The human body has many various systems that keep us functioning daily, some of which you may not think of often until there’s an issue. Everything in the body works together in some way, so it is important to receive specialized care when needed to ensure long-lasting health and wellness. The digestive system plays a big role in overall health, helping process nutrients and remove waste from the body. When an issue occurs within this complex system, you would need to be evaluated and treated by a gastroenterologist.

What is Gastroenterology?

Gastroenterology is the specific area of medicine that focuses on the digestive system, or gastrointestinal (GI) tract, as a whole. This includes the:

  • Pharynx
  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Small Intestine
  • Large Intestine
  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Pancreas
  • Salivary Glands
  • Epiglottis
  • Rectum
  • Anus

It is possible you may also be referred to a proctologist if you have a disease affecting the rectum or anus. Some gastroenterologists will treat general GI diseases, while others will have a more focused practice on specific organs or conditions.

What Diseases and Conditions do Gastroenterologists Treat?

Due to the complexity of the digestive system, there are many different issues a gastroenterologist can help with. You may be referred if you have problems with:

  • Acid Reflux
  • Ulcers
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Hepatitis C
  • Polyps in the Intestine
  • Jaundice
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Bloody Stool
  • Pancreatitis
  • Colon Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal Cancer

Many different procedures are also performed by a gastroenterologist depending on what you may be experiencing. You may require an endoscopic ultrasound, colonoscopy, liver biopsy or other, more specific diagnostic procedure. A primary care doctor will most likely refer you if you have experienced unexplained bloody stool, difficulty swallowing, or abdominal pain. Those over the age of 50 are recommended to see a gastroenterologist for preventative care due to an increased risk of colon cancer.

Where to Find a Gastroenterologist

Receiving specialized care in Decatur County and surrounding areas is easy. You will find compassionate, high-quality, gastroenterological care at Decatur County Memorial Hospital. Our physicians utilize the latest state-of-the-art technology in both surgical and non-surgical care and are able to treat complex digestive and metabolic problems. We are equipped to provide capsule endoscopies, colonoscopies, endoscopic ultrasounds, esophageal dilation, liver biopsies and more.

If you are experiencing digestive issues, don’t delay diagnosis and treatment. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.