Gastroenterology is a medical specialty that focuses on diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive system, which encompasses the organs from the mouth to the anus. Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is proud to offer a variety of treatments for some of the most common diseases of the digestive system and GI tract such as GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis.
GERD & Barrett’s Esophagus
GERD, which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, is caused by acid reflux, which is a backup of stomach acid in the esophagus. Normally, a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter prevents food, liquid or stomach acid from flowing back up into the esophagus. However, if the muscle weakens, a backwash of acid may re-enter your esophagus and cause inflammation, commonly referred to as heartburn.
Chronic GERD can lead to Barrett’s esophagus, which is a serious condition that changes the composition of the cells that line the esophagus. It greatly increases an individual’s risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects approximately 58 million people in the U.S. It is a disorder of the intestines that can cause stomach pain, cramping, constipation or diarrhea. While IBS usually does not improve in the long-term, it is not likely to develop into inflammatory bowel disease, which encompasses ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes sores to form in the colon, sometimes causing stomach pain, bloody stools, rectal bleeding or diarrhea. It is thought to be caused by an overactive immune response to bacteria. Medication and lifestyle changes are often enough to manage ulcerative colitis, though some individuals will require surgery.
Gastrointestinal Disorder Treatment at Morton Plant North Bay Hospital
Morton Plant North Bay Hospital offers a wide range of services to treat conditions such as GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, IBS and ulcerative colitis. To learn more, please call (727) 842-8468 or find a gastroenterologist near you. You can also take our free, 7-minute online health risk assessment to find out if you may be at risk for colon cancer.