If you are having digestive issues and have seen your primary care physician to get some answers, you have probably been referred to a specialist called a gastroenterologist. As a result, you are probably asking, “What is this type of doctor, and how can I find a gastroenterologist near me?”
In short, gastroenterology is the field of medicine that studies the entire digestive system that encompasses the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Generally, they use special instruments to view the GI tract in order to diagnose illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome, hepatitis, colitis and Crohn’s disease as well as pancreatic problems and various types of cancer. In addition, this branch of medicine helps people who are dealing with acid reflux, ulcers, hemorrhoids and jaundice. Diagnostic procedures include those that screen for colon cancer or polyps, identify gallstones, tumors or scars in the bile ducts, assess liver inflammation and fibrosis and examine the intestines. Should surgery be required for any reason, the gastroenterologist will refer the patient to another specialist.
You may be wondering, “Is there a gastroenterologist near me” if you have blood in your stool, abdominal pain or difficulty swallowing. In addition, these doctors do routine preventive care for people who are over 50. This is needed because we are at greater risk of colon cancer once we are middle-aged. People with a family history of colon cancer should discuss their individual situation with their doctor to determine when routine colonoscopies should begin. Ultimately, when you take good care of your digestive system, your overall health is improved, so don’t delay in making an appointment with a GI specialist today.