There are some sensitive medical concerns – like the ones involving the gastrointestinal tract – which need more specific care than a primary care doctor can provide. If you are experiencing some unusual digestive problems or discomfort or pain along your digestive tract, you must see a stomach doctor or gastroenterologist soon.
Notably, a gastroenterologist is an expert in diagnosing and treating various gastrointestinal ailments. Here are a few signs that you should visit a gastroenterologist immediately.
1. You Have Difficulty Swallowing
You should visit a doctor for stomach issues if you are facing persistent trouble swallowing, which is also known as dysphagia. You could be facing this problem because of a worsening lump in the throat. In addition to that, persistent throat pain or swelling also indicates that you should seek help from a gastroenterologist.
Furthermore, if you can’t even swallow water, it can signify a severe condition. Trouble swallowing can be an indication of acid reflux damage to your esophagus, weakening of esophagus muscles, a lesion, or something that may have caused the esophagus to narrow. These hinder the ability of the esophagus to transport liquids or foods to the stomach. In such a case, it becomes increasingly important to get the issue diagnosed and treated by a stomach doctor.
2. You Have Frequent or Severe Heartburn
Experiencing heartburn sometimes isn’t a matter of serious concern. However, if you deal with frequent heartburn, it can be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. This condition can scar and damage the lining of the esophagus over time.
Notably, heartburn can be caused by various irritants including alcohol, cigarettes, fried foods, carbonated drinks, and spicy food. You should see a stomach doctor specialist if the heartburn further develops the following signs:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain while swallowing
- Bloody or tarry bowel movements
3. Abdominal Bloating
If you’re unable to button your pants that fit fine a few days ago, you may have abdominal bloating. A rapid increase in girth denotes that your stomach is bloated as it is retaining gas. Moreover, some individuals also experience painful and unexplainable bloating accompanied by nausea, painful bowel movements, or bloody stool.
Importantly, this can be a sign of IBS, gallstones, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, GERD, or ulcerative colitis. A stomach pain doctor should be consulted in case you’re experiencing any of these issues.
If you have low water intake, don’t work out daily, take antidepressants, overuse laxatives, eat junk food, or consume a lot of dairy products, there are chances of you experiencing constipation. Constipation occurs when it gets hard to have a bowel movement, or when you don’t have a bowel movement at all.
Constipation can be a sign of a serious issue. If you are going more than three days without having a bowel movement, it will keep getting harder and harder to empty your bowels. If you don’t visit a stomach doctor soon, it can turn into chronic constipation as well.
Chronic constipation can be a sign of an underlying condition like:
- Intestinal blockage
- Narrowed colon
- Rectal or colon cancer
- Hormonal problem
- Neurological disorder