While the causes of stomach pain are numerous, that doesn’t change that it still sucks. And if you feel like you’re just one step away from a major episode of stomach pain, then you’re not alone. It’s normal to experience discomfort while digesting food, but if your stomach pain is chronic and severe, then you should consult a gastroenterologist.
Here are the following reasons to visit a gastroenterologist:
- Structural problem with the bowel. One of the chief reasons to visit a gastroenterologist is to rule out any structural problem with the bowel. However, doctors rarely ask a person without any symptoms to come in for a physical check-up. A gastroenterologist is an expert in the field of gastroenterological diseases. These are diseases of the digestive system. They range from the common cold to more serious problems.
- There’s a lump in the throat. There are a number of reasons to visit a gastroenterologist, one of which is a lump in your throat. Individuals who have lumps in their throats will certainly be worried about the cause of the lumps. A recent study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that 50% percent of adults over the age of 60 had a lump in their throat that did not cause any other symptoms.
- Heartburn. Heartburn is a common symptom of a number of health conditions, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease (PUD), gallstones, and others. It is also very hard to diagnose. While the different conditions have different symptoms, heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest, usually at the back of the throat, that occurs when acidic stomach content backs up into the oesophagus.
- Preventative screenings. The medical community recently changed its stance on the importance of preventative health screenings. These screenings have become more important as the population ages, and the government requires insurers to cover treatment for high-risk conditions. Among the recommended tests are colonoscopies, virus tests, and other procedures that can be used to screen for cancer.
- Unexplained weight loss. Weight loss, especially weight loss that is unexplained or accompanied by other health problems, is a big reason to visit a gastroenterologist. Gastroenterologists are generally well-equipped to properly diagnose and manage these issues if they are causing weight loss.
- Prolonged bloating or abdominal pain. Abdominal pain or bloating is a common complaint mostly among women. It is usually seen as a result of a “congested belly,” which is a condition that causes the area of the belly to expand and cause pain. Some women also experience abdominal pain or bloating after pregnancy. The pain may also be due to infections or parasites and can be cured by visiting a doctor.
- Rectal bleeding. Rectal bleeding is a common occurrence because of several factors. The most common is bleeding of unknown origin caused by a slight irritation inside the rectum. Another reason is bleeding as a result of inflammation of the rectal mucosa. Even if rectal bleeding is a symptom of an underlying condition, a doctor may advise you to have a stool test.
- Food intolerances, sensitivities, and allergies. Food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances are used to describe the adverse effects of foods that are not perceived to be “allergenic” to the body. These symptoms can impact people of all ages, sexes, ethnicities, and grades. These effects can range from mild to severe and can be both immediate and delayed.
There are many reasons to see your doctor regarding your stomach pain from a medical perspective. Medical tests are performed to rule out other causes of your symptoms, such as Peptic Ulcers, Gastric Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, etc. The next step involves disease detection, with a scope and biopsy if needed, followed by a medication trial to see if the symptoms can be controlled with a new protocol. If this is unsuccessful, then surgery is the next step. And, you can always ask your doctor to refer you to a specialist if you feel that you need one.