Gastroenterology is the medical specialty
concerning the study of diseases and disorders of the gastrointestinal
tract - including any of the:
Parts of the gastrointestinal tract (incl. Pancreas, Gall Bladder, Bile
Duct), Stomach, Liver, Large Intestines and Small Intestines.
One characteristic of diagnosis
in the field of gastroenterology is the need for extremely thorough patient history-taking.
This is because
up to half of all gastrointestinal
disorders are not indicated by anatomical changes,
physical findings, or positive test results. The gastrointestinal medical
interview generally covers areas such as
description of the symptom itself, history
of previous gastrointestinal
disorders or surgery, consideration of any symptoms
that could imply the presence of organic disease (e.g. anaemia
loss) and usually also consideration of the patient's psychological and
psychosocial state (e.g. any traumatic
events at about the time of the onset of the present and/or previous
complaints). A family history may also be taken.
Examples, of some of the issues and conditions studied and
treated by specialists in gastroenterology include: Heartburn; Waterbrash; Dysphagia; Dyspepsia; Nausea and Vomiting;
Anorexia; Gas and Bloating; Constipation; Diarrhoea; Malnutrition;
Abdominal Complaints; Liver Disease, and Gastrointestinal Bleeding.
* _ A medical specialist
in the field of gastroenterology is called
Links to other relevant areas on this website include:
* _ Glossary Section for