What To Expect at Your Gastroenterologist Appointment

If you’ve never seen a gastroenterologist, you may not know what to expect. Gastroenterologists specialize in the digestive system and are experts in the function and diseases of the liver, colon, bile ducts, gallbladder, pancreas, rectum, small intestine, stomach, and esophagus. Many common conditions such as heartburn, IBS, and celiac disease can affect patients’ everyday lives. Gastroenterologists can help manage and treat these conditions, and significantly improve the quality of life and health of their patients.


How should I prepare for my first appointment?

At your first appointment, your gastroenterologist will speak with you about your medical history, symptoms, and any recent treatments you’ve had. Depending on your age, they may recommend certain preventative treatments such as a colonoscopy, which can help prevent colorectal cancer. Depending on the reason for your visit, they will ask you further questions and recommend tests or procedures if needed. These tests may include but are not limited to an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, or a barium swallow. Make a list of your symptoms and create a list of questions before your appointment so you don’t forget anything, it can help the doctor determine what treatment you may need.


When should you see a gastroenterologist?

You should see a gastroenterologist for any recommended preventative screenings, if you’re experiencing new symptoms related to your digestive system, or if you need to manage any chronic digestive conditions. You should also make an appointment to see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible if you’re experiencing abnormal bowel movements, rectal bleeding, frequent heartburn, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, difficulty swallowing, or esophageal pain. Some of the most common conditions treated by gastroenterologists include pancreatitis, ulcers, polyps, GERD, gallbladder disease, hemorrhoids, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease.


How can you improve your digestive health?

Your doctor will monitor how you respond to treatment at your follow-up appointments. Follow their recommendations as it will help the doctor assess whether or not the treatment plan is effective. Additional testing may also be needed if symptoms do not improve. Make regular note of your symptoms if you have a chronic condition. Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle or dietary changes. Make sure to schedule any preventative screenings, as they can help prevent serious health conditions such as certain cancers. Make an appointment to see your doctor right away if you experience any changes in bowel habits, have unexplained weight loss, or if you are feeling chronically fatigued. Schedule any follow-up appointments you need to go over results from tests or procedures. 

If you are a new patient of Granite State Gastroenterology, visit our website to learn more about our practice. We have forms and other information available on our site to save you time. You can also use Klara, our app that can help you get in contact with our staff and schedule appointments.