Health app consultations have seen an increase in recent times. The pandemic created a situation where everyone was confined to their homes which increased online consultations.
One of the common problems individuals express is related to stomach and intestine disorders that professional gastroenterologists treat.
Who is a Gastroenterologist?
Gastroenterology is the study of the human gastrointestinal system, dealing with disorders and functions of namely-
- Bile ducts
- Small intestine
A few of the common conditions treated by gastroenterologists are as follows-
- Gastrointestinal/ Pancreatic/ Liver/ Colorectal cancer
- IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Celiac Disease
- Gallbladder Disease
- Heartburns and Acid Reflux
When Should You Visit a Gastroenterologist?
The following are six signs and symptoms that, when observed, should be brought to a gastroenterologist’s notice-
- Abnormal movements of the bowel
If there are no bowel movements in more than three days, it is a sign of constipation. It can happen because of neurological issues, blockage issues, diet issues, or malfunction of hormones or muscles, among other reasons.
A gastroenterologist can help in providing relief from these conditions.
A runny stool once in a while can be because of the kind of food taken. But if watery stools continue for a few days, it is advised to see the best gastroenterologist in Ahmedabad or any in your vicinity.
Runny stools can also be signs of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, among others. Again, a gastroenterologist can help in recognizing the reason. A consultation can also be lined up using a health app.
- Bleeding from the rectum
Spotting blood in stools can be a cause of something simple or something complex. For example, it could be a minor tear or cut on the tissue that lines the anus. These are also known as anal fissures. It could also be a sign of haemorrhoids or cancer.
A gastroenterologist can help in clarifying the cause.
- Persistent heartburns
Sporadic or isolated heartburns do not present a cause to worry, but frequent heartburns do. They can be a sign of any of the following-
GERD – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Frequent acid refluxes, more commonly, are a cause of GERD, like mentioned above. But with proper medication and treatment, the discomfort can be diminished.
Therefore, a diagnosis by the best gastroenterologist in Ahmedabad can help identify and nip the problem in the bud.
- Abnormal pain in the abdomen or bloating
Experiencing abdominal pain or bloating at times is not a cause to worry about. However, if one experiences them every time after eating, it is advised to visit a physician.
- Dysphagia (trouble in swallowing) or pain in the oesophagus
Persistent trouble in swallowing or experiencing oesophageal pain can cause discomfort. A gastroenterologist can help in eliminating the discomfort caused by such experiences. They usually perform an upper endoscopy that allows in making the diagnosis and selecting an appropriate treatment. A health app can help in booking a consultation.
- Individuals who are fifty years or above
As a preventive measure, several screening tests are recommended for individuals with high-risk factors. In addition, older individuals should schedule regular screening tests for colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer starts as precancerous polyps. However, when detected, it can be removed with the help of a colonoscopy.
Everyone at one stage or other goes through digestive troubles. These troubles can be sometimes treated by OTC (over the counter) medicines like-
- Lactase supplements – helps in digesting lactose and reduce gas problems
- Alpha-galactosidase – helps in breaking down complex sugar or carbohydrates that cause gas
- Simethicone – helps in reducing bloating and pain caused by gas
- Probiotics – help in easing the digestive process
These are generally used for isolated incidents and not for frequent occurrences. However, before taking OTC medications, do consult a doctor. Some can interfere with existing conditions, like alpha-galactosidase. Sometimes digestive troubles can be severe and cannot be treated by OTC medicines. Instead, they need medical attention from a gastroenterologist.
Sitting idle and waiting for the doctor might feel like a redundant task. This is where a health app comes into play. With the increase of usage of such apps, developers are adding in features like booking appointments and online consultations. Consulting a doctor helps in getting an accurate diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis helps in treating the condition better and in a more efficient way.