Gastroenterology studies the operation and health of your gastrointestinal tract, which you may popularly know as the digestive system. Your digestive system, a tube extending from your mouth to the anus, has other hollow and solid organs, including the stomach, small and large intestines, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Therefore, an Austin gastroenterologist diagnoses and treat infections and illnesses that attack your digestive system. A gastrointestinal system specialist focuses on the physiology of associated organs, the passage of food, digestion of food, nutrient absorption, and excretion.
The diseases that may affect your digestive system and that your gastroenterologist may treat include cirrhosis of the liver, colon cancer, GERD, gallbladder problem, and liver inflammation. Consequently, below are warning signs that you may need to visit the office of your health specialist immediately.
If you have difficulty swallowing for an extended period, which may also involve the presence of an increasing lump in your throat, you need to seek treatment.
Difficulty swallowing, medically referred to as dysphagia, may make it impossible for you to consume all or other types of foods or liquids. Other symptoms associated with a swallowing problem may include frequent choking or coughing when drinking or eating.
Heartburn refers to a burning sensation that you feel in your chest. The feeling results from your stomach acid finding its way back into your esophagus, throat, or mouth. A never-ending form of heartburn is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Heartburn or acid reflux may come from specific foods and drinks, being overweight, smoking, some anti-inflammatory medications, and overproduction of some hormones.
Other signs and symptoms of acid reflux besides burning chest pain include breathlessness, belching, regurgitation, bitter taste, and dry cough.
The condition occurs when your stomach retains instead of releasing its excess intestinal gas. Gas accumulation in your abdomen may be due to a digestive disorder, eating too fast, or menstruation. For instance, when you devour a lot of food speedily, you swallow excessive air, leading to bloating and gas.
Sometimes, a bloated stomach may be a sign of a severe health problem, such as the reaction of your immune system to consuming gluten (celiac disease) or an inflammatory bowel disease affecting the digestive tract lining.
Often if you have diarrhea, the loose or watery stools last a few days. However, the digestive condition may sometimes last more than three weeks, indicating that it is a product of a chronic issue threatening your life.
Other symptoms you may have include blood or pus in the fecal matter, insufficient hydration, and severe pain in the rectum or abdomen.
Long-term diarrhea may be due to severe infections, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and Crohn’s disease.
Yellowish skin and eyes
Yellowing of the eyes and skin often occurs in many newborns; a condition called jaundice. It results from the accumulation of bilirubin in the blood.
The yellowish pigment that turns the skin and eyes is due to the liver’s inefficient breakdown of red blood cells.
Jaundice is a sign of a severe underlying health condition damaging your liver or affecting your bile ducts.
Contact Lonestar Gastroenterology today for comprehensive care involving medications, screening tests, dietary recommendations, and various diagnostic procedures.