest. It is usually caused by consuming spicy foods, alcohol, onions, and fried foods. Remember, not all people get heartburn from these foods. They usually last a day and are not normally anything to worry about.
You should see a doctor if they occur daily. It may mean you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Its symptoms include coughing, backwash, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing. Doctors manage it through medications or fundoplication.
When You Have Rectal Bleeding
You will know you have rectal bleeding when you notice blood on your toilet paper or in the toilet bowl. It is usually a symptom of ulcers, hemorrhoids, or colorectal cancer. Besides bleeding, watch out for symptoms like dizziness, rectal pain, red stool, and mental confusion.
In some cases, rectal bleeding can clear on its own. That means you would have to monitor your symptoms. Since monitoring your body can be quite risky, you are better off heading to the hospital.
When You Have Yellow Eyes and Skin
If you notice such color changes, you may have contracted jaundice. The yellow color is due to high bilirubin levels (which happens due to the breakdown of red blood cells). It can be caused by alcohol, autoimmune disorders, and penicillin.
When you have this disease, doctors will usually treat its symptoms. If your itching is bothersome, they will prescribe cholestyramine. In case your jaundice is severe, gallbladder removal may be necessary.
When You Have Diarrhea
Diarrhea may be present alone or be accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting and abdominal pain. If it lasts more than two days, you should see a gastroenterologist. Failure to address it could lead to severe dehydration, which can be life-threatening.
Unending diarrhea could signify you have the Norwalk virus or E. coli. Sometimes, it is a result of taking certain medications. Doctors will conduct the necessary diagnosis to find out the problem.
After reading this article, you probably didn’t know bloating, or heartburn could be serious. It is understandable since people experience these issues from time to time. When you experience these issues, you must be keen on other accompanying symptoms. Since they can be life-threatening, you must watch out for your health. You should not be reluctant to visit your doctor.
Fortunately, some issues addressed here can be prevented. If you have experienced diarrhea in the past, you may not have been washing your hands, for instance. Personal hygiene will therefore solve such problems.