No one likes going to the doctor. The endless hours in the waiting room, the awkward personal health questions, and the general fear that accompanies a doctor’s appointment can be too much for one person. Sadly, there are times where a visit to the doctor’s office is unavoidable and even a life-saving decision. The key to spending less time waiting around for a diagnosis is to go directly to a specialist instead of jumping hoops to visit your regular general practitioner.
For those with gastrointestinal or digestive system issues, a visit to a gastroenterology specialist might be on the books. These are some telltale signs that the gastroenterologist is the right doctor for your issues:
1. A Lump In The Throat
A lump in the throat that makes even swallowing water difficult can mean a serious problem with the GI tract. Other symptoms such as pain when coughing and hoarseness when speaking are signs of a possible esophageal cancer. It is best to get a diagnosis early to prevent cancer from spreading.
2. Constant Heartburns
A painful or burning sensation in the throat or the chest area is a sign of a heartburn. This is typically caused by stomach acid that backs up and goes up into the esophagus. A heartburn is normal for most people, only if it goes away on its own with or without the help of OTC medication. However, if the heartburn happens often and constantly, there could be a more serious problem like reflux disease or otherwise known as GERD.
GERD is a condition that occurs when the stomach acid has irritated the esophagus lining making it uncomfortable or even painful. This is more common for people who are overweight, are smokers, and even pregnant women. A consultation is a must to treat the issue as soon as possible.
3. Bleeding Bowels
Blood in the stool is never a good sign and an appointment with a gastroenterology specialist must be made at once. When blood is red, this could indicate a tear which means that the stool is too hard to pass.
Black stool is also an indication that there is blood and that it is more serious. If the black stool persists and becomes regular, it is time to contact a specialist for a consultation, diagnosis, and possible treatment options.
Regular Checkups Become A Must
As the body ages, the internal organs also age. As a benchmark for health, adults over the age of 40 must see their GP for an annual health checkup. This can also include a visit to gastroenterology specialists, especially when there are areas you are most concerned about. The sooner a problem is diagnosed and treated the better. Never delay a doctor’s visit because it may put your health and quality of life at risk.
Do you have a functional gastrointestinal disorder? Learn more about FGID and gastroenterology.