James Hakert, M.D. notating patient chart

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, “each part of the GI tract – esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine – has a unique function to perform in digestion, and each has a distinct type of motility and sensation. When motility or sensations are not appropriate for performing this function, symptoms occur.”

James Hakert, M.D. primarily sees patients for gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, which typically include indigestion, bleeding, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, gas or changes in bowel habits (e.g. diarrhea or constipation). These common GI symptoms can be due to many different causes like intestinal viruses or bacteria in the GI tract. In order to provide a better understanding of the most common GI symptoms a brief description is provided below.

For more information regarding any of these or other symptoms and to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Hakert’s office or request an appointment online.
  • Dallas TX Office: (214) 368-6707
  • Rowlett TX Office: (972) 475-8183

Constipation is defined as occurring when bowel movements become difficult or less frequent. Constipation most commonly occurs when waste or stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract, causing it to become hard and dry. Typically the body’s waste products are moved through your intestines by muscle contractions. If the colon’s muscle contractions are slow or there is not enough fluid then you tend to be constipated.

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Abdominal Pain
While this pain can cause quite a bit of discomfort, it typically is not caused by a serious medical problem. However, recurrent or severe abdominal pain can be a symptom of something that does require medical attention. You are encouraged to see your doctor for all severe or persistent pain.

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Anal/Rectal Bleeding
Rectal problems are common, and many people experience small amounts of rectal bleeding from time to time. While this blood comes out of the anus it can come from the upper GI tract, lower GI tract or the small intestine. The color of the blood depends on the location of the source, and the brighter the color generally means the source is closer to the anus.

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Diarrhea is a condition that involves the frequent passing of loose or watery stools. It is the opposite of constipation and can have many causes, which may be infectious or non-infectious. Most cases of diarrhea resolve themselves on their own. See your doctor for any case that lasts longer than a few days and they should evaluate you.

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Gas and Bloating
Gas & Bloating usually occur within the body due to swallowed air or the normal breakdown of undigested food (e.g. sugar & starches). While the omission of this gas can be embarrassing it is completely normal. When the gas does not pass through belching or flatulence, it can build up in the stomach and intestines causing bloating.

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Heartburn is an uncomfortable burning sensation that occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, and is felt behind the breastbone. Normally this is prevented by your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), but when your LES abnormally relaxes or weakens then stomach acid is allowed back into the esophagus – causing heartburn.

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A hemorrhoid results when the veins in and around the rectum and anus become swollen. These veins become enlarged when there is increased pressure in the lower rectum. Some of the most common causes of hemorrhoids are age, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, overuse of laxatives, pregnancy, straining during bowel movements and heavy weight lifting.

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Swallowing Difficulties
Difficulty swallowing means it takes more time and effort to move food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach, and in some instances may be associated with pain. Learn More >>

James Hakert, M.D.
8220 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 710 Dallas, TX 75231
Phone: (214) 368-6707
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