If you’re looking for a Fulshear TX hemorrhoid doctor near me, call Dr. James Maher’s office and schedule an appointment today. Dr. Maher is board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine and serves Houston, Texas, and surrounding areas.
Some patients wonder why their primary care doctor has referred you to a gastroenterologist. At Dr. Maher’s office, we know you have many questions and deserve clear answers. Here are some questions our patientAs frequently ask.
What is a gastroenterologist?
Gastroenterologists or GI doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating the digestive tract. Your digestive system covers a large portion of your body. GI doctors treat the esophagus, stomach, intestines, colon, and more.
Why was I referred to a Fulshear TX hemorrhoid doctor near me?
Primary care physicians treat and diagnose common illnesses and diseases. They treat the entire body, not one specific system. While they provide excellent care, if you’re suffering from something very specific, your primary doctor may need help treating you.
Further, there are many causes of diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Your primary doctor will begin with first-line treatments. However, if those do not work, it’s time to see a specialist.
The GI doctor will examine your history and perform their own examination. Since a gastroenterologist obtained an advanced degree in the GI tract, they can narrow down the cause of your gut problems much more easily.
What tests do gastrointestinal doctors do?
Your first appointment will begin with an exam. Your doctor will ask about your history and listen to your problems. If you can provide very specific information, your gastroenterology doctor will be able to diagnose you much more easily. So, try to note the following before heading to your appointment:
Frequency: How often are you having bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, or blood in your stool? For example, three times a day, once a week, once a month, etc.
Stool description: No one wants to talk about poop. However, if you’re suffering from diarrhea, consistency matters. Does it smell unusually bad? Is there mucus or blood? Is it very watery?
Contributing factors: Does your stomach feel better before or after eating? Are there certain foods that make you feel worse, like fast foods?
Area: Unfortunately, the term abdominal pain is very vague. Your doctor will be able to see where you are currently tender, but if you get recurring periods of pain that go away, try to note where you feel them. For example, people who have gallstones often feel a very sharp pain on the right side of their chest and back. However, an expert should diagnose that problem.
If you’re suffering from blood in your stool, your GI doctor will likely look at your rectum. Your Fulshear TX hemorrhoid doctor near me will check for swollen internal blood vessels, called hemorrhoids, tears, etc.
Follow up tests
After your first visit, your doctor will offer some medical advice and may request additional tests. While the tests aren’t all pleasant, but they’re important to confirm your diagnosis. Here are some common requests:
- Stool samples-Determine whether you have sugar, mucus, or other issues with your stool
- Blood tests-Check sugar levels, deficiencies, immune system, etc.
- Colonoscopy– Doctor uses a camera to look at your rectum, colon, and lower intestine
- Endoscopy–Doctor uses a camera to look at your esophagus, stomach, and entrance to the small intestine
- Hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan- Determine how well your gallbladder empties
- Ultrasound – Looks for gallstones and overall stomach anatomy
What are hemorrhoids?
Like most of your body, your rectum is full of blood vessels. When the blood vessels get irritated or inflamed, they will swell. Swollen blood vessels in and around the rectum are called hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are caused by straining or stressing the blood vessels. Most of the time, people with chronic constipation develop hemorrhoids. However, patients with continuous, frequent diarrhea can develop them, too, because the constant rectal use can stress the blood vessels.
There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external. External hemorrhoids form just outside the anus and can grow fairly large. If you have external hemorrhoids, you may struggle to find a comfortable position to sit. In addition, they can be itchy.
Internal hemorrhoids are located inside the rectum. Unfortunately, since they are inside, many patients don’t realize they have them until more severe symptoms develop. Internal hemorrhoids are classified into four grades.
What is the treatment for hemorrhoids?
External hemorrhoids almost often go away with diet changes, increasing fiber and water, creams, and stool softeners. Rarely, a gastroenterologist performs surgery to remove them.
Doctors treat internal hemorrhoids based on their grade.
- Grade 1 hemorrhoids are located inside the rectum.
- If the hemorrhoid comes outside the rectum during straining but otherwise remains inside, it’s Grade 2.
- At Grade 3, the hemmorhoid comes out of the rectum after straining but a doctor can manually push it back inside.
- Finally, a Grade 4 hemorrhoid has completely fallen out of the rectum and a doctor cannot manually place it back inside.
Treatments for grades 1 and 2 include changes to your diet, lifestyle, and creams. Grade 3 hemorrhoids may require surgery, but the first line of treatment is creams and stool softeners and changes to your diet, lifestyle. Unfortunately, grade 4 hemorrhoids require surgery.
Lifestyle and diet changes
Since constipation is the biggest factor, it’s critical to keep your digestive tract moving and stool soft.
Eating a lot of fiber will help treat and help prevent constipation. Doctors ask patients to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and minimize the number of carbohydrates. In addition, doctors may suggest patients take a fiber supplement, stools softener, or laxative to help get things moving smoothly again.
About Dr. James Maher
Dr. Maher provides healthcare services for all digestive tract disorders, from hemorrhoids to gallbladder issues, colon cancer to bowel disorders, and beyond. He is board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine and has years of experience treating patients from all across the Houston area.
Dr. Maher continually reads up on the latest digestive care services. Dr. Maher takes the time to listen to your concerns and discuss your treatment options.
If your doctor asked you to find a Fulshear TX hemorrhoid doctor near me, give Dr. Maher’s office a call.
Fun facts about Fulshear, Texas
- When the City was first established, the four-story brick Fulshear mansion and plantation was the heart of the City.
- The first church in Fulshear was built in 1894 and still stands today–First United Methodist Church.
- Fulshear’s education is ranked at No. 18 out of 1,752 Texas schools.
For more fun facts, visit the Fulshear website.