For most individuals, seeing their primary care physician for minor issues is quite common place, including issues associated with heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome. But if you are constantly complaining to your primary care doctor about digestive problems such as frequent abdominal pain or nausea, then you may be referred to a gastroenterologist in Houston TX, permitting that lifestyle changes to treat your condition did not resolve the problem.
If you have been referred to a gastroenterologist, then you will need to know that this is a physician that specifically specializes in the digestive system, who must complete seven to ten years of educational training and become board certified before they can open their own practice or work in a gastroenterology clinic.
This will include seven to eight years of pre-medical education and then two to three years of internal medicine at a residency plus a gastroenterology fellowship, which is another two to three years. If you have been referred to one and are looking for more information on what your first appointment will be like, it will consist of the following:
- They will take your weight, height, blood pressure, heart rate, and other vitals.
- Your medications and allergies will be asked about,
- You will be asked for your past medical history and family history.
- An exam will then be completed which will take a look at your pain areas.
- Treatment plans will then be talked about and you may be scheduled for treatment or tests such as blood tests, x-rays, or GI procedures like scopes.
- You will then also have a follow-up visit after your tests are done.
Basically, all you will need to bring is a completed health history questionnaire which you can have mailed to you for you to fill out, a list of your medications which includes the dosage levels, your health card or hospital card and your insurance card. The visits usually take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.
A gastroenterologist in Houston TX can treat all types of ailments, common ones being: irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, nutrition absorption difficulties, gallbladder stones, constipation, inflammation in the tract, liver disease, bleeding in the tract and even diseases associated with difficulty swallowing.