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What your gastroenterologist in Houston wants you to knowgastroenterologist

Gastroenterology is a complex medical specialty dealing with diseases and conditions of the stomach and digestive system. Gastroenterologists, also called stomach doctors, can diagnose and treat ulcers, colon and rectal issues, and digestive problems. Dr. Krishnamurthy Shivshanker at Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants in Houston, TX, wants to share some frequently asked questions and answers about gastroenterology.

What is an endoscopy?

An endoscopy involves using a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera attached on the end. The tool, known as an endoscope, is threaded down your esophagus and allows your doctor to see the tissue in your esophagus and upper digestive tract. An endoscopy can detect peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal disease or GERD, and bleeding in your upper digestive tract.

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is similar to an endoscopy; however, the thin, flexible tube is placed up through the rectum and allows your doctor to view your lower intestine, colon and rectum. A colonoscopy can detect colon cancer, colitis, Crohn’s disease, polyps, growths and gastrointestinal bleeding.

What is an ulcer?

An ulcer is an irritation or lesion in your stomach caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori. An overabundance of this bacterium causes an infection which can result in an ulcer. Ulcers can also develop from taking pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen for a long period of time.

How can I know if I have an ulcer?

Ulcers don’t always cause symptoms, making them difficult to diagnose. There are some typical signs and symptoms to look for including burning stomach pain, a full or bloated feeling, nausea, excess stomach acid, increasing pain between meals and during the night, and problems eating foods that are high in fat.

What are the signs of colon cancer?

Colon cancer can be deadly, which is why it is recommended to have a colonoscopy after the age of 50. There are some signs to look for if you think you might have colon cancer. Typical signs and symptoms include chronic abdominal pain and cramping, rapid loss of weight, fatigue, weakness, chronic constipation or diarrhea, and dark, tarry stools which may be an indication of blood in your stools.

These are just a few of the questions your gastroenterologist frequently answers. For more answers about gastroenterology conditions and treatment, call Dr. Krishnamurthy Shivshanker at Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants with two convenient office locations in Houston, TX. Call today!

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