Gastrointestinal tract (GI) is also known as the digestive tract, alimentary canal, etc. and is primarily a combination of organs that consume food, process/digest it to absorb its energy and nutrients. The GI also expels waste from the human body in the form of faeces. The system typically is a hollow muscular tube which begins from the oral cavity (where food enters the human mouth) and carries on to the pharynx, esophagus, stomach, intestines, stretching till the rectum and anus (from where the waste is expelled from the body). The functioning of the GI tract is aided by multiple other organs, including the salivary glands, liver, pancreas and gallbladder that secretes enzymes, which help to break and digest the food.
Essentially, the GI tracts I one of the most important human organs. Typically, because it is the place where food is converted into energy and is also the place where toxins and waste are removed from the body. A disease or disorder in the GI tract can cause a lot of health issues. Hence, it is important to visit a gastrologist to diagnose and treat any issues concerning the GI tract.
Who is a Gastrologist?
A gastrologist is a specialist that diagnoses and treats digestive, gastrointestinal, and liver disorders and diseases in people of all ages and gender. These specialists have been specifically trained to diagnose and treat all concerns related to the GI tract and other related organs of the body:
- Esophagus – the tube linking the mouth and stomach
- Small intestine
- Bile ducts
- Large Intestine
- Salivary Glands
Gastrologists also perform endoscopic procedures using particular instruments to evaluate the GI tract and analyse any complications.
What are the focus areas of a Gastrologist?
A gastrologist can be focussed to treat any of the following issues:
- Hepatology – diagnosing and treating problems concerning the liver, gallbladder, biliary tree and pancreas
- Pancreatic problems and illnesses
- Transplantation of GI organs
- Inflammatory bowel ailment
- Swelling of the organs of the digestive tract
- Gastrointestinal cancer
- Endoscopic surveillance
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
What conditions are treated by Gastrologists?
Gastrologists acquire special education and training to diagnose and treat all problems concerning the GI system in the human body. However, some of the common conditions treated by gastrologists are:
- Acid reflux
- Stomach and other ulcers, sores
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Hepatitis C
- Polyps in the large intestine
- Abnormal growth in the large intestine
- Blood in stool
- Haemorrhoids, also known as piles
- Colon cancer
- Esophagus cancer
- Colon polyps
- Pancreatitis or any other condition causing swelling in the pancreas
What procedures are performed by Gastrologist?
A gastrologist can perform multiple non-surgical procedures to treat issues related to the GI tract. Some of these non-surgical procedures include:
- Endoscopy of the upper and lower GI tract
- Endoscopy of other internal organs
- Colonoscopy to identify the existence of colon cancer and polyps
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography to assess gallstones tumours or scar tissue
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography to spot scar tissue
- Sigmoidoscopies to evaluate blood loss or pain in bowel movement
- Liver biopsy to spot swelling and fibrosis
- Capsule endoscopies to check the irregularities or problems in the small intestine
- Double balloon enteroscopy to examine the small intestine
When to visit a Gastrologist?
For patients that have experienced any of the below symptoms, it is advisable to consult a gastrologist to avoid complications and treat the underlying issue.
- Unexplained blood in the stool
- Trouble in swallowing and drinking
- Extreme and unexplained abdominal ache or discomfort
- Burning sensation in the heart
- Acid reflux
- Chronic diarrhoea
- Unexplained pain in the stomach
That said, it is advisable for people over the age of 50 to get frequent consultations from a gastrologist for regular monitoring and preventive care. This is because people at this age, irrespective of the gender, are at a higher risk of developing gastrointestinal problems and related issues.
Gastrologist in Kolkata?
For people who experience symptoms of gastrointestinal issues, visiting a gastrologist at the earliest is recommended. For those in Kolkata, it is advisable to visit the highly qualified team of gastrologists in CMRI (Calcutta Medica Research Institute), Kolkata for superior care and treatment of all GI and related issues.
CMRI is patient-centric, is driven by ethical conduct and offers clinical excellence in all medical areas, including gastrology. CMRI is a multi-speciality hospital with more than 76 critical care units, 600 nurses and paramedics, advanced diagnostic tools, 440 hospital rooms, and has till now treated more than 8 lakh patients.
Since its inception, CMRI has been providing quality care to all patients across areas including outpatient services, neurosciences, gastro science, renal science, cardiology, orthopaedics, joint replacement and many others.
The department of gastro science in CMRI adopts a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach to treat conditions related to the GI tract, liver, stomach, intestine and pancreas. Supported with modern equipment, 24*7 high-quality radiology and pathology diagnostic services, best-in-class surgical tools and set-ups, CMRI offers excellence in every gastroenterological disorder and disease.
CMRI has a dedicated Endoscopy unit with superior facilities of ERCP, devoted post-operative ICU for complicated GI cases, and a high-qualified team of gastrologists and assistive staff. CMRI has specialised expertise in performing GI procedures such as laparoscopic surgery, bariatric surgery, hernia management, gastrointestinal surgery, and others.
For a person experiencing any discomfort, issue or problem in the GI tract or related organs, CMRI in Kolkata can offer advanced medical services and assure high-quality treatment.