Colon Disease Specialist Questions and Answers
Dr. Alfred Johnson, M.D. provides comprehensive care for patients with colon diseases including routine colon screening and surgically treats problems when necessary. For more information, call us or schedule an appointment. We are conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street Merced, CA 9534.
Table of Contents:
The colon is the main part of the large intestine, also known as the bowels. It plays a very important role in the digestive system’s function such as absorbing water from food waste. The colon is the last organ that waste passes through before being temporarily stored in the rectum. The largest part of the gastrointestinal tract is the colon, making it more susceptible to various diseases and conditions.
There are many different types of diseases that affect the colon, the most common ones include:
• Colorectal cancer
• Colonic polyps
• Ulcerative colitis
• Irritable bowel syndrome
Each type of colon disease has a specific cause, often unique from one another. In many cases, the cause of a colon disease is unknown. However, there are certain risk factors that increase the chance of developing colon disease, including lifestyle factors such as:
• Lack of regular physical activity
• A diet low in fruits and vegetables
• A low-fiber and high-fat diet
• A diet high in processed meats
• Overweight and obesity
• Tobacco use
There are many signs and symptoms of colon disease; which ones present vary depending on the type of disease. Symptoms may include:
• Diarrhea, often with blood or pus
• Abdominal pain and cramping
• Rectal pain
• Rectal bleeding (blood in stool)
• Urgency to defecate
• Inability to defecate despite urgency
• Weight loss
• Abdominal distention
• Severe constipation
Common gastrointestinal problems like gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines, often caused by a stomach bug) or mild, occasional heartburn usually clear up on their own without professional medical intervention. However, it is best to consult a doctor if problems are persistent or new or unusual GI symptoms manifest. This may include:
• A change in bowel habits — Changes in bowel habits, such as how much stool is passed, how solid or loose it is, or how frequent the bowels are emptied, might be due to a change in eating habits, but also might be a signal that something has changed in the digestive tract. Either way, it is best to discuss this with a GI doctor.
• Constipation, diarrhea, gas, or bloating that does not go away or gets worse — GI doctors are experts in diagnosing digestive issues and can run several different diagnostic tests to determine the underlying
• Severe heartburn, especially if it causes sleeping problems — Heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux) is a burning sensation in the upper chest or throat that occurs when acid moves from the stomach into the A GI doctor can perform tests to see why acid is backing up as well as to determine the health of the patient’s esophagus.
• Difficulty swallowing — Difficulties swallowing can prevent normal eating and drinking and also increase the risk of choking; GI doctors can examine the throat and esophagus to find the culprit.
• Blood in stool — Passing blood in the stool can be alarming, but most of the conditions that cause this symptom are not serious. However, it can also signify a serious health concern and should be addressed by a GI doctor as soon as possible.
• Severe stomach pain — Severe pain in the abdominal region is a warning sign that something is wrong with the gastrointestinal system. If the pain is severe but intermittent, call a GI specialist. If abdominal pain is severe, persistent, and accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and/or fever, go to the emergency department immediately, as this can indicate serious complications.
If you have a colon disease, come to Alfred B Johnson, MD, today. Our Gastro Surgeon can address your gastrointestinal conditions and help you improve your quality of life. Call us today or book an appointment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street Merced, CA 95341. We look forward to serving you! We Serve Patients From Merced CA, Atwater CA, Winton CA, Bear Creek CA, Planada CA, Le Grand CA, and Athlone CA.