What is Gastroenterologist and Gastroenterology?

There are so many variants in the field of medicine, and each one is different than the others. Some focus on common issues of the human body and anatomy, while others focus on the peculiar ones. We would be taking a peek inside one of these so-called medical conditions that are suffered mostly in our digestive systems. It has been observed and analyzed through multiple surveys that over 70% of the people around the world face problems with respect to GI or in simple terms called Gastrointestinal discomfort.

The centre of attention in this article would be complete surveillance of Gastroenterology which throws some light on this condition as a whole. Also, we would be taking a look at the specialists who treat these problems; they are called Gastroenterologists. Let us dive deep into the inner working of the disease and what do these specialists focus on whilst caring for those afflicted by it.


Gastroenterologist – What is Gastroenterologist and what do they do?

A gastroenterologist is a specialist physician who has a detailed knowledge of the inner functionalities of the digestive system of the body. They also take special care in identifying and thereby curing the diseases based on this. Primarily they focus on what is called the Gastrointestinal Tract which is also called the digestive tract or an alimentary canal that plays a vital role in breaking down the food items that go through it. It also absorbs all the nutritional qualities of the food thus giving the body the required amount of energy.

A gastroenterologist would treat the diseases based on these GI tracts on both men and women. They also play an important role in carrying out the endoscopic procedure which lets them observe these tracts with closer attention and an accurate viewpoint. For this, they would be using some top-grade instruments to make their assumptions clear on what could be the possible symptoms. In some cases, they would be taking some assistance of a G.I. surgeon who works at a local level in private hospitals.

Gastroenterologists have an end to end understanding of how the food moves inside our body, then through to the digestive tracts. What happens later is the physical and chemical breakdown of food which is termed as the digestion process in layman’s terms. Some of the important areas where these specialists especially focus on include,

  1. Tongue
  2. Pharynx
  3. Oesophagus
  4. Stomach
  5. Small Intestine
  6. Large Intestine
  7. Liver
  8. Gall Bladder
  9. Pancreas and its surrounding areas.
  10. Salivary Glands
  11. Epiglottis
  12. Rectum
  13. Anus

The order is designed with respect to the flow of food and the section wise breakdown that happens from the pharynx to anus.

Let us know to understand certain key points with respect to the disease in question.


Gastroenterology –An Understanding

Gastroenterology is basically defined as an exclusive study of the normal functioning and diseases which affect the gastrointestinal tract. This body of medicine has multiple variants as well, which also concludes the fact that they either treat a generalized version of the disease or a specific version of it. The study mainly focuses on problems concerning, bile ducts, small intestine, colon and rectum, and liver as well.

Some of the vital areas which should be focused on, and what might be called as the effects of the disease are as follows,

1) Pancreatic Diseases:

This includes inflammation of the pancreas in your body. The causes could be chronic or basically due to gallstones as well.

2) Hepatology:

This condition basically includes the study of liver-based ailments, the biliary tree – which directs the liver secretions, the gallbladder, and the pancreas. Any and all kinds of disorders focused on these areas come under the purview of hepatology.

3) Transplantation

4) Inflammatory bowel disease:

The person’s digestive tracts feel as if on fire. It is also classified under Crohn’s disease which inflames the linings of the gastrointestinal tracts OR it is also called the Ulcerative Colitis. The effects are generally similar.

5) Gastrointestinal Cancer:

In this condition, the person’s gastrointestinal tract progressively worsens over time, and this can even affect the assisting digestion-based organs. Some of the initial symptoms might include difficulty in ingesting food and even excretion issues.

6) Reflux Esophagitis:

As the name suggests, this condition mainly takes place due to the inflammation esophagus, which is termed as the body part that runs from the throat to the stomach. In technical terms, it is referred to as the GERD or the Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Some symptoms might include chest pains, and difficulty in swallowing food.


