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Indicative Symptoms for

Gastroenterologist

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Swallowing issues

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Reflux

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Persistent Acidity

Gastroenterologist in Surat
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Gastroenterologist

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Know Your Gastroenterologist

Gastroenterology is a branch of medicine that analyses the physiology and disorders of the oesophagus, small intestine, stomach, rectum and colon, gallbladder, pancreas, liver, and bile ducts. A gastroenterologist is a doctor who specialises in studying, diagnosing, and treating the issues and disorders related to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (also called the digestive tract) and liver. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs in the body and is important in food ingestion and digestion, nutrient absorption, and waste removal from the body. Gastroenterologists or gastrology doctors begin as general physicians and become specialists after three additional years of study in the abovementioned domain. After this, they are qualified to give diagnoses and perform tests and treatment procedures like upper endoscopies, sigmoidoscopies, biopsies, and colonoscopies. They can also perform advanced endoscopic or non-surgical procedures like removing polyps and tumours.

Common conditions that gastroenterologists treat

Gastroenterological diseases are health conditions that impact the GI tract. These conditions can range from mild to severe. If left untreated, such conditions can affect a person’s day-to-day functioning and worsen their quality of life.

Some common gastro disorders are:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GER): Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid or bile flows into the oesophagus. Heartburn and acid regurgitation are the most commonly seen symptoms of GERD.
  • Indigestion or dyspepsia: This condition can cause discomfort in your abdomen after a meal or during a meal. This condition can often be the underlying cause of another digestive issue.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Nausea is the sensation of wanting to vomit, while the latter is the involuntary emptying of the stomach’s contents. Food poisoning, allergies, pregnancy, overeating, or some other underlying cause can cause both issues.
  • Ulcers: A peptic ulcer is a sore that can develop in the stomach lining, the oesophagus, or the small intestine. Abdominal discomfort, flatulence, and indigestion are common symptoms. However, some people experience no symptoms at all.
  • Constipation: This condition refers to no bowel movement or difficulty in passing stool regularly. It can be a chronic condition in some people. Usually, increasing dietary fibre is helpful; otherwise, laxatives are prescribed.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): IBS is a common GI disorder where a person can experience bowel movements alternating between constipation and diarrhoea, have bloating, pass excess gas, and have abdominal cramps.
  • Celiac disease: This is an autoimmune reaction to consuming gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Most people experience symptoms like indigestion, flatulence, nausea, vomiting upon consuming foods that contain gluten.
  • Lactose intolerance: This is the inability to digest lactose, a carbohydrate that is present in milk and milk products. The intolerance occurs because the enzyme, lactase, is not present in the small intestine. Bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting are common symptoms of lactose intolerance.
  • Crohn’s disease: This condition causes inflammation in the digestive tract and can sometimes have life-threatening effects. Its common symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss, anaemia, and fatigue. However, some people can go their entire lives without experiencing a single symptom.
  • Haemorrhoids: are These swollen or inflamed veins in the anal and rectum area that can be painful, itchy, and can also sometimes bleed. Haemorrhoids are common and people 50 and above are more susceptible to them.
  • Colitis: This is an inflammatory bowel disease where there is a formation of ulcers and sore in the in the colon, usually the large intestine. Generally, the symptoms experienced include abdominal pain, problems with passing stool, and sometimes fever, fatigue, anaemia, and weight loss.
  • Gallstones: These are hard, pebble-like deposits of cholesterol that form in the gallbladder, which is located right below the liver. Usually, there are no symptoms present, but some people may experience sharp pain the abdomen called biliary colic.
  • Pancreatitis: This condition leads to the inflammation in the pancreas and can happen in both children and adults. It is both chronic (long-term) and acute (short-term). Its causes are usually gallstones, certain medication, heavy alcohol consumption, and genetic predisposition. Symptoms include pain in the abdomen that can extend till the back, vomiting, nausea, fever, and weight loss.
  • Liver disease: There are many types of liver diseases. Some are caused because of faulty lifestyle choices and some because of inherited conditions.

What are the factors that can affect the GI tract?

There are certain external factors that can contribute in disorders to the GI tract, like:

  • Consuming a low-fibre diet
  • Inadequate physical activity
  • Traveling or other routine changes
  • Consuming a lot of dairy products
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Failing to have a bowel movement, possibly due to haemorrhoids
  • Medications like antidepressants, iron pills, narcotics, antacids containing calcium or aluminium, or too many anti-diarrheal medicines

When should you see a gastroenterologist specialist

If any of these symptoms have persisted for a long time and are disrupting your daily routine, then it is recommended that you have a gastroenterologist online consultation or in-person:

  • Frequent heartburn that does not go away even after consuming antacids
  • Lump in the throat and difficulty swallowing
  • Bloody stool and/or rectal bleeding
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Severe abdominal pain and cramps
  • Chronic constipation
  • Frequent diarrhoea
  • Constant gas and indigestion
  • Unusually bloated

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