A stomach doctor – also called a gastroenterologist – handles ailments of the digestive system, including everything from esophageal problems to liver disease.
In this blog, Manhattan gastroenterologist Dr. Anthony Borcich explains the symptoms as well as the need for screenings that should prompt you to make an appointment with a stomach doctor.
What is a stomach doctor?
A gastroenterologist specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. This includes the stomach, intestines, esophagus, liver, pancreas, colon, and rectum.
This type of specialist has advanced training and education beyond medical school that encompasses internal medicine as well as gastroenterology.
When should you see a stomach doctor?
A gastroenterologist’s advanced training and education makes this type of doctor very well qualified to diagnose and treat stomach disorders and to conduct and interpret screenings.
Any of the following can be a good reason to see a gastroenterologist:
- Rectal bleeding
- Bowel leakage
- Change in bowel movements
- Black, tarry stools
- Dark urine
- Abdominal pain
- Indigestion in mid- to late life that previously didn’t exist
- Difficulty swallowing
- Esophageal pain
- Belching or flatulence
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lack of energy
What are some common conditions treated by stomach doctors?
Conditions frequently treated by stomach doctors include the following:
- Heartburn/GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Inflammatory bowel disease – such as Crohn’s disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Celiac disease – makes your body unable to process gluten
What types of screenings do stomach doctors conduct?
Gastroenterologists often conduct screenings that include the following:
- Colonoscopy – This test allows your doctor to use a long, flexible lighted tube with a tiny video camera on the end to see inside your colon. Your doctor can spot polyps and if needed, remove them or take a small tissue sample to use for a biopsy.
- Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (EGD) – This procedure allows your doctor to use a fiberoptic scope to view your esophagus, stomach, and the upper part of your small intestine. It can be used to help relieve certain swallowing problems, remove polyps, and check for signs of ulcers, celiac disease, inflammation, and more.
- Endoscopic ultrasound – High-frequency sound waves are used to produce images of your digestive tract and nearby organs. This allows your doctor to check for disorders of the esophagus, pancreas, stomach, and more.
If you’re experiencing any symptoms related to your gastrointestinal tract, make an appointment today with Dr. Borcich. He’s a dual fellowship trained Manhattan gastroenterologist with more than three decades of experience. Dr. Borcich will diagnose the cause of your symptoms and provide the most effective treatments possible to help you get relief.