When To See a Gastroenterologist?

Numerous conditions could result in issues during digestion. Chronic stomach pain is typically a warning sign that indicates something’s wrong. Other common warning signs include diarrhea, gas, and bloating. These are all valid reasons to visit your gastroenterologist at Alaska Digestive and Liver Disease, LLC in our Anchorage, AK, or Eagle River, AK, office, Dr. Daryl McClendon, Dr. Jeffrey Molloy, or Dr. Austin Nelson. With this in mind, if you’re experiencing these telltale red flags, see your gastroenterologist as soon as possible.

Lactose Intolerance

Individuals who develop discomfort after consuming anything with dairy might have lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerant individuals usually feel stomach pain, bloating, upset stomach, gas, and diarrhea up to an hour or two after eating dairy products.


Heartburn is marked by burning or pain in the throat and/or chest. It develops when stomach acid flows up into your esophagus. Lots of people experience heartburn from time to time. However, it subsides without treatment or with common OTC medications.

However, if symptoms persist or happen often, they could signal a more serious condition called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disorder. Left untreated, it could lead to more severe issues such as breathing difficulties and chronic esophagus inflammation.


These are hard, tiny nuggets that develop inside the gallbladder, which is a tiny organ in your stomach. They form due to an imbalance in substances responsible for producing bile, a digestive liquid the liver makes. Gallstones could be as large as golf balls or as minuscule as grains of sand. The most common warning sign of gallstones is a pain in the abdomen’s right portion.


Inflammatory bowel disease occurs when your immune system erroneously think that food and other digestive tract substances are harmful germs. This results in your immune system attacking healthy tissues. IBD encompasses various disorders that trigger chronic digestive tract inflammation, with the most common IBD disorders being ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

With IBD, your large and small intestines become swollen and irritated, leading to severe stomach pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and symptoms that appear unrelated like fever, joint pain, and fatigue. Symptoms can be managed with proper treatments but then flare up at times, so working closely with your gastroenterologist in our Anchorage, AK, or Eagle River, AK, office is vital.

Celiac Disease

Individuals with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder like IBD, can’t eat gluten, which is a protein found in barley, rye, and wheat. Otherwise, their immune system will react and damage the small intestine, causing diarrhea and severe stomach pain. It’s crucial to point out that while celiac disease shares some symptoms with gluten sensitivity, they are not the same, because damage to the small intestine doesn’t occur when gluten intolerant people eat gluten.

Colon Cancer Screenings

Your gastroenterologist could check for symptoms of certain conditions, colon cancer, for instance, even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms. According to the American Cancer Society, everyone must start undergoing routine colon cancer screenings by 50 years old. This kind of cancer usually develops from the abnormal rectum or colon growths. As with all kinds of cancer, detecting these growths as early as possible increases the risk of successful treatment or a cure.

Talk to Us To Learn More About How a Gastroenterologist Can Help You

Arrange a meeting with your gastroenterologist at Alaska Digestive and Liver Disease, LLC in our Anchorage, AK, or Eagle River, AK, office, Dr. Daryl McClendon, Dr. Jeffrey Molloy, or Dr. Austin Nelson by dialing (907) 569-1333.


  • "Doctor McClendon was really helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly. I'm really impressed with this clinic. Thank you. Front desk staff was really helpful and respectful as well."
    ErinB V
  • "Dr. Molloy's staff has always gone above and beyond to help expedite my care and referrals. Keep up the great work!"
    Dan R
  • "From my first phone call to his office and subsequent video conferencing with Dr. McClendon did I realize that I had got the right Doctor. My interaction with his staff and him were amazing. For a person that is anxious and reluctant to go to doctors, they made me feel at ease."
    Tim F