When it comes to matters concerning your health, you should be well informed about the type of doctor you consult. However, many a time we are unaware of the type of doctor to see when it comes to matters relating to our abdominal region. This is because one may experience abdominal pain as a result of an underlying condition. 

So, whom to consult when you have such ailments? What is the difference between Hepatologist and a Gastroenterologist?  

Here is everything you need to know about a gastroenterologist vs a hepatologist. 

Gastroenterologist meaning

Gastroenterology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the gastrointestinal tract or health of the digestive system. Gastroenterologists are specialized individuals who diagnose and treat the problem afflicting the digestive system. While some gastroenterologists treat common diseases of the GI tract, others focus on a particular aspect of gastroenterology study. Gastroenterologists are trained to perform a variety of procedures such as colonoscopy, endoscopy, etc. This helps them diagnose the disorders. Your primary care doctor will refer you to the best gastroenterologist in India if they detect any serious issues in the GI tract. 

Reasons to see a gastroenterologist 

The health of the GI tract or the digestive system is paramount. It is the home of our immune system and prone to numerous diseases. Thus, one should not ignore the symptoms or signs of gastrointestinal disorders. If you experience any of these symptoms you must consult a gastroenterologist in Faridabad.

  •  Blood in your stool 

One must never ignore rectal bleeding. It might be a symptom of an underlying disorder or a serious medical condition such as ulcer, haemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease, etc. If you happen to see blood in your stool, you must immediately contact their healthcare provider. The severity of the condition can vary and would be known only by proper diagnosis. Although rectal bleeding can be a minor issue, however, negligence can cost you your health. 

  • Heartburn

Heartburn is a type of burning sensation felt in the mid-upper abdomen, and this irritation flows out towards the upper chest and throat. It is common to have heartburns after eating something spicy or even eating oily foods. However, if you get frequent heartburns, you might be suffering from a condition called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). If you are facing acid reflux on a regular basis, you may be diagnosed with GERD. It is even possible that you might have a serious ailment such as oesophagal cancer. You may contact a food pipe specialist if you are facing GERD. 

  • Abdominal pain or bloating for a longer period.

Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diet, stress, medications are some factors that can cause abdominal pain and bloat. If the pain increases, it should be examined by a physician. 

  • Colorectal polyps 

Polyps that are formed in the rectum or colon can turn into colorectal cancer. These are small lumps of cell that are formed on the lining of the colon, which differs in sizes and over a period of time it develops. A colon polyp is mostly found in the large bowel and causes pain in the whole process of the digestive system flow. Colon polyp has some stages as it grows, and if not dealt with in time, it can be fatal.

Hepatologist meaning

Hepatology is a branch of medical science related to the study of prevention, diagnosis of diseases that affects the liver, gallbladder, biliary tree, and pancreas. Earlier, hepatology was considered as a subset of gastroenterology, However, in recent times, as this field of medicine is seen expanding, it has become a speciality of its own. A hepatologist is a specialist in the field of hepatology. 

Reasons to see a Hepatologist

Your primary care doctor may suggest you a hepatologist after assessing your signs and symptoms. Following are some reasons why you should consult a hepatologist. Seek treatment from the best hepatologist in Patna

  • Abnormal liver condition 

Liver conditions such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL), primary biliary cholangitis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis can be debilitating. If you experience any liver condition, you may teleconsult a liver specialist.

  • Alcoholic liver disease – Heavy and binge alcohol consumption can cause alcoholic liver disease. Some of the symptoms are swelling or pain in the abdomen that causes digestive issues, problems of the brain and the nervous system, etc. The final stage of alcoholic liver disease is cirrhosis.
  • Liver Failure 

A liver transplant is also known as hepatic transplant is the surgical procedure of replacing a malfunctioning liver with a healthy one. It is done when a liver is severely damaged and is unable to perform its functions or regenerate itself.  A liver transplant may be required by both children as well as adults when the condition of the liver is critical and no other options work out. 

Gastroenterologist Vs Hepatologist

Both a gastroenterologist and a hepatologist can treat and diagnose liver disease. A gastroenterologist may very well be able to treat disorders of the liver. However, the only difference is that both are experts in their own branches and it’s always better to consult a hepatologist with disorders of the liver, whereas a gastroenterologist with the disorders of the GI tract.