Are you seeing a gastroenterologist for the first time? If your answer is yes, then here’s your guide for all your questions. Because they specialize in diseases of the digestive tract, gastroenterologists treat many people who have symptoms similar to yours.
OverviewThe food we eat is converted into energy, which the body needs to function effectively. Various organs in the body play a role in the absorption of food and form the “digestive system”. The “digestive tract” can be divided into 2 parts: the upper digestive tract, which consists of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum. The lower digestive tract comprises the small, large intestine, rectum and anus.
But, What Is A Gastroenterologist?Gastroenterologists can help you determine the cause of your symptoms and make recommendations for treating the problem. As internal medicine specialists, they use medical products as endoscopes for examination and intervention. This tube-like device allows the gastroenterologist to examine the digestive tract and perform procedures such as biopsies or removal of polyps and cancer. They examine the digestive system and any diseases that affect the stomach, esophagus, gallbladder,liver, pancreas, intestines, rectum, and large intestine such as:
- Colon polyps and colon cancer
- constipation and diarrhea
- Crohn’s disease
- gallbladder disease
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- heart cancer
- stomach ulcer
- ulcerative colitis
How Are Gastro Surgeons Different From Gastroenterologists?Gastro Surgeons often perform complex and complicated operations while the patient is under general anesthesia. They specialize in the abdominal area, including the large intestine, rectum, or anus. Some examples of these surgical procedures are:
- tumor removal
- Correction of pelvic floor disorders
- Gastro Surgeons may also use surgical and non-surgical procedures to treat hemorrhoids or other disorders of the colon and rectum.
What Questions Will My Gastroenterologist Ask?When you visit a gastroenterology hospital first, your nurse will take your blood pressure and heart rate test, and ask you questions about your health. Tell them what medications you are taking or if you have any allergies. Your gastroenterologist should ask more detailed questions, such as:
- What are your symptoms?
- Where’s the pain?
- How long does your pain usually last?
- Does your pain move or change?
- When did your symptoms start?
- Have your symptoms gotten worse or better at times?
- Does something seem to be causing your symptoms?
- Does anyone in your family have digestive problems or other health problems?
- Have you had any other illnesses or surgeries before?
Questions To Ask Your GastroenterologistYou also need to ask questions. Here are some you can try:
- Do I need to see a Gastro surgeon?
- What is the usual treatment for my condition?
- Do I need a colonoscopy or endoscopy?
- What should I do if my symptoms worsen before I see them again?
- What are the signs of serious complications?
- Is there a drug that can make my problem worse?
- Should I change my diet?