Gastroenterology is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to the digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. In Guatemala, gastroenterology has become a specialty of great importance due to the high prevalence of gastrointestinal diseases in the population.
Some of the causes of gastrointestinal diseases include consumption of contaminated food and beverages, bacterial or viral infections, autoimmune diseases, hereditary disorders, among others. The effects of these diseases may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, rectal bleeding, nausea and vomiting, among other symptoms.
Treatments for gastrointestinal diseases can vary depending on the condition and its severity, and may include dietary changes, medications and, in some cases, surgery. The most common diseases treated by gastroenterologists include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer and liver diseases such as hepatitis.
Gastroenterologists may specialize in subspecialties such as hepatology, which focuses on the treatment of liver disease, and endoscopy, which uses tools such as the endoscope to diagnose and treat gastrointestinal diseases. It is advisable to see a gastroenterology specialist if you experience persistent gastrointestinal symptoms or if you have a family history of gastrointestinal disease.
In Guatemala, there are many highly trained gastroenterology specialists and clinics specializing in the care of patients with gastrointestinal disease. Early care and proper treatment by a gastroenterologist can help prevent complications and improve patients’ quality of life.