Gastroenterologists are specialists that treat digestive, gastrointestinal, as well as liver disorders and diseases in both men and women. They treat and diagnose conditions and issues that can impact or concern the gastrointestinal tract and liver. They assess the structure of the patient’s digestive tract and are experts in digestive tract diseases, including polyps, peptic ulcer disease, or pancreatitis.
The first scientific studies of the digestive system were performed by Jan Baptist van Helmont in the 17th century. In 1833 the publication of William Beaumont’s observations shed new light on the nature of gastric juice and the digestive process in general.
Gastroenterology is the study of the normal function and diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver. It involves a detailed understanding of the normal action (physiology) of the gastrointestinal organs including the movement of material through the stomach and intestine (motility), the digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body, removal of waste from the system, and the function of the liver as a digestive organ.
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