Medical terminology can often be as confusing to decipher as it is to pronounce. Gastrology and gastroenterology may sound very similar but they hold very different meanings. It’s important to know the difference especially when looking for a health care provider in the field.
The difference between Gastrology and Gastroenterology
The terms gastrology and gastroenterology come from the Greek word ‘gastro’ referring to the stomach. Gastrology, while it is a medical term, is a dated term for gastroenterology that goes back to the 1900’s. In the 1900’s the word was used to refer to the medical practice of the stomach and intestines.
Nowadays, you won’t find many doctors in the US referring to themselves as Gastrologists. A gastroenterologist is a doctor specializing in diseases of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The Gastroenterologist of today focuses on a wider portion of the stomach and its digestive system. Whereas gastrologists in the past focused more on the stomach alone.
Gastroenterology can be defined as the branch of medicine concerned with the structure, functions, diseases, and pathology of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Any given gastroenterologist has an extra 5-6 years of specialized training after medical school, allowing them to treat health concerns involving the:
Gastroenterologists study extensively for no less than 13 years. The extensive residency, real hospital experience and schooling ensure that your gastroenterologist is well equipped to diagnose any condition you may have.
What does a Gastroenterologist do?
A Gastroenterologist has the education and specialization to treat minor and serious health concerns involving the gastrointestinal (GI) tract or digestive system. There are many offices specializing in the practice across the US with experienced staff and tools to diagnose many health conditions including, but not limited to, the following:
Gas and bloating;
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD);
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); and
Typical tests and procedures performed by a gastroenterologist include, but aren’t limited to:
and many others.
Additionally, depending on the nature of the diagnosis and its severity, a gastroenterologist can also recommend surgical procedures.
When do I need to see a Gastroenterologist?
You should consider scheduling an appointment with your local Gastroenterologist, if you’re experiencing:
Severe or persistent acid reflux,
Consistent irregularities in your bowel movements,
Severe or persistent bloating,
Consistent irregularities in your digestion, swallowing, or passing of bowel movements.
There are many diseases of the esophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and intestines that a trained gastroenterologist can help you diagnose and treat.
Gastroenterologist in the Boston Area
Knowing the difference between Gastrologist and Gastroenterologist will save you some time when looking for a recommended doctor to address all of your gastrointestinal needs. If you’re in the Greater Boston area, look no further than Gastroenterology Healthcare Associates, a leading Gastroenterology practice. With a state-of-the-art endoscopy facility and over 15,000 procedures performed each year, their team of highly qualified gastroenterologists will be able to provide you with the care you deserve.