specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the

gastrointestinal tract

, which include the organs from mouth to anus, along the alimentary canal (

digestive tract

), are the focus of this speciality. Gastroenterologists perform a number of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including colonoscopy, endoscopy, ultrasound and liver biopsy. Common conditions treated may be colon polyps and cancer, hepatitis, gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn), peptic ulcer disease, colitis, gallbladder and biliary tract disease, nutritional problems, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and pancreatitis. In essence, all normal activity and disease of the digestive organs are part of the study of Gastroenterology.

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