Fulshear TX gastro doctor near me

If you’re searching the web for a Fulshear TX gastro doctor near me, give Dr. James Maher a call today. Dr. Maher is board certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine and has years of experience providing GI healthcare services to patients across the Greater Houston Area, from Fort Bend to Harris to Brazoria County and beyond.

Are you wondering why you were referred to a gastroenterologist? And what a gastroenterologist even is? Dr. Maher’s patients often wonder these same things, and we’re here to help.

What is a gastroenterologist?

Fulshear TX gastro doctor near me
GI doctors are specialists in digestive tract issues.

You may be more familiar with other terms for gastroenterologists. They are commonly called gastro-intestinal (GI) doctors or specialists. GI doctors specialize in treating the stomach, intestines, colon, and more.

Why did my doctor as me to find a Fulshear TX gastro doctor near me?

Your primary care practitioner, or general practitioner, is an expert in overall healthcare. However, with so many parts of the body to attend to, they treat well-known diseases with the first line of treatment.

If your symptoms don’t improve, your general care doctor will refer you to a doctor who specializes only in gut care, the GI doctor. A GI specialist focuses only on the gut and the best, most up-to-date treatment options. So, your GI doctor can help you get your life back on track.

Some common disorders and diseases Dr. Maher’s patients ask about include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, and colon issues.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has garnered some fame in Hollywood, but not in a good way. We often see characters run to the bathroom after a spicy meal and create all sorts of obnoxious smells and sounds. While IBS may present a comical scene on the big screen, those suffering from the disorder really struggle.

In fact, what patients eat isn’t always the reason patients have flare-ups. Some foods trigger IBS, like greasy foods, dairy, etc., but doctors believe genetics play a role, too.

Those suffering from IBS have bouts of diarrhea with stomach pain and bloating. But, IBS is not a one-trick show. Some patients may struggle with cycles of both diarrhea and constipation. In fact, diagnosing IBS can be very tricky, and some patients may struggle for years before they get a definitive answer.

Fulshear TX gastro doctor near me
Patients suffering from IBS usually go through bouts of diarrhea and stomach pain.

IBS versus IBD

Now, IBS is different from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). While both IBS and IBD cause diarrhea, constipation, etc., IBS generally only involves food irritating the lining of the intestines and moving more quickly through the intestines.
On the other hand, IBDs cause inflammation in the intestines or colon, and the cause is not clear. Further, treatment options for IBD are very different than those for IBS. IBDs are generally rare, but when they are present, doctors usually see Chron’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Acid reflux and heartburn

The official name for acid reflux is gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Technically, acid reflux and heartburn are different, but heartburn can be a precursor to acid reflux, and the symptoms can be very similar.


First, let’s look at heartburn. Some patients feel like their chest is burning after they eat fatty or greasy foods. The sensation is usually directly over the stomach, so in the middle of the chest.

The condition is called heartburn, which is appropriately named! With heartburn, your stomach acid eats away your stomach lining. Heartburn can be quite painful, but thankfully, it’s very treatable. In fact, patients can be completely cured of their heartburn.

Acid reflux

GERD is a step up from heartburn and may or may not cause burning in the chest. With acid reflux, the flap to the stomach doesn’t stay closed, so food is able to travel backward. The food then enters the esophagus, which is the tube that runs from your throat into your stomach.

In extreme cases, acid reflux can cause patients to regurgitate food. Many patients have nausea and a feeling of fullness. In addition, they also describe having a lump in their throat.

GERD can be dangerous if not treated. Stomach acid is very strong, and it will start eating away the esophagus lining.


Doctors usually prescribe antiacids and H2 blockers to treat heartburn. For patients who only get heartburn once or twice a week, antacids are most likely the best choice. However, if you have heartburn more frequently, your primary care doctor likely ask you to look for a Fulshear TX gastro doctor near me.

Acid reflux is generally treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPI). These are similar to H2 blockers, but PPIs also help heal the stomach lining.

For both heartburn and GERD, doctors tell patients to change their diet and eating habits. Those suffering from either should avoid eating big meals and, after eating, wait a few hours before lying down. Both of these methods help keep food down.

Further, fast foods, tomatoes (including tomato sauce), dairy, chocolate, citrus foods, and other foods make acid reflux and heartburn worse. So, doctors usually provide a list of foods to avoid. Further, doctors may ask overweight patients to lose weight.

Colon care

Starting around age 50, doctors suggest that everyone get a colonoscopy. If you have a history of colon cancer, your doctor will probably ask you to get screened earlier. No one likes to hear the “C” word, but it’s out there.

Fulshear TX gastro doctor near me
Dr. James Maher is your Fulshear TX gastro doctor near me and will treat all your digestive issues.

Unfortunately, colon cancer is relatively silent until it’s pretty advanced. However, if a doctor finds colon cancer during the early stages, the survival rate and treatment success are much higher.

Why choose Dr. James Maher

Dr. Maher is board certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine. He has years of experience treating digestive tract problems, from the gallbladder to the colon and everywhere in between.

As a strong believer in continuing education, Dr. Maher keeps up with the latest medical treatment options. In addition, Dr. Maher will talk you through your diagnosis and treatment plan and answer any questions you may have.

When your doctor asks you to search for a Fulshear TX gastro doctor near me, we hope you’ll book an appointment online with Dr. Maher or give us a call.

Fun facts about Fulshear, Texas

  • Churchill Fulshear Jr. founded Fulshear in 1824.
  • Pecans are an important crop grown in Fulshear.
  • Fulshear’s population stayed very low until about 1970, when the Greater Houston Area started to bloom.

For more fun facts, visit Fulshear’s website.