Symptoms, Conditions & Procedures

Help is available for those struggling with gastrointestinal issues. The providers at Specialists in Gastroenterology understand how GI issues can disrupt your life. Our team uses state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose, manage, and treat a vast array of gastrointestinal symptoms in St. Louis, MO patients. Whether you are experiencing GI symptoms, like nausea or blood in the stool, for the first time or if you are seeking treatment for a condition like pancreatitis or GERD, you can trust our GI specialists to always put your health first. Check out the list of symptoms and conditions that can affect your gastrointestinal tract or the list of procedures used to diagnose and treat various GI conditions.

GI Symptoms

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain can be caused by a range of conditions, from benign illnesses like the stomach flu to more severe conditions like colon cancer.

Anal/Rectal Bleeding

Anal/rectal bleeding can be caused by many factors and will be treated based on severity and can be a sign of a GI condition like an ulcer or polyps.


Bloating is a common GI symptom that could be caused by a number of factors; if it is persistent, it could be a sign of a more serious condition.

Blood in the Stool

Blood in your stool is an indication that bleeding is occurring at some point in your GI tract; this symptom should always be addressed by a provider.

Bowel Incontinence

Bowel incontinence is described when an individual is unable to control their stools completely or in small amounts when passing gas.


Constipation occurs when a stool becomes too dry or hard to pass, resulting in fewer than three bowel movements each week.


Diarrhea is described as loose stools that occur more frequently than normal; if it is persistent, it could be a sign of other GI conditions like IBS.

Difficulty Swallowing

Difficulty swallowing could be a sign of a more serious condition, like a food allergy or GERD. It is important to consult a provider for treatment.


Heartburn is described as a burning pain in your chest; chronic heartburn can be a sign of a more serious GI condition, like GERD.


Indigestion often causes discomfort in your upper abdomen along with feelings of queasiness, bloating, belching, or early fullness during a meal.


Nausea is the queasy feeling in your stomach that makes you feel like you are going to be sick; persistent nausea may be a sign of another condition.

Unexplained Weight Gain/Loss

Unexplained weight loss or gain describes a sudden, unintentional increase or decrease of weight and is often a sign of a more severe problem.


Vomiting is your body's way of protecting you from a perceived threat; consistent bouts of vomiting could be a sign of a serious issue.

Yellowing of the Skin/Eyes

Yellowing of the skin and eyes typically occurs in adults if a larger problem is present like liver disease, bile duct obstruction, or cholecystitis.

GI Conditions

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, commonly referred to as heartburn, occurs when the LES is too weak to stop stomach acid from flowing into your esophagus.

Anal Fissure

An anal fissure is a small cut in the thin tissue that lines your anus; symptoms can include blood in stools and uncomfortable bowel movements.

Anemia/Iron Deficiency

Anemia occurs when your blood doesn't have enough red blood cells to provide oxygen throughout your body; symptoms can include weakness and headaches.

Barrett's Esophagus

Barrett's esophagus is a complication of GERD where the tissue that lines the esophagus alters to match the tissue that lines your intestines.

Biliary Obstruction

A biliary obstruction occurs when a duct in your biliary system becomes clogged, preventing it from passing bile throughout the system.

C. Difficile Colitis

C. difficile colitis occurs when the bacteria invades the body and causes swelling in the large bowel followed by symptoms like fever or vomiting.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an immune disorder that negatively affects your body whenever you consume gluten proteins like rye, wheat, and barley.


Colitis describes the overall swelling of the tissue that lines the large bowel; there are many forms of colitis and each may be treated differently.

Colorectal Polyps

Colorectal polyps are small growths of cells that grow on the lining of your colon and/or rectum; they can become cancerous over time if not removed.

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a type of IBD that causes severe swelling of the digestive system; symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and mouth sores.

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)

CVS is a GI condition that presents as cycles of vomiting followed by symptom-free periods; it is most common in children but can develop at any age.


Diverticulitis typically occurs after diverticulosis; when the diverticula protrude, they become susceptible to swelling and infection.


Diverticulosis occurs when small pouches bulge outside of the outer wall of the colon; if it is not managed, diverticulitis could develop.


Dysphagia is a condition where an individual experiences difficulty swallowing due to another condition like esophageal spasms or GERD.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis

EoE describes the inflammation of the esophagus caused by a buildup of eosinophil, which causes symptoms like cough and acid reflux.

Esophageal Motility Disorder

Esophageal motility disorder occurs when the musculature of the esophagus does not contract, making it difficult to properly transport food.


Esophagitis is characterized by inflammation of the esophagus; symptoms can include heartburn, pain in the chest, and acid regurgitation.

Fatty Liver Disease

The two most common types of fatty liver disease are NAFLD and alcoholic steatohepatitis; both cause liver inflammation that could cause scarring.


A fistula is described as an abnormal connection between two organs in the body that could be caused by infection, injury, or diseases.

