Gastroenterologist, Internal Medicine Specialist, Consultant Physician, Cardiologist
MBBS, MCPS (Medicine), FCPS (Medicine), M.D.
Great doctor! Clearly knowledgeable and very helpful.
Gastroenterologist, Hepatologist, General Physician, Family Physician, Diabetologist
MBBS, MCPS, MRCGP (UK), MSc (DUHS)
Gastroenterologists (پیٹ کا ڈاکٹر) or gastro doctors, are medical specialists who diagnose and treat the diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). The gastrointestinal tract is responsible for digestion of food, absorption of nutrients and removal of waste products from the body. The GI tract starts from the mouth, all the way through to the anal canal. The diseases of this long tract, are therefore, many, and need specialist care for diagnosis and management.
The common gastric symptoms for which the help of a gastroenterologist (پیٹ کا ڈاکٹر) is sought include: acid reflux and heartburn especially if its frequent, gastroenteritis, and constipation. For most of the aforementioned symptoms, specialists can prescribe medication and advice lifestyle modifications.
Your primary healthcare provider can also refer you to a gastric specialist (پیٹ کا ڈاکٹر) if you experience unexplained bloating, difficulty in swallowing, blood in stool and unexplained weight loss. For people who are over the age of 50 years, sessions should be held with a gastroenterologist for preventive care, as the risk for colon cancer increases with age.
For people, who have a history of colonic cancer in the family, preventive care and yearly colonoscopies should start at the age of 40 years.
According to data from the gastroenterology department of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), there has been an increase of 30 percent in the number of patients with digestive issues compared to previous years. The most common issues people presented with included: indigestion, followed by gastric ulcers and bleeding esophageal varices which is a complication of chronic hepatitis. People also presented with inflammatory bowel disease—ulcerative colitis, with ulcerative lesions in the large intestine.
The top infectious causes of gastrointestinal diseases are: cholera, typhoid and dysentery. The rise of gastric diseases among the pediatric population is also on the rise, suggesting that the consumption of unclean water, and junk food are the main culprits.
Following the five years of graduation in medicine and surgery (MBBS), and the mandatory house-job, gastroenterologists (پیٹ کا ڈاکٹر) enroll in a four-year residency program in GI, where they also have rotations in general medicine. This can be followed by further training in fellow-ship programs and post-graduation. Continual practice and medical education credits are important for a gastro doctor.
Gastroenterologists (پیٹ کا ڈاکٹر) can choose to specialize in a specific organ of the GI, or in a specific disorder. If a gastroenterologist chooses to study the liver as a specialty, then they are known as hepatologists.
Others can choose a subspecialty based on a disease, including;
A gastroenterologist (پیٹ کا ڈاکٹر) specializes in the diseases of the gastric tract and the liver. The long gastric tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, intestines, bile duct, gall bladder, liver, pancreas, colon, appendix, rectum and anal canal. Disease in any part of the tract can produce different and varied symptoms.
A gastro doctor (پیٹ کا ڈاکٹر) takes a thorough history, performs physical examinations and then makes a diagnoses. Additionally, gastroenterologists can perform a number of procedures—both investigative and therapeutic in nature.
Gastroenterologists are medical specialists who cannot perform surgery; however, they can work with surgeons and radiologists for proper medical management. Amongst the procedures often performed by gastroenterologists are: endoscopic ultrasounds for the imaging of lower and upper GI tract, endoscopy of the GI tract, colonoscopy for detection of colonic disorders including cancer and polyps.
In addition, gastroenterologists (پیٹ کا ڈاکٹر) can perform ultrasound guided liver biopsies for diagnosis of hepatic disorders including cancer, and chronic liver disease (CLD) secondary to alcoholism and hepatitis. Capsule endoscopies are also performed under the care of qualified gastroenterologists for a thorough examination of the small intestine.
Another common procedure performed by gastroenterologists is endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or ERCP, which has both therapeutic and investigative value. This procedure is performed to identify the presence of tumors or strictures in the bile duct, and also helps to remove stuck gallstones that contribute to pancreatitis or cholangitis.