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Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine that is responsible for the study of the digestive system, comprising the organs: esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus, and digestive glands (liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas); therefore, in turn, hepatology (the study of the liver) and proctology (the study of the rectum and anus) are derived from it.
In those people with a personal and family history of gastrointestinal disease, or with discomfort in the colon after 55 years of age, it is advisable to periodically go to the gastroenterologist, since they are more prone to developing some pathology and even cancer.
The gastroenterologist is the specialist doctor who treats diseases or disorders of the entire gastrointestinal tract, which goes from the mouth to the anus. It is responsible for treating various diseases related to digestion, stomach pains, intestinal colic, constipation, and diarrhea.
The gastroenterologist can work in clinics or hospitals, perform consultations, exams, prescribe medications, and guide on what to do to stay healthy and with the good functioning of the abdominal organs.
Within gastroenterology, there are other specialties, such as hematology, which is responsible for alterations of the liver and bile ducts, proctology, responsible for the treatment of alterations of the rectum, such as tumors, hemorrhoids, and fissures, for example, and digestive endoscopy, who is in charge of the study that helps in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive tract through an endoscope.
When to go to the gastroenterologist?
It is recommended to see the gastroenterologist in Lahore when there are symptoms that include organs related to digestion, such as the esophagus, stomach, intestine, pancreas, and liver. Thus, in case the person feels nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, an increase in the size of the abdomen, or a burning in the stomach, for example, see the specialist.
The main diseases treated by the gastroenterologist are:
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which causes heartburn, pain, and burning in the stomach region. Learn how to identify and treat gastroesophageal reflux ;
• Gastritis and gastric ulcer, which cause burning and pain in the stomach, as well as nausea and poor digestion;
• Gallbladder stone: which can cause pain and vomiting after eating;
• Hepatitis and cirrhosis, which are serious liver diseases that can cause yellow eyes, vomiting, bleeding, and an enlarged abdomen;
• Irritable bowel syndrome, a disease that causes abdominal discomfort and diarrhea;
• Pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of the pancreas, produced by stones or the consumption of alcoholic beverages in excess and causes belly pain;
• Inflammatory bowel disease, and immunity-related disease, which causes diarrhea and bleeding in the intestine;
• Lactose intolerance, a type of food intolerance that causes diarrhea and abdominal bloating after ingesting milk and derivatives. Learn more about how to tell if you are lactose intolerant.
• Hemorrhoids, a disease that causes bleeding from the anus.
Thus, in the presence of signs and symptoms that indicate pain or alteration indigestion, it is recommended to seek a general practitioner, who is able to diagnose and treat several of these diseases, however, when a special procedure is necessary. The general practitioner makes a consultation with the gastroenterologist, a specialist in this area.
Where to find a gastroenterologist?
Gastroenterologists are in a second or third level of care hospital; usually, the general or family doctor refers the patient to this specialist for a more in-depth evaluation for the diagnosis or performance of special techniques.
There are also many gastroenterologists who cater individually, which can be found in medical directories.
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