A gastroenterologist is a healthcare professional who has been educated and trained to treat patients who are experiencing health problems or have diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract and liver. They also diagnose and treat diseases that affect the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver.
To become a gastroenterologist, a person must first complete an accredited undergraduate program. They must attend medical school for four more years and then complete a three-year internal medicine residency, where they will treat patients and continue to learn under the instruction of an experienced physician or gastroenterologist. Once the fellowship is complete, the doctor must undergo five to six years of additional specialized education.
Gastroenterologists treat and variety of illnesses that affect the gastrointestinal tract. Some of the most common include:
Because gastroenterologists treat so many different diseases and illnesses, they use a variety of tests and procedures to diagnose them. In most cases, they conduct these tests and procedures themselves. In others, they may order them from other healthcare professionals. These tests include:
Gastroenterology is a medical specialty that requires extra education and training to master. Some gastroenterologists may have other specialty training, as well. For example, a gastroenterologist may specialise in advanced endoscopic procedures like ERCP. In most cases, the gastroenterologist will consult with other specialty physicians to treat patients the best way possible.
Gastroenterologists treat numerous types of illnesses and diseases, and their treatments are specialized for each disease. Some diseases respond well to one treatment, and others require a combination of treatments. A gastroenterologist can determine the right treatment and also know which treatments can be safely combined to provide relief to their patients. Some of the most common treatments include:
Knowing when to see a gastroenterologist can sometimes be difficult. Many of the symptoms of a serious gastroenterology disease can mimic common illnesses that do not necessarily require treatment. Many people fail to see gastroenterologists until their symptoms become severe. Some see their general physician and are referred to a gastroenterologist. Here are some reasons you may need to see a gastroenterologist:
American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)
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