Gastroenterology is the study of the digestive system and its disorders/diseases. The digestive system includes a 25-foot long tube that processes food and nutrients, as well as the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. These organs decompose, break down and absorb the food we eat on a daily basis so that the nutrients from the food can be transported into the bloodstream and sent to all the cells in the body. When the digestive system organs do not do their job, it is important for patients to see a gastroenterologist.
Common conditions treated by GI doctors include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Viral hepatitis
- Heartburn and Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- Diverticulitis, Diverticulosis and Ischemic bowel disease
- Celiac disease and food tolerances
- Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis
- Gallbladder disease
- Chronic vomiting
- GI infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Trouble swallowing
- Abdominal pain
- Liver disease
Diagnostic tests performed by a GI doctor include:
- Colonoscopy - evaluates the large intestine for abnormalities or disease, most commonly used to diagnose colorectal cancer.
- Endoscopy - noninvasive procedure that uses a flexible tube with a camera on the end to visually identify the cause of swelling, pain, bleeding and ulcers, as well as diagnosing tumors and conditions of the gallbladder, pancreas and bile ducts.
back to top