There are a variety of medical concerns involving the gastrointestinal tract that might need more specific and specialized care than what a typical primary care doctor can provide. Dr Mark Swaim says that gastroenterologists are the ones who have the needed medical training and experience to competently treat the major diseases that affect the esophagus, liver, pancreas, colon, rectum, intestines, and stomach. Dr Swaim himself is a gastroenterologist, and he underlines that people should ideally visit such a specialist of they are facing a digestive health disorder or if need a colon cancer screening.
While most people associate a gastroenterologist with being just a stomach doctor, it is important to note that these specialists help in diagnosing and treating conditions related to various other parts of the body. Dr Mark Swaim mentions that a timely visit to a gastroenterologist can go a long way in enabling people to get the needed relief from diverse uncomfortable, and inconvenient symptoms that can hinder them from smoothly carrying out their daily tasks. Dr. Mark W. Swaim is a gastroenterologist in Jackson, Tennessee, and he has been in practice for more than two decades.
Here are some of the situations pointed out by Dr Mark Swaim when people must visit a gastroenterologist at once:
- Constipation: Less than three bowel movements are considered to indicate constipation, as per the rule of thumb. If someone is suffering from constipation regularly, then there is a chance that they might be having a serious digestive issue. Constipation largely affects people who have a low fiber intake, drink less water, and are old in age.
- Diarrhea: Basically the opposite of constipation, diarrhea implies to several bowel movements that are not solid. This condition can also be caused due to various digestive issues. While diarrhea is a relatively harmless symptom, its regular occurrence can indicate a more serious underlying condition such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
- Consistent heartburn: Even though heartburn is quite common, the persistent occurrence of this condition might be a sign of major issues like acid reflux, or GERD.
- Gallstones: Extensive pain can be caused due to gallstones, which refers to the hardened buildup of the digestive fluid that breaks down the food eaten by people. This pain can last for hours, and mostly come suddenly and intensely.
- Scheduling a colonoscopy: People more than 50 years of age should get their colonoscopy done every 5-10 years. This procedure is especially important for people having a family history of polyps or colon cancer
- Cancer screenings: After a certain age, older adults should try and make a habit of going for cancer screening that may affect their digestive tract, as they would be at a high risk of facing these issues. They should ideally get the screening done for colorectal cancer, intestinal cancer, and beyond.
Specialists like Dr Mark Swaim can effectively diagnose and treat various issues related to the GI tract, and provide the needed relief to the discerning patients.