Gastroenterology | Gleneagles Hospital

Gastroenterology

Gastroenterologists are specialists who treat diseases of the digestive system and those affecting the gastrointestinal tract including the organs from mouth to anus ranging from indigestion to abdominal pain, appendicitis, jaundice, gallstones, lactose intolerance, hepatitis, reflux, ulcers, and haemorrhoids

Signs and symptoms for gastroenterological conditions

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

With gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing acid reflux and irritating the esophagus lining.

Common symptoms include:

  • Burning sensation in the chest area, or heartburn especially after eating and seems worse at night.
  • Chest pains
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sensation of having a lump in your throat
  • Regurgitation of sour liquid or food

Acid reflux in during the night can result in:

  • Laryngitis
  • Chronic cough
  • Asthma
  • Sleep disruptions
Colorectal Cancer

Colon cancer typically starts in the large intestine, which is the final part of the digestive tract. Colorectal cancer refers to cancer that affects both the colon and the rectum. While it usually affects older adults, colon and colorectal cancer can occur at any age.

Colon cancer is sometimes called colorectal cancer, which is a term that combines colon cancer and rectal cancer, which begins in the rectum.

Colorectal cancer symptoms include:

  • A change in bowel habits - this may include diarrhoea, constipation, or stool consistency
  • Blood in your stool or rectal bleeding
  • Abdominal discomfort (cramps, pain, or gas) that doesn’t seem to go away
  • Feeling like your bowel does not empty completely even though you’ve been to the toilet.
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue and weakness

Some people do not experience any symptoms in the early stages of colon cancer. Symptoms may also vary for different individuals. The best way to catch this disease is through regular screening, especially if you have risk factors such as a family history of it.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Changes in your diet, or completely removing foods that cause bloating may be recommended by your doctor. Depending on your range of symptoms, fibre supplements, laxative or diarrheal medication may be prescribed to you.

Certain drugs may be prescribed to:

  • Ease diarrhoea via reduction of muscular contraction and secretion of fluids in the intestine, while increasing rectal muscular tone
  • Decrease overgrowth of bacteria
  • Increase fluid secretion in small intestines to help bowel movement

IBD are disorders represented by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. IBD can lead to debilitating, life-threatening complications if it is not treated

IBS symptoms include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unintended weight loss

Symptoms can vary depending on how severe the inflammation is, as well as the location in which it occurs. A person with IBD can also have times of remission and times when the illness is active.

Haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids which are also known as piles are swollen veins in the lower rectum or anus. It can develop around the anus or inside the rectum.

Haemorrhoid’s symptoms include:

  • Irritation or itching around the anus
  • Swelling and/or bleeding
  • Discomfort and pain around the anus
  • Lumps around the anus
  • Feeling like you still need to pass motion even after going to the toilet
  • Presence of mucus on your underwear or toilet paper

It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you experience large amounts of rectal bleeding, dizziness, or light-headedness.

Diverticulitis

Small, bulging pouches that form on the digestive system lining are called diverticula. Diverticulitis occurs when these pouches are inflamed or infected.

  • Pain or sensitivity at the lower left side of the abdomen is the most common symptom. The pain can start mildly and increase over a few days, or can come on suddenly.
  • Constipation or diarrhoea which is less common
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rectal bleeding
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a condition that affects the digestive system. While it does not cause any changes to bowel tissues or increase the risk of colorectal cancer, it can be frustrating to live with.

Symptoms of IBS include:

  • Stomach pains and cramps which are usually worse after eating and relieved after going to the toilet.
  • Diarrhoea, or constipation, or sometimes alternating between the two
  • Bloating
  • Excess gas
  • Mucus in the stool

More serious signs that should be treated immediately include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Diarrhoea at night
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Unexplained vomiting
  • Iron deficiency anaemia
  • Persistent stomach pains that won't go away even after a bowel movement

Diagnosis of gastroenterological conditions

Pantai Hospitals provides you with the best diagnostic and screening services, all wrapped up in a modern and comfortable setting. Your results will be reviewed by doctors who will explain and offer the necessary treatment options based on your ailment, lifestyle and/or risk factors.

Due to the nature of gastrointestinal conditions, a wide variety of symptoms may surface thus a proper diagnosis should first begin with a gastroenterologist questioning family medical history prior to a physical examination. Additional lab tests and imaging may be required such as these below:

Abdominal Ultrasound

Sound waves are used to produce dynamic images of organs that may not be accessed via other conventional means such as the gallbladder, pancreas, and liver.

Blood Tests

Liver function tests, blood counts and pancreatic enzyme tests can help determine conditions such as parasitic, viral or bacterial infections, lactose intolerance, celiac disease and diarrhoea. These blood tests may often help exclude other serious illnesses.

CT and MRI Scans

Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans help give specialists a cross-sectional view of the abdominal organs. This then helps them visualize the conditions of the internal structures of the body.

Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a medical test used to detect polyps and other various abnormal gastrointestinal growth, a camera is embedded at the end of a flexible tube, which is then inserted via the anus. This allows specialists to visually examine the large intestine and parts of the small intestine for any abnormalities.

Stool analysis

Often used to check faecal occult blood tests for colorectal screening, this test can help assess the patient's gut health by taking into consideration the change in acidity (pH), colour and consistency of stools. The presence of mucus, red and white blood cells, sugar, fat, and bile can help further understand the causes of indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, mal-absorption, and infection.

