Medical gastroentrologist Medical gastroentrologist

Gastroenterology is an area of medicine that focuses on the health of the digestive system, or the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Gastroenterologists can treat everything from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to hepatitis C. Here’s a look at what these specialists do and when you should consider seeing one.

What is a gastroenterologist?

These specialists primarily diagnose and treat GI diseases in both men and women

They perform endoscopic procedures, in which they use specialized instruments to view the GI tract and make a diagnosis. They don’t perform surgery. In some cases, they may work closely with a GI surgeon. They primarily work in clinic or hospital settings.

The GI system:

  • digests and moves food
  • absorbs nutrients
  • removes waste from your body

Gastroenterologists can treat any part of this system

Although the GI system includes the mouth, these specialists generally don’t provide care or services here. Instead, dentists and dental specialists focus on the health of the oral cavity.

Other parts of the GI system include the:

  • pharynx
  • esophagus
  • stomach
  • small intestine
  • large intestine
  • liver
  • gallbladder
  • pancreas
  • salivary glands
  • tongue
  • epiglottis
  • rectum
  • anus

Proctologists also treat diseases of the rectum and anus