Can you imagine your life without food and water? No, right? That’s how important your digestive system is: it moves the food and liquid you take in, turns them into nutrients, lets your body absorb the nutrients, and eliminates the waste products from your body.
It stands to reason that when you experience symptoms of a digestive problem, particularly those that persist or get worse over time, you need to see a GI doctor—a physician who specializes in the diagnoses and treatment of conditions affecting your gastrointestinal tract.
Discussed below are some of the symptoms that warrant a visit to a GI doctor.
Heartburn refers to the burning, uncomfortable sensation in your chest that often gets worse after you eat, or when you bend over or lie down.
Occasional heartburn is no cause for concern, but when it occurs frequently, especially when accompanied by chest pain and nausea, it typically points to a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD is a digestive disorder in which the circular band of muscle around the tip of your esophagus (lower esophageal sphincter) relaxes or weakens, causing your stomach acid to go back up into your esophagus. When left untreated, GERD can result in esophageal stricture, ulceration, respiratory problems, and Barrett’s esophagus, which is a precancerous condition.
Often the subject of many jokes, flatulence is usually harmless. However, when it becomes excessive, very foul-smelling, or is accompanied by noticeable and persistent changes in your bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation), you should take it seriously and see a GI doctor for an evaluation.
Excessive flatulence often denotes a potentially serious digestive condition, such as Crohn’s disease (a type of inflammatory bowel disease), or colon cancer.
An occasional light smear during bowel movements may signify only a troublesome hemorrhoid. However, persistent rectal bleeding— especially when it’s accompanied by red or black (tarry) stools— is a potential symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), IBD, or even colon cancer, and thus warrants prompt medical attention.
Persistent problems with swallowing (dysphagia) should also be investigated by a GI doctor, particularly when accompanied by pain or hoarseness of voice. These symptoms may indicate Barrett’s esophagus, or even esophageal cancer.
Reliable GI Doctor in West Orange, NJ
If you’re experiencing any or some of the symptoms mentioned above and in search of a reliable GI doctor within the West Orange in New Jersey, visit us here at Hudson MD Group. We have highly skilled and experienced GI specialists on staff who can carry out a thorough evaluation to determine the culprit in your symptoms, and provide you with effective intervention to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
To arrange your visit with one of our GI specialists, call our staff today at (973) 705-4914. You may also send us a message, and we will contact you promptly to confirm your appointment. We look forward to serving you!