A gastroenterologist is a medical doctor with extensive specialist training. Their specialist training means they can help patients who have problems that affect their liver, intestine and or pancreas.
In other words, a gastroenterologist helps patients with problems that affect their human gastrointestinal tract. The human gastrointestinal tract includes your stomach and intestine. The gastrointestinal tract is a long pipe that runs throughout your body.
The different areas of this pipe have different functions. For example, the section around your mouth helps you to digest food. Other sections of the pipe help you take nutrients from food. Other sections help get rid of wastes from your body. Gastroenterologists specialise in all of this.
This means that a gastroenterologist can help you with any problems that you may have with your digestive system. Your digestive system includes the bits of the body that help you digest your food and liquids.
Any difference between a gastroenterologist and an internal medical doctor?
An internal medical doctor in some ways is the same as a gastroenterologist. The difference is a gastroenterologist has specialised in gastroenterology, which means extra study and expertise.
A gastroenterologist is sometimes referred to as an internal medical doctor or an internal medical physician. The words “physician” and “doctor” have the same meaning.
What does a gastroenterologist do?
Just like your GP (general practitioner), when you see a gastroenterologist they will work out what’s wrong with you through making what’s called a diagnosis. A diagnosis involves examining you to work out what your problem might be.
In order for a diagnosis to be made you need to be referred to a gastroenterologist by your GP. Once you have been referred, you can contact us to make an appointment. When you see your gastroenterologist they will make their diagnosis and then suggest how best to treat you.
Your treatment might involve several steps and aspects. They may suggest treatment with drugs (medication). A gastroenterologist may also need to do perform a procedure to help diagnose and or treat you. The most common procedure that might be used is an endoscopy.
If you wish to find out more about gastroenterology and other aspects of your treatment you may like to look at our helpful resources page. Alternatively, you may wish to find out more information about certain topics that are relevant to you.