Gastroenterology is the specialty that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and chronic hepatitis in humans. Gastroenterology branch that studies the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract, their structure and functions, diseases and their treatment is called Hepatology.
The most common gastroenterological disorders:
- Inflammatory bowel disease refers to a group of disorders of the digestive system, having inflammation as a main symptom. The main inflammatory bowel diseases are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis occurs in the large intestine, and Crohn’s disease involves any part of the digestive tract, from mouth to anus, but frequently occurs in the small intestine or colon. When inflammation is severe, it is considered that the disorder is in an active stage and manifestations are obvious.
- Gastritis is the affection of the gastric mucosa, represented by inflammatory, degenerative and allergic processes. These lesions may have self-limiting development, they can heal or, conversely, can lead to serious complications, in particular to bleeding or perforation. There are frequently manifested by a burning sensation in the upper abdomen, called heartburn, but can evolve without symptoms. The most common causes are: alcohol, certain medications, coffee abuse, too cold or too hot food, infection with Helicobacter pylori.
- Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, a gland with mixed secretion (exocrine and endocrine) and of major importance in proper functioning of the body. It is located between the spine and stomach, on the same line with the spleen (far left) and duodenum (far right).
There are two main forms of pancreatitis: acute and chronic, each of them having different causes, development, treatment and prognosis.
Gastroenterology / gastroentereology-hepatologist physician assessment includes:
- Primary consultation (examination of the patient and recent investigations, if any);
- Laboratory investigations, functional tests (laboratory analysis, ultrasound, esofagogastroscopy, colonoscopy, other specialists consultations etc.);
- Repeated consultation (examination of the patient after the treatment or indicated investigations);
- Development of treatment plan.