Do You Need a Gastroenterology Doctor?
Sometimes, it's obvious that you need a gastroenterology doctor. If you're having trouble with elimination, see blood in your stool, or even have oddly-colored stools, it doesn't take much thinking to realize that you need to get that checked out. However, other issues are far more subtle, and you may only find out that you need to see a GI specialist near me after an internist or family doctor refers you. In the worst case scenario, you may only find out after you end up in the hospital for something that seems completely unrelated!
One of the sneakiest problems can be bleeding in the stomach or upper intestine. When blood enters the digestive system so early, it doesn't look like blood by the time it reaches the other end. Instead, you may only notice that your stools are darker than normal or a bit more odorous. Unless you are already familiar with the condition, you're highly unlikely to connect the other symptoms – weakness, shortness of breath, and pale skin – with the anemia that is creeping up on you. In a case like this, you will likely only see a gastroenterology doctor when a hospital finds that you have a low red blood cell count and wants to find out where your blood went.
Other sneaky signs include not gaining weight despite eating a lot or signs of nutritional deficits even in the presence of a healthy diet. These can point to Crohn's or celiac disease, which affect the absorption of both nutrients and calories.
Because of possibilities like this, you should look for a gastrologist near me as soon as you notice symptoms that could be attributed to intestinal problems. It doesn't take long to get a scope for either the upper or lower intestine, and catching issues early can save you from months or years of weakness and discomfort. Many intestinal problems can now be treated well with medication, especially with early detection, and the feeling of being healthy again will make you glad you saw a GI specialist near me right away.
Another time you should see a gastrologist near me is if it's time to get a routine colonoscopy. These can catch cancer, polyps, and other problems soon enough for them to be successfully treated. In the case of cancer, catching it before it shows obvious symptoms can save your life, so don't ignore this type of testing. Gastrologists do colonoscopies all the time, so there is no need to be embarrassed about having that area looked at. Soon, the test will be done, and you'll be on your way.