What Is Gastroenterology?
Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine that studies disorders of the digestive system – including the esophagus, stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. In simple terms, a gastroenterologist is a stomach doctor: they have specialized training to treat digestive diseases.
Focusing on preventative care, as well as treatment for acute issues, the gastroenterologists at Bergen Medical Associates specialize in the comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of digestive disorders. These include:
- Problems with digestion and swallowing
- Problems with bowel function
- Causes of abdominal pain
- Conditions of the gallbladder and pancreas
- Illnesses affecting the liver, including hepatitis
- Evaluation of internal bleeding
Diagnosis and Treatment
Bergen Medical Associates is equipped to treat patients with a variety of gastrointestinal disorders and offers a complete range of diagnostic services, including colonoscopy, endoscopy, and capsule endoscopy. Patients can receive personalized care for conditions including:
- Abdominal pain: While pain in the stomach or belly may simply be the result of stress, constipation, or gas, it can also be a symptom of an underlying condition.
- Acid reflux: Commonly known as heartburn, acid reflux occurs when stomach acid travels upward into the esophagus. Persistent acid reflux can develop into gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Barrett’s esophagus: This gastrointestinal condition occurs when the cells in the lining of the esophagus change and become more like intestinal cells. Barrett’s esophagus is often linked to GERD and can increase the risk of esophageal cancer.
- Constipation: Constipation is marked by difficult, less frequent bowel movements, often caused by dehydration, a lack of fiber, or physical inactivity. This common condition can be treated with dietary changes and over-the-counter medicines.
- Diarrhea: Often caused by a virus or contaminated food, diarrhea is frequent, loose, or watery bowel movements. Occasionally, diarrhea can indicate an underlying condition like inflammatory bowel disease.
- Difficulty swallowing: Known as dysphagia, difficulty swallowing can be caused by muscle disorders, esophageal narrowing, or neurological issues.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: This term encompasses a group of disorders, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which cause chronic intestinal pain and inflammation.
- Rectal bleeding: Blood in the stool may indicate a common condition such as hemorrhoids, or a more serious problem such as ulcers or colorectal cancer.
Gastroenterology care is also important for helping to prevent and detect colorectal cancer. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States. A gastroenterologist can perform colonoscopies, flexible sigmoidoscopies, and stool-based lab tests to check for signs of colon cancer, as well as remove polyps that can become cancerous over time. Colon cancer screening programs can be tailored to each individual.
For more than 25 years, Bergen Medical Associates/Bergen Gastroenterology has been an area leader in expert care for all gastrointestinal diseases and disorders. Dedicated to providing the highest level of care while making patients feel comfortable and welcome, the physicians at Bergen Medical Associates include experienced gastroenterology specialists. Board-certified gastroenterology providers at Bergen Medical Associates include:
- Eric Avezzano, M.D.
- Alyse Bellomo, M.D., FACG
- Bhavik Bhandari, M.D.
- Crystal Broussard, M.D.
- Holly Doolittle Cullen, M.D.
- Anthony DeLillo, M.D.
- Andy Koo, M.D.
- Robert Levine, M.D.
- Stephen Margulis, M.D., FACP
- Robert Pittman, M.D.
Bergen Medical Associates’ support staff includes outstanding office workers and nursing professionals who pride themselves on prompt and courteous communication and responsiveness with patients. With an onsite ambulatory surgical suite, Bergen Medical Associates provides specialty care to patients throughout the tri-state region.
Choose Bergen Medical Associates
At Bergen Medical Associates, patients can receive coordinated health services from primary care to specialty diagnostic tests. Each provider is dedicated to helping their patients achieve the best possible health outcomes. Bergen Medical Associates has multiple office locations throughout New Jersey so patients can receive care close to home. To schedule a consultation with a gastroenterologist, call us today.