Have a question for our gastroenterologist? We are here to answer some of your most popular questions.
The GI tract can be rather confusing sometimes. You may be dealing with stomach cramps or have trouble with heartburn. If so, you may end up coming up with a laundry list of questions for our GI doctor. Well, now we are here to provide you with some of the answers you’ve been looking for.
Q. Why should I see a gastroenterologist?
A. If you’ve talked to your family physician about some of the gastrointestinal issues you’ve been experiencing (e.g. heartburn; diarrhea; abdominal pain), then chances are good that your doctor will refer you to a gastroenterologist. You may also want to visit us if you have a family history of colon cancer or if you are over the age of 50 (to start getting routine colon cancer screenings).
Q. What problems can a gastroenterologist treat?
A. As you probably already know, a gastroenterologist is a medical professional who specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions of the gastrointestinal system as well as digestive organs. This includes everything from the esophagus and stomach to the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Q. Should I get a colonoscopy from my gastroenterologist?
A. Any man or woman over the age of 50 should start getting routine colonoscopies. If results come back normal, then you may not need to come in for another colonoscopy for another 10 years. Of course, if you have a family history of colon cancer, if you are African American or you have other risk factors, then we may determine that you should come in more regularly and earlier for screenings.
Q. What are some ways to treat heartburn?
A. While some people may be able to remedy their heartburn by taking an over-the-counter medication, if these medications aren’t doing the trick then it’s time you turned to us for a prescription medication that could help reduce flare-ups. Of course, avoiding acidic or spicy foods and eating smaller portions can also help reduce your heartburn symptoms.
Q. How can I prevent colon cancer?
A. There are many easy lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health and reduce your chances of colon cancer including limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, eating a healthy balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. Everyone, no matter their risk level, should be screened for colon cancer.
If you have any other questions that we didn’t address here, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and your Woodlands & Conroe, TX gastroenterologist a call. If you need to sit down and talk to us, we would be happy to schedule a consultation for you.