What is a Gastroenterologist

A gastroenterologist is a doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the digestive system. Also known as a ‘GI specialist’, a gastroenterologist may work with other physicians and specialists to provide comprehensive treatment of gastrological health problems.

Did you know…

the GI tract is approximately 30 feet long in the average person? Each component of the system, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach and intestines, plays an important role in digestion, nutritional absorption and waste elimination. In addition to the primary digestive tract, the GI system also includes the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. On average, it takes food about 2 days to move through the entire digestive tract, though this transit time is longer in women and shorter in children.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who should see a gastroenterologist?

Diseases and conditions affecting the GI tract can produce symptoms that range from mild to severe. These symptoms may be isolated to the gastrointestinal system, or they may begin to affect other areas of the body. Contact a gastroenterologist if you experience chronic or recurrent:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Reflux
  • Heartburn
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
  • Severe Bloating

What types of diseases does a gastroenterologist treat?

There are many diseases that fall within the specialty of gastroenterologists. Some of the most common include:

  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • GERD
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cirrhosis of the Liver
  • Gallbladder Disease and Gallstones
  • Peptic Ulcers
  • Diverticulitis
  • And many more

How will a GI doctor make a diagnosis?

An exam and review of your symptoms will determine what types of screenings and tests your GI doctor may need to make an accurate diagnosis. Examples of gastrological screenings often performed here include:

  • Abdominal Imaging Scans (i.e. x-rays, ultrasounds, CT Scans)
  • Fecal Occult
  • Endoscopy gastroenterologist Sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy