Every day, systems in your body work away at keeping you healthy without you even knowing they’re active. Your gastrointestinal system is one of those functionalities of your body that works behind the scenes. Our gastrointestinal system is something we only ever think about when something is going wrong, unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important to make sure our GI system stays in good working order at all times.
Pinehurst Medical Clinic Inc. understands the importance of keeping every part of yourself healthy, which is why today we’re giving you a quick introduction to gastroenterology.
What Is Gastroenterology?
Gastroenterology is a branch of medicine focused on the digestive tract, which runs all the way from the mouth to the esophagus, through the stomach and intestines, all the way down to the anus. A gastroenterologist is a doctor who specializes in this branch of medicine, and is often responsible for performing procedures you’ve probably already heard of, like colonoscopies, endoscopies, and liver biopsies.
What Problems Can The Gastrointestinal System Have?
There are two main problems that can occur in the gastrointestinal system: chronic digestive conditions and more immediate diseases. More immediate conditions include problems like pancreatitis, appendicitis, or other diseases that may require surgery. In terms of chronic conditions, these include things like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. These conditions usually require the long-term care of a gastroenterologist to help you manage their symptoms more effectively to lead a better quality of life.
When Should I See A Gastroenterologist?
Many symptoms of potential problems involve the products of your gastrointestinal tract, such as a change in bowel habits, pale or unusually foul-smelling stools, diarrhea, or bleeding. Some also involve putting things into your body, such as pain from drinking water, or feeling full after only a few bites of food. Other common signs that there might be a problem with your gastrointestinal system include heartburn or abdominal pain. Finally, people who have reached a certain age (usually over 50) should see a gastroenterologist for routine screenings like colonoscopies, to check for more serious conditions.
In other words, the gastrointestinal system is an incredibly important system working constantly in our bodies, but also one that we rarely think about until something is going wrong with it. At Pinehurst Medical Clinic, however, our dedicated professionals are always focused on keeping your gastrointestinal system as healthy as possible. Just book a consultation, and we’ll be able to tell you if there’s any problems with your digestive system, and how to get back to being healthy as quickly as possible.