Has it been a while since you visited a gastroenterologist? Our Roswell, GA, gastroenterologist, Dr. Melvin Bullock, explains why you won't want to put off your visit, particularly if you need a colonoscopy or other diagnostic test.
When should I see the gastroenterologist?
Gastroenterologists diagnose treat diseases and conditions of the digestive tract. They offer treatments that can improve your comfort and help you avoid serious consequences related to your disease or condition. If any of these circumstances apply to you, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with our Roswell office:
- You Have Frequent Heartburn: It's not unusual to experience heartburn occasionally, particularly after a heavy meal, but when heartburn is frequent, it may be a sign that you have gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). The condition occurs when acids in your stomach flow backwards into your esophagus, causing pain, a bad taste in your mouth, hoarseness, excess saliva, worsening asthma and other symptoms. Taking medications that reduce the production of stomach acids or lower the amount of time acids stay in your stomach may help relieve your symptoms if you have GERD.
- Diarrhea and Constipation Are Chronic Problems: There's no need to live with diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and other uncomfortable or unpleasant symptoms. The symptoms can be caused by a variety of diseases and conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease or Crohn's disease. Prompt treatment can relieve your symptoms and also help you avoid complications.
- You Just Had a 50th Birthday Party: At age 50, your risk of colon cancer begins to rise. Colonoscopy, a minimally invasive diagnostic test that transmits images of your colon via a small camera inserted through your anus, can be a life-saving procedure. During the test, we look for polyps or other signs of possible cancer. If polyps are removed when they're pre-cancerous, your risk of developing the cancer greatly diminishes. Colonoscopies may also be needed if you have certain gastrointestinal conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic anemia or a history of cancer or polyps.
Protect your health by visiting your gastroenterologist and following the recommended colonoscopy schedule. Call our Roswell, GA, gastroenterologist, Dr. Bullock, at (770) 442-5882 to make your appointment.