From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine primarily concerned with the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders and conditions of the digestive system. This specialized field addresses both the anatomical structures involved in the digestion process and their function. The digestive system encompasses a multitude of organs from the mouth to the anus, making gastroenterology a comprehensive specialty.

Considering the myriad of etiological factors that can influence digestive health—ranging from autoimmune responses, infectious agents, congenital abnormalities to traumatic injuries—gastroenterology often finds intersections with other medical disciplines.


Gastroenterologists[edit | edit source]

Gastroenterologists are physicians who have undergone specialized training and education in the field of gastroenterology. Their expert knowledge allows them to diagnose, manage, and treat a plethora of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) system.

Conditions Treated[edit | edit source]

Gastroenterologists are equipped to handle a vast array of conditions that impact the digestive system. Some of the notable conditions include:

Diagnostic Tests[edit | edit source]

Gastroenterologists employ a variety of tests to ascertain the health and functioning of the digestive system. These tests include but are not limited to:

Procedures[edit | edit source]

Gastroenterologists not only diagnose but also perform procedures that can be therapeutic or diagnostic. These procedures encompass:

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) Flexible sigmoidoscopy Hemorrhoid banding Laparoscopy Liver biopsy PEG tube placement Pill endoscopy Sigmoidoscopy Endoscopy Virtual colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening

PH-zond for gastroenterology
PH-zond for gastroenterology

Gastroenterology Journals[edit | edit source]

To stay abreast of the latest research, trends, and advancements in the field, gastroenterologists often turn to academic journals. Some of the prominent journals include:

Gastroenterology (journal) Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology The American Journal of Gastroenterology Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology World Journal of Gastroenterology Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology Digestive Diseases and Sciences

FAQs[edit | edit source]

Consultation with a Gastroenterologist: Before consulting a gastroenterologist, patients may need to fast, refrain from certain foods and medications, and bring a list of ongoing treatments. During the initial visit, the specialist will take a complete medical history, perform a physical exam, and may suggest various tests. Scope and Focus: The primary focus of a gastroenterologist is on the digestive system, including the stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. They employ tests like blood exams, stool analysis, imaging tests, and endoscopic procedures for diagnostic and monitoring purposes. Endoscopic Procedures: Endoscopy procedures can last anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes, inclusive of preparation and recovery. They are recommended to investigate symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, weight loss, or GI tract bleeding, or to detect and remove growths. Frequency of Consultation: Regularity of visits can differ based on individual health needs. Chronic patients may need consultations every 3-6 months. Difference between Gastrologist and Gastroenterologist: While both professions deal with the digestive system, a gastroenterologist possesses a more comprehensive skill set and knowledge base, having undergone specialized training to diagnose and treat a broader range of conditions. In conclusion, gastroenterology plays a pivotal role in healthcare, focusing on a system vital to our overall health and well-being. As research continues, the field promises better diagnostic methods and treatments for patients worldwide.

List of Gastroentrologists in the US[edit | edit source]

List of Gastroenterology doctors[edit | edit source]

Comprehensive list of Gastroenterologists in the United States.

External links[edit source]

Gastroenterology Resources
Doctor showing form.jpg

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Health science - Medicine - Gastroenterology - edit
Diseases of the esophagus - stomach
Halitosis | Nausea | Vomiting | GERD | Achalasia | Esophageal cancer | Esophageal varices | Peptic ulcer | Abdominal pain | Stomach cancer | Functional dyspepsia | Gastroparesis
Diseases of the liver - pancreas - gallbladder - biliary tree
Hepatitis | Cirrhosis | NASH | PBC | PSC | Budd-Chiari | Hepatocellular carcinoma | Acute pancreatitis | Chronic pancreatitis | Pancreatic cancer | Gallstones | Cholecystitis
Diseases of the small intestine
Peptic ulcer | Intussusception | Malabsorption (e.g. Coeliac, lactose intolerance, fructose malabsorptionWhipple's) | Lymphoma
Diseases of the colon
Diarrhea | Appendicitis | Diverticulitis | Diverticulosis | IBD (Crohn'sUlcerative colitis) | IBS | Constipation | Colorectal cancer | Hirschsprung's | Pseudomembranous colitis
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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD