There are numerous conditions that can make digestion difficult and even painful. Chronic pain and recurring symptoms like diarrhea and bloating are all reasons to visit a healthcare professional, but many people still aren’t sure exactly when to see a specialist. Let’s explore three reasons you may need to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist.
Heartburn is a condition that is accompanied by a burning sensation or pain in the chest or the throat. It is caused by acid in the stomach going into the esophagus, which is connected to the stomach and mouth. Heartburn is commonly experienced and can be treated with over-the-counter medications. However, recurring heartburn can be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, in which the lining of the esophagus is irritated by stomach acid.
Gallstones are created in the gallbladder and are hard nuggets that can be small or large, depending on the individual. Gallstones can be the size of a grain of sand or larger than a grape. You can also have one or several, varying in size. They can cause pain in the abdomen which passes once the gallstone left the body. Doctors are not quite sure why gallstones develop, but it involves an imbalance of the digestive liquids in the liver.
Celiac disease is genetic and affects the immune systems of individuals. People with this disorder must avoid gluten, which triggers an immune system response that causes damage to the small intestine. A charleston gastroenterologist can diagnose celiac disease with a blood test or by assessing the small intestine and looking for damage.
You may be dealing with considerable discomfort before seeing a gastroenterologist, so be sure to note your symptoms to discuss them with a healthcare professional. If you are experiencing frequent heartburn, pain in the abdomen, or have noticed gluten causes a reaction, speak with a doctor about your symptoms and possible tests and treatment.