What is Gastroenterology?
It is the branch of medicine which deals with the structure, functions, diseases and pathology of the stomach, the large and small intestines, esophagus, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts. The diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all disorders associated with the mentioned organs are the specialties of gastroenterology. Gastroenterology is a sub-specialty of internal medicine.
What are the Doctors of Gastroenterology called?
The doctor who specializes in the treatment of the issues related to the stomach and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is known as a gastroenterologist. Based on the disease, the doctor may refer the patient to other specialists, for example to oncologists in case of developed cancer or to gynecologists in cases of females.
When Is It Time To See A Gastroenterologist?
Any of the following symptoms or signs should indicate an underlying problem which needs to be evaluated by a gastroenterologist:
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal x-ray findings
- Difficulty swallowing
- Liver Disease
- Post-operative colon tests
- Rectal bleeding
- Unexplained weight loss
What do the Gastroenterologist Treat?
- Anorectal conditions including Hemorrhoids, Colonic Neoplasms, Cancer (e.g., colorectal cancer, stomach [gastric] cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer) and Polyps.
- Celiac disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease including Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Gallbladder disease
- Heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux)
- Liver disease (e.g., hepatitis, jaundice)
- Malabsorption disorders (e.g., celiac disease, lactose intolerance)
- Hiatal Hernia
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