Gastroenterology refers to the branch of medicine that deals with the optimal health and diseases of the digestive tract and the liver. It addresses the issues pertaining to the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, bile ducts, pancreas, and gall bladder.
The movement of the material from the esophagus to the digestive organs, the absorption of the nutrients, the removal of the waste products, the optimal function of the supporting organs and all types of diseases concerning them fall under gastroenterology. The doctors who practice gastroenterology are called gastroenterologists.
Following are the common issues related to gastroenterology:
- Gastroesophageal reflux/ heartburn, a severe form of hyperacidity
- Peptic ulcer/ a condition wherein a part of the stomach lining erodes due to the excess production of stomach acid constantly
- Hepatitis/ inflammation of the liver; swelling and pain are a few of the signs of inflammation
- Gallbladder and biliary tract disease
- Pancreatitis/ inflammation of the pancreas
- Nutritional problems
- Colon polyps/ abnormal lump in the colon wall
- Colitis/ inflammation of the colon (large intestine)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome/ IBS; cramps in the abdomen, alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea, and gas are a few of the symptoms of IBS
- Cancer/ a deadly disease that results from the abnormal growth of abnormal cells