When to seek the help of a Gastroenterologist

When to seek the help of a Gastroenterologist

A Gastroenterologist is a highly trained physician that has received specialized education for the treatment of diseases related to the stomach, intestines, esophagus, liver, pancreas, colon and rectum.  Gastroenterologists, upon completion of medical school, must go through an additional 5+ years of education of Gastroenterology and medical school.

With that said, Gastroenterologists are able to effectively treat patients for an array of conditions and should problems arise in areas that we mentioned above then it’s time to seek the help of a Gastroenterologist.

For this article, we were able to sit down with one of Florida’s leading Gastroenterologists (Dr. Vikram Tarugu) where we received some information on what signs and symptoms a patient should look for when determining if Gastroenterologist intervention is necessary.

Common symptoms that you should see a Gastroenterologist for include:


dr.tarugu, best gastroenterologist in floridaSymptoms of heartburn include a pain or burning sensation in the chest or throat area.  Heartburn is initiated when acid from the stomach is released up into the esophagus which is the tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach.  While heartburn for most people tend to be a “once in a while” experience, regular occurrences (two times or more per week) could potentially be a sign of a serious condition called “Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)” so visiting a Gastroenterologist for an evaluation is highly recommended.


dr.tarugu, best gastroenterologist in floridaThe gallbladder (a small organ inside of the stomach), is the place where gallstones (hard nuggets) develop and can vary in size from the size of grain of sand to the size of a golf ball (there can be multiple sizes at once).

Common symptoms include a sudden and sharp pain towards the right side of the abdomen.

The causes and development can be initiated by Blood Sugar Imbalances, Estrogen Dominance, Food Allergies/Sensitivities, Chronic Stress, Low Fiver Diet, Low Stomach Acid Production, Obesity, Rapid Weight Loss, and Low-Fat Diets.

Gallstones develop when there’s an imbalance in the liquid that’s produced by the liver which is known as “bile”.  If you have symptoms of Gallstones, Gastroenterologist intervention is necessary.  Treatment of Gallstones includes the removal of the gallbladder while in some cases the Gastroenterologist will make use of medication to dissolve the stones.

Lactose Intolerance

dr.tarugu, best gastroenterologist in floridaWhile being a common disorder, being “Lactose Intolerant” means that your body does not produce enough protein lactase to either break down or digest the content found in dairy products.  Common symptoms of being lactose intolerant include bloating, stomach pain, gas and diarrhea after consuming dairy products (symptoms may not occur for 2-3 hours after consuming dairy products).

If you haven’t yet been diagnosed as being lactose intolerant, it’s highly suggested that you seek the help of a Gastroenterologist as you’ll be able to find out if you have this condition.

Undergoing a medical exam for this is important as if you are lactose intolerant, the Gastroenterologist can help to suggest (and in some cases “provide”) dietary supplements and alternatives which would help you to avoid the consumption of products that will initiate the symptoms.

Celiac Disease

dr.tarugu, best gastroenterologist in floridaCeliac Disease is involved with and targets the immune system and causes damage to the individual’s small intestine.  This is typically a hereditary/genetic condition and requires individuals to not consume foods that contain “gluten”.  Gluten is a certain type of protein that is found in barley, rye and wheat and if you experience pain or diarrhea after consuming foods with these proteins then you may have Celiac Disease.

While avoiding the consumption of foods containing gluten properties can alleviate the pain, it’s highly suggested that you visit a Gastroenterologist as treatment may need to be performed depending on the amount of inflicted intestinal damage.

Other signs of possibly serious conditions that would require the attention of a Gastroenterologist include:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Leakage/underwear stains
  • Bowel movement urges that are hard to control
  • Diarrhea
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Pale-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Heartburn (acid reflux)
  • Abdominal pain or bloating
  • Excessive gas or belching
  • Esophageal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite or weight
  • Lethargy

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms that were discussed in this post then immediately seek the attention of a Gastroenterologist so your condition(s) can be diagnosed and properly treated.  Avoiding or prolonging treatment can further complicate and worsen the condition so an immediate medical evaluation is highly recommended!

Dr. Tarugu has won many awards for safety and timeliness. Visit his center today and see why so many are calling him “The Best Gastroenterologist in Florida“!


Rate our Clinic