Education Qualifications Required to Be Gastroenterologist in India

There are some vital educational requirements that need to be fulfilled for a veteran gastroenterologist and we would be looking at a tabulated format for the same as given below

Degree LevelCandidates that have opted for PCB(M) in their secondary level need to appear in Medical Tests for MBBS. Post which the candidate would be doing the,

–          MBBS degree for the duration of 5.5 years.

–          2 years MD in Medicine.

–          3 years of DM in Gastroenterology.

Key SkillsImperative to have strong communication and vocabulary skills, along with organizational skills, problem-solving capabilities, and attention to detail as well.

It is also important for the specialist to be patient and have the empathy to whom he cares for. He / She must also have expertise in medical applications whichever present and is the best. Should also be familiar with all the other medical equipment like defibrillators, forceps, surgical clamps, etc. and so on.

SalaryIn Government Sectors, the expected salary would be 40,000₹to 50,000₹ per month, based on the total amount of experience. Corporate sector specialists can expect a good amount of salary range starting from 60,000₹to 80,000₹per month.
Job OutlookYou can easily get jobs in the Government and Private sectors with minimal issues. You can enter private and reputed institutions like the AIIMS. They can even start their own practice through their own private clinics as well.



Conditions treated by Gastroenterologists

The conditions that come bundled up with Gastroenterology can range from minimal to fatal, and every specialist should be keeping this thing in mind when it comes to this.

Let us take a look at some of the conditions that they treat,

Acid Reflux

This is basically a digestive disease that takes place in your stomach owing to irritation caused by acidic bile in the linings of your food pipe.



A sore condition that is irritating at best if it needs to be described. It takes place on the linings of your esophagus, in the stomach or in the small intestines.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is an intestinal disorder that would result in uncontrollable stomach pain, diarrhea like conditions, and even constipation.


Hepatitis C

This is a virus infection that mainly attacks the liver and in time it would result in increased amounts of inflammation.



These are tissue growths mainly seen in the abdomen that normally look like stalks of mushroom. These conditions can occur mainly in your rectum, sinuses or in the uterus as well.



Yellow tints occur in the eyes and skin owing to excessive amounts of bilirubin, which is created when during the RBC breakdown.



Technically also called hemorrhoids and caused owing to swollen veins present in the rectum. It eventually results in unbearable pain and bleeding.


Bloody Stools

Erratic bowel movements ultimately leading to bleeding problems. Many other conditions are caused because of this.



This results in the swollen pancreas which can start suddenly, and there is no time period as to when it would end.


Colon Cancer

This can be defined as the cancerous conditions in the person’s colon or rectum situated at the lower end of the gastroenteritis tract.


Methodologies or Procedures followed by Gastroenterologists

There are a couple of things that are checked by these specialists thoroughly. Let’s take a look at some of the procedural steps followed by them,

1) Endoscopic Ultrasound –

EUS is a procedure that is used to check the gastrointestinal and lung-based diseases. It uses high-frequency waves generated by an endoscope which gives detailed emphasis on the linings of the gastrointestinal tract.

2) Colonoscopy –

This includes the examination of the large intestine for causes of any threats which might prove fatal in the near future. This also includes endoscopic examination thereby checking the bowel movements, whether they are normal or not.

3) Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography –

This is a combination of endoscopy and fluoroscopy for treating all kinds of pancreatic problems. Fluoroscopy makes the use of X-Rays to obtain medical images in real time to understand the inner workings of your body, especially pancreas in this case.

4) Sigmoidoscopy –

The procedure involves careful inspection of the large intestine from the rectum and through to the colon, especially the sigmoid colon.

5) Liver Biopsy –

A needle will be inserted into the liver and some tissue samples will be collected for assessing and thereby diagnosing any possible liver conditions.

6) Capsule Endoscopy –

This procedure also comes under the ambit of Medical Imaging. This is used to record the internal images of the digestive tract which can be further utilized for medical diagnosis. A small capsule which is similar to that ofa camera is used for the same.

7) Double Balloon Enteroscopy –

This methodology is used for any kind of issues found in the small intestines. Endoscopic treatment is carried out for the same for a thorough examination.




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