Endoscopy

This diagnosis allows for the close scrutiny of the stomach and digestive tract. A long instrument resembling a long tube with a camera called an endoscope is used to take images of the inter gastrointestinal environment. For further diagnosis, biopsies may be taken to be microscopically examined to help in cancer cell detection.

Treatments for gastroenterological conditions

We aim to get you back on track to your regular healthy daily life activities. Each treatment option like these listed below will be recommended by our medical team largely depending on your individual condition, and health and medical history.

Colorectal Cancer

The typical main treatment method for this would be surgery to remove the cancer. Your doctor may also recommend chemotherapy as well as radiation therapy before and after successful surgery.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

In order to treat this condition, various drugs may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system that is causing the inflammation, using antibiotics to treat any related infections. Pain relief as well as anti-diarrhoea medication may also be prescribed.

As bowel rest may reduce inflammation, nutrition through feeding tube inserts or via intravenous injections may be recommended for more severe cases.

For drastic measures, surgery to remove diseased parts of the large and/or small intestine may sometimes be required for much more severe cases.

Haemorrhoids

Stage 1 and 2 haemorrhoid developments may require lifestyle changes and minor medical treatment which may include diets with high fibre foods, the usage of topical treatments, warm water soaks and anal area cleanliness. Haemorrhoid symptoms often go away within one or two weeks.

However, if persistent bleeding and painful haemorrhoids occur, our specialist team may perform rubber band ligation, in which one or two small bands are placed at the base of the haemorrhoid to cut off blood circulation. Alternatively, injections (sclerotherapy) and coagulation via infrared and/or lasers may be recommended for haemorrhoid size reduction.

If surgery is recommended, the two main options include:

  • Haemorrhoidectomy - the most effective and complete way to treat severe or recurring haemorrhoids.
  • Stapled haemorrhoidectomy or stapled haemorrhoidopexy - where blood flow to haemorrhoidal tissue is blocked off. This process is typically used for internal haemorrhoids. Though causing less pain, this procedure has a greater recurring risk as compared to a regular haemorrhoidectomy
Diverticulitis

The easiest path to treatment for this condition would be diet improvement and sometimes antibiotics. Mild cases of diverticulitis infection may only require rest, a liquid diet, stool softeners and antibiotics.

However, surgery may be recommended for more severe cases along with a course of antibiotics and intravenous nutrition.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Prescription drugs to neutralise, reduce and block excessive stomach acid production may be prescribed.

Drastic measures include surgery and procedures such as these listed below may be recommended:

  • Fundoplication to tighten the muscle and prevent reflux by wrapping the top of the stomach around the lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Insertion of a LINX device, a string of magnetic beads, around the stomach allowing for the magnetic elements of the beads to draw the junction closer together yet still enable food to move through.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Changes in your diet, or completely removing foods that cause bloating may be recommended by your doctor. Depending on your range of symptoms, fibre supplements, laxative or diarrheal medication may be prescribed to you.

Certain drugs may be prescribed to:

  • Ease diarrhoea via reduction of muscular contraction and secretion of fluids in the intestine, while increasing rectal muscular tone
  • Decrease overgrowth of bacteria
  • Increase fluid secretion in small intestines to help bowel movement

Tips to keep your gut healthy

The gastrointestinal tract plays many vital roles in sustaining health and wellness, starting with water and food. Our digestive process provides us with the foundation to live and carry out daily functions while staying healthy and happy.

These few important factors should be taken into consideration to maintain healthy gastrointestinal health:

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Keep hydration levels optimal
  • Include adequate fibre in your diet
  • Thoroughly chew food before swallowing
  • Keep a healthy and active lifestyle
  • Manage lifestyle stress
  • Get routine medical screenings
  • Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
  • Consider probiotic supplementation

Are you or a loved one facing any of these gastrointestinal concerns? The dedicated team of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals are ever ready for consultation. If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, contact us to make an appointment with a Gastroenterology specialist at Gleneagles Hospital.

Our Specialists

Dr. Alvin Khoh
Specialty
Paediatrics

Sub Specialty
Gastroenterology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu
Dr. Anand Bhupalan
Specialty
Gastroenterology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur
Datuk Dr. Chan Fook Kow
Specialty
Gastroenterology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur
Dr. Hoe Chee Hoong
Specialty
Internal Medicine

Sub Specialty
Gastroenterology
Hepatology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Penang
Dr. Jason Chin Kuet Tze
Specialty
Gastroenterology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur
Dr. John Cheng Lung Seng
Specialty
Gastroenterology

Sub Specialty
Internal Medicine
Hepatology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu
Dr. Lua Guan Way
Specialty
Internal Medicine

Sub Specialty
Gastroenterology
Hepatology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Medini Johor
Dr. Mandeep Singh
Specialty
Gastroenterology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur
Dr. Muhammad Firdaus Md Salleh
Specialty
Internal Medicine

Sub Specialty
Gastroenterology
Hepatology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Medini Johor
Dr. Nagaraj Sriram
Specialty
Hepatology

Sub Specialty
Gastroenterology
Internal Medicine
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu
Dr. Ooi Eng Keat
Specialty
Internal Medicine

Sub Specialty
Gastroenterology
Hepatology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Penang
Dr. Paul Yap Ray Yee
Specialty
Gastroenterology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur
Datuk Dr. Ryan Ponnudurai
Specialty
Gastroenterology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur

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EMERGENCY CONTACT
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu
Ambulance / Emergency
+6088 518 911
Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur
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+603 4141 3018
Gleneagles Hospital Penang
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+604 222 9199
Gleneagles Hospital Medini Johor
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+607 560 1111
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