You probably don’t want to think about gastroenterology … until you need a gastroenterologist in Brooklyn. Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine that fights inflammation and other problems with your digestive system, also referred to as your gastrointestinal tract. A gastroenterologist in Brooklyn NY can treat everything from acid reflux to colon cancer.
Hemorrhoids, stomach pain and acid reflux are just three reasons to visit a gastroenterologist in Brooklyn NY. Gastroenterology is the medical specialty for your digestive system.
It deals with the health, diseases and injuries to your digestive tract — from your esophagus to your stomach, down through both intestines (small and large), to your colon and out your anus. Along the way, your bile ducts, liver, pancreas and gallbladder are all involved.
Your gastroenterologist in Brooklyn is devoted to analyzing your discomfort, diagnosing your condition and providing effective solutions for you and your family. He’s done considerable study of the digestive system and all its potential problems and solutions.
When to See a Gastroenterologist in Brooklyn
If you just have a mild, temporary stomachache, you don’t need to go to see a specialist. In fact, if you have a sore throat or a stomachache, you should make an appointment with your family practice doctor. But there are many symptoms and medical conditions that your gastroenterologist can treat, such as:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): When you continually suffer from heartburn or acid reflux, it can damage the lining of your esophagus. This irritation is what causes your symptoms.
- Stomach pain. Stomach pain is easy to ignore when you think it’s from something you ate. But if it lasts longer than usual, call your gastroenterology expert. It may be an H-pylori infection, a stomach ulcer or something more serious.
- Stomach ulcer. Also called a peptic ulcer, a stomach ulcer doesn’t always come with symptoms. But you may experience heartburn or a burning stomach pain, especially with an empty stomach. It may be caused by an H-pylori infection or from taking too much over-the-counter pain medication.
- Helicobacter pylori (H-pylori) infection. An H-pylori infection hits your digestive system, sometimes leaving you with pain, vomiting and tarry stools. If left untreated, it can lead to serious conditions including stomach cancer.
Further down your digestive tract, problems become more difficult to treat without surgery, such as:
- Your pancreas helps you digest food. If it becomes inflamed, the disease causes abdominal pain, fever and nausea.
- Gallbladder infection. Gallstones are a common affliction of the gallbladder. It could be cancer or just an infection. If you have pain in your abdomen, have it examined.
- Hepatitis C. This viral disease causes liver disease. About 3.5 million Americans suffer from it, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
And your colon, bowels and anus can cause pain from several conditions, including:
- When your colon’s lining becomes inflamed, it can cause pain, diarrhea and blood in your stool. Although not serious by itself, it can lead to dangerous complications. One of its causes is Crohn’s disease, a hard-to-treat intestinal condition.
- Colon polyps. Usually discovered during a colonoscopy, polyps are protruding growths on the lining inside your colon. If left untreated, they can turn cancerous.
- Colon cancer. Cancer within your large intestine often begins with polyps, which is why polyps are removed during a colonoscopy.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). A medical condition that strikes your large intestine, IBS causes such symptoms as constipation, diarrhea, excess gas, cramping, bloating, mucus in your stool and abdominal pain.
- Inflamed veins in your rectum and anus aren’t life-threatening, but they can be painful. Pain and bleeding are the symptoms that alert you something’s wrong. Over-the-counter treatments aren’t always what you need.
You need a regular check-up from a gastroenterologist in Brooklyn NY if you’ve had a past gastroenterological issue. The most commonly performed procedure is a colonoscopy, which serves as a colon cancer screening test for those older than 50. You may only need a colonoscopy once every 10 years after your first one unless someone in your family has had colon cancer or your doctor discovers a plethora of polyps.
Gastroenterologists have the ability to see inside your body cavities through an endoscopy procedure. A tiny camera at the end of a thin, flexible wire can give your gastroenterologist a clear, unobstructed view of potential problems, which aids in diagnosis and in treatment. A colonoscopy is an endoscopy that also employs a tool to remove any polyps discovered.
Other Non-Surgical Procedures
Your gastroenterology specialist can perform surgical and non-surgical treatments. Most of the time, he tries non-surgical procedures before having to resort to surgery. Your specific treatment is based on your particular medical condition. And the first step is always an accurate diagnosis.
Non-surgical procedures from your gastroenterologist in Brooklyn include a:
- Sigmoidoscopy to assess your bowels
- Biopsy of your liver to check for inflammation or fibrosis
- Double-balloon enteroscopy to examine your small intestine
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography to find tumors or gallstones
- Endoscopic ultrasound to view your whole gastrointestinal tract