What does a gastroenterologist do?
A gastroenterologist is a physician who specializes in the functioning and disorders of the digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, bile ducts, intestines, rectum, and digestive glands such as the liver and pancreas. Gastroenterologists are involved in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and discomforts affecting the digestive system. Their responsibilities include assisting patients with issues such as indigestion, stomach and duodenal ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, gallstones, inflammation of the bile ducts, pancreatitis, and other related disorders.
Technologies Used in Treatment
Modern technologies have revolutionized the diagnosis and treatment of many gastrointestinal diseases. Among the most important innovations, we can mention the following:
- Endoscopy – this is a method that allows for a detailed examination of the interior of the digestive tract, resulting in better diagnosis and shorter treatment times.
- Manometry and pH monitoring – these techniques are used to assess the motility and acidity of the digestive tract, which are helpful in diagnosing conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
- Capsule endoscopy – this is an innovative method that allows for the visualization of the small intestine without the need for invasive procedures.Top of Form
Symptoms that may indicate digestive system problems:
Abdominal Pain – frequent abdominal pain can often indicate indigestion or intestinal issues that may require consultation with a gastroenterologist.
Bloating and Gas – chronic bloating and gas can be symptoms of an improper diet, intestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, or even issues with the pancreas.
Gastroesophageal Reflux – heartburn, a sour taste in the mouth, and esophageal pain can suggest gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which requires treatment under the supervision of a specialist.
Changes in Frequency and Consistency of Stool – sudden changes in bowel movements, diarrhea, constipation, or the presence of blood in the stool are symptoms that should be discussed with a specialist.
Loss of Appetite and Stomach Discomfort – a lack of appetite, feeling full after eating small amounts, and stomach pain can be cause for concern and indicate the need for a visit to a gastroenterologist.
Swallowing Problems – the sensation of food getting stuck in the esophagus, pain, or difficulty swallowing may warrant a visit to a gastroenterologist.
Liver Disorders – jaundice, dark urine, and pale stools are symptoms that may indicate a liver disorder and should be consulted with a doctor.
Alarming Laboratory Test Results – if blood, urine, or stool test results suggest potential digestive system problems, it’s advisable to seek a consultation with a gastroenterologist.
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