Gastroenterology – Solutions To A Bad Stomach

Gastroenterology is the study of the digestive system and diseases affecting this system. More specifically, specialists in this field study ailments of the gastrointestinal tract. This tract from the mouth to the anus includes organs such as, the esophagus, stomach, gall bladder, liver, small intestine, and colon. Patients with diseases such as Cholera, Appendicitis, and liver failure may be referred to a Gastroenterologist for diagnoses and treatment.

Historically, physicians have been studying gastroenterology since the 18th century when it was discovered that there are gastric juices in the stomach that aid digestion. Since then, the field has improved using a number of standard procedures and tools to prevent, treat, and diagnose everything from a case of bad gas to gall stones, or even Hepatitis. More details please Gastroenterologist Singapore near me

A patient experiencing chronic abdominal pain or frequent bouts of nausea might see a gastroenterologist to have an endoscopy, one of the most common procedures to help diagnose gastrointestinal tract disease. Although this routine, outpatient procedure is not technically surgery, having an endoscopy does require some pre-surgical preparations. A long, thin, flexible tube with a light source and a camera at the end, is placed inside the mouth and slowly guided down the esophagus and through the GI tract. This way, a specialist can have a clearer, unobstructed view of the patients’ gastrointestinal tract. Patients can expect to be heavily sedated, and must not eat 8 hours prior to having the exam. In addition to giving the physician a closer view of the GI tract to help diagnose certain issues, an endoscope can also remove foreign objects or polyps, take tissue samples, and treat bleeding.

If problems exist further down the tract, a similar procedure called a colonoscopy can be performed. This procedure is more invasive and painful, so a specialist might first perform a fecal occult blood test to determine if there is hidden blood in the patient’s stool. A positive result would require a colonoscopy, which places the endoscope through the anal cavity to give the doctor a view of the colon, rectum, and lower GI tract. It can successfully diagnose ailments such as colon cancer, Chrohn’s Disease, or hemmorrhoids. Preparing for a colonoscopy requires one to three days of a high-fiber diet in addition to a laxative treatment and/or a whole bowel irrigation. Similar to an endoscopy, a colonoscopy requires sedation because it is considered more painful than the latter. Both are necessary for either end of the GI tract for proper diagnosis of illness because they are more accurate than x-rays.

For patients seeking less invasive examinations of their gastrointestinal tract to determine the cause of pain or discomfort, a specialist may introduce barium into the patient’s GI tract, which provides a contrast when performing an x-ray. A barium swallow involves drinking a barium sulfate solution that provides a coating to visualize the esophagus and stomach while an x-ray tracks its path. This test can be used to detect ulcers, tumors, a narrow esophagus, or hernias. A barium enema works just the same for the lower tract. For this test, a doctor places a tube inside the anal cavity to fill it with the barium solution. The rectum must be clear and a patient may be required to take a laxative to empty the intestines prior to the procedure. A barium enema can be used to determine or detect the cause of altered bowel habits, unexplained weight loss, or irregular bowel contour.

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