bout 60-70 million Americans suffer from digestive diseases every year. If you have problems with your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, you can experience a host of uncomfortable symptoms. Your upper GI tract helps with food digestion and makes sure your body gets the nutrients it needs.
The function of your upper GI tract
Your entire GI tract goes from your mouth to your rectum. The upper part consists of your:
- Duodenum (first part of your small intestine)
When you chew your food, your saliva starts to break it down, which begins the digestion process. After you swallow it, it then travels down your esophagus into your stomach where it fully digests.
Your stomach holds on to your food while releasing acids that break down your food even more, creating a substance called chyme, which then moves into your small intestine where your nutrients get absorbed. Now, your liver, gallbladder, and pancreas can begin to process your nutrients.
Your bile production starts in your liver and then gets stored in the gallbladder, slowly releasing into your small intestine while your pancreas continues to break down the fats, carbohydrates, and proteins for your body.
Symptoms of an upper GI tract disorder
When your GI tract doesn’t function properly, you can have several symptoms, including:
- Acid reflux
- Difficulty swallowing
- Upset stomach
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Continuous vomiting
- Bleeding in your upper GI tract
Occasional indigestion can be normal, but if you have noticeable symptoms on a regular basis, you should make an appointment with Dr. Nazarian for a diagnosis and treatment.
Diagnosing your upper GI tract disorder
An upper endoscopy can identify many issues, such as:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Hiatal hernia
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease of your upper GI tract
An endoscopy procedure can also take GI fluid samples or tissue samples to determine the root cause of your issues.
Treating your upper GI tract disorder
Dr. Nazarian can also perform an upper endoscopy to treat mild to severe symptoms. The procedure can:
- Open narrowed areas
- Control bleeding
- Remove tumors or polyps
- Band abnormal veins in your esophagus
- Put in a tube for feeding
The procedure can also check your stomach and the first part of your small intestine after a surgery.
If you’re having digestion issues, contact us at 310-854-1174 or use the online booking tool today. Feel free to send us a message if you have any questions or concerns before your appointment.