Digestive Health and Disorders

Digestive Health and Disorders

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Occasional indigestion is a common problem, and the many whimsical heartburn commercials on TV seem to prove that. But when digestive disorders become painful and persistent, it’s important to see a doctor.

The symptoms of a serious digestive problem can vary widely. But some of the signs you should watch for include:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Heartburn not relieved by antacids

What Is a Gastroenterologist?

A gastroenterologist, or GI doctor, is a physician specifically trained in managing diseases of the gastrointestinal tract – the stomach, intestines, esophagus, liver, pancreas, colon and rectum. The experience often includes training in endoscopy:  the use of narrow, flexible lighted tubes with built-in video cameras inside the GI tract.

Physicians complete years of education and extensive training to become a gastroenterologist. Board certification for gastroenterologists is provided by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Certification requires physicians to complete graduate medical education fellowship training, demonstrate clinical competence and pass the Gastroenterology Certification Exam.

At Mercy, our gastroenterology team is experienced in diagnosing and treating all types of illnesses affecting the gastrointestinal tract. 

We can alleviate your symptoms and reduce or eliminate discomfort no matter where it may appear in your digestive system, from your esophagus and stomach to your small and large intestines, as well as the liver, gallbladder and pancreas.

Your treatment may be as simple as a change in diet, though in other cases, your options may include medication or surgery.

When surgery is necessary, your doctor will help you understand the details of your operation and what to expect in your recovery. Your doctor will work together with your surgeon and others involved with your treatment. We’ll provide you with a coordinated treatment plan to help you recover your digestive health. With day-to-day support from Mercy professionals, you can be confident that you’re getting the best care possible.

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