General Gastroenterology

There are many general conditions related to the digestive tract that a gastroenterologist can help with. A consultation in the office and sometimes a series of tests or evaluations can help determine the best course of treatment for the following conditions.

Celiac disease is a condition in which the immune system responds abnormally to a protein called gluten (or gliadin), which can cause damage to the lining of the small intestine. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, and a multitude of prepared foods. Celiac disease is also known as gluten sensitive enteropathy, celiac sprue, and nontropical sprue.

Small bowel bacterial overgrowth (SBBO) also called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) occurs when there is abnormal growth and accumulation of bacteria in the small intestine. Normally, there are relatively few bacteria in the small intestine, especially when compared to the colon (large intestine), which normally harbors large numbers of bacteria. The small intestine is where food and nutrients are absorbed into the body. Excessive numbers of bacteria there can themselves digest the nutrients, leaving less for human absorption. Also as a consequence of bacterial metabolism, certain breakdown products are released by the bacteria that can cause symptoms for the human host.

Some people feel that they pass too much gas (flatulence) or burp too frequently, both of which can be a source of embarrassment and discomfort. Studies show that the average adult produces about one to three pints of gas each day, which is passed through the anus 14 to 23 times per day. Burping occasionally before or after meals is also normal. If you think you’re outside the normal range, talk to a specialist to see if something else is going on.

Hemorrhoids are inflamed or swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum and can be painful and bleed. Fortunately, there are treatment options that can help. Call to be evaluated and see what treatment option is best for you.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a common disease that affects adults and children, and about 20% of the U.S. population, according to the National Institute of Health. Occasional acid reflux (also known as GER or gastroesophageal reflux) is a very common problem where gastric contents flow back into the esophagus. But those who suffer from reflux more than twice a week may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is more serious and can lead to serious health problems like esophageal inflammation, failure to gain weight, respiratory symptoms, or choking.

Learn more about these conditions and treatment options by calling to schedule an appointment with a Board-certified gastroenterologist that can help.