Saturday, January 30, 2021

What Does a Gastroenterologist Do?


What Does a Gastroenterologist Do?

Who is a Gastroenterologist?

A gastroenterologist is a professional who focuses on the health of your digestive system or the gastrointestinal tract, which is essentially responsible for the digestion of food that you eat, absorption of its nutrients, and removal of waste from the body. A gastroenterologist has the duty of diagnosing and treating any disease that may occur in the gastrointestinal system.

On a broader perspective, a gastroenterologist is a specialist who focuses on the following:

  • The physiology or normal functioning of gastrointestinal organs.
  • The digestion or breakdown of food that your intake.
  • The motility or movement of food through your digestive tract.
  • The absorption of nutrients.
  • The removal of unwanted waste from the body.

Any normal activities and disorders concerning the digestive organs are treated by a professional gastroenterologist.

What does a Gastroenterologist treat?

When it comes to a gastroenterologist, they are mainly focused on specific areas of the Gastro-intestinal system, which includes organs like the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder, etc. 

This sometimes can also overlap with the care that is generally provided by a physician, ENT specialists, Upper gastrointestinal surgeons, and colorectal surgeons, but the key to remember is that a gastroenterologist focuses solely on treating gastrointestinal problems and nothing else.

Some of the common diseases and symptoms that are effectively treated by a gastroenterologist are:

  • Gastro-Esophageal Acid reflux
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Hepatitis
  • Pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas
  • Jaundice
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Polyps in the Large Intestine
  • Reflux Esophagitis, which is caused by gastro-esophageal disease
  • Gastrointestinal Cancer
  • Bloody Stool
  • Cramping
  • Bloating

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What does a Gastroenterologist do?

So far, we have discovered that a gastroenterologist is a specialist in gastrointestinal problems, but when it comes to what they do, they perform several procedures to diagnose gastrointestinal diseases and treat them with them based on your condition. 

However, these procedures do not include surgeries, a Gastroenterologist only performs a medicine-based treatment to help you out. A treatment initiated by a gastroenterologist usually involves a short-term or long- term medication process for better results, but if the patient can be cured only with the help of a surgery, then they refer the patient to a gastrointestinal surgeon.

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One of the most prominent procedures that are performed by a gastroenterologist includes endoscopy, which the use of narrow flexible tubes with a built-in video camera that can be inserted in the intestinal tract. This helps the doctor in visualizing the inside of the track and effectively diagnose the problem.

To briefly lay down some of the non-surgical procedures that are essentially conducted by a gastroenterologist to diagnose the disease in the gastrointestinal system, some of them include:

  • Colonoscopies: A procedure used to detect colon cancer or colon polyps
  • Liver Biopsies: A procedure used to assess any liver inflammations and fibrosis
  • Gastroscopies: A procedure used to detect esophageal, small intestinal, or gastric diseases
  • Endoscopic Ultrasounds - A procedure used to examine the gastrointestinal tract
  • Capsule Endoscopies - A procedure used to examine the small intestine
  • Sigmoidoscopies - A procedure used to evaluate blood loss and bowel pains.

When is it time to see a Gastroenterologist?

If you are experiencing any kind digestive problems or pains, it is time to consult an experienced gastroenterologist. Digestive problems are not something to be shy about. Everyone is subjected to them at one point in life and it's better to get the right treatment done initially than waiting for it to aggregate into something much more serious than can be cured only after undergoing surgery. 

To understand when to see a gastroenterologist, you must track symptoms like chronic pain in the abdominal area, bloating, gas, and diarrhea in the beginning stage only. If you are facing such symptoms, it is recommended that you get it evaluated by a gastroenterologist.

Other than this, mild symptoms like nausea, upset stomach, unusual cramping, etc., can also indicate a larger problem like malabsorption disorders like celiac disease lactose intolerance. Hence, it is better to consult a gastroenterologist on time. By identifying these disorders, you can prevent future damage to your digestive system.

The training and knowledge a gastroenterologist acquire make them highly adept when it comes to diagnosing and treating a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders.  Reach out to one today if you are facing any symptoms. Book an appointment with the best gastroenterologist and get yourself relieved of the pain today!

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