Arriving at the right diagnosis is pivotal in offering the best course of treatment- this may involve medications, change in lifestyle, food habits and at times endoscopic techniques are used to deliver treatment.
Gastroenterology deals with the digestive system- functional and structural ailments of the gastrointestinal tract- food pipe, stomach, small intestine, large intestine along with the allied organs involved in digestive process, viz, Pancreas, Liver, Gall bladder & biliary tract.
Digestive diseases result from derangement of structure, function, movement of various digestive organs.

Commonly encountered digestive disorders include peptic ulcer disease, colon polyps and cancer, piles, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), hepatitis, acid reflux or heartburn(GERD), colitis ( Inflammatory Bowel disease), gallbladder, and biliary tract disease and pancreatitis.

Gastroenterologist has specialized training to diagnose and treat conditions such as:

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a gastroenterologist do?

“A gastroenterologist specializes in diagnosing, treating, and managing diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract. This includes the stomach, colon, digestive tract, esophagus, small intestine, rectum, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas among others.”

What are the common disorders that a gastroenterologist treats?

Gastrointestinal disorders range from mild to serious and are described as any health conditions that appear in the digestive tract. These include:

  • Heartburn
  • Gallstones
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Abnormal liver function
  • Peptic Ulcers and polyps
  • Colon Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Infectious colitis

What common tests are done by a gastroenterologist?

  • Abdominal angiogram
  • Colonoscopy to detect colon cancer
  • Upper GI endoscopy
  • Barium enema
  • Liver scan and biopsy
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

What treatments are done by a gastroenterologist?

  • Endoscopic polyp removal
  • Bowel clearance
  • Appendectomy
  • Gastric bypass
  • Bowel surgery
  • Colostomy
  • Hemorrhoids treatment
  • Stent placement in the colon, bile duct, esophagus
  • Colon cancer

What are the common signs and symptoms of a gastrointestinal disorder?

The most common symptoms that can require you to see a gastroenterologist include, but are not limited to:

  • Bloody stools
  • Stomach pain and discomfort
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe and persistent heartburn
  • Bleeding in the digestive tract
  • Unexplainable weight gain or weight loss
  • Incontinence
  • Severe constipation

What are some common procedures performed by Gastroenterologists?

Gastroenterologists perform various procedures to diagnose and treat gastrointestinal conditions, including endoscopy (such as upper endoscopy and colonoscopy), biopsy, polypectomy (removal of polyps), liver biopsy, and imaging studies like ultrasound and MRI of the abdomen.

How can I prepare for a colonoscopy?

Your Gastroenterologist will provide detailed instructions, but generally, preparation for a colonoscopy involves a clear liquid diet, drinking a bowel preparation solution to cleanse the colon, and following specific timing instructions for food and drink intake before the procedure.

What are some risk factors for digestive disorders?

Risk factors for digestive disorders include a family history of gastrointestinal conditions, unhealthy diet (high in processed foods, low in fiber), sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and certain medications that can affect the digestive system.

Can lifestyle changes help improve digestive health?

Yes, making healthy lifestyle choices such as maintaining a balanced diet rich in fiber and nutrients, staying physically active, managing stress, avoiding excessive alcohol and tobacco use, and staying hydrated can significantly improve digestive health and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal problems.

Are there preventive screenings recommended by Gastroenterologists?

Yes, gastroenterologists recommend various preventive screenings based on age, risk factors, and medical history. These may include colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening, endoscopy for detecting esophageal and stomach conditions, and liver screenings like ultrasound, fibroscan etc. especially for individuals at risk of liver disease (such as those with hepatitis or alcohol use disorder). Regular screenings can help detect problems early and improve outcomes.

Social Networks
Meet Dr. Harikumar
Copyright © 2019 – All rights reserved – Comprehensive Liver Care Trust – C.L.C