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What Is Gastroenterology?

Gastroenterology focuses on the study and treatment of the digestive system and its disorders.

The gastrointestinal and digestive systems include the:

  • Mouth
  • Pharynx
  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine
  • Colon
  • Rectum
  • Pancreas
  • Gallbladder
  • Bile Ducts
  • Liver

However, when this system does not work correctly, there can be major consequences to the rest of the body. The problem can either be a structural one in which a part of the gastrointestinal system is ceasing to function as it should, or it can be nuanced with the system still working but the body nonetheless not receiving the nutrition it needs.

The Job of a Gastroenterologist

A gastroenterologist is highly trained to deal with diseases and disorders arising from the malfunctioning of the gastrointestinal system.

As such, gastroenterologists are used to conducting diagnostic procedures such as:

  • Colonoscopies
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
  • Liver biopsies
  • Endoscopic ultrasounds

Once a problem has been diagnosed, these specialists are skilled at conducting either therapeutic or surgical treatments to solve the gastrointestinal issues such as:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Jaundice/fatigue
  • Heartburn/acid reflux disease
  • Intestinal gas and bloating
  • Chronic Indigestion
  • Incontinence
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Nutritional problems

These types of disorders can usually be treated with a therapeutic treatment or a lifestyle change. They usually require minimally invasive treatments and can be easily treated without long-term impacts to the gastro-intestinal system or the rest of the body.

More serious disorders treated by our gastroenterologists include:

  • Ulcers
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Colitis
  • GI bleeding
  • Colon polyps
  • Cancer
  • Pancreatitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Liver disease
  • Gallbladder and biliary tract disease
  • Diverticulitis
  • Hepatitis

These types of disorder may require much more invasive procedures to treat and may have long term impacts. However, the goal of a gastroenterologist in treatment is to return the individual to as close as possible to fully functional normal health.

Contact Infirmary Health’s Diagnostic & Medical Clinic today to make an appointment.

Call today: (251) 435-2400.

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