Why see a gastroenterologist?
When you experience symptoms in your GI tract, your primary care doctor will send you to a specialist to ensure you receive proper diagnosis and treatment. When it comes to GI diseases, gastroenterologists have knowledge in a variety of areas and topics. As part of their specialty, they can:
Primary care physician (PCP)
Wait. If your PCP sent you to a gastroenterologist, do you still need to see your PCP? Absolutely. They still provide preventative, nonemergency healthcare on an ongoing basis. Plus, it’s important to keep them in the loop with what happens at your gastroenterologist visits.
Other doctors may be needed if extraintestinal manifestations (EIM) occur, which are complications that happen outside of the GI tract. They can also check for comorbidities, which are other diseases or medical conditions aside from the IBD. Make sure to talk to your PCP or gastroenterologist if you’re experiencing them, so they can refer you to the right doctor or specialist.
Make sure you provide all of your doctors or specialists with as much information and history of your disease as possible.
It’s also important to mention what type of medications you are currently under so they can make sure they don’t interfere with one another. If you have questions about the medications you’re currently taking, your pharmacist may be a good resource to provide you with more detailed information.
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