Digestive Health (Gastroenterology)
What is a gastroenterologist?
A gastroenterologist is a specialist in the digestive system. Gastroenterology is a specialty focused on preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases of the digestive system. This includes disorders of the appendix, esophagus, stomach, intestine, gall bladder, colon, rectum, bile ducts, pancreas and liver.
The digestive system includes the 25-foot-long tube that processes food and nutrients (known as the Alimentary Canal), plus the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. These organs break down and absorb the food we eat so that the nutrients can be transported into the bloodstream and delivered to cells throughout the body.
"Good" digestive health indicates an ability to process nutrients through properly functioning gastrointestinal organs, including the stomach, intestine, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. When these organs do not function properly, patients may need to see a gastroenterologist.
Illnesses treated by gastroenterologists
In addition to rare disorders of the digestive system, gastroenterologists diagnose or treat the following common conditions:
If you have any of these conditions, your primary care provider may refer you to a gastroenterologist.
Tests performed by our GI doctors:
Gastroenterologists use a number of techniques to view the organs of the digestive tract. The most common tests they perform are colonoscopy and upper-GI endoscopy.
For digestive health issues, it’s best to see a doctor who specializes in the digestive tract — a gastroenterologist. Find a gastroenterologist.
Click here to learn how colorectal cancer screening is important for preventive health.