Gastroenterologists specialize in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Many GI illnesses have overlapping symptoms, and some can be avoided using preventive care.
The following are some of the most common GI diseases and what they entail:
Crohn’s is a chronic condition that entails inflammation and irritation of the digestive tract, particularly the intestines. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fatigue, among others. A diet tailored for Crohn’s can help stave off episodes.
This is a condition in which small pouches, or sacs, that form in the colon get infected. This usually causes pain in the lower left area of a patient’s abdomen. It can also cause fever, constipation, or diarrhea.
Treatment of diverticulitis includes rest, antibiotics, and a full liquid diet for several days to get the system used to working properly again.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a disorder of the functioning of the GI tract that can cause pain in the abdominal area, constipation, diarrhea, gas, cramping, and bloating. The cause is unknown, but the main triggers seem to be stress, fluctuating hormones, and certain foods.
Acid reflux, or GERD, is when stomach acid flows back upward into the esophagus, often causing the feeling of heartburn. Other symptoms include coughing or, with chronic reflux, problems swallowing.
It can happen after consuming a large meal or drinking alcohol or coffee.
This is a digestive condition that affects the small intestine and is triggered by foods that contain the gluten protein – including wheat, rye, and barley. Celiac disease is caused by the immune system attacking the lining of the small intestines as a reaction to gluten. Its symptoms can include unexplained weight loss, constipation, and abdominal pain.
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis lasts a few days and then resolves, whereas chronic pancreatitis builds slowly over years and causes irreparable damage to the pancreas.
Treatment for pancreatitis is hospitalization with IV fluids to treat dehydration from the condition. The patient will also be told to fast in order to give the pancreas a break, and pain medications may also be prescribed.
Primary Doctor in Maryland
If you are in the Rockville, Bethesda, and Potomac areas and are interested in concierge medicine – to treat your GI issues or any other disorder – contact our caring team at Rockville Concierge Doctors. We are a full-service primary care medical practice for the whole family.