A gastroenterologist is a health care practitioner who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract (GI) in both men and women. A pediatric gastroenterologist treats GI problems in children. The gastrointestinal tract comprises the mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines and anus. The primary function of the GI is to absorb nutrients from the food you consume and provide the body with energy. Gastroenterologists are trained experts in providing thorough care for gastrointestinal ailments, which sets them apart from general physicians. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, a gastroenterologist requires an additional two to three years of specialized training in the field. Posttraining, many take a certification exam to be certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Symptoms of gastrointestinal illness include regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, heartburn, stomach cramps, chest pain, change in bowel movements and unexplained weight loss. Another reason to visit a gastroenterology doctor could be diagnostic screenings, especially if your medical history or symptoms suggest the need for one. Men and women over the age of 50 should visit a doctor regularly for preventive screenings, even if there are no noticeable signs or symptoms of an issue.
Find the best gastroenterologists in NYC
Looking for a gastroenterologist in New York? Zocdoc helps you find the best gastroenterologists near you. Zocdoc aims to give power to the patient with instant and easy bookings. Choose from our website or mobile apps, and get booking. Filter your search based on location, condition, procedure or insurance. Book same-day appointments and get the health care you need. Genuine patient reviews on doctors’ profiles can help you select a doctor that is best-suited for you.
Does filling out waiting room forms seems tedious and boring? We’ve got you! Now you can fill them once, and we’ll store them for you. Plus, upon creating a free Zocdoc account, you’ll receive customized reminders to help you stay on top of important checkups. Take your pick from top-rated doctors, and book an appointment online, for free!
The course of treatment is determined based on the nature of your diagnosis. The gastroenterologist assesses your symptoms and chooses either medical or surgical intervention. In many cases, lifestyle changes and medications together can treat a gastric disorder. However, sometimes surgery can be a life-saving option. Gastrointestinal conditions that could require surgery include appendicitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, hernia, weight loss, tumor in the digestive tract and Crohn’s disease.
Common procedures performed by gastroenterologists
- Endoscopy: A procedure used to examine and diagnose problems of the digestive tract.
- Gastroscopy: A type of endoscopic procedure used to examine the upper GI, which consists of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
- Colonoscopy: A preventive screening procedure carried out to assess the inside of your rectum and colon.
- Liver scan: An imaging test to check the health of the liver.
- Liver biopsy: A test where tissue samples from your liver are checked for signs of disease.
Sources: American College of Gastroenterology, National Health Service
The content herein is provided for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Medical information changes constantly, and therefore the content on this website should not be assumed to be current, complete or exhaustive. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, please call your doctor or 9-1-1 (in the United States) immediately.