The work and focus of a gastroenterologist involves all the parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Since there are several parts in the GI tract it can be confusing for a patient to know which doctor to consult with for their stomach problem. Many tend to continue to see their family doctor, even though they are already dealing with something more serious and specific in their stomach.
The delay caused by confusion or by being passed around from one specialist to another can take a devastating toll on a patient’s health as well as finances. Which is why it is better to know more about gastroenterology and which GI specialist to approach for certain stomach issues. Here are the two common specializations that help with stomach problems:
The main job of a gastroenterologist is to examine the GI tract of their patient. They can do this by ordering imaging work that range from ultrasounds, colonoscopies, endoscopies, MRI, and other similar work that will give them a better look into the GI tract. Sometimes a gastroenterologist will also request to do studies that will observe the motility of your GI tract.
GI specialists need these image to detect if there are any issues with your GI tract and its structure. They are focused on diagnosing the presence of polyps, cancers, tumors, and other abnormalities that will affect how the GI tract functions and affects the overall health of a person. Due to their work and excessive years of medical training, an expert in gastroenterology will be able to detect, diagnose, and effectively treat problems inside the digestive tract.
The Job Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Specialists
However, just because they are considered experts in their field does not mean they have all the necessary training to deal with specific stomach issues. There are several cases where a general stomach doctor is not the best person to consult with for stomach problems. Some stomach problems might be better off being treated by an IBS specialist.
Everyone has experienced a stomach ache at least a couple of times in their life. It can be due to eating food that has gone bad or maybe you are allergic to certain food that may cause a reaction inside your stomach. In any case, an IBS specialist will be able to do something more specific for you than just diagnosing the problem.
This stomach specialist will be able to determine and find the root cause of the irritable bowel syndrome so that you can avoid the triggers. Of course, a GI specialist can first diagnose you with IBS, but it takes the work of a specialist to properly treat your issues. Their work is very important because hundreds of stomach and digestive problems can be traced back to IBS. Meaning, it is worth it to consult an IBS specialist if you are suspecting that the reason for your stomach issues is due to IBS.
Don’t Ignore Your Stomach Problem
The first step to treating your stomach problems is to get yourself checked because no matter what type of GI problems you are going through, you have to consult with a doctor. Both the GI and IBS specialist will diagnose your issues and refer you to the best doctor to treat your specific case.
The Rome Foundation is committed to supporting science-based educational activities to help the field of FGID or functional gastrointestinal disorders. Contact us for more information about gastroenterology.