Food Intolerance

A food intolerance is when an individual has difficulty digesting certain foods; it typically develops slowly with uncomfortable GI symptoms.

Gallbladder Disease

Gallbladder disease describes a group of disorders that negatively impact the gallbladder like gallstones, biliary dyskinesia, and cholecystitis.


Gastritis is described as the inflammation, erosion, and irritation of the protective lining of the stomach; symptoms can include heartburn and gas.


GERD develops when an individual experiences acid reflux multiple times a week, causing a chronic cough, dysphagia, or regurgitation of food.

Helicobacter Pylori

H. pylori is a type of bacteria that mostly affects the GI system, causing distressing symptoms like nausea or a burning sensation in the abdomen.


Hemorrhoids occur when a vein near the lower rectum or anus swells, causing very uncomfortable symptoms like pain and itching around your anus.


There are various forms of hepatitis, which cause inflammation and swelling of the liver; severe conditions can develop if it is left unmanaged.

Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia occurs when your stomach pushes up through your hiatus and enters your thoracic cavity due to weakened tissue and muscle groups.


Ileitis is the irritation or inflammation of the ileum; symptoms can include abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and sudden weight fluctuations.

Impacted Bowel

A fecal impaction occurs when a hardened stool blocks your small or large intestine; if left untreated, this could develop into a severe condition.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD describes a couple of conditions that cause inflammation in your digestive tract; Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are two forms of IBD.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is a group of continuous, uncomfortable GI symptoms; IBS typically occurs when consuming certain foods and drinks, stress, or other life issues.


Jaundice causes the whites of your eyes and your skin to turn a shade of yellow; it does not often warrant treatment, but the underlying cause might.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance occurs when the body does not create enough lactase, the enzyme used to break down lactose; symptoms can include gas and nausea.

Liver Cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis occurs when the liver is inflamed and scarred from other issues like late-stage liver disease or chronic alcoholism.

Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis

There are two types of NAFLD: the first involves fat in the liver, with no symptoms and the second is a more severe condition called NASH.


Pancreatitis develops when the pancreas is inflammed, preventing it from performing essential roles in digestion; symptoms include fever and vomiting.

Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop in the stomach or small intestine when stomach acid erodes the tissue behind the protective lining.

Primary Biliary Cholangitis

PBC is a rare liver disease that continually damages the bile ducts that are found in your liver, causing scarring and irreversible damage.

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

PSC is a chronic condition of the liver that affects bile ducts both inside and outside the liver; the bile ducts often become scarred or damaged.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a form of IBD that causes swelling, irritation, and ulcerations in your intestines, most commonly the large intestine.

GI Procedures

Anorectal Manometry

Anorectal manometry is an exam done by GI specialists to examine the muscles' strength and reactions in patients struggling with fecal incontinence.

Capsule Endoscopy

A capsule endoscopy is a noninvasive procedure that utilizes a pill-sized capsule fit with a camera to take thousands of photos of your small bowel.

Colon Cancer Screening

Colon cancer screenings are used to check for polyps or growths along the wall of the rectum and colon that could be cancerous.


A colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a scope to assess the large intestine to diagnose GI symptoms like loose stool and abdominal pain.

CT Scan or CAT Scan

A CT scan is an advanced imaging system that can capture images of the inward portion of your organs, allowing for cross-sectional scans of the body.


An EGD is a type of endoscopic exam where a scope is moved through your upper GI tract to examine the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.

Endoscopic Mucosal Resection

An EMR uses an endoscope to remove abnormal or cancerous tissue from just below the gastrointestinal wall without the need of surgery.


Enteroscopy is a procedure that uses a scope to examine the linings of the esophagus, stomach, and the second portion of the small intestine.


An ERCP is an endoscopic procedure that is often used to diagnose a variety of GI issues like abnormal liver tests, pancreatitis, and abdominal pain.

Esophageal Dilation

Esophageal dilation is done to expand a constricted or blocked area of your esophagus to aid in alleviating symptoms of GI conditions like EoE.

Esophageal Manometry

Esophageal motility studies are used to assess the contractile and relaxation functions of the esophagus to diagnose concerns like esophageal spasms.

Feeding Tube Insertion (PEG)

PEG places a tube directly into your stomach for nutrition, medication, and fluids to flow though without having to go through the mouth or esophagus.


GI providers can use a FibroScan to noninvasively examine the state and functionality of the liver to diagnose or treat liver conditions.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is an endoscopic exam that examines the lower third of the intestine to diagnose bleeding, diarrhea, or abnormal x-rays.

Hemorrhoid Banding

Hemorrhoid banding is used to treat one or two hemorrhoids at a time by placing a rubber band at its base to cut off blood supply to the hemorrhoid.

Infusion Therapy (IV Infusion)

Infusion therapy, or IV infusion, assists those unable to ingest medications or fluids orally by administering them directly into the veins instead.