What does a gastroenterologist do?
Gastroenterology can be defined as one of the branches in the field of medicine. They mainly focus on the disorder that happens along our digestive tract, gallbladder, bile ducts, liver, and our pancreas. Meanwhile, gastroenterologists are a group of competent doctors that were trained on how to make a diagnosis and treat some problems that appear in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract and also your liver. They also handle a lot of routine procedures in a day to investigate the problem before making a conclusion. For example, if you have a problem inside the colon, these trained doctors will come up with a procedure called colonoscopies, in which they will take a look inside your colon by using a small and tiny camera. In order to be a great gastroenterologist, they are required to fulfill from 5 to 6 years of specialized education after they have completed their medical school.
To date, many diseases have been treated by the gastroenterologist. They are as below:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Gastro-Esophageal Acid Reflux Disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
In order to make a diagnosis about some gastrointestinal diseases, a gastroenterologist may need to carry out some procedures. However, the procedures that need to be done are not a surgical basis procedure. To date, there are many major procedures that have been done by the gastroenterologists. One of them is the endoscopy, which is inserting a tiny built-in video camera in narrow and flexible tubes into the intestinal tract. This may assist them to see inside of the intestinal tract and may help them to make a conclusion about the problem that contributes to the intestinal disorders. But, if there is any patient that needs to undergo a surgery, gastroenterologists will refer the patient directly to the gastrointestinal surgeon.
Some of the non-surgical basis procedure that usually performed by the gastroenterologists to diagnose a disease such as:
- Colonoscopies (a procedure performed to detect any cancer or polyps in the colon)
- Gastroscopies (a procedure performed to detect any disorder from the oesophageal, gastric and small intestine)
- Liver biopsies (to examine if there is any fibrosis or inflammation in the liver)
- Endoscopic ultrasounds (a procedure done to assess the gastrointestinal tract)
- Sigmoidoscopies (to assess if there is any blood loss or pain at the bowel area)
- Capsule endoscopies (to evaluate the small intestine)
If you experience any problems regarding your digestive systems, you may consult the gastroenterologist. Usually, patients will come to the hospital with chief complaints of chronic pain that was felt at the abdominal area. However, there are also patients who come with a gassy and bloating stomach, as well as diarrhea that need to be evaluated further by a gastroenterologist. It is not advisable to take it easy when it comes to a mild symptom such as nausea, vomiting or stomach upset. In fact, these symptoms may indicate a bigger health problem. For example, if you are getting a stomach upset, it is uncommonly indicated that you may experience some malabsorption disorders for example celiac disease or intolerance of lactose.
As a conclusion, by identifying this disorder earlier, you can prevent your digestive system from further damage. In some patients, they may suffer from more extreme conditions such as blood in their stools. So, if you are having any digestive symptoms, it is advisable for you to find a doctor or seek a gastroenterologist for a consultation. Gastroenterologists are very well trained and have a full knowledge about the gastrointestinal systems that will help them to adapt well in making a diagnosis and provide some treatments in a wide range of disorders that are related to the gastrointestinal. Thus, they can be trusted to provide a complete and precise treatment of digestive disease.