For most people, a trip to the doctor entails a checkup with their primary care physician. Nevertheless, certain health concerns and warning signs, like those affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) system, necessitate a more expert diagnosis and treatment. Your gastrointestinal system is key to your body’s general health, including the stomach, esophagus, large and small intestines, and biliary system. As such, the GI system could be the root of numerous illnesses requiring specific care from a gastrointestinal expert or gastroenterologist. Here are some common reasons to contact Anchorage Pioneer GI Clinic physicians.
1) Constant Heartburn
Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, develops once stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and gastrointestinal tract, generating a burning sensation in the chest and neck. Symptoms could include a sour aftertaste in the mouth and chest pain, particularly at night, after meals, or lying down.
Unpredictable and rare episodes of heartburn are typically not cause for alarm. Chronic heartburn, happening at least twice every week, however, must be investigated further by a GI expert. Constant acid reflux may also suggest GERD. Tests are necessary to verify the diagnosis and determine the appropriate medication regimen to manage symptoms. In rare instances, chronic heartburn may indicate esophageal cancer.
2) Rectal Bleeding
Blood in feces often indicates a problem in the gastrointestinal tract. The severity of the cause of rectal bleeding might differ, but it almost usually suggests a gastrointestinal problem. The most likely reasons for rectal bleeding are anal fissures, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis, and colon polyps. Occasionally, rectal bleeding could signify rectal cancer.
3) Constant Abdominal Discomfort
Among the many reasons for abdominal discomfort and/or bloating include consuming meals your stomach rejects and eating too much while seated. Infrequent and random bloating and pain are not cause for concern, but if it happens after most meals every day, it could be time to consult a GI expert. First, talk about your symptoms with a general practitioner, who will recommend you to a gastroenterologist, depending on the specifics of your case.
4) Swallowing Difficulties
If pain or trouble swallowing often happens when drinking or eating, it is a reason for alarm. Specific disorders, such as esophageal tumors and gastroesophageal reflux disease, can cause difficulty swallowing. A GI doctor could do an endoscopy to obtain a comprehensive look at your GI tract to establish the reason for your swallowing problem. Once determined, your doctor can develop an individualized care plan to address your concerns.
5) Unusual Bowel Movements
The average level of regular bowel motions is anything between three per day. Constipation, defined as less than three bowel motions per week, is unusual. Diarrhea is defined as more than three loose bowel motions per day and is regarded as an anomaly in bowel movements.
Unusual bowel movements could be a hidden sign of a gastrointestinal (GI) problem, like a GI tract obstruction or blockage and gluten or lactose intolerance. Occasionally, this concern could also signify Chron’s disease or a reaction to medication or certain foods.
It is understandable that visiting a professional for a chronic ailment or a potential issue might feel odd, but rest assured, it is in your best interest. The GI experts at Pioneer GI Clinic are highly qualified to treat all gastrointestinal disorders, ranging from heartburns, intestinal blockage, and swallowing issues to more serious concerns like Crohn’s disease and cancer. If you have any health difficulties, call the Anchorage, AK office or request an appointment online today to get started.