Our physicians, nurses, and nutritionists know that Gastrointestinal (GI) diseases are complex, confusing and sometimes painful. They’re well aware that patients dealing with these disorders often face both physical and emotional challenges. The professionals at Bon Secours Virginia also recognize that, for women, GI conditions need special attention and care.
GI diseases affect the gastrointestinal tract. This includes the esophagus, stomach, intestines, colon, and rectum. Inflammation and ulcers typically characterize GI disorders. Symptoms may include heartburn, indigestion, nausea, appetite loss, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits. Women experience these diseases differently than men. This is partly due hormonal changes, like those accompanying pregnancy. For example, women are at greater risk for gastritis, gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome, and colonic disorders.
Diagnosis for GI disorders may include consulting specialists and testing. The latter may include use of ultrasound, x-rays, and blood testing. Your doctor may ask you to do a barium swallow, which involves drinking a special liquid while your digestion is monitored. Or, clinician may use an endoscope, which provides a picture of your gastrointestinal tract. GI diseases have many causes -- alcohol and tobacco use, poor diet, eating spicy foods, allergies, aspirin use, stress, and serious illness.
Regardless of your condition, our health care professionals can help by recommending medicines or lifestyle changes that can make you comfortable. They’ll also be sure to work with you as partners who respect your wishes and address your concerns.
For a list of Bon Secours gastroenterologists, click here.