A Gastroenterologist is a doctor with specialist training and experience in the investigation and management of symptoms and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver.
In the UK this involves an average of 10 years of postgraduate training with additional time spent in research.
Gastroenterologists have a detailed understanding of the normal action (physiology) of the gastrointestinal organs as well as the diagnosis and management of common and important diseases of the gut.
Gastroenterologists also receive dedicated training in endoscopy (upper endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy). This specialized training includes detailed and intensive study of how and when to perform endoscopy, optimal methods to complete these tests safely and effectively, and the use of sedating medications to ensure the comfort and safety of patients. In the UK each consultants endoscopy practice is continuously reviewed for quality and safety.
A gastroenterologist can help investigate and treat the following symptoms and conditions:
- Difficulty swallowing/dysphagia
- Vomiting blood/haematemesis/melaena
- Iron deficiency anaemia
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating/abdominal distension
- Rectal bleeding
- Fatty stools/steatorrhoea
- Faecal urgency/incontinence
- Tenesmus/rectal dissatisfaction/incomplete rectal emptying
- Concerns about a family history of bowel or colon cancer
- Poor appetite/anorexia
- Weight loss
Inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease
Microscopic colitis, collagenous colitis
Irritable bowel syndrome
Hiatus hernia and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
Peptic ulcer disease
Short bowel syndrome / Intestinal Failure
General pancreatic disorders: chronic pancreatitis
The following investigations are offered, usually within 2 weeks
Endoscopy carried out by Dr Ahmad on a private basis at the Royal Devon and Exeter or Exeter Nuffield Hospital
Tests provided by Exeter radiology
CT and MRI scans
Barium swallow, meal and follow-through
Colonic transit test
Tests provided by the functional gut clinic