Posts Tagged ‘gastroesophageal reflux disease’
Gastroenterology is a category of health care which focuses on the human digestive system. This medical specialization has come a long way in recent years due to research and increased technological advances. A person’s digestive system is quite complex and entails many components of the human body, not just one’s belly. The mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, intestinal system, rectum and anus are all involved in getting nutrients in and out properly. If even one portion of this complicated mechanism breaks down, problems can occur. It is a gastroenterologist who figures out what the problem is, through diagnostics, and fixes it, through treatment. Testing in recent years has become more thorough and includes colonoscopy, colonography, enteroscopy, laser endoscopy, endoscopic ultrasonography and photodynamic therapy.
Here are some maladies and conditions that these physicians treat:
- Heartburn and reflux: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is an uncomfortable condition that occurs due to bile and stomach acid coming back up through the esophagus. These acidic substances can cause pain and result in irritation and inflammation.
- IBS or Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome: IBS is sometimes also called Irritable Bowel Syndrome, because that’s what it can feel like-that the bowels are cranky. It can also make the patient feel pretty irritable, as well. Sometimes IBS has psychological links as well as physiological.
- Cancer: Cancers in the anus, stomach, rectum or colon are treated by these medical specialists. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery may be necessary to curtail this disease.
- Pancreatic diseases: Cystic fibrosis, cancer, acute and chronic pancreatic disorders are all handled by these doctors. These maladies result from enzymes which digest food becoming prematurely activated. Illnesses of the pancreas are serious and can result in malnutrition, kidney trouble, diabetes and death.
- Malabsorption: Malnutrition can occur if nutrients aren’t properly absorbed by the body. These docs can figure out where the problems are and devise a treatment plan to remedy it.
- Constipation: Chronic constipation can be a painful and even toxic problem for one’s body. Many times lifestyle changes such as more exercise, a change in diet or adding water to one’s daily intake will alleviate this problem.
- Chronic diarrhea: Chronic diarrhea can be inconvenient and cause the person to become malnourished and dehydrated. There are many reasons for this situation to occur and gastroenterologists can diagnose and treat it.
- Fecal incontinence: Many patients are treated each year for this unfortunate condition. Sometimes surgery on a patient’s sphincter can alleviate the problem, as well as biofeedback therapy, dietary adjustments and more.
- Colitis: Ulcerative colitis can be a painful situation which may entail bouts of diarrhea, bleeding, stomach cramps and more. Swelling of the large intestine and rectum is the culprit in this malady. While there isn’t a cure, the symptoms can be made more tolerable and infrequent.
- Crohn’s Disease: It’s important to diagnose this illness as soon as possible in order to start treatment. Current testing allows for rapid diagnostics.
The specialists who focus on gastroenterology cover a broad range of maladies. If a patient is having difficulty with any digestive issue, these are the doctors to turn to.