What Is a Gastroenterologist?
A gastroenterologist is a physician with specialized training and experience in managing diseases of the gastrointestinal tract – the stomach, intestines, esophagus, liver, pancreas, colon and rectum. The training involves five to six years of additional education in internal medicine and gastroenterology following medical school. This includes training in endoscopy – the use of narrow, flexible lighted tubes with built-in video cameras used to see the inside of the intestinal tract.
Why Visit a Gastroenterologist?
The unique training and experience of gastroenterologists allows them to provide high-quality, comprehensive care for patients with gastrointestinal conditions. Studies have shown that gastroenterologists perform higher quality colonoscopies and provide more comprehensive care for gastrointestinal conditions than other physicians. This translates to more accurate detection of polyps and cancer, fewer complications from procedures and less time in the hospital for patients treated by gastroenterology specialists.
When Should You Visit a Gastroenterologist?
Patients are usually referred to gastroenterologist by their primary care physician. Your physician may recommended you see a gastroenterologist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders:
Learn more about these and other symptoms at our Health Encyclopedia.
- Rectal bleeding
- Leakage/underwear stains
- Bowel movement urges that are hard to control
- Change in bowel habits
- Pale-colored stools
- Dark urine
- Heartburn (reflux)
- Abdominal pain or bloating
- Excessive gas or belching
- Esophageal pain
- Loss of appetite or weight
We Can Help
The highly trained and experienced gastroenterologists at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center specialize in diagnosing and treating all forms of gastrointestinal diseases and disorders, from heartburn to peptic ulcers to colon cancer. We’re here to help you maintain good gastrointestinal health.
Learn more about our treatment options.
To learn more, for help finding a physician or to schedule an appointment, call 1.800.3.ADVOCATE (1.800.323.8622). You can also find a physician and request an appointment online.