Gastroenterologist – The Gut & Liver Care Specialist

Gastroenterology Medicine: An Overview

Gastroenterology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the health of the digestive system or the GI (gastrointestinal) tract. Gastroenterologists diagnose and treat gastroenterology diseases related to the gastrointestinal system, everything from irritable bowel syndrome to hepatitis C. Parts of the GI system treated by a Gastroenterologist includes the tongue, epiglottis, salivary glands, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus.

Who are Gastroenterologists?

Gastroenterologists are specialists who primarily diagnose and treat gastroenterology diseases. They also perform endoscopic procedures in which they use specialized instruments to view the gastrointestinal tract and make a diagnosis. In some cases, they may work closely with a GI surgeon to better understand the situation of the patient and provide the best medical care.

The gastrointestinal system functions:

  • Digests and moves food
  • Absorbs nutrients
  • Removes waste from your body

And, Gastroenterologists can treat any part of this system. 

Key Areas of Gastroenterology

  • Hepatology, that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tree, and pancreas
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, or any other chronic inflammation of digestive tract
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Endoscopic surveillance of the digestive tract
  • Reflux esophagitis, that is commonly caused due to gastroesophageal reflux disease

When Should You Visit a Gastroenterologist?

Your primary physician may refer you to a specialist if you are suffering from gastroenterology symptoms such as:

  • Unexplained blood in your stool
  • Unexplained difficulty swallowing
  • Experiencing abdominal pain

If you are over the age of 50, consider searching for “Gastroenterologist near me” and get the preventive care you need. Men and women over the age of 50 have a high risk for colon cancer so they should keep an eye out for the signs and gastroenterology symptoms related to such problems.

Common Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

A functional disorder is the one where the GI tract looks normal but doesn’t work properly. These are the most common problems affecting the GI tract. Irritable bowel syndrome (ISB) and constipation are the most common examples.

Many factors upset the functioning of the GI tract including:

  • Stress
  • Eating large amounts of dairy products
  • Traveling or other changes in routine
  • Controlling the urge to have bowel movements due to pain from hemorrhoids
  • Eating a diet low in fiber
  • Not enough exercise
  • Traveling or other changes in routine
  • Pregnancy
  • Taking medications like antidepressants, iron pills, and strong pain medicines such as narcotics
  • Overuse of laxatives (stool softeners) that, over time, weaken the bowel muscles
  • Taking antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum

What are the Common Diseases Treated by Gastroenterologists?

  • Gastritis
  • Acute Liver Failure
  • Alcoholic Hepatitis
  • Celiac Disease (Sprue)
  • Cholecystitis
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Colitis
  • Colon Cancer
  • Constipation
  • Esophagitis
  • Fatty Liver
  • Food Poisoning
  • Gallbladder Cancer
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Lower Gastrointestinal Bleeding
  • Malabsorption
  • Peptic Ulcer Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding
  • Viral Hepatitis
  • Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy
  • Anal Cancer
  • Diarrhoea
  • Gallstones
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Typhoid Fever

What are the Common Procedures Performed by Gastroenterologists?

  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Endoscopic biopsy
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography
  • Glue injection of varices
  • Liver biopsy
  • Oesophageal stenting
  • Piles banding
  • Upper gastrointestinal Endoscopy /Gastroscopy
  • Sigmoidoscopy

Education and Training Requirements: The Path to Become a Gastroenterologist

To become a certified Gastroenterologist, a doctor must receive five & a half years of training in M.B.B.S from a medical college. After graduation/M.B.B.S, a post-graduation in internal medicine for three years is necessary to qualify for training, which is followed by a super specialization degree in Gastroenterology. 

Dr. Rishab Sharma

Dr. Rishab Sharma MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine) He is associated with Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Dr. Rishab has wide experience in managing a variety of diseases, as well as managing critical care units in large government and corporate hospitals.

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