About gastroenterology and hepatology
When people speak of gastroenterology, they are referring to your digestive system or GI tract, which consists of your mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine and the large intestine as well as your liver and pancreas. Hepatology specifically studies diseases of the liver.
Common conditions treated by our gastroenterologists
- Abdominal pain
- Anal and rectal problems
- Anemia (iron deficiencies)
- Barrett’s Esophagus
- Colon cancer prevention
- Colon polyps
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Diseases of the pancreas
- Esophagus disorders
- Heartburn/reflux disease (GERD)
- Hepatitis A, B and C
- Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis)
- Intestinal bleeding
- Intestinal motility disorders
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Liver diseases (autoimmune, alcohol and fatty liver)
- Pediatric digestive disorders
- Swallowing disorders
- Ulcer conditions
Gastrointestinal procedures and treatments
- Capsule endoscopy
- Colon polyp removal
- CT & MRI enterography
- EGD (upper endoscopy)
- Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
- Esophageal dilation
- ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio – pancreatography)
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Iron infusion
- Push enteroscopy
- Stents for the gastrointestinal tract
- Variceal banding
Common gastrointestinal disorders and diseases
Our care experts and providers diagnose and treat all GI disorders and diseases. Some are acute, lasting only a short time, while others are chronic, or long-lasting. Below are some of the more common issues.
An inflammation of your appendix.
The most common symptom of appendicitis is dull pain near the navel or the upper abdomen that becomes sharp as it moves to the lower right abdomen. Other symptoms can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal swelling
- Fever between 99℉ and 102℉
Appendicitis is a medical emergency that almost always requires prompt surgery to remove the appendix. If you are experiencing pain as described, and believe it’s a medical emergency, call 911.
Left untreated, an inflamed appendix will eventually burst, or perforate, spilling infectious materials into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to peritonitis, a serious inflammation of the abdominal cavity’s lining (the peritoneum) that can be fatal unless it is treated quickly with strong antibiotics.
A digestive disorder that damages the small intestine.
Digestive discomfort associated with eating gluten (a protein found in wheat barely and rye). Not all people with celiac disease are symptomatic, and digestive discomfort is most common among children.
The disease can cause long-term digestive problems and keep you from getting nutrients you need.
Gastroenterologists treat celiac disease by prescribing a gluten-free diet. Symptoms significantly improve for most people with celiac disease who follow a gluten-free diet. A dietitian can teach you how to avoid gluten while following a healthy and nutritious diet.
A chronic (or long term) disease that causes inflammation and irritation in your digestive tract.
The most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are diarrhea, cramping and pain in your abdomen, and weight loss.
Doctors treat Crohn’s disease with medicines, bowel rest and surgery. The goal of treatment is to decrease the inflammation in your intestines, prevent flare-ups of your symptoms, and to keep you in remission.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
A common disorder of the large intestine that affects 10%-15% of the adult population in the United States that causes symptoms without any visible sign of damage or disease.
IBS usually presents a combination of symptoms including:
- Repeated pain in your abdomen
- Changes in your bowel movements (diarrhea, constipation, or both)
Doctors may treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by recommending changes to what you eat and other lifestyle changes, medicines, probiotics, and mental health therapies. Changes in your diet may include eating more fiber, avoiding gluten, or following a special diet called the low FODMAP diet.
You may have to try a combination of treatments to see what works best for you. Your doctor can help you find the right treatment plan.
Lactose intolerance is caused by lactose malabsorption, a condition in which your small intestine makes low levels of lactase and can’t digest all the lactose you eat or drink. Lactose intolerance may affect your health if it keeps you from getting enough nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D.
Bloating, diarrhea, gas, nausea, and pain in your abdomen after you consume foods or drinks that contain lactose (for example, dairy products).
Lactose intolerance can be made manageable by changing your diet and by limiting or avoiding foods that contain lactose. Some people may only need to limit lactose, while others may need to avoid lactose altogether. Using lactase products can help some people manage their symptoms.
Talk with your doctor about changing your diet to help manage lactose intolerance symptoms and make sure you get enough nutrients.
Medical care and help
Our specialists will work with you to understand your symptoms and medical history, and use advanced diagnosis techniques to pinpoint the cause of your discomfort.
Many diagnostic and surgical procedures are performed at our on-site endoscopy suites.
To find a gastroenterology and hepatology specialists near you, visit our Providers page.
Contact us if you have any questions.