When people reach a certain age they tend to notice that their gastrointestinal or GI tract no longer works as efficiently as possible. This means that older folks find it harder to digest certain food like meat and carbohydrates, this inability to digest and process the nutrients in food can lead to a world of stomach and GI problems, which is where the help of gastroenterologists is most needed.
What Does gastroenterology Involve?
In the most basic sense, this a medical specialization that focuses on the entire GI tract. A gastroenterologist can treat patients with general gastrointestinal problems and diseases while other doctors deal with a specific or particular line of GI problems. Some example of these problems are:
Hepatology – this field of interest revolves around studying the different liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and biliary tree diseases, how to diagnose these problems, and how to treat them.
Pancreatic Diseases – A doctor who chooses to diagnose and treat patients with complicated pancreatic problems.
Transplantation – These doctors are experts at GI transplantology,
Chronic GI Tract Inflammation – This is also known as inflammatory bowel disease, which is a problem that can be treated by any GI doctor, especially those who have dedicated their life to general gastroenterology practice.
Endoscopy – A doctor who specializes in performing and translating the results of an endoscopy for their patients.
There are other fields of focus a GI doctor may take extra time to study and specialize in because the parts of the GI tract all have a purpose in human health. An expert and trained physician who has chosen to dedicate their life’s work to study the GI tract will be well-versed in the different diseases of the stomach, esophagus, small intestine, bile ducts, colon, rectum, etc and how they should be functioning properly.
The moment they detect any signs of a part that is not operating and functioning in its full capacity they can quickly prescribe the proper treatments to prevent the problems from spreading to other parts of the body.
When To Visit A GI Specialist?
Generally, anyone, especially men over the age for 50 should consult with a specialist to see if there are any signs and symptoms of GI problems, the sooner these signs are detected, the better the chances of treatment resulting in success.
Other signs that mean you need to see a GI doctor, even if you aren’t over 50 are
You have noticed the presence of unexplained blood in your stool.
Swallowing has become more difficult and you cannot find a reason why this may be happening to you.
You are experiencing frequent and severe abdominal pain that has become debilitating in any form.
You have a family history of any gastrointestinal cancer that might be of concern.
Never Put Your Health And Life At Risk
Admitting that your body is no longer as fit as it was, internally and externally is difficult for many people. However, simply ignoring your needs to visit a GI specialist is not a good way to take care of your body. The moment you notice any signs of GI trouble, get checked so that you receive the proper treatment as soon as possible.
The Rome Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports activities that focus on education about gastroenterology, particularly about functional gastrointestinal disorder.
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