Most of us experience digestive health or gastrointestinal issues at some point in our lives. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by digestive diseases. The most common include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers and chronic constipation.
The digestive system, which is also called the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon) and rectum. The job of the digestive system is to transport and break down the food you eat so that it can be used by your body to build and nourish cells, and provide energy. When any part of the digestive system breaks down, problems result.
At Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center, we offer the latest advancements for diagnosing and treating a wide variety of gastrointestinal conditions. Our expert staff of gastroenterologists uses the latest tests and technology available to diagnose and treat a wide range of digestive conditions, including cancer.
Each month, these specialists perform several hundred procedures in our fully equipped GI Lab. And because our lab is located right in the Medical Center, we can immediately take care of patients in the unlikely event they experience a GI procedure-related complication.
To request your FREE Colorectal Screening Kit, call the Presence Info Line at (877) 737-INFO.
When to See Your Doctor
If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, a consultation with a GI physician might be helpful.
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the stool
- Change in bowel habits
- Difficulty swallowing
- Excess gas
- Jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin, eyes or urine)
- Persistent heartburn
- Unexplained weight loss
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