Gastroenterology is the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the gastrointestinal tract - this includes esophagus, stomach, duodenum, intestines, bowel, liver, gallbladder, biliary tree, pancreas.
There are many conditions that affect the gastrointestinal system and a consultant gastroenterologist training requires at least 3 years to specialise in this clinical discipline. Some clinicians go on to undergo further training in advanced endoscopy techniques.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
One of the most common conditions affecting the digestive system is irritable bowel disease (IBD) which is affects round 10%
of the UK population according to some studies. IBD is a broad term that relates to the chronic swelling of the intestines. Crohn's disease and ulcerative collitis are the most common forms of IBD.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS differs from IBD in that it does not involve inflammation of the intestines. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also called 'spastic colon' - because patients suffering from it experience painful spasms of the colon which leads to symptoms similar to IBD - cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. Under endoscopic investigation, IBS will show no abnormalities of the colon. The treatment of IBS is very different to that of the IBD disorders like Crohn's disease.
Gastroenterologists also manage conditions related to the liver. This includes liver cancer, cirrhosis, hepatitis and the effects of alcohol abuse. Not all liver diseases are caused by alcohol misuse, and other diseases can cause the scarring of the liver seen in cirrhosis.
One healthcare have a team of dedicated consultants in our gastroenterology department with many years experience treating conditions of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. Click here to view our consultant gastroenterologists