Gastroenterology is an area of medicine that focuses on the health of the digestive system, or the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Gastroenterologists can treat everything from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to Fatty Liver Disease. Here’s a look at what these specialists do and when you should consider seeing one.
These specialists primarily diagnose and treat GI diseases in both men and women.
They perform endoscopic procedures, in which they use specialized instruments to view the GI tract and make a diagnosis. They don’t perform surgery. In some cases, they may work closely with a GI surgeon. They primarily work in clinic or hospital settings.
The GI system:
Gastroenterologists can treat any part of this system.
Although the GI system includes the mouth, these specialists generally don’t provide care or services here. Instead, otolaryngologists and dentists focus on the health of the oral cavity.
Other parts of the GI system include the:
These specialists treat a number of conditions affecting the GI system. This can include:
These specialists perform a range of nonsurgical procedures. This can include:
Your primary care doctor may refer you to this specialist if you:
If you’re over the age of 50, you may also want to meet with a gastroenterologist for preventive care. Men and women over the age of 50 have an increased risk for colon cancer.
If you’re in this age group, you should get screened regularly. If you have a relative with colon cancer, you should ask your doctor about when to start getting screenings.
adapted from www.healthline.com
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