Posts for: October, 2022
An endoscopy is a vital diagnostic procedure gastroenterologists use to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions affecting your upper digestive system. An endoscopy allows your gastroenterologist to view your esophagus, upper intestine, and stomach.
Gastrointestinal conditions an endoscopy is helpful to diagnose and treat include:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Gastric and peptic ulcers
- Anemia and celiac disease
- Gastrointestinal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
Your gastroenterologist may recommend an endoscopy if you are experiencing:
- Acute or chronic abdominal pain
- Continuous nausea
- Frequent vomiting
- Difficulty swallowing
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
Before your endoscopy, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything for 4 to 8 hours before your procedure. Discontinue taking blood thinning medications and NSAIDS before your endoscopy.
Your gastroenterologist may ask you to take a sedative before your procedure, to help you relax before and during your endoscopy. Due to sedation, it’s necessary for you to bring someone with you to drive you home after your procedure.
During the endoscopy, your gastroenterologist will insert a thin, flexible tube into and down your throat. The tube contains a camera on one end. This camera allows your gastroenterologist to examine your esophagus and upper digestive system. If you have polyps or growths, your gastroenterologist can remove them.
An endoscopy also allows your gastroenterologist to take a small sample of tissue. Tissue samples and growths may be sent out for a biopsy. The biopsy can determine whether tissue cells are abnormal, precancerous, or cancerous.
When you have an endoscopy, your gastroenterologist examines your upper digestive system. For a comprehensive examination, your gastroenterologist may also recommend a colonoscopy, to examine your lower digestive system.
An endoscopy is an important diagnostic and treatment tool in common use by gastroenterologists. It’s safe, and effective, and it can even save your life. To find out more about reasons for having an endoscopy and how an endoscopy can protect your health, talk with your gastroenterologist today.
Crohn’s disease can dramatically impact your life. When you are in fear of eating the wrong foods or having a painful attack, it can make you want to stay home and avoid enjoying your life. Crohn’s disease can make you feel powerless, depressed, and isolated. Your gastroenterologist can help you manage Crohn’s disease, so you can live a full, enjoyable life again.
There are several factors that can contribute to developing Crohn’s disease, although the exact cause of Crohn’s disease is not known. An overactive immune system is believed to be a major factor. Your immune system attacks normal cells in your digestive tract, causing painful symptoms. Heredity may also be a factor.
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can be debilitating. They include:
- Feeling severe fatigue
- Having a fever
- Experiencing reduced appetite and weight loss
- Having frequent abdominal cramping and diarrhea
- Noticing blood in your stool
There are additional signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease which can affect other parts of your body. These include:
- Mouth sores
- Inflammation in your eyes and skin
- Joint inflammation and pain
Your gastroenterologist is an expert at the diagnosis and treatment of Crohn’s disease. Testing is necessary to provide a diagnosis, so your gastroenterologist may recommend:
- Blood tests to detect anemia
- Fecal blood tests to detect blood in your stool
- Imaging studies including a colonoscopy, MRI, or CT scan
When you have a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, your gastroenterologist can treat and help you manage Crohn’s with:
- Corticosteroid medications to reduce inflammation
- Immune system suppressing medications to reduce the destruction of healthy cells
- Antibiotic medications to eliminate infection
- Nutritional supplementation of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help prevent anemia
For severe cases of Crohn’s disease, your gastroenterologist may recommend surgery to remove damaged sections of your digestive tract. Your gastroenterologist can discuss this option with you and help you determine the best course of treatment.
If you are struggling with Crohn’s disease, you need help. Your gastroenterologist has the expertise and treatment you need. To find out more about Crohn’s disease signs, symptoms, and treatment, talk with your gastroenterologist today.