Gastroenterology is the speciality of medicine that covers the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of problems affecting your digestive system. Gastroenterologist deals with diseases affecting the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, small and large intestines, liver, gallbladder, and rectum.
Which are the Most Common Gastroenterological Problems?
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux refers to the backward flow of acid from the stomach up into the esophagus. People experience heartburn, also known as acid indigestion when excessive amounts of acid reflux into the esophagus. Most people describe heartburn as a feeling of burning chest pain, localized behind the breastbone that moves up toward the neck and throat. Some even experience the bitter or sour taste of the acid in the back of the throat. The burning and pressure symptoms of heartburn can last as long as 2 hours and are often worsened by eating food.
An ulcer is a focal area of the stomach or duodenum that has been destroyed by digestive juices and stomach acid. Most ulcers are no larger than a pencil eraser, but they can cause tremendous discomfort and pain. The most common symptom of an ulcer is a gnawing or burning pain in the abdomen located between the navel and the bottom of the breastbone. The pain often occurs between meals and sometimes awakens people from sleep. Pain may last minutes to hours and is often relieved by eating and taking antacids. Less common symptoms of an ulcer include nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite and weight.
Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon and rectum, two parts of the digestive system also known as the large intestine. All colon cancers arise from polyps, abnormal growths on the wall of the colon that may become cancerous over time. If polyps are identified at a very early stage, they can be removed before they become cancerous. Symptoms include frequent gas pains, blood in or on the stool, diarrhoea or constipation, a feeling that the bowel has not emptied completely. Complications of colorectal cancer can be reduced or even prevented with the simple step of regular screening.