Gastroenterology Topics

Symptoms, Conditions & Procedures

GI Alliance physicians use the most current technology to deliver comprehensive care for patients of all ages. Our skilled providers treat a wide range of common gastrointestinal symptoms and conditions, offering personalized treatments and procedures to help improve each patient’s health and quality of life. We invite you to explore the information below to learn more about our scope of specialized care.

GI Symptoms

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is any form of discomfort between the chest and the pelvis, and severe symptoms could be a sign of serious gastrointestinal trouble.

Anal/Rectal Bleeding

Rectal bleeding describes any blood that passes through your anus - it is assumed to be blood that is present in your lower colon or rectum.

Bloating

Bloating is a stomach issue that happens when you retain fluid, or when gas builds up in the digestive tract as a result of GI problems or overeating.

Blood in the Stool

Blood in the stool, whether dark or light, means that you have blood somewhere within your digestive tract that needs to be examined further.

Bowel Incontinence

Bowel incontinence happens when you are unable to control your bowel movements and can range from complete loss of control to irregular stool leaks.

Constipation

Constipation occurs when stool becomes too hard and dry. It is a common GI symptom, but constant and severe symptoms can mean something more serious.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea, (loose, watery bowel movements,) is a common GI symptom, but sometimes severe symptoms can mean something more serious is happening.

Difficulty Swallowing

Patients may experience difficulty swallowing food or liquid due to food allergies, muscle spasms, esophagitis, or other types of issues.

Heartburn

Heartburn is a burning sensation accompanied by pain and a bitter or acidic taste that happens after eating a meal, when lying down, or bending over.

Indigestion

Indigestion can impact how full you feel after consuming a meal, cause bloating in the upper abdomen, and cause overall discomfort.

Jaundice

Jaundice is a condition characterized by the yellowing of the skin and eyes. It is very common in newborns and can be treated with phototherapy.

Nausea

Nausea is the sensation that makes you feel like you have to vomit, and if persistent, can point to a symptom of an underlying condition or issue.

Vomiting

Vomiting is the body’s natural response to protecting you against threats like infection, ingested poisons, or harmful substances.

Unexplained Weight Gain/Loss

Unexplained weight loss or gain is when a notable drop or increase in weight happens when not trying, and can be a symptom of an underlying illness.

Yellowing of the Skin/Eyes

Yellowing of the skin and eyes is when the skin, and whites around the eyes, turn a yellowish hue, commonly as a result of an underlying disease.

GI Conditions

Acid Reflux

We experience “heartburn” or acid reflux when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close fully and allows stomach acid back up into the esophagus.

Anal Fissure

An anal fissure is a small tear in the tissue that lines the anus that causes pain with bowel movements. A tear can cause blood in the stool.

Anemia/Iron Deficiency

Anemia is a condition where your blood does not have enough healthy red cells to transport oxygen. A common cause of anemia is iron deficiency.

Barrett's Esophagus

Barrett's Esophagus is a complication of GERD where the tissue lining the esophagus changes to more resemble the tissue in the small intestine.

Biliary Obstruction

Biliary obstruction is a block or issue within the biliary system which transports bile through the gallbladder to the small intestine to digest food.

C. Difficile Colitis

C. difficile colitis is inflammation in the colon due to a bacterial infection of clostridium difficile. Symptoms can range from mild to very severe.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the body’s ability to break down gluten when it is consumed, causing digestive problems.

Colitis

Colitis refers to general inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. It can have multiple causes including infection and Crohn's disease.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is a potentially deadly disease that begins as benign polyps in the colon. These can be detected and removed during a colonoscopy.

Colorectal Polyps

Colorectal polyps are benign growths found in the colon (large intestine) or the rectum. While they are usually harmless, they can become cancerous.

Crohn's Disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition of the GI tract. It can often be improved with diet but is commonly treated with medication and surgery.

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)

Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) involves repeated cycles of vomiting where the patient may vomit anywhere from six to twenty times before it abates.

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a possible complication of the disease diverticulosis where infection or inflammation occurs in the outer lining of the intestine.

Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is where small pouches of your intestines bulge out through the outer lining of the colon. This disease can lead to diverticulitis.

Dysphagia

Dysphagia is the inability, the sensation, or difficulty that comes from swallowing food or liquid caused by muscle spasms or other internal issues.

Encopresis

When someone past the age of toilet training suffers from fecal incontinence and frequently soils clothes, it is a condition called encopresis.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an inflammatory disease of the esophagus that can cause difficulty swallowing, acid reflux, and upper stomach pain.

Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer is a type of cancer that affects the esophagus. Risk factors for this cancer include diet, smoking, and Barrett's esophagus.

Esophageal Motility Disorder

Esophageal motility disorder is an umbrella term for a variety of disorders that make swallowing and getting food to your stomach very difficult.

Esophagitis

Esophagitis is a general term for the inflammation of the esophagus (the tube that delivers food from your mouth to your stomach).

Failure to Thrive (FTT)

Failure to thrive (FTT) is a condition in which an infant or toddler is not gaining the appropriate amount of weight for their stage of growth.

Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease is a condition where fat builds up in the liver cells and causes inflammation and scarring, which can lead to irreversible damage.

Fistula

A fistula is an abnormal connection between two hollow organs in the body and can occur as a result of injury, disease, or can be medically induced.

Food Allergies

A food allergy is where the body has an immune system reaction to a food substance, typically to a common allergen like peanuts, soy, wheat, or eggs.

Food Intolerance

A food intolerance is where the body has trouble digesting certain foods and is typically characterized by bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, and vomiting.

Gallbladder Disease

Gallbladder disease encompasses various negative issues that affect your gallbladder such as gallstones, cholecystitis, and biliary dyskinesia.

Gastritis

Gastritis describes what happens when the lining of the stomach gets inflamed, irritated, or eroded and can increase the risk of ulcers and cancer.

GERD

GERD is a condition involving the regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus and is often characterized by the symptom of heartburn.

Helicobacter Pylori

Helicobacter Pylori is a bacteria that can cause an infection that leads to stomach ulcers. An infection is typically treated with two antibiotics.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that occur in or around the anus. The condition can cause bleeding and discomfort but can be treated effectively.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a group of conditions that cause inflammation in the liver, the most common types being hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia happens when a portion of the stomach pushes through the small hole in your diaphragm (hiatus) causing acid buildup and heartburn.

Ileitis

Ileitis is a condition characterized by irritation or inflammation of the ileum, the last part of the small intestine that joins the large intestine.

Impacted Bowel

Impacted bowels happen when a hard, dry mass of stool gets stuck in the colon and blocks the passage of waste, causing abdominal bloating and pain.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe inflammation in the digestive tract typically caused by an immune system malfunction.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder affecting the digestive tract. It can often be managed through lifestyle changes and medications.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is when the body is not producing enough of the enzyme lactase to break down lactose in the foods and drinks you ingest.

Liver Cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis is described as the condition that results when the liver becomes inflamed and scarred from late-stage liver disease and alcoholism.

Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a condition caused by a buildup of fat in the liver that leads to inflammation and damage in the organ.

Obesity

Obesity is defined as having an excessive amount of body fat, which can lead to other complications such as certain cancers and heart disease.

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is when cells in the pancreas grow out of control and form into tumors. Possible treatments include surgery and radiation therapy.

Pancreatic Cysts

Pancreatic cysts are pockets of fluid or semisolid matter that can be cancerous or benign. Symptoms can include bloating, nausea, and vomitting.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is when the pancreas becomes inflamed. It can be caused by alcohol consumption, smoking, gallstones, abdominal surgery, or infection.

Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers are open sores within the stomach or upper small intestine that allow acid to erode the tissues, causing discomfort, bleeding, and pain.

Primary Biliary Cholangitis

Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a rare, chronic, progressive, autoimmune liver disease that destroys the bile ducts in your liver.

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Primary sclerosing cholangitis affects the liver’s bile ducts inside and outside causing inflammation, scarring, and narrowing, leading to cirrhosis.

Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer (also called gastric cancer) is cancer (the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells) that originates in the inner layers of the stomach.

Submucosal Lesions

Submucosal lesions are growths located under the mucosal layer. The majority are asymptomatic and benign in nature and will not require treatment.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. It may be treated with lifestyle modification, medication, and/or surgery.

GI Procedures

Abdominal Ultrasound

An abdominal ultrasound is a painless diagnostic procedure that captures images of the abdomen to pinpoint any abnormalities or stomach issues.

Anastomosis Remodeling

Anastomosis remodeling happens when narrowing of the stomach after bariatric surgery becomes an issue resulting in trouble eating, nausea, and more.

Anorectal Manometry

Anorectal manometry is an exam that tests the muscles needed to perform a normal bowel movement, usually performed to evaluate fecal incontinence.

Anorectal Surgery

Anorectal surgery is a procedure that treats cancer and anal and rectal conditions by removing a section of the anus, rectum, or part of the colon.

Argon Laser Therapy

Argon laser therapy uses argon gas via pulsating beams of light to treat GI conditions like hemorrhages, dysphagia, mucosal lesions, and strictures.

Aspire Weight Loss Procedure

Aspire weight loss system is a safe and effective way for individuals who struggle to lose weight or keep it off to reach their weight-loss goals.

Barium Study of the Intestines

Barium studies of the intestines involve ingestion of an iodine agent so the upper, lower, and middle intestines can be evaluated for abnormalities.

Capsule Endoscopy

During a capsule endoscopy multiple pictures of the small intestine are taken when the pill capsule that is encased with a small camera is swallowed.

Cholangioscopy (Spyglass)

Cholangioscopy is a noninvasive endoscopic procedure used for visualization, diagnostic evaluation, and intervention of bile duct abnormalities.

Cholecystectomy

A cholecystectomy is a safe surgical procedure where the gallbladder is removed because of any present gallstones or other gallbladder diseases.

Colon Cancer Screening

People over 45 years old and people with certain risk factors should receive regular colon cancer screenings to detect and prevent colon cancer.

Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a procedure to detect colorectal cancer and remove colorectal polyps. A routine colonoscopy is recommended for persons 45 and older.

Colorectal Surgery

Colorectal surgeons can treat a wide variety of conditions relating to the colon, rectum, and anus, including colorectal cancer and hemorrhoids.

CT Scan or CAT Scan

Computed tomography, also called a CT or CAT scan is a type of radiological imaging used to help diagnose and treat illnesses that affect the organs.

Endoscopic Mucosal Resection

During a minimally invasive endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), the physician is able to remove tumors in the gastrointestinal walls without surgery.

Endoscopic Obesity Management

Endoscopic obesity management creates a gastric restriction on the stomach, leading to early satiety (feeling of fullness) and weight loss.

Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)

An endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is an endoscopic procedure where a scope is used to look inside the intestines. It is often used to stage cancer.

Enteroscopy

An enteroscopy is an endoscopic procedure where a scope is inserted through the mouth and run through the second portion of the small intestines.

Esophageal Dilation

Esophageal dilation is a quick procedure that is performed when a narrowed or blocked area in your esophagus has caused gastrointestinal concerns.

ERCP

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography procedure examines the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and bile duct to assist with GI issues.

Esophageal Manometry

An esophageal motility study is an exam that can assess problems such as swallowing difficulties, chest pain, and severe gastroesophageal reflux.

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy

During an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, a scope is fed through the mouth and into the beginning of the small intestines in order to diagnose issues.

Esophageal Impedance Test

An esophageal impedance test measures the amount of acidic and non-acidic reflux in your esophagus from your stomach over a 24-hour time period.

Fecal Transplant

A fecal transplant (fecal bacteriotherapy) is a transplant of stool from one person to another, allowing good bacteria to be restored in the colon.

Feeding Tube Insertion (PEG)

Feeding tube insertion or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) allows patients to absorb nutrition and medications directly into the stomach.

FibroScan®

FibroScan is a non-invasive testing method that uses ultrasound technology to evaluate scarring (fibrosis) and fatty change (steatosis) in the liver.

Fistula Correction/Repair

Fistula correction and repair clears out and fixes any infection present in anal glands to improve any damage to the lining of the anal canal.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is an endoscopic procedure used to look inside the colon that is typically performed to investigate negative GI symptoms.

Gastric Sleeve Procedure

Gastric sleeve surgery removes 80% of the stomach, so you feel fuller faster. The surgery may be ideal for anyone who has at least 100 pounds to lose.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

Gastrointestinal surgery is any surgery used to treat certain disorders of the GI tract including diseases that affect the body's digestion process.

Hemorrhoid Banding

Hemorrhoid banding (rubber band ligation) is a procedure that restricts blood flow to a hemorrhoid, causing the hemorrhoid to shrink and fall off.

Hernia Repair Surgery

Surgical intervention to treat a hernia, or a bulge in an organ or fatty tissue through a weakened area in muscle, is called hernia repair surgery.

HIDA Scan

A HIDA (hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid) scan uses a small amount of radioactive tracer in order to provide data and information about the GI tract.

Infusion Therapy (IV Infusion)

Infusion therapy delivers medication intravenously (directly into the veins), which can be useful in treating some gastrointestinal conditions.

InterStim™ Therapy

InterStim™ therapy treats bladder and bowel incontinence by gently stimulating the sacral nerves, allowing patients to have fewer bathroom trips.

Laparoscopic Colon Surgery

Laparoscopic colon surgery is a minimally invasive procedure to treat abdominal organs through small incisions using a camera called a laparoscope.

Liver Biopsy

A liver biopsy is a procedure where a small piece of liver tissue is obtained to analyze in a laboratory to determine illness or severity of injury.

LiverMultiScan®

LiverMultiScan is a noninvasive diagnostic tool used to produce reports on liver tissue health for patients with conditions of the liver like NASH.

Luminal Stent Placement

A luminal stent placement is performed to open a pathway or portion of the GI tract that has become obstructed or is in danger of being obstructed.

MRI, MRA, and MRCP

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a way of producing images of the body's internal organs to help treat diseases and conditions of the GI tract.

Nonsurgical Weight Loss

The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method was developed by Dr. Tran Tien Chanh, to assist with weight loss while maintaining muscle mass.

Obalon™ Balloon Procedure

The Obalon Balloon System involves an ingestible balloon that helps facilitate weight loss over six months with the ability to lose 15 – 50 pounds.

Orbera™ Managed Weight Loss

Orbera is a weight loss aid that slows the digestion of food to help with portion control and can help patients lose up to three times more weight.

OverStitch Endoscopic Suturing

OverStitch™ endoscopic suturing is a minimally invasive technique for reducing the size of the stomach and assisting patients with weight loss.

Pancreatoscopy

A pancreatoscopy is an endoscopic procedure that can be used for visualization, evaluation, and intervention of pancreatic duct abnormalities.

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction with manual therapy, biofeedback, exercise therapy, and functional training.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Radiofrequency ablation is a pain management treatment that utilizes radio waves to focus on tissues to decrease pain signals from the nerve.

Robotic Colon Surgery

Robotic colon surgery is a minimally invasive alternative to colon resection surgery where the doctor controls a robotic arm to do the surgery.

Sacral Neuromodulation

Sacral neuromodulation uses an implantable device that enables the brain and sacral nerves to work together to help with bowel and bladder control.

SmartPill™ Test

The SmartPill™ is a tiny capsule that is swallowed and then monitored as it records information as it passes through your gastrointestinal tract.

Sphincterotomy

The lateral internal sphincterotomy is a surgical procedure used to treat anal fissures that have not responded to other more conservative treatments.

Stretta® Therapy

Stretta therapy uses radiofrequency energy to regenerate the lower esophageal sphincter muscle tissue, resulting in improved function.

TIF® Procedure

Transoral incisionless fundoplication is an endoscopic procedure performed to help reduce the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Total Parenteral Nutrition

Total parenteral nutrition feeds necessary nutrients by bypassing your digestive system and feeding nutrient-rich liquid directly into your vein.