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What are the most common gastrointestinal problems and when is endoscopy needed

Armen Hareyan's picture
abdominal pain

Fabio Nachman, a gastroenterologist from Argentina, talks about the most common gastrointestinal problems, explains what is the gastric pain and in which cases endoscopy is needed.


"Gastrointestinal diseases are all those pathologies that affect the organs that make up the digestive system. They are very frequent and it is possible that all people have suffered at some time," explains Nachman to TN.

He tells the readers that the stomach is a hollow organ formed by muscles responsible for crushing ingested food. It is covered by the gastric mucosa that protects the deep layers of the stomach from aggressive gastric acids. The gastritis is one of the most common conditions and happens when the gastric mucosa becomes inflamed and irritated.

There are other discomforts and pains in which doctors suggest performing upper gastrointestinal endoscopy or gastroscopy, a procedure that allows the inside of the digestive system to be seen through a flexible tubular instrument and examine the esophageal mucosa, the stomach to the duodenum.

The List of The Most Common Gastrointestinal Conditions

  1. Acid Reflux, Heartburn, GERD
  2. Dyspepsia/Indigestion
  3. Nausea and Vomiting
  4. Peptic Ulcer Disease
  5. Abdominal Pain Syndrome
  6. Belching, Bloating, Flatulence
  7. Biliary Tract Disorders, Gallbladder Disorders and Gallstone Pancreatitis
  8. Gallstone Pancreatitis
  9. Gallstones in Women
  10. Constipation and Defecation Problems
  11. Diarrhea (acute)
  12. Diarrhea (chronic)
  13. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  14. Hemorrhoids and Other Anal Disorders
  15. Rectal Problems in Women

Then Dr. Fabio Nachman, Chief of Gastroenterology at the Favaloro Foundation and Member of the Board of the Argentina Society of Gastroenterology, in dialogue with CONBIENESTAR lists the situations in which states the doctors usually perform an endoscopy, explaining the risks of endoscopy and when an ulcer occurs.

Symptoms that indicate the necessity of endoscopy

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- Suspected high digestive hemorrhage.
- Acute or chronic abdominal pain.
- Reflux.
- Food intolerance.
- Chronic diarrhea.
- Dyspepsia, feeling of bad digestion with nausea, burning, swelling and stomach pain.
- Dysphagia, difficulty swallowing food.
- Afagia, inability to swallow food.

Gastroscopy allows a diagnosis by direct ocular examination or by taking a biopsy sample, or ruling out that the abdominal pain is due to a cause in the digestive system. It is an outpatient procedure that takes between five and ten minutes and whose risks are practically low, he says.

Then Dr. Nachman goes on explaining that although Gastroscopy can be performed without anesthesia, sedation is usually necessary because the technique is invasive and uncomfortable for the patient and also it is done to avoid vaginal discharge.

Hospitalization before performing an endoscopy is very debated nowadays and many medical centers only ask for it in the cases of patients with a history of cardiovascular risk. In those cases, the required tests are an electrocardiogram, a cardiac risk, and a complete laboratory test.

The fear of all those who suffer abdominal pain is to get an ulcer. Dr. Nachman explains that an ulcer is when the mucosa is damaged and goes through the gastric layer. The symptoms of ulcer can manifest them by a continuous epigastric pain, at the level of the mouth of the stomach, which can occur at night or during the day, the suspicion of the ulcer indicates an endoscopy. In fact, you can prevent Ulcers with this Dr. Oz recommended milk.

Others symptoms of ulcer can also present themselves in the form of complications, such as digestive bleeding or perforation in the gastric wall, which represents one of the acutest pain at the abdominal level.

The two main causes, responsible for the appearance of gastric ulcers are the intake of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Aspirin, and infection by Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that does not cause symptoms, but can cause gastritis or, in predisposed patients, even a tumor. In fact, this 2011 study claims that Probiotic May Treat Ulcers Caused by Helicobacter pylori.

Also, check out these 10 good reasons to add the black pepper to the meal. In that story, the author argues that if there's any spice that can clean your stomach lining of the damage caused by peptic ulcers, it is black pepper.