Gastroenterology Clinic Questions and Answers
Got stomach problems? Visit Vanguard Gastroenterology near Tribeca, NY. We provide a wide range of services, including colonoscopies, upper endoscopies, breath tests, and more. We also provide treatments for GERD/acid reflux, Crohn’s disease and more. For more information, please call us or book an appointment online.
What is a gastroenterologist?
Gastroenterologists are specialist doctors who work in the medical field of gastroenterology, the branch of medicine which focuses on the digestive system and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Gastroenterologists treat diseases and medical conditions which range from irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, to hepatitis C.
To help with diagnosis and treatment, gastroenterologists frequently perform what are known as endoscopic procedures – which are procedures that use specialized instruments, typically equipped with a camera, to view the GI tract in real-time. They do not typically perform surgical procedures, although they do work with surgeons who specialize in the GI tract and can be found in both clinical and hospital settings.
Gastroenterology is a specialized field of medicine which can be further divided and specialized in, with some focusing on treating general diseases which affect the GI tract, while others may choose to further specialize. Some potential areas of specialization that a gastroenterologist may further specialize in include: hepatology; pancreatic diseases; transplantation; inflammatory bowel disease; gastrointestinal cancer; endoscopic surveillance; and reflux esophagitis.
Why should I visit a gastroenterologist?
For those who experience abnormal bowel movements, rectal bleeding, frequent heartburn, abdominal pain or bloating, or are experiencing difficulty swallowing, then your primary care provider may recommend that you see a gastroenterologist. If you are without a primary care provider and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, then it is recommended that you visit a gastroenterologist. Additionally, if you are at an age to be at risk of colorectal cancer, then it is recommended that you see one on a regular basis for screenings for the disease.
There are, however, six important signs which indicate that you should schedule an appointment or consultation with a gastroenterologist. These include:
- Experiencing abnormal bowel movements, including constipation (where you pass fewer than three bowel movements per week), if you have diarrhea that persists for longer than a few days, which could be indicative of an underlying condition;
- Experiencing rectal bleeding, which can be a sign of several conditions, including anal fissures, hemorrhoids, or even cancer;
- You experience frequent heartburn or acid reflux, in which case you may potentially have a condition which is known as gastroesophageal reflex disease, or GERD, which a gastroenterologist can diagnosis and treat;
- You are over the age of fifty, then you should see a gastroenterologist for regular screenings for colorectal cancer;
- If you experience abdominal pain and/or bloating after every meal or if that pain is accompanied by nausea or painful bowel movements, then you should seek out a gastroenterologist and/or alert your primary care provider;
- For those who experience frequent esophageal pain or experience difficulty swallowing on a regular basis (or if the pain increases over time) then you should visit a gastroenterologist, who can diagnosis and treat the underlying condition or cause.
Here at Vanguard Gastroenterology, we treat a range of conditions which affect the GI tract and the digestive system – including GERD, acid reflux, and Crohn’s disease. If you are experiencing problems with your GI tract or are having gastrointestinal problems or just need help managing your chronic gastrointestinal condition, then Vanguard Gastroenterology can help. If you would like to book an appointment with one of our expert gastroenterologists, please visit us online to request an appointment through our patient portal or call us to book your appointment over the phone.