GI Topics

Symptoms, Conditions & Procedures

At Digestive Health Specialists, we have several GI providers with substantial experience in treating gastrointestinal conditions and liver disorders — from personalized treatment plans for Celiac disease to standard treatments for issues like acid reflux, bloating, and much more. Our practices in Kansas City, MO are equipped to perform diagnostic tests for symptoms like difficulty swallowing, heartburn, and unexplained weight loss or gain. We also offer procedures like a colonoscopy, enteroscopy, and esophageal dilation to help you monitor and protect your digestive health. Check out the list of symptoms, conditions, and procedures to learn more about how we can help you take control of your digestive health.

GI Symptoms

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain manifests as discomfort between the chest and the pelvis, and it can be a symptom of several different gastrointestinal conditions.

Anal/Rectal Bleeding

Rectal bleeding is any blood passing through the anus, including blood in stool, and it can have a variety of different causes that may require care.


Bloating typically happens because of a buildup of gas in the digestive tract, and it can sometimes be a symptom of something more serious in nature.

Blood in the Stool

Blood in your stool can have a variety of different causes including cancer and should always be evaluated promptly by a gastrointestinal specialist.

Bowel Incontinence

Bowel incontinence occurs when someone cannot control their bowel movements. It can significantly affect the daily lives of afflicted individuals.


Constipation typically occurs when stool becomes too hard and too dry, usually due to moving through the digestive tract at a slower pace than normal.


Diarrhea is defined as loose, watery bowel movements. If you are experiencing chronic diarrhea, then contact our team for a diagnosis.

Difficulty Swallowing

Difficulty swallowing happens when food or liquids do not move easily from the esophagus to the stomach. It has many causes but is very treatable.


Heartburn is the burning sensation behind your breastbone that worsens after meals or at night; it can be a sign of a GI condition, like acid reflux.


Indigestion is described as a painful sensation in your abdomen, sometimes accompanied by stomach pain. It is often a sign of another GI condition.


Nausea is a GI symptom described as the feeling in your stomach that makes you want to vomit; it is usually a sign of a larger GI condition.

Unexplained Weight Gain/Loss

Unexplained weight gain or loss can often be a sign of an underlying condition; see a GI provider to be assessed for any existing GI conditions.


Vomiting is your body's response to anything it perceives as a threat; recurring vomiting cycles should be assessed by a GI provider immediately.

Yellowing of the Skin/Eyes

The yellowing of the skin and eyes is caused by elevated levels of bilirubin in the body; it is a common sign of a pre-existing condition.

GI Conditions

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux or heartburn is where stomach acid passes up through the lower esophageal sphincter and into the esophagus, creating a burning sensation.

Anal Fissure

An anal fissure is a tear or cut in the tissue around the anus. These can cause a burning sensation and blood in the stool is a common problem.

Anemia/Iron Deficiency

Anemia develops when there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen through the body, and can often result because of iron deficiency.

Barrett's Esophagus

Barrett's esophagus is an issue connected with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) when esophageal tissue changes to look like intestinal tissue.

Biliary Obstruction

A biliary obstruction happens when one of the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder becomes blocked, commonly caused by gallstones.

C. Difficile Colitis

C. difficile colitis is an inflammatory ailment in the large intestine caused by the Clostridioides difficile germ. It is treatable but can be severe.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an immune condition that can damage the small intestine. It is caused by intolerance to the protein gluten, found in many grains.


Colitis is a condition that refers to the generalized swelling of the intestinal tract causing discomfort, fatigue, atypical bowel habits, and more.

Colorectal Polyps

Colorectal polyps are growths that are found in the colon and rectum. While typically benign, they can occasionally develop into colorectal cancer.

Colon Cancer

Colon (or colorectal) cancer often begins as benign polyps in the colon or rectum. Early removal of these polyps can help prevent cancer progression.

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease where there is inflammation in the digestive tract causing pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and weight loss.

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)

CVS is a condition that presents as cycles of vomiting where one may vomit anywhere between six and twenty times; CVS can be managed by a GI provider.


Diverticulitis is the inflammation or infection of small pouches in the digestive tract. It often results in nausea, abdominal pain, and bowel issues.


Diverticulosis happens when small pouches develop in the intestinal tract. It often presents without symptoms and is common in older individuals.


Dysphagia refers to difficulty swallowing food and symptoms can include pain when swallowing or the sensation something is caught in the throat.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis

EoE is the inflammation of the esophagus due to a build-up of eosinophils, often resulting in esophagitis. Symptoms can be managed with treatment.

Esophageal Motility Disorder

Esophageal motility disorder occurs when the musculature of the esophagus does not contract, making it difficult to move sustenance into your stomach.


Esophagitis is described as the inflammation of your esophagus and is usually a sign of an underlying GI condition. See a GI provider for treatment.

Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease is a condition where fat builds up in the liver cells, causing liver inflammation and sometimes life-threatening liver cirrhosis.


A fistula is described as an irregular opening between two organs, often accompanied by symptoms like discomfort, dehydration, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Food Intolerance

Food intolerances differ from food allergies, as they do not cause an immune response; our providers will work with you to find your triggering foods.

Gallbladder Disease

Gallbladder disease describes multiple conditions and problems that can negatively affect the gallbladder; symptoms can be managed by a GI provider.


Gastritis is the swelling, erosion, or irritation of the lining that protects the stomach; it can develop quickly or over long periods of time.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is characterized by frequent acid reflux. Treatment for GERD may include surgical intervention.

Helicobacter Pylori

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a stomach bacteria that can sometimes cause ulcers, stomach pain, and gastric cancer when an infection is present.


Hemorrhoids (also called piles) are inflamed veins in the anus or rectum. While a common occurrence, they can cause significant pain and discomfort.


Hepatitis is a group of conditions that cause inflammation in the liver, the most common types being hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal hernias are fairly common in the United States and occur when the upper portion of your stomach pushes up into the hiatus and diaphragm.


Ileitis is the swelling or discomfort in the ileum and causes symptoms that can include diarrhea and cramping; see a GI provider for treatment.

Impacted Bowel

An impacted bowel occurs when a hardened stool blocks your bowels in your intestine. It can lead to more severe GI symptoms if it is not addressed.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of diseases that cause irritation and swelling in the gastrointestinal tract, including Crohn's disease.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be treated with lifestyle modifications and medications that help alleviate distressing symptoms.


Jaundice typically develops in adults due to an underlying cause, presenting as a yellow tint in the whites of the eyes and the skin.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a common condition that makes it hard for the body to digest milk sugars, causing abdominal discomfort and other symptoms.

Liver Cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis occurs when the liver becomes inflamed and scarred from alcoholism or late-stage liver disease, reducing function or causing death.

Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the buildup of fat in the liver accompanied by inflammation. This condition can lead to liver cirrhosis.


Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas, a large gland that helps facilitate digestion, becomes inflamed and swollen, which inhibits its function.

Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop in the stomach or small intestines that can cause pain, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms.

Primary Biliary Cholangitis

Primary biliary cholangitis is a rare chronic liver condition causing damage to the bile ducts which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Primary sclerosing cholangitis affects the bile ducts inside and outside the liver, causing irritation, damage, and possibly cirrhosis.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the colon. Symptoms can be managed with lifestyle modifications and medications.

GI Procedures

Anorectal Manometry

An anorectal manometry tests the muscles required to have a typical bowel movement and is typically performed on patients with fecal incontinence.

Argon Laser Therapy

Argon laser therapy is used to effectively treat multiple troubling GI tract symptoms such as dysphagia, mucosal lesions, hemorrhages, and strictures.

Capsule Endoscopy

A small bowel capsule endoscopy is a procedure where a small capsule is swallowed by the patient and used to take pictures of the inside of the body.

Colon Cancer Screening

Colon cancer screenings in Kansas City, MO are used to detect colorectal cancer and include tests like the flexible sigmoidoscopy and the colonoscopy.


A colonoscopy is an endoscopic exam used to detect and prevent colorectal cancer, and it is recommended you get your first at age 45.


An esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is an endoscopic procedure where a scope is fed into the small intestines, allowing doctors to see inside.

Endoscopic Mucosal Resection

Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is a procedure to remove tumors, abnormal tissues, early stage cancers, and/or lesions from the digestive tract.


An enteroscopy is a procedure during which a long, thin tube is inserted into the mouth to assist in diagnosing maladies within the small intestine.


Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure where a scope is advanced into the small intestine as a diagnostic procedure.

Esophageal Dilation

Esophageal dilation is a process where the esophagus is expanded to help alleviate symptoms associated with the constricting of the esophagus.

Esophageal Manometry

An esophageal manometry is used to evaluate the contractile abilities of the esophagus to diagnose problems like swallowing difficulties and GERD.

Feeding Tube Insertion (PEG)

Feeding tube insertion, also known as percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, allows patients to be fed, hydrated, and medicated while unable to consume.


FibroScan is a non-invasive scan that uses a particular ultrasound technology to assess the occurrence of fibrosis and steatosis within the liver.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a diagnostic procedure where a scope is inserted through the rectum to examine the lower third of the colon's lining.

Hemorrhoid Banding

Hemorrhoid banding in Kansas City, MO is a method by which hemorrhoids causing discomfort can be removed by applying a rubber band to the hemorrhoid.

Infusion Therapy (IV Infusion)

Intravenous (IV) infusion therapy administers medication or supplements directly into a patient's vein, which can help treat certain GI conditions.


A sphincterotomy treats anal fissures by creating a small incision in the anal sphincter, which lowers the pressure and allows the fissure to heal.