5 Signs You Need To See An Endoscopy Specialist
Endoscopy involves inserting a thin instrument–endoscopes–into the body’s openings, such as the mouth and anus. Typically, specialists conduct endoscopy to better view your internal organs, allowing them to determine the cause of your symptoms.
Aside from imaging, endoscopy can often perform other tasks, like getting tissue samples for biopsy. It can also be used to conduct minor surgical operations for life-threatening emergencies, such as treating active bleeding esophageal varices.
Not everyone who visits a doctor with symptoms involving the digestive tract will need an endoscopy.For example, having stomach pain won’t automatically warrant this type of procedure. However, here are five signs you need to see an endoscopy specialist:
Bloody Or Tarry Stools
Seeing black or bloody stool may be quite alarming. However, many conditions may cause this symptom, most of which are minor, like hemorrhoids. The best thing to do if you suddenly see tarry stool or blood-red spots in your stool is to visit your primary doctor. Your general physician (GP)may ask you to undergo an endoscopy to get to the bottom of your condition.
Depending on your other symptoms, your doctor might require advanced endoscopy solutions, such as Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography. If you’re experiencing jaundice, weight loss, and fatigue, you may need further medical tests for possible pancreatic or bile duct problems.
Heartburn Or Acid Reflux
Heartburn is a common condition that almost everybody occasionally experiences, especially after a high-fat meal. The symptom may be scary because it typically manifests as a burning sensation in the chest. However, it usually goes away after an hour or two and it maybe relieved by taking antacids.
But suppose your acid reflux and heartburn have become an everyday occurrence or accompanied by other symptoms, such as regurgitation. In that case, you may want to visit your doctor soon because you may probably be suffering from GERD.
Long-term acid reflux and GERD can lead to more severe conditions like Barrett’s esophagus, leading to esophageal cancer. Your GP might refer you to an endoscopy specialist to help diagnose your condition.
Dysphagia, which is characterized by trouble swallowing, is a symptom of inflammation, infection, or even cancer. Suppose this symptom is persistent and is already affecting your drinking and eating. In that case, you might want to see your primary doctor because it may be a sign that you already need to undergo an endoscopy.
People with dysphagia face higher risks when swallowing fishbones. While getting a fishbone stuck in the throat usually doesn’t warrant a visit to a doctor, you may probably experience slight throat pain. Larger fish bones may often get stuck in your esophagus and cause complications, such as bleeding and infection.
If having swallowed fish bones already impedes your eating and drinking or causes drooling, chest pains, and swelling in the throat, it may be time to see a doctor. Your doctor could help remove the bones quickly.However, there are cases where you may need an endoscopy specialist to examine the degree of damage caused by a fishbone in your digestive tract. So, be careful with bones when eating fish.
Unexplained Or Persistent Stomach Pain
Bellyache due to indigestion, lactose intolerance, or stomach virus is common in children and adults alike. Since the discomforts in the abdominal area are minor, this symptom is usually not a cause for concern.
However, if the pain is excruciating, persistent for hours, and coupled with other symptoms, it may already be a symptom of something serious. If this is the case, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor may require you to undergo some tests, like an endoscopy, to diagnose your condition.
Since inflammation, peptic ulcers, tumors, and even cancer are the leading causes of stomach pain, the endoscopic specialist may get a tissue sample from your gastrointestinal tract for biopsy. The biopsy is needed for a more conclusive diagnosis of what condition you may be suffering from, which will also help your doctor develop a treatment plan.
Irregular Bowel Movements
Lifestyle and diet changes can affect your bowel movement. However, irregular bowel movements, such as long-term diarrhea or constipation, may indicate underlying conditions, such as irritable bowel disease, bowel cancer, or even thyroid problems. Therefore, whatever caused the changes in your bowel movement should be further investigated by a specialist for a more conclusive finding.
For example, the inability to pass stool for days or weeks may be due to blockage somewhere in your gastrointestinal tract. This problem needs to be checked by an endoscopic specialist as soon as possible because you may need to undergo surgery to remove the mass that’s preventing you from passing stool smoothly.
Not all gastrointestinal problems warrant an endoscopy procedure. However, persistent stomach pain, blood in your stool, frequent heartburn or acid reflux, difficulty swallowing, irritable bowel syndrome are five sure signs that you need to visit an endoscopic specialist